Regarding “City Council statement embarrasses Durham, supports anti-Israel agenda” (Apr. 12): As a Jew, I am angry that those of us supporting police demilitarization are accused of “embarrassing” Durham. Rabbis and other Jewish leaders should be embarrassed, as they turn yet again to labels like “anti-Israel” and “anti-Semitic,” hoping to distract from justified criticism of Israel’s militarized violence.
In this very moment, Israel is deploying its military to deliberately maim and kill as it claims the right to withhold water and electricity to millions of people and spins intricate narratives to justify the living prison that is Gaza. Those of us who refuse to hijack Jewish values to mindlessly defend a state are the ones embarrassed by leaders who choose to support Israel as it continually violates the instruction to not do to others that which we would not want done to us. We are the ones embarrassed that they do this as state sanctioned violence against people and communities of color is on the rise here and around the world.
When I wonder, will our leaders choose Judaism before Israel?
See both sides
Regarding “Parent objects after receiving PTA handout on white privilege” (April 6): The PTA at Hunter Elementary School has been taken to task for sending out excerpts from Jon Greenberg’s “11-Step Guide to Understanding Race, Racism, and White Privilege.” However clumsily executed, I believe that the PTA’s intentions are good. I also believe the intentions of the parent of a second-grade student at Hunter Elementary School are good. She feels that the materials sent home make students of color feel inferior. I can see how she might have interpreted the materials that way.
Did either the parent or the PTA attempt to sit down and discuss the appropriateness of the materials sent home? I cannot help but believe that the two parties, both with good intentions, could under the right circumstances work together for the betterment of all concerned.
What grieves me is the way this discussion has played out on social media and has become a pawn of the right – witness the comments made by Rush Limbaugh and the coverage on Fox News. Has the discussion in the media become so intense that each side has been put on the defensive and has hardened its position? I hope not.
Regarding “A ‘pay-to-play’ campaign event? Wake County leaders are at odds.” (Apr. 6): Four Wake County Commissioners are willing to spend nearly $24 million capital funding to buy a failed golf course in a subdivision. They want to call it a park, but much of the land cannot be developed beyond a natural state. Why should taxpayers foot these bills?
County Commissions are just buying this failed golf course to help the current property owners who are worried about their property values, and they also want to remain exclusive, with no other houses built near their houses. The homeowners of Crooked Creek should take responsibility for this common area in their neighborhood and not stick the taxpayers with it; that’s what HOAs across Wake County do.
Why should tax payers bail this neighborhood out and not others? Commissioners have not given a reasonable answer yet.
Ban rubber mulch
Regarding “What are your kids playing on? Why Durham will replace this park’s rubber mulch” (Apr. 10): I applaud the recent decision to remove the tire mulch at East Durham Park. My older child’s preschool went there daily. We oftentimes would go as a family, but stopped once we found out that there are a dozen cancer-causing chemicals used in the making of tires. Kids play with the tire mulch, sometimes chewing it, including my own toddler.
The question around the science needs to be reframed to ask: why would rubber from used tires be allowed to remain as playground surfacing when there’s not enough science to prove that it’s safe? Both the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission no longer claim that the material is safe. There is science that shows real concern.
I’m encouraged by the council’s responsiveness to community concerns. I urge them to make a city-wide plan to phase out rubber surfacing where kids play, and to continue to prioritize equity.