Thoughts on ‘Black Lives Matter’

Black lives should always matter. Their children want to laugh and play and feel safe and loved as ours do. They want to grow up believing there is hope, not living in fear every time they leave their homes.

Their parents want the same affordable, quality health care and jobs that pay decent wages that we all do.

Can we look at African Americans and see them as they really are and not some stereotype? Can we judge them by the content of their character and not the color of their skin? Can we realize that we are all Americans and need to stand with them against injustice and inequality? Is this too much to ask of our society?

Tim Miles

Mount Airy

Spreading a disease

“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” the CDC says on its website. All grocery stores have signage at entrances requesting, recommending or in several instances, insisting people wear face coverings when entering their stores. All employees in these stores are wearing masks.

Most people are complying. And yet, each time I am in a grocery store, I see people shopping, talking and getting far closer than 6 feet to others wearing no masks. These people are endangering others.

Although our president is inconsiderate enough to only think of himself by indicating he doesn’t wear masks, it is important for the rest of us to do our part. There is nothing politically positive about spreading a contagious disease — it is grossly negligent and harmful to others. Please — wear a mask in public places.

Robyn Mixon


It’s not defunding?

So City Council Member Dan Besse doesn’t think moving $1 million from the police department to social programs is defunding the police department and doesn’t want the public to “misunderstand” (“City may pull $1M from police,” June 9). Really? He should look at the dictionary definition of the word defund: “to stop providing money to pay for something.”

I understand all too well what Besse and other members of the City Council are proposing and it is a dumb idea. Please don’t insult our intelligence.

Larry McGee



When President Trump looks at the two choices he has — one of being re-elected or spending the rest of his life going in and out of courtrooms — we can understand his desperation in making these inappropriate, unethical and sometimes illegal decisions. What most of us can’t understand is the Republicans in Congress who want to follow him over the cliff!

Martha B. Clark


The last line

With everything going on these past weeks and everyone complaining about the police, I would like to point out that the police are the last line of defense. Everyone knows that we need more funding for health, education and mental health, but our elected officials refuse to raise taxes (which no one really likes) to fund these areas, which are greatly needed.

It is time to “clean house” and elect people with a sense of ethics, sympathy and empathy to serve the good of their citizens. They should not make the police the scapegoats to cover their shortcomings as elected officials not serving the public.

Ed Gaylor


Fix the system

I want to congratulate the Journal for printing the June 9 letter “Free of crime.” It was one of the very few letters published in the past several years that reflected an intelligent truism of life: If people would choose not to commit crimes, many issues would not exist. If you want to defund the police, don’t commit crimes and they will no longer be needed.

We all know that will never happen, so the more logical thing to consider is to fix the problem. Correct the system that allows, even demands, that an officer that has many complaints issued against him (and in the case of Derek Chauvin, it is reported that this officer had at least 15 conduct complaints against him) to remain on the job. Even if you are not a model citizen, you might have a record or be in the process of committing a crime; once it is determined that you are not threatening anyone, you should receive no harm whatsoever. Ever.

Additionally, the notion that George Floyd had COVID-19, a heart issue or any other health issue is irrelevant. He might have died that afternoon, that also does not matter. The fact is simply that he was abused by the officer, causing him to die at that point in time.

What happened to George Floyd must not happen again, ever. Do the intelligently thing, fix the system!

Tony Gaglairdi

East Bend

A very minor bother

Wearing a mask is a bother, a very minor bother. And not much to ask one to do in order to protect our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. How in the world did it get to be a partisan issue? Maybe because our president in his unique role as divider-in-chief made it so.

Please, wear a mask when you are in contact with people outside your home. Thank you to all the store personnel who do. Thank you to all the patrons of our retailers who do.

Forget the political aspects of wearing a mask and just do it. It is patriotic, not partisan.

Dr. Evan Ballard


Still true today

“What has violence ever created? …No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.

“Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily — whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence ... the whole nation is degraded. …

“Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. …

“Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit of hatred of others — flourish any longer in our land.”

Written over 50 years ago, overnight on the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy’s words are still true today. He believed leadership was vital, and demonstrated it.

Remembering him, and his words, today.

Edwin Sineath


Wear this one

I am one of the vulnerable population for COVID-19. I am overweight, 71 years old, and have diabetes. I read with interest the recent letter from the physician about wearing a mask outside (“Taking precautions,” June 6).

It is my understanding that masks are recommended when social distancing is difficult or impossible. My wife and I have been walking outside on many trails and are very careful to socially distance from others who approach. We do not wear masks, but we do not feel like we are putting others in harm’s way. When entering a store where social distancing may prove more difficult, we wear surgical masks.

If the physician is concerned about getting COVID-19 while walking outside, why not wear a N-95 mask, which can be purchased many places?

Bruce Walley


No tyranny

When I hear someone say that businesses should be re-opened with no restrictions, what I hear is they don’t care how many people die as long as they get to do what they want to do. There is no tyranny, just a group of selfish people. Thank you, Gov. Roy Cooper, for following the science.

Mark E. Ayers


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