Letters to the Editor

Tom Farr is an ‘honorable man,’ not a racist

Thomas Farr won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote on Thursday.
Thomas Farr won the backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote on Thursday. N&O file photo

Defending Farr

Regarding “Trump’s NC judicial nominee has ties to ‘racist organizations,’ Democrats warn” (May 23): The continuing campaign to defame Tom Farr as a racist is reprehensible, completely untrue and designed to destroy the reputation of an honorable man.

I practiced law with Tom Farr for over 25 years and had the opportunity on many occasions to review his legal work, discuss his legal philosophy and gauge his character. During all that time, he never made a racist remark or otherwise portrayed bias. He represented his clients successfully and with great skill and integrity.

While developing the skills and judgment to serve as a federal judge, Farr earned the trust and admiration of lawyers of all political philosophies. He developed a reputation at the bar of being a decent, courteous and honorable lawyer.

Farr was nominated by Bush to be a federal judge in 2006 and was carefully investigated by the American Bar Association, which rated him “well qualified,” its highest rating. He was also carefully investigated by the FBI.

Only the refusal of the Democratic majority in the Senate to hold hearings on his nomination at that time resulted in the failure of his nomination to move forward. That failure resulted in the longstanding vacancy on the Eastern District bench which Farr has again been nominated to fill by President Trump. The ABA has once again rated him “well qualified” and he has once again been carefully vetted by the FBI.

If Farr’s character and ability had not withstood close scrutiny, does anyone think the ABA would have given his nomination its highest evaluation? Based on my close personal observation, and the observation of many other lawyers who know him well, Tom Farr will be an extraordinarily fair and competent judge who will uphold the rule of law.

Charles B. Neely, Jr.

‘Fool’s errand’

Regarding “Is Duke’s Moneta the Rosa Parks of decency?” (May 23): Like J. Peder Zane, I’m not a fan of hardcore rap lyrics. Like Zane, I am a straight, white male over 50. And, like Zane and Larry Moneta, I have a cultural and societal predisposition to be intimidated by an in-your-face interaction with a person of color, including listening to a black rappers’ provocative words.

I am, on the other hand, working every day to be more aware of my own limits in this regard, to fight my fear, and to try and understand the many, many worlds that exist outside of my cultural and economic bubble.

This is not about explicit rap lyrics, this is about white privilege and supremacy. Moneta reacted to his own fear and intimidation with a nuclear response. This sumptuously compensated vice president of Duke University caused two baristas to lose their jobs, even though they had immediately and politely corrected the situation, which was caused by a computer-created playlist.

When the incident became a national news item, Moneta topped his capricious and arrogant response with a hand-washing denial of his role in the firings.

Finally, Zane’s mind-blowing comparison of Moneta to Rosa Parks makes about as much sense as equating Genghis Khan to Mahatma Grandi. There’s simply no defense for Moneta’s actions and Zane is on a fool’s errand for trying.

Richard Ward


Engage public

Study: Outer Banks national parks could be hard hit by rising seas” (May 22) points out that our own Kill Devil Hills is predicted to see the greatest rise in sea level of any national park in the Southeast U.S. by the year 2100. As a coastal state, North Carolina simply cannot afford to ignore the dangers that climate change and sea level rise pose.

Local science educators have taken up the gauntlet. Last weekend the Museum of Life and Science sponsored an interactive public forum on how to mitigate the impacts of sea level rise and drought in order to engage the public on these issues.

You too can make an impact. Citizen’s Climate Lobby is an international nonpartisan group of concerned citizens (with a local Triangle chapter) aiming to put a price on carbon. Their revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend proposal has gained bipartisan support and is championed by the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives.

The public must continue to engage with this issue and support state and national efforts to mitigate climate change before we lose more of our precious and historic coastline.

Justin Baumann