Regarding “What’s 13 feet tall, tarnished, fading? Jerry Richardson’s legacy and hopefully this” (June 28): When it comes to what the Charlotte and Raleigh newspapers call the “embattled” and “downright creepy” Jerry Richardson, I am certain of a few things.
(Full disclosure: I am a friend of his going back to the mid-1990s.)
First, since the investigating lawyer did not divulge whom was interviewed or what they said, Richardson is innocent until proven guilty. No one is able to judge the veracity of a witness because it’s all being kept secret. The lawyer and the NFL say the charges were “substantiated,” but how do we know that?
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Second, I know Jerry Richardson as a fine man, period. Far from being a racist, I have seen him literally and figuratively embrace people of color. He would never use a racial slur. Where’s the proof he did?
And finally, I observe repeatedly that the newspapers are hysterical over all this, particularly when it comes to his statue at the Charlotte stadium. McClatchy Columnist Scott Fowler claims the statue – and, by implication, Richardson – has “outlived its usefulness.” No way.
What Richardson brought to Charlotte and the Carolinas will stay in Charlotte and the Carolinas. The philanthropy he has done is still so very useful. I predict that his contributions to the wellbeing of the Carolinas and its people will grow substantially over the next few years.
Outlived his usefulness, you say? Baloney.
NC Wesleyan College
Regarding “Kroger’s layoffs in the Triangle will be larger than expected” (July 5): When Kroger shuts down its local locations, the Triangle will be losing much more than a mid-range grocery store. In our community, 1,652 people will lose their jobs, with Kroger offering little other than a $250 severance check and, almost comically, a resume workshop.
Kroger owners cry that the market demands the change. Perhaps it does, but the fact that Kroger intends to develop its high-end subsidiary in the abandoned locations shows that Kroger is more than a passive participant in that market.
Meanwhile, Kroger refuses to commit to rehiring its own trained and experienced employees – perhaps to make a few dollars for owners, who are fresh off a $1.2 billion share buyback.
It is telling that the representatives of Triangle communities, prominent advocates of job creation when writing love letters to Amazon for its new headquarters, are nowhere to be seen when it comes to defending hundreds of jobs for service-sector workers.
Business analysts note that the “grocery wars” are bifurcating the market between budget and luxury, and it is corporate behavior like Kroger’s that pushes our neighbors into poverty.
Stop ‘power grab’
Regarding “New measure on ballot seeks to weaken governor” (July 5): Republican legislators want an amendment to the North Carolina Constitution giving them power to oversee appointments to hundreds of boards across the state that govern and regulate many aspects of our lives.
I was happy to see former Gov. Pat McCrory join in the outcry over what he called a “blatant power grab.” He might still be governor had he stood up to the legislators’ draconian methods when he was in office.
I really hope people can see and understand what they’re doing to the executive and judicial branches of our government. Republican legislators want to rule without checks or balances. Only we can stop them.
Regarding “Reaction mixed to raise in minimum state worker pay” (June 13): If N.C. government workers warrant an increase to minimum wage, so do direct care workers in nursing homes and in-home special needs staff. Low pay does not attract compassionate attentive care. Nobody seems to want these jobs.
This has been a major problem for years and now is the time for the state legislature to correct it. It’s a shame that this population does not have powerful lobbyists who will represent them like the hog, insurance or pharmaceutical industries have.