Editorial: Letters to the Editor

Editorial: Letters to the Editor
December 29
00:00 2014

Bill Cosby

To the Editor:

The Cosby affair forces the court of public opinion to weigh elements of racism, sex and violence all at once.  Unless you have been living under a rock and have not heard, Bill Cosby, America’s quintessential father and crossover artist has not only been accused of drugging and “date” raping, he has also been sued in Civil court for allegedly luring a 15 year old to the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner detached himself quickly on the matter, aptly stating in Vanity Fair magazine, “I would never tolerate this kind of behavior.”

It is shocking, yes, but from America’s Dad, it is unforgivable. More than that, it feeds into the stereotypical narrative that the big, black male sexual predator is alive and on the prowl; no aspiring female talent is safe.

We live in a society that is overwrought with sex and violence. It is difficult to imagine a forthright Dad even having sex with his wife, let alone enjoying himself with attractive, willing participants. We prefer our Dads to be asexual, it would appear. It is hard to ignore the game playing between Cosby the mentor and his “mentees.” To hold him accountable one would have to dismiss the casting couch rules established long before motion pictures and television.

Without being privy to all the facts, this tragedy is really between Bill and Camille (Cosby) because we do not know the intimate details of their relationship. We do, however, know the basic rules of the casting couch. The alleged victims who found themselves in intimate settings with this powerful, married man are not true victims. Sexual relations were implied with these encounters during visits to this private couch. If these “victims” were unwittingly drugged, then Cosby is only guilty for exceeding the scope of consent. Sorry, ladies, but it will be next to impossible to get a court to enforce an immoral contract.

This tragedy begs the question; is this a convenient way to reaffirm the black, male sexual predator?  If Cosby is found liable for taking improprieties with a 15 year old girl, a child who was unable to form legal consent, then Cosby went too far, he is finished and rightfully so.

Gabrielle L. Wilson, J.D.

Barry was
advocate for animals

To the Editor:

Marion Barry is best known for his outstanding civil rights work, but one perhaps little-known legacy is Mayor Barry’s overhaul of the disgraceful Washington, D.C., “dog pound.” Back in the ’70s, I canvassed door to door for Barry on the strength of his campaign pledge to clean up the pound, at which dogs languished in filth and died from untreated illnesses, among other abuses.

Mayor Barry was one politician who immediately made good on his promise. He implemented major improvements, including ending the practice of giving unclaimed strays to Washington laboratories for use in experiments, funding the purchase of new animal control vans to replace the old cage trucks in which dogs froze in winter, and dismantling the gas chamber in which thousands of unfortunate animals had met a painful end. Barry also imposed adoption rules and required adopted animals to be spayed or neutered in order to curb the dog and cat overpopulation crisis. The old “dog pound” was renamed the D.C. Animal Shelter, and I was proud to be its first director.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Washington, D.C.

Barr makes history

To the Editor:

barrI am writing you to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude from both myself, Rev. Aaron P. Harris, and my brother, Pastor Robert Barr (of Agape Faith Church).

As you may know, Pastor Barr won a seat on the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County School Board at Large. At the same time we made history.

Pastor Barr was the first African-American to be elected to the School Board outside of District I. With the election of my brother, we now have three African-Americans on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board, two Democrats from District I and one Republican from Forsyth County At Large. The fact that my brother won as a Republican is also historic. My brother graduated from Winston-Salem State University in 1998 with a B.S. in education. He also has a master’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Doctorate in education from Appalachian State.

Our voices are no longer hemmed into East Winston and District I. With this election, we have expanded our voice, our reach and our influence over the entire county.

Pastor Barr was sworn in on Dec. 9. Shortly, Pastor Barr will be addressing issues within the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System that concern the citizens and affect the school district the most.

Please let him know of your concerns and your ideas. Pastor Barr loves all kids and he is out to help them all. You may contact Pastor Bar at 336-399-6374 or at

Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Yours truly,
Rev. Aaron P. Harris

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