Letters to the Editor

Consider ‘emotional significance’ of Confederate statues for many

Emotions run high at ‘Silent Sam’ protest at UNC

Tempers flare and emotions run high in August during a rally and march calling for the removal of the Confederate statue known as 'Silent Sam' on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill.
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Tempers flare and emotions run high in August during a rally and march calling for the removal of the Confederate statue known as 'Silent Sam' on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill.

Different “wounds”



‘Silent Sam’ has another meaning” (May 26) broadened my understanding of the power and significance of these controversial symbols. The fact that martial valor and sacrifice must be honored and perpetuated in order to maintain our country’s capacity to send young men to fight and die for dubious causes is not lost on those of us in the Vietnam generation.

The Confederacy was defeated, occupied, and plundered after the Civil War, resulting in deep shame, rage and destitution for many in the South. I believe Confederate memorials to sacrifices made by so many took on a sacred quality, in part as a way to assuage the emotional devastation passed down through generations of Southerners.

The inclination to use religion to sanctify sacrifices made in the service of those causes was not unique to Southerners. Confederate monuments hold deep emotional significance for many folks in North Carolina. It behooves us to recognize both the continuing wounds caused by the presence of the monuments, as well as the wounds that will be incurred by their removal or relocation.

Doug Jennette

Raleigh

Silent Sam, the Confederate statue at UNC-Chapel Hill, was doused with blood and red ink by protester Maya Little, Monday, April 30, 2018.

Practice ‘transparency’

Regarding “Videos spark concerns about police use of force” (June 1): As police body cams became more pertinent I felt they would protect law enforcement from unfounded accusations of police brutality and increase trust in peace officers.

During the past few years I have witnessed trust in law enforcement decline because the body cams have shown the public more instances of inappropriate behavior by law enforcement, body cams are conveniently turned off or never turned on, district attorneys are too quick to support officers involved in poor behavior, and the excuses of “I thought he had a gun” or “I feared for my life” are overused.

Law enforcement is a difficult and dangerous job but it needs to practice more transparency to regain the trust it is losing.

David Pesapane

Durham

Memorials needed

My parents were German immigrants. I am fluent in German and have spent a few years visiting relatives, traveling in Germany and have taught at the University of Vienna for a year. I have never seen a World War II memorial for Germans.

I have seen memorials for Germans who died in battle in World War I, and an occasional one would add a few names of those who died in World War II. I did see memorials to the Holocaust. The only swastika I saw flying was in a suburb of Swakopmund in Namibia (the former German Southwest Africa).

The South lost the Civil War over the defense of slavery. Slavery was evil and almost as bad as the persecution of Jews.

Why don’t we see memorials to the slaves? Why do we only see memorials to white military and political leaders (who lost the war) and see the Confederate flags flying everywhere? Why do we permit the prominent, public expression of these sentiments?

Helmut C. Mueller

Chapel Hill

Nutrition education

While I agree with Michael Jacobs’ assertion in “Why our physicians need to know more about nutrition” (May 29) that we may all benefit from our physicians’ knowing more about nutrition, I feel compelled to point out that the issue is much more complex than a lack of education.

Nutrition is an ever-evolving science, and it is one that is quite difficult to study. Not only do people change how they eat , but it can take decades for the effects of a diet to reveal itself. Determining which health outcome is caused by what diet is challenging.

Most physicians work very hard to keep up on their specialties. Like MDs and RNs, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) must also be licensed to practice in North Carolina, and once they are, they can use the title Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN).

Even within the field there are specialized areas of practice, so rather than referring to a generalist, a physician has the option of referring to an LDN who specializes in areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease or pediatrics. Perhaps a physician’s patients would benefit more from their physician being educated about when to refer for nutrition therapy and their maintaining a list of qualified LDNs to whom they can refer their patients.

Carolyn M. Felton, MPH, RDN/LDN, CEDRD

Raleigh

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