The color of their skin

I was incredibly disheartened, frustrated and angered to read of the woman who called the police on the men who were simply doing yard work in her neighborhood (“A night of buoyancy, sunk by an ugly reality,” June 4). I suppose their crime was doing so while also having black and brown skin.

This is the reason there are protests, a perfect example of the difficulty of just trying to earn a living while not being privileged with white skin. Those who make such calls should at the very least be fined for wasting the police officer’s time and for causing unnecessary embarrassment for the men involved.

What, I wonder, was the crime she described to the dispatcher? Could the dispatcher have asked more probing questions? These are the types of questions black people in this country are rightfully demanding the majority white culture answer.

Please let’s not forget the response of the man falsely accused. He didn’t disclose where, exactly, the woman lived because he didn’t want her to experience (deserved) harassment. He didn’t want her to have to endure what he had just had to suffer through because of the color of his skin. I can think of no better example of someone expressing the love of Jesus than this.

Amy Gugliotta Jones


An ill-conceived attempt

Senate Bill 730, introduced by state Sen. Joyce Krawiec, is at best an ill-conceived attempt to assuage the anxiety, sadness and guilt of those coping with family members seriously ill and hospitalized with COVID-19 infections (“Bill would let hospital patients have a visitor,” June 9). At worst it is an ill-conceived attempt to curry favor with those who chose to ignore and to rally against public health officials and the authorities who are doing their best to enforce policies that are in the best interest of, and likely life saving for, members of the public at large.

The risk of ignoring these policies is to exponentially increase the number of people exposed to the COVID-19 virus and the number of people who become seriously ill with the infection.

The ultimate effect of Krawiec’s bill will be to significantly increase risk not only for the visiting family members, but also for friends and family and members of the community with whom they subsequently come into contact.

John H. Myracle


Our current situation

John Hood of the right-wing John Locke Foundation should pay attention to current events. Nowhere in his May 31 anti-Gov. Roy Cooper column, “Cooper isn’t meeting state’s urgent needs,” can the words “pandemic” or “COVID-19” be found. Perhaps he has not heard that North Carolinians are dying because of a virus.

Hood refers to our current situation as the “Great Suppression” as if the pandemic did not exist and as if the shutdown was a choice. Social distancing is a necessity, not a choice.

I applaud Gov. Cooper’s leadership in meeting the urgent need to keep our citizens healthy. Judging by the governor’s approval numbers, most North Carolinians agree.

Brian W. Tague


Wear the mask

The docs tell us droplets containing the virus spew into the air when we speak, cough, sneeze and breathe. They tell us the best way to stop the spread is to wear a mask and keep a distance of six feet. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It does not have human qualities. It does not have the ability to discern politics. It just sickens and kills human beings.

When I heard the audio of an exchange between a Costco worker and a customer, I thought I was going to be sick. The Costco worker was denying entry to the customer because he was not wearing a mask. The customer’s response was that when he woke up, he was free.

Hmm. Freedom. What a novel idea.

Back to how the disease spreads and kills. When we open our pie holes, the virus spews into the air and attaches to someone else, causing them to get sick and possibly die. We also know that people do not necessarily know they have the virus for several days. So, the mask-free unknowingly kill others.

Freedom to kill other humans. Hmm. What about freedom to live? What about the 100,000-plus souls gone since January? Unlike the president, we should wear a mask to save lives.

Charles Shelton


What really matters

Does anything matter anymore? With the tragic death of George Floyd, “Black Lives Matter” is back in the news and should be. However, “All Lives Matter” doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

It’s a serious matter when people who intended to protest peacefully for change had their message marred by rioters and looters who took matters into their own hands. Did that matter? Matter of fact, it didn’t matter to Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown, who stated she wouldn’t put her officers in harm’s way to protect businesses or their contents.

This has gone to the extreme that an entire police force doesn’t matter, as declared matter-of-factly by elected officials in Minneapolis. They made it a matter of record to vote to disband the force.

Mayor Jacob Frey thinks this is a totally unacceptable matter.

When you take into account all these matters to determine what really matters, it seems the important thing that many are rejecting is that facts matter. The FBI has made it a matter to collect facts relating to crimes that occur in the United States by all races. If the facts were to be discussed openly and honestly related to all these matters, something that really matters might solve some of these matters. What’s missing in all this? Truth matters!

Joe Eskridge Sr.


Simpler measures

In the wake of the George Floyd death, I see politicians presenting bills for oversight, investigative boards and funding if certain data is reported up the chain to the government. Sounds like a lot of red tape and cost and politicians.

I think there are simpler measures that could be taken to prevent such unfortunate deaths.

How? What about outlawing choke holds and knees on throats? Simple enough, isn’t it?

I am not saying that law enforcement can’t use force to apprehend or subdue. Just don’t use things that affect breathing or blood circulation. And it needs to be said that if a suspect is armed and will not comply, then all rules go out the window. The officers will respond in kind (as allowed) to take control of the situation.

Law enforcement currently has local policies to end chases with high speed pursuits. Why can’t a suspect be tagged with a non-lethal tracker that can only be removed by a doctor? Again, a lot less lethal than a taser, but the suspect is identified and tracked. He runs off but there is nowhere to hide. A little delay in the arrest perhaps, but they will get their suspect.

And then, of course, suspects could comply with an officer’s request. The suspect’s day in court will come and the suspect will still be among the living.

Jim Teasley

Rural Hall

Laugh or cry

When I watched President Trump on live television Monday night posturing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh, because it was ludicrous: this president whose biblical illiteracy is embarrassingly obvious (remember “Two Corinthians”?), and whose church attendance probably will not earn him a lapel pin. Cry, because his evocation of “law and order” in his Rose Garden speech focused on the looters and not on the tragic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd and the legitimate protesters.

Just after the speech, I was stunned and puzzled when the law enforcement suddenly began to push against the peaceful crowd, shoving them back brutally, employing tear gas and mounted police. Then we saw why: Trump wanted a clear path for his little jaunt over to the church for his photo-op. He used the Bible as a political dog whistle, not as a source of inspiration, much less moral challenge. He didn’t even read from it, when he could have read from Deuteronomy (“Justice, and only justice you shall pursue”) or Amos (“Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness, like an ever-flowing stream”) or Jesus (“Blessed are the peacemakers”).

But Trump did not speak to us of justice and peace. He offered no words of compassion, consolation or hope. His gesture was not genuinely religious; it was sacrilegious. It was not sacred, it was profane. He did not honor the “very special place” of worship; he defiled it.

The Rev. Thomas W. Mann


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