Peaceful demonstration

The juxtaposition of the June 20 letters “Faith in society” and “Mobs” was interesting. Indeed, if only more of us used common sense and cared about the social well-being of all people, there would be less need for restrictive laws and enforcement thereof. But far too many exhibit concern only about some personally felt agenda and their right to do whatever: not mask; openly carry military weapons; post lies in social media...

But then the plea to cease peaceful demonstrations in order to prevent dangerous mobs from arising — does one not recognize for how many decades the issue of racial equity has been peacefully lobbied? Some mobsters just see the opportunity to loot, but some are there purposefully to undermine the peaceful intent of the protesters. White supremacists do exist. They care only about furthering their own white privilege, and not a whit about others’ social well-being.

Jesus did not cease his messaging in order to stop mob-like behavior, even as they cried “crucify him.” He had the power to overcome the mob, the self-serving religious establishment, even the Roman establishment and soldiers. But he chose peaceful demonstration and service over power.

Consider what he accomplished. Jesus represented the ultimate “demonstration” for social well-being, giving up his own life for the cause. His message is for all people, especially for the least among us. He persevered and he asked us to persevere in his name. The cause of social justice for all is worthy of our perseverance.

Len Preslar


Essential voting rights

With the renewed focus on systemic racism, we need to remember the shameful voter suppression that has tarnished our state over the past several years. A bipartisan Supreme Court decision in 2017 upheld that congressional districts drawn by N.C. legislators were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders designed to dilute the impact of black voters. Voting records by race were also explicitly used to create recent laws, including limiting Sunday voting and requiring certain types of ID, which an appeals court ruled would “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

While some redistricting has occurred and the voter ID law is currently on hold, history will repeat itself yet again if we allow it. The current pandemic further amplifies the need to pay attention to voting access. In Florida, a 2018 report found that racial and ethnic minorities were at least twice as likely as whites to have their votes by mail rejected. As Linda Sutton, regional managing organizer for the nonpartisan group Democracy North Carolina and co-founder of the Winston-Salem Voting Rights Coalition, stated regarding the gerrymandered districts: “The old maps and the new proposed maps are nothing less than another power grab. They equate to continuing white supremacy, and you know what that is — money, power, greed and racism.”

If we truly consider ourselves anti-racist, we must act now — by supporting voting rights groups like Democracy NC, pushing our Board of Elections to ensure voting access for minority voters, and making these issues a priority when we vote in 2020.

Michael McCrory


All of them

For two days in the Readers’ Forum we had letters referring to our statues (“Take them all down,” June 23; “The one person,” June 24). I feel that if we are going to take down one statue because it’s so offensive to some people, we ought to take down all of them.

I visited Washington several times in the past couple years and I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful statues that were erected on the grounds there. I really enjoyed visiting the Lincoln memorial and seeing the great statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King, and many other ones that were displayed throughout Washington.

But I agree wholeheartedly with the other two letters. If we’re going to tear one down, let’s tear them all down and there will be no argument and definitely there will be no showing of partiality and no racism.

S.M. Joyner


A good balance

Thank you for the daily mix of op-ed columnists, as well your own editorials. I find them informative, interesting and, in the case of Sharon Randall, uplifting. The different viewpoints expand my thinking, challenge my views and seem to me to form a good balance. In fact, thank you to each person who contributes to writing and editing the Journal. You do us all a great service!

Kent McKeithan


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