Letters to the Editor

UNC should be more open to ‘ideological diversity’

A steady stream of visitors and students visit the Old Well on the University of North Carolina campus on October 13, 2017.
A steady stream of visitors and students visit the Old Well on the University of North Carolina campus on October 13, 2017. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Regarding the Sunday Forum “What do readers have to say about a conservative ‘Honors College’ at UNC?” (June 3): Those liberals who reject the idea of an Honors College at UNC pretend that left-wing ideology does not already massively influence the faculty of UNC and its course content. They pretend that they have reached a purely academic nirvana and that conservatives instead desire a political one.

They assert that the goal of scholars is “to objectively know and understand” as though ideology – leftwing or rightwing – does not dramatically color that knowledge and understanding.

If it does not, then why do we fight so hard to have right-wingers or left-wingers placed on the Supreme Court? Scholars are no less subject to the bias of ideology than are judges. If all nine members of the Supreme Court were Trump nominees, would these left-wing scholars not accuse such a court of the “perceived disease of intellectual monoculture?”

Admit your bias, and open UNC to the ideological diversity that the university’s students and the state’s taxpayers deserve.

Gene A. Novak


‘Familiar story’

Regarding “Plan gives taxpayers’ dollars to pro-life clinic, Christian hunting club” (May 30): It’s a familiar story. Republicans who control the General Assembly meet in closed session and come up with a budget or law that will clearly be challenged in court.

This time they’ve decided to violate the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state. Off to court we go again, costing taxpayers unnecessary legal costs.

Helene Daniels-Dummer


Clean lakes

Regarding “Lake cleanup measures again postponed” (May 31): Yet again, the NC Legislature is holding up the Jordan and Falls Lake cleanup plans, pushing back improvements in water quality and clean drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. This is not just another delay in the rule-making process, it’s a timeline without a start date that fails to hold the legislature accountable for protecting water quality.

The original Falls Lake plan had a strong deadline for the first phase to help determine success of the second phase. But the original rules, which were agreed upon by many municipalities and community partners, have been stopped short by the legislature.

The May 30 article about the legislature’s actions does not question whether more studies are needed, considering that the Jordan and Falls rules that started years ago were already spurring pollution prevention through better stormwater management programs, wider stream buffers and improved wastewater treatment. Studies can provide further understanding of the lakes, and potentially identify additional strategies to clean them up.

But why stop effective environmental protections in the meantime? Now the burden falls on local communities to speak up and step up with their own water quality initiatives.

Caitlin Burke


‘Disappointed’ in budget

Regarding “Plan gives taxpayers’ dollars to pro-life clinic, Christian hunting club” (May 30): I am extremely disappointed to see the legislature continue to funnel money ($1.55 million) to so-called crisis pregnancy centers – operations that are misleading at best, but more often than not are straight-up deceptive in carrying out their agenda.

North Carolina women and their families deserve better. How about expanding Medicaid to ensure broader access to “actual” healthcare for our un- and under-insured residents? How about improved pre- and postnatal support in a state ranked 39th in the nation in infant mortality? How about appropriating funds to process the backlog of 15,000+ untested rape kits?

A recent investigation revealed that some North Carolina CPCs use federal funds to support programs crafted to “share Christ.” The use of taxpayer dollars to coerce vulnerable pregnant women to participate in religious-based activities in order to meet their basic needs seems to me to ignore the basic principle of church-state separation.

Women facing unintended pregnancy need medically accurate, comprehensive and unbiased information. It’s time to pull the plug on state-sponsored support for fake women’s health centers.

Cari Boram