Letters to the Editor

6/26 Letters: Aren’t gerrymandering and citizenship questions the same issue?

Respecting votes

Partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures has its parallel in the attempt to include a citizenship question on the national census. The two efforts are of a piece, and the Supreme Court now has a key role to play in both contentious issues. In terms of gerrymandering, the Justices, for their part, have been hesitant to weigh in on the states’ long practice of political manipulation for partisan gain, mostly because there is as yet no completely foolproof, scientific way to draw up districts in a fair political way.

But a wise ruling on the citizenship question will set the nation on a path to respect everyone’s vote – manifesting displeasure for what has been shown to be the ulterior motive behind the citizenship question: intimidating respondents for the purpose of limiting the votes of one particular political party. By disallowing the citizenship question the Court has the opportunity to set an ethical bar with regard to voting rights, something sorely missing today. It would make it incumbent upon state legislatures and political parties to come up with a remedy for the current injustice of disenfranchising significant portions of the population.

Joe Moran

Durham

National debt?

By all accounts, our economy is booming on all fronts. It soon will be the longest expansion in history, even if it began seven years before Trump became president. If not now, then when will it ever be the right time to begin paying down our national debt? Perhaps it doesn’t matter when rich people are getting richer. Fine. But don’t ever try to sell me on concerns about the national debt again.

Mark Kinlaw

Holly Springs

Uphold values

As is increasingly clear through reputable news sources, the immigrant crisis at the the U.S.-Mexico border does not defend the dignity of immigrants or the reputation of the justice in this country. Children are suffering psychologically from being separated from their parents without any support system and are physically suffering from health issues caused by close confinement without access to basic hygiene necessities. This treatment is deplorable and unacceptable.

I urge Sen. Burr, Rep. Price and Sen. Tillis to advocate for the release of these children and return them to their families immediately. In the interim, demand sanitary living conditions while the process of returning children to their families is underway. Congress is neglecting its duty to reform and fund our immigration system in a compassionate and reasonable way in accordance with the precedent set by our legislative and justice systems.

Turning a blind eye to this tragedy belittles the actions of our founders, the soldiers who perished alleviating similar systems of oppression in Europe in the 20th century, and those currently serving to uphold democratic values across the globe. I urge my elected officials to show that xenophobia is not allowed in America and end this crisis.

Amanda E. Finn

Raleigh

Oversimplification

Calling Human Coalition an anti-abortion group is as much an oversimplification as calling Planned Parenthood an abortion provider. Both of these groups are providing women with choices and support. The only way to end abortion as a birth control method is to provide women with education and methods to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

The only way to end abortion as a choice based in poverty and fear is to provide education and health, social and economic support. We’re seeing how easy it is to legislate choice. Our real challenge as a society is providing real choice for women. Pro life should mean more than pro birth.

Elizabeth Austin

Durham

Delayed response

On May 31 just before noon, I called 911 to request an EMS response for a relative who had fallen. The operator took my information and told me help was on the way. I waited some period of time and called to check on the ambulance estimated arrival time only to get an automated answering message advising me not to hang up. After a short hold, I recalled 911 and received the same automated answering message. It was on the third attempt that I got a live person.

I have heard of this happening in large city dispatch/911 centers but never expected it in Durham. I was left to wonder what if the emergency situation was such that I had only one chance to call!

Has Durham reached a call level to require an answering machine on the emergency 911 line, or is our 911 center understaffed?

Kent Fletcher

Durham

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