N.C. ‘banana republic’
The newcomers who move to North Carolina each day might as well go back where they came from, unless they want to live in a banana republic. In “UNC-Chapel Hill staffer got two $25,000 raises in June” (Sept. 29) we hear yet another case of someone feeding from the public dole, but this time it is a UNC employee who received a $50,000 raise in taxpayer money, a nearly 18 percent salary increase for a position which his Republican legislature buddies created for him and in which he has been employed less than six months. And Margaret Spellings, true to form, is contentedly powerless to intervene.
This next to an article explaining that our legislature, not content with gerrymandering half the population out of a political voice, is now prepared to meddle with districts in the election of judges. Their overhaul of judicial districts to benefit Republicans, which the judges themselves are against, will sail through the legislature next week in yet another special session for which taxpayers foot the bill. In fact, one wonders why they bother to hold a General Assembly at all – with their supermajority, they don’t need or want any other input; they rule by fiat. Just like a banana republic.
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I was disappointed to see “Don’t cherry pick history: Confederate monuments must stand” (Sept. 14) by North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans commander R. Kevin Stone. The neo-Confederate movement, of which SCV is the flagship institution, is deeply intertwined with racism in our country. Indeed, the NC Department of Motor Vehicles continues to issue license plates in the group’s name that feature the Confederate Battle Flag, a symbol of white supremacy.
Further, the piece contains outrageous claims about Gov. Roy Cooper and the growing chorus who criticize rebel monuments. Stone asserts that Cooper’s request “shows the full extent of his inability to resist the demands of tiny, but boisterous Marxist pressure groups.” These words represent, at best, the paranoid style in American politics and possibly something much worse. Stone has no claim to representing the heritage of our diverse state.
Alexander H. Jones
Regarding “President’s criticisms spark more protests” (Sept. 25) about the recent controversy around the National Anthem: Let’s get to the heart of it, it’s emotional appeal. The anthem goes deeper than sports. I am not a huge sports fan, but I think the athletes who don’t stand or sing for the National Anthem are wrong. It unifies Americans, it gives a great sense of togetherness and pride when they stand.
There is almost nothing more moving than standing to sing the anthem, together in a stadium. You feel a part of the honor of being American, and remembering our amazing forefathers, and the battles that were fought to make us free. I think President Trump was wrong about the ugly and negative things he said; he should appeal to the beauty and grace and power of the anthem if he wants to convince people to stand up and sing the anthem.