The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on police, Silent Sam, immigration, NRA, veterans, UNC, Tom Ross, Donald Trump

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


Don’t disrespect police

I was appalled to read the Oct. 20 news article “ Vandalism in Garner threatens police officers” about the vandalism to the mural under construction Garner police station.

My parents taught me that a police officer was the best friend I could ever have, especially if I was afraid or scared. I was told if my parents were not where I was, that my immediate concern was to go at once to a police officer. They were my first base for security.

To this day if I encounter a police officer in my day-to-day activities, I always smile and say hello. In doing so I’m honoring their commitment to serve, protect and save the public.

Charlotte R. Carrere



Not soldiers’ fault

Those protesting “Silent Sam” on the UNC campus are misguided. Silent Sam represents the thousands of poor and undereducated men who fought in a civil war so the rich plantation owners could maintain their opulent lifestyles.

What little media were available in the South were controlled by the very wealthy. The media convinced the poor that the Yankees were telling the South how to live. False pride was far greater than their limited intelligence, so they chose war.

Much like today, our government lied and convinced Americans Iraq was making plans to destroy our way of life. So we went to war.

Do we protest the brave men who fought and died in Iraq, a war based on lies just like the Civil War? I suggest we dishonor the leaders of the Confederacy, who got the South into war, and leave Sam alone.

Ben Cooper



Forgetting liberty

The matter of immigration is much discussed among GOP presidential candidates right now. The immigrants have been vilified as the worst who could cross the Mexican border. This is not new.

About 100 years ago, GOP politicians railed against Japanese immigrants entering California. In fact, the San Francisco Chronicle contained the following editorial in its March 5, 1905, edition: “Japan sent us not her fittest, but her unfittest; she has sent us the scum that has collected up on the surface of the boiling waters of her new national life, the human waste material for which she herself can find no use.” Does this sound familiar?

I am reminded of another quote engraved on a monument in New York harbor: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What have we, as a nation of immigrants and “anchor babies,” forgotten?

Gary L. Johnson



Challenging the NRA

Regarding the Oct. 18 letter “ When none is better”: Well said! The agenda and interpretation of the Second Amendment that the NRA pushes are absolutely ridiculous.

To push and argue that anyone can assemble an arsenal that is well beyond the means of self protection is unfathomable. There are laws that limit what we can own. We cannot own operational tanks or operational artillery pieces. There are limits. But who is to define those limits?

We will not find politicians with that kind of backbone or courage. And certainly not our fractured Supreme Court, which seems only to make things worse with each 5 to 4 decision it renders.

The interpretation of the Second Amendment has become so muddled because of ad campaigns from the NRA and cowering weak political leaders. Sadly, this issue has become somewhat of a tar baby, which is just fine with the NRA. Mission accomplished!

There never will be a political answer to the broadness or limits of the Second Amendment. This is an issue that can be solved only by the courts.

Yes, it will be activism. But aren’t the courts the ones that are supposed to interpret the constitution?

Michael Matthews



Free fair for vets

I worked security at the N.C. State Fair for many years. During my 10 straight 16-hour days, I watched as so many people were allowed entry without paying.

I watched as off-duty police, off-duty firefighters, politicians, friends of gate tenders and a host of others were allowed entry. I had no problem with it, as I was also allowed entry while off-duty.

Recently, I watched as a small group of battle-scarred veterans approached the gate and had to pay $6 each to enter the fairgrounds. How sad.

Can those who run the State Fair not provide free entry to those who sacrificed so much for all of us? Unbelievable, they got a reduced entry fee.

Thanks to our Marines and soldiers, even if the state of North Carolina feels they have to pay $6 to enter the fair.

Wayne R. Muller



GA doesn’t support women

After taking an additional three months to conclude its work, the General Assembly bid a hasty retreat from Jones Street. In their wake, the lawmakers left a long list of promises broken to North Carolina women and so many opportunities squandered.

In nine months of work, they managed to stand directly in the way of North Carolina women in almost every way possible. Equality for women starts with affordable health care, without interference from politicians. But the NCGA passed a mandatory, longest-in-the-country 72-hour waiting period for abortion services. It also moved to privatize the state’s Medicaid program, over the protests of many patient advocates and at the expense of the poorest in our state.

Working families are already squeezed in North Carolina, yet the General Assembly continued to cut the personal income tax, benefiting upper-income residents especially and depriving the state of even more revenue. Lawmakers have only two choices: stand with women or stand in their way.

Gloria De Los Santos



Ross’ departure tied to scandal

Your Oct. 25 editorial “ Serve UNC, not politics” asserting that the president of the UNC system was removed due to politics is without foundation.

Rather, you should remember that as president of the system, he presided over one of the worst academic and athletic scandals in U.S. history. The flagship of the UNC system, UNC-Chapel Hill, is still reeling from the impact. An honest whistleblower was vilified by the faculty and administration.

Numerous investigations were fruitless until an outside chancellor was hired. She, in turn, hired an outside investigator who discovered the incredible breadth and depth of the scandal. National sports broadcasters to this day cite the UNC scandal as an example not to be followed. Lawsuits have been filed, some have been settled. Many of those responsible for the fraud have been allowed to slip away.

It was the president’s responsibility to ensure that such a scandal could not occur. The damage to the reputation of the university is tremendous. It was not politics.

J.R. Snow



VA backlog hurting vets

I represent the hundreds of thousands of United States veterans with long-awaited pending decisions from the Department of Veterans Affairs. My case and appeal have been with the VA at Winston-Salem since April 7, 2011.

U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers has requested status of my case on a regular basis, apparently without success. Most recently her office requested status and received the following: “We anticipate that it will be some time yet to come before this is accomplished due to the workload constraints pending with the regional office.” Really?

Many years ago, my father also dealt with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He got former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms involved. Once Helms got involved, results occurred, and the Department of Veterans Affairs was held accountable. My father (100 percent service-disabled veteran and bronze star recipient) got a respectable response leading to resolution.

I’m not sure how congressmen and women assist their constituents today, but I am very disappointed that Ellmers would accept these useless responses. Still waiting after all these years.

Kyle Turner



Trump no Presbyterian

Though not always an active churchgoer, I have always been proud of my Presbyterian heritage. My maternal grandfather’s Scots ancestors emigrated to America in 1768 and settled in the wilds of what is now Moore County. The church eventually established there in 1790, Bensalem Presbyterian Church, continues to be an active congregation and is where my family enjoyed Clan Morrison reunions during my childhood and early adult life.

I cringe now when I hear Donald Trump, a self-professed Presbyterian, denigrate through implication another man’s religion. This is typical Trump rhetoric that has vilified many including Mexicans, women and war heroes from his own party.

Presbyterians in general have a plethora of views that vary widely across social, political and yes, even religious lines. Trump’s rhetoric has been racist, misogynistic, sexist, bigoted and plutocratic. When he identifies as Presbyterian, I am embarrassed for me and for my ancestors, though some of these long-dead ancestors and many of my contemporary brethren may not agree with me about this. Such is religion and politics.

Mike Woody