Editorial: Letters to the Editor

Editorial: Letters to the Editor
September 12
00:00 2014

More vigilance needed to stop underage drinking

To the Editor:
Many people say that they discourage underage drinking, but does everyone? Why do so many underage drinkers die every year? The question is, if underage drinking is so discouraged, where do the underage drinkers get their alcohol from?

I am Krishna Patel, and I am on the Youth Advisory Council of the Coalition for Drug Abuse Prevention. The Coalition did an experiment where an underage-looking person goes to the store and asks the clerk to sell them alcohol without showing identification that they are over 21. This experiment was not to get anyone in trouble, so the person who wanted to buy the alcohol was actually over 21, but looked very young. The results of the experiment were very disappointing. Forty percent of the stores were willing to sell to our representatives without taking identification.

I was so shocked when I heard about the results. No wonder so many underage drinkers die every year. They have easy access to alcohol and they just need to know where to go. Sales clerks should be trained to not sell to drinkers without identification. Not only will this help save lives, it will prevent the future generation from getting access to alcohol, and therefore, prevent alcohol addiction and death.
Another huge issue is the selling of Alcopops – alcoholic beverages flavored to taste sweet like sodas, juice, or energy drinks. The percentage of alcohol in alcopops is very high, usually 12 percent. Just one drink can get a person very intoxicated; two can cause a lot of alcohol related injuries. Most underage drinkers drink alcopops because they are easy to get and do not cost a lot. One alcopop may contain as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer.

As a young person in this community, I feel alcopops should only be sold in liquor stores and removed from the shelves of grocery and convenience stores. The next time you are in a store that sells alcopops, tell them you’d like to see them removed.

Krishna Patel

Where Is Your Dream?

As we take the time to appreciate and honor our cultural history, let’s look at a few highlights.
First of all, our struggles and our victories should not be taken lightly. African Americans have contributed so much to our way of life, and whether you accepted it or not, the footsteps of Civil Rights leaders continues to press on. Even today we should be ringing the Liberty Bell to signal that our lives should be lived in faith and harmony.

Winston-Salem was the first city in our state to integrate lunch counters. Then, the sit-in movement started in Greensboro with N.C. A&T State University students. They stirred up the change without the violence, and this grew to the rest of the nation.

We should be in the business of accepting the challenge to bring about change. We need to become fathers and mentors. Our children need us. Many freedom fighters are right here in our own families. There have been many leaders after Dr. King and Mandela who did their parts, but so many of them didn’t get the fame. Today, our youth have little or no idea of the attitudes of those days or the actions their great-grandparents took to provide them with the quality of life they have today.
So where is your dream?

Let’s turn it up and make history, and let’s stay out of prison. At one point here in Winston-Salem, we had the most habitual felons in the state. Over the course of the last four decade, America’s emphasis has shifted from public education to imprisonment, and tax dollars across the nation have followed suit, creating an environment where prisons receive far more financial support than public schools.

Terence Ray Crumpton
Tabor Correctional Institute

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