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The Readers' Forum: Saturday letters

The Readers' Forum: Saturday letters

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Lest we forget

Where’s the chink in the armor that opens a space to influence voters? "We the people of the United States ..." begins the preamble to our Constitution, followed by words like “justice” and “liberty.” For whom? We ignore the shocking divide between words and reality. Dare we demand an end to tyranny by anyone who presses his knee on the neck of democracy?

We respect our amendments, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, and embrace the Rev. Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech. Yes, but imbuing that dream with justice demands a “certain kind of American memory,” suggests Southern writer Caroline Randall Williams, descendant of “Black women ... domestic servants of white men who raped their help,” like Edmund Pettus, “Confederate general, grand dragon of the KKK.”

William Faulkner’s retort to the argument that the past is dead, so get over it, reads: "The past is never dead. It’s not even past." Some protest or demand reparations or removal of Confederate statues. Good start. Or, we could create more statues to tell the rest of the story. History is not what happened. History is who tells the story.

It’s up to us to tell the rest of the story, to change our tragic trajectory into a reality of justice. Our national cauldron bubbles with COVID-19 and an even worse pandemic of xenophobia. This election is more than choosing candidates. It’s about linking past through present, lest we forget, lest we die like the endangered species we are.

Martha Gunsalus Chamberlain


The star of the show

So, President Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House last week. He walked up the steps to the balcony and turned to face the cameras. He took off his mask. He saluted.

He who never served in the Armed Forces of the United States. He who disparages the “losers” who did serve. To whom or what was he directing his military salute, and for what purpose?

It was all a performance, and the president was the star of the show. The strong, masculine survivor of a virus none of us should fear. How hokey! What a charade!

Martha Wilson Rowe


She shares our concerns

We are retired from CenterPoint Human Services, where we held leadership positions in early childhood intervention with families and their infants and toddlers who were at high risk for developmental delays or who were born prematurely. We know first-hand of the serious needs of families who face such challenges with such deficiencies in North Carolina's health care systems due to the lack of support from the current legislature.

That is why we are so pleased to support Terri LeGrand's candidacy for the N.C. Senate seat in District 31. She shares our concerns for issues affecting families that struggle to survive economically and medically, especially those that have special-needs children and adults for whom parents, in many cases, will provide care throughout their lives. Like Terri LeGrand, we are very much in favor of Medicaid expansion, which will give more of our citizens access to health care, particularly during international health emergencies like the one we are experiencing now.

Throughout her career as working mother, an attorney, college administrator and community volunteer, this extraordinary woman has consistently spoken up for children and adults of all ages and backgrounds. Moreover, Terri knows the needs of individuals and communities for affordable health care because she listens and she cares.

We encourage you to elect Terri as part of our state legislative body representing District 31. She is well qualified and deep thinking and partisan politics will not distract her from working for the benefit of all North Carolinians.

Chris Kelsey and Loretta Arnn


Here's why

The writer of the Oct. 10 letter “What I’m voting for” challenged a Biden supporter to state reasons why they supported him without mentioning the current president’s name. I accept the challenge. I support the Biden/Harris ticket for the following reasons:

  • Biden will initiate a national plan for combating the COVID crisis utilizing the best scientific knowledge available.
  • Biden believes in science and realizes that climate change poses an existential threat to this nation.
  • Biden will make sure Social Security and Medicare are solvent.
  • Biden believes health care is a right for everyone and not a privilege.
  • Biden believes a woman has control of her body and not the government.
  • Biden believes that in foreign relations we must cooperate with our allies.
  • Biden will protect the homeland from foreign and domestic terrorists including white supremacists.
  • Biden will support environmental standards that protect public health.
  • Biden will initiate a massive infrastructure plan.
  • Biden realizes there is systemic racism in this country and will work to bring people together.
  • Biden supports public education.
  • Biden will make sure Russia pays for interfering in our elections.
  • Biden will reduce the corrupting influence of money in politics.
  • Biden will fight voter suppression.
  • Biden will support a comprehensive immigration plan.
  • Biden will reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers.
  • Biden will implement effective border screening.
  • Biden believes that “we are greater than me.”

I could go on except for the 250-word limit.

Marlita Diamond


Noble and honest

I am the agency director of Eliza’s Helping Hands and Community Intervention and Educational Services. Our agency serves as an advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking in our community. As an organization and as a friend, we would like to formally support Mike Silver for District Court judge of Forsyth County. I have personally known Mike not only for his work in the Forsyth County District Attorney’s office, but as an advocate for positive social change in our community. His work on the domestic violence commission ensures that offenders are held accountable for their actions while advocating for the safety of victims and survivors. Mike's experience as a prosecutor, his work on the commission labor board, as well as his known advocacy work in the community, is why I feel he would be a great choice for this position.

As a friend, I know him to be noble, honest, a husband, father and a loyal civil servant of the community who would continue to apply the law fairly and justly. So, it is our privilege to fully endorse his candidacy for District Court Judge of Forsyth County.

Kenya Thornton


Vote for change

As a parent, I have always supported my children’s schools and teachers. I’ve been an active member of the PTA and did a few stints as a room parent. I have, however, gained a new appreciation for teachers since remote learning began last March. Our teachers are amazing, dedicated, hard-working professionals.

I think it is a terrible shame that the North Carolina legislature doesn’t seem to value our teachers as they should or as they claim. Teacher pay in N.C. is still in the bottom half of all states. But when you remove the supplements given by local counties, our teacher pay lands among the lowest. Per-pupil spending is even more dismal. N.C. ranks 48th in the nation, which is pathetic!

In addition, many of our schools are bursting at the seams and in need of repair. Infrastructure spending is desperately needed, especially with students returning to poorly ventilated buildings.

That’s why I am supporting Terri LeGrand for N.C. Senate District 31 and Dan Besse for N.C. House District 74. Terri and her daughters attended N.C. public schools. Dan also attended public school and his mother was a public school teacher and principal.

Terri and Dan will fully fund our schools and increase teacher pay. Let’s face it, state Sen. Joyce Krawiec has had six years to do something about this and hasn’t and Jeff Zenger wants to give our public education dollars to private schools. It’s time to vote Joyce out and vote Terri LeGrand and Dan Besse in!

Linda Arrigo



My great-grandmother used to say: “I am mad as a wet hen!” And now, so am I!

I have followed the rules – masked, washed, distanced, missed birthdays/holidays with family/friends (at age 82 that’s important!) and church. I have watched 216,000 lose their lives, 8 million sickened, businesses close, millions lose jobs/homes, school children/teachers struggle to continue education, food lines form.

What has President Trump done? He has paraded around without a mask holding countless rallies, distorting facts, people crowded together, chanting, “The government has no right telling us what to do!” He’s made this political to stay in power and divert attention.

I know he did not cause it. But please tell me why someone would support him when he continues to defy Dr. Anthony Fauci and the scientific community’s proven facts and rules made by his own administration.

Where was he Tuesday night? He was in Florida with thousands of unmasked supporters crowded together who will return to communities to spread the virus while he continues to distort the truth. (FYI: the stock market/ IRAs are not the economy.)

The good people who support Trump are not getting the same news as me. I implore all to search for truth. Listening to one source is not sufficient. Nor is listening to and watching the president.

Early voting began Oct. 15. Exercise your right to vote. Yes, I’m mad as a wet hen. I plan to channel that anger by using my vote as my voice. I am voting for Joe Biden.

Laura (Mimi) Young


An extreme position

In “AP FACT CHECK: Pence on climate, Harris on taxes, in debate” (, Oct 8), Vice President Mike Pence’s statement, “President Trump has made it clear we’re going to continue to listen to the science” on climate change was judged to be false. There are only two world leaders who do not publicly accept the worldwide scientific consensus on climate change: Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea. This would meet the Oxford English definition of “extreme”: “furthest from the center; outermost.”

There are climate solutions that decrease regulatory needs and stimulate the economy, such as the carbon fee and dividend plan that is supported by economists and businesses. Unfortunately, we don’t see any reasonable acknowledgment or action on climate from Trump and those who have aligned themselves with him (see: Sen. Thom Tillis). This partially explains why Scientific American has endorsed a president for the first time in its 175-year history, saying “Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science.”

It is time for Joe Biden, Cal Cunningham and others who accept scientific facts to have their shot — and once in office, they should be held accountable for pursuing climate solutions that are effective, bipartisan and economically favorable. Whether historically conservative, moderate or progressive, this is the only way to vote at this inflection point in human history that will give our children and grandchildren a chance of having a beautiful North Carolina resembling the one we grew up enjoying.

Michael McCrory



Many of us have been sent mailings, expensive oversized postcards using inflammatory exaggerations, doctored pictures and outright lies to distort the positions of local candidates, sometimes portraying the opposite of what their actual positions are. One went so far as to paint a candidate as some kind of monster, with “blood on his hands.” The originators of these hit pieces, even if they are credited, are in such fine print as to necessitate a magnifying glass.

Many more of us have been receiving phone calls from anonymous pollsters who begin a series of questions about our opinions on specific local candidates or issues, only to attempt to sway our opinions through a clever line of questioning. When asked who is paying for the poll, the questioner, often a young person tasked to call hundreds of likely voters, is not allowed to divulge that information. I’ve already received several of these calls.

How much money does it cost to hire actual people to make what must be hundreds of thousands of calls to voters in our area? Where are they calling from? What outside, even foreign money is being funneled into these organizations?

If you have received any of these, remember, you are being targeted by organizations that have way more information about us than we have about them, and are willing to spend unfathomable amounts of money to influence us. Your vote clearly counts a lot or they wouldn’t be throwing so much money around.

Caveat emptor, folks. And vote.

Kara Hammond Larrabee


Increasingly disappointed

I am 78 years old and a life-long conservative Republican. I began my conservative journey as a college student when I supported Barry Goldwater. In the last three years, however, I have become increasingly disappointed in the Republican Party, mostly because of the perplexing activities of President Trump and the lack of conscience and character of the Republicans in Congress. I am still a registered Republican but can’t support my own party. I did not leave my party – my party left me!

It is beyond my comprehension that Republicans in Congress, and, particularly, in the Senate, cast a blind eye to the absurd and dangerous activities of Trump. It appears as if these Republicans will not challenge the president because they want his support to help them be reelected in 2020. This, to me, is a collective lack of character and moral strength.

Our Republican representatives in the House and our senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, clearly do not have the people and future of our country as priorities. Sen. Burr in particular is a disappointment. As a Wake Forest University graduate, he should have embraced a sense of character and moral strength, which clearly he has not.

I have supported and voted for every Republican candidate for president, except for two, during my adult life. This year will be the third time, and I will vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Raymond E. Kuhn



It's about de-escalation, not defunding.

A recent political advertisement for state Sen. Joyce Krawiec is misleading and completely false. Terri Legrand supports de-escalation and is not in favor of defunding the police. Law enforcement officers need our support, but also need training in non-violent and non-lethal methods.

If you encounter a medical or life threatening emergency, call 911. If you need law enforcement for safety reasons, ask for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team officer). These officers have received advanced training on mental illness, substance abuse, intellectual/developmental disabilities and crisis intervention. Anyone may request crisis or emergency services in North Carolina for mental health, substance abuse, intellectual and developmental disabilities issues.

Terri LeGrand understands these complex issues. Terri will support making emergency mental health services available to all individuals and families in crisis. Terri will also support funding for training law enforcement officers in de-escalation methods.

Dr. Bob Schwartz


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