How we learn
In his Feb. 6 column, “Those who helped save Washington,” Randell Jones states that history informs the present to help us rethink our beliefs, opinions and what we thought we knew. He describes how by traditional accounts, it was Dolley Madison who saved George Washington’s portrait from invading British during the War of 1812, but it was others who saved the portrait. Madison likely directed others to save the portrait, giving her time to save the silver.
In “Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy” by David Zucchino, we learn more truths. Traditionally thought of as a race riot started by local Black citizens, the riot was a premeditated murderous plot by white supremacists to overthrow local African American civic leaders.
Zucchino explains the term “grandfather clause” — mostly innocuous until you learn its historical origins. To get around the 15th Amendment, many Southern states implemented literacy tests, but soon realized it disenfranchised illiterate whites. Enter the grandfather clause, exempting pre–Civil War voter’s descendants.
Jones stated, “What we think we know always needs another look, maybe to confirm or to correct.” Many communities are rethinking our historic traditions and opinions. It requires hard, honest work to learn new lessons and be courageous to act more responsibly as citizens.
Will Rogers also said, “There are three types of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
Too late for accolades
Do not ask me to applaud Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s scathing diatribe about former President Trump inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. He remained silent after Nov. 3, refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election fair and square, that there was no fraud, no rigging, no steal. He refused to speak out publicly to implore Trump to stop his flame-throwing rhetoric, which McConnell now admits made Jan. 6 foreseeable. His speech following the Senate impeachment trial was hollow, disingenuous: a disgustingly blatant move to save his political career and salvage whatever power he thinks he still has within his party. He based his acquittal vote on maintaining his belief that Trump could not be impeached because he was no longer in office, disrespecting his Senate colleagues who voted that it was constitutionally allowable.
But remember why the constitutional question was even raised: because McConnell refused to bring the House impeachment articles to the Senate floor until after Trump was out of office. That had nothing to do with preparation or scheduling. It had everything to do with his knowing that this would create a constitutional question that Republicans could then hide behind in their vote to acquit. And they did, and so did he.
McConnell is a snake in the grass, but we see him for who he is. And the grass isn’t tall enough to hide his selfish, devious, despicable motives.
Since Sen. Richard Burr did the right thing and voted guilty during the impeachment trial, the N.C. GOP and other states whose senators also voted guilty are trying to “censure” them.
What this tells me and hopefully many other voters is that the GOP condoned the violence on Jan. 6. From a constitutional standpoint, this is unacceptable.
The senators took an oath to support the Constitution of our country, and 43 broke their oaths of office. The GOP is complicit and responsible for what occurred and are putting party above country.
As an unaffiliated voter, I vote for the best person for the job, regardless of party. Too bad the GOP can’t recognize some of the few good people it has.
Hear both sides
I read The Readers’ Forum daily and see the hatred toward our ex-President Donald Trump. Many articles made statements about him inciting the Jan. 6 mob, using the statement, "Fight like hell." Well, after hearing the Republicans’ case, we find out the Democrats used statements like "fight like hell."
People need to have patience and wait to hear both sides of the story. As Paul Harvey said, "And now you know … the rest of the story.” People need to not be so quick to judge until they find the truth.
We as American people need to realize we all have sin and faults in our character. We need to be careful when we judge someone. Matthew 7:2 in the Bible states, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”