Letters to the Editor

Let’s compromise on Confederate monuments

Normally I agree with Edwin M. Yoder Jr., but not in his piece “Recent attacks on Confederate monuments are acts of prejudice” (May 3). While discussing historians of the civil rights movement, Yoder states, “Those who lived through, and approved, that beneficial phase of American history would be hard pressed to think of a single instance when a monument got in the way of the overdue defeat of Jim Crow.”

I ask, why does he think the defeat of Jim Crow was overdue? Is it possible that by erecting very visible and beautiful monuments, including in front of our hallowed halls of justice, to those who represent white supremacy helped some of that delay? I agree that is not any “single instance when a monument got in the way,” just the embodiment of an attitude.

I don’t expect Yoder to agree with me so I’d like to offer a compromise. Let’s agree to keep each and every one of the monuments. Next to them we could erect new monuments representing those who were oppressed by slavery and Jim Crow.

For instance, directly in front of Silent Sam let’s erect a statue, a little bit taller than Sam, representing the woman who was referenced in Sam’s dedication ceremony who was “horse whipped” until her dress was in tatters because she supposedly disrespected a white woman. Sam could live in eternity looking at that shame. My guess is if we did that Sam would never be vandalized again.

David Stinson


Hog wars

Regarding “Jury awards hog farm neighbors $50 million” (Apr. 27): Smithfield Foods and the Pork Council have misled the public into thinking that hog waste nuisance cases are anti-farmer. The article accurately notes the judgments are not against the locally contracted farmers but rather against multibillion-dollar industrial agriculture giants.

Industry raises hogs in eastern NC. While pork is exported for consumption in Charlotte and the rest of the world, the waste remains in eastern NC. The pork industry should be held accountable for failing to help farmers handle the voluminous waste stream generated by industrially raised hogs. This jury decision started to do just that.

Dana Sargent

Board of Directors

Cape Fear River Watch

Don’t underpay

Regarding “Fed up, NC teachers will storm Raleigh” (May 4): Way back when, I was briefly (for three semesters) a public school teacher. Then it was a difficult job. Now it is nearly impossible.

Great teachers love kids and and love learning. For those teachers, teaching is a labor of love. However, love alone will not pay the bills nor allow them to be the parents they wish to be.

It is time to declare an end to underpaying our teachers.

Rebecca Burmester


Save the birds

This Saturday, I attended an Audubon North Carolina bird walk at Hemlock Bluffs in Cary with state Sen. Tamara Barringer and Girl Scout troop 1055 of Cary. My love of birds across our state brought both Girl Scouts and our senator together for a few hours of birdwatching.

Early May is peak nesting season for birds that winter farther south. Our Girl Scouts were so excited to spot birds – like the bright red Summer Tanager that they had not seen before. Unfortunately, many of our beautiful songbird species are at risk due to our changing climate. In fact, 314 species are on the brink according to published research by the National Audubon Society.

As our lawmakers prepare to return to Raleigh this summer, I urge them to roll out the welcome mat for clean energy. Let’s avoid further unnecessary burdens like the current moratorium on wind energy. It’s time to embrace sources of renewable energy like wind and solar that will help our birds and our future generations thrive.

Diane Zoller