Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
September 02
13:04 2020

A witness to discrimination

To The Editor:

A sheltered existence is a good way to describe my upbringing in a white suburb in upstate New York. Although I was aware that racism existed, I never observed it or gave it much thought. That all changed during a visit to New York City in the mid 1970s.

As I approached a busy Manhattan intersection on foot, I looked ahead to see a young Black man, about my age, walk toward a taxicab stopped at a red light, its dome indicating it was available for hire. He bent over slightly to wave at the driver and as he clutched the door handle, the light changed and the cab sped off across the intersection to pick up a white person on the opposite corner. As it pulled away, the man took his fist and hit the side of the cab hard enough to dent it. For an instant, I became that man and the rage and disgust I experienced was so intense that my fists clenched and every muscle in my body stiffened. Had a brick been in my hand, I surely would have thrown it through the cab’s back window.

As a society, we should never condone the acts of violence or property damage that have been occurring during some Black Lives Matter protests. They only harm the innocent and are mostly counter-productive. But they are not actions of selfishness or criminality. Rather, they are the consequence of lifetimes of hurt, anger and frustration. Now, with the omnipresence of cellphone cameras and social media, we have all borne witness to the discrimination and brutality regularly inflicted on Black Americans. Only when each of us experiences the visceral rage and disgust that I felt that day on a Manhattan sidewalk will we finally be on the path to end racial injustice, once and for all.

Jeffrey Zalles


Give Thom Tillis a ‘pink slip’

To The Editor:

Far too many legislators/lawmakers are as cold-blooded as their ancestors were. Senator Thom Tillis is paid over $175,000 a year plus over $90,000 in “tax- free” benefits to represent me. His American dream, rags-to-riches’ story begins in a trailer park on a dirt road where his “nomad” family lived in an old, rented trailer. When Thom won his 1st election, he had to decide what type of legislator he would be. One who served all the people “equally” or only served those who donated to and served him. Tillis followed the path of the greedy farmer in the famous parable about sharing and building bigger grain bins. After becoming rich from voting for or against the bills the big money changers told him to, Tillis moved on up to a mansion on a paved street in a high-class gentrified, gerrymandered community. He received over $400,000 from the pharmaceutical industry to let them raise prices on insulin, high blood pressure and cancer drugs. He received over $600,000 from insurance companies to drop or charge people more for pre-existing conditions. The NRA gave him over four million dollars and an A+ rating for helping them keep war -like assault rifles legal with maximum killing power. 

His memory and promises are very selective. He evidently had forgotten about his early years living in a trailer park while his family received free health care at the emergency rooms, when he blocked Medicaid expansion six times and went on TV and bragged about it. He broke his family values’ vows of ‘till death do us part in his 2nd and 3rd marriage. He broke the two oaths to uphold the Constitution he took as a member of the N.C. General Assembly and the U.S. Senate. 

Tillis went from buying two-for-a-penny cookies at a corner store near his trailer parks to crepes suzette in 5-star up-town restaurants. The poor good ole boy Thom Tillis is now a “flimflam” man worth over 11 million dollars. He is now called “honorable,” always seated at the head table where he is served first, waited on hand and foot 24/7 by his 39 well-paid, college-educated staff members. He has the power to make laws that make the rich richer and the poor poorer, add or cut any regulation that will help his rich donors. To keep the poor people in their place, Thom voted to keep the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. Big money knows that Thom (for sale) Tillis is among the best U.S. senators dark money can buy. Most U.S. senators have the distinction of being articulate, altruistic, unbiased and bringing prestige to the Senate. Thom Tillis lacks any distinction and gains prestige from being a member of the Senate. A person’s heroes and friends usually tell a lot about them. Tillis’ heroes are the late segregationist Gov. George Wallace and N.C. U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. His best friends are the Koch brothers, Art Pope, Rush Limbaugh, and TRUMP. 

As a teacher, I give Thom Tillis a grade of F. He agrees 100% with Betsy DeVos, TRUMP’S educationally challenged billionaire Secretary of Education from HELL. By his actions, I know Tillis does not give a “hoot” about representing anyone as poor as me, looks like me, or the little immigrant children locked in dog cages, some sexually abused and permanently separated from their parents. Saul changed from a vigilante to Apostle Paul and Ebenezer Scrooge from a former sweatshop employer to a philanthropist. If we elect Tillis to six more years, will he change and go back and pay the government back pay for the free emergency room services and other welfare his family received back in his poor days? The Hebrew prophet, Isaiah, who was born 700 years before Jesus, prophesied/predicted the actions of parasites like Thom Tillis. Isaiah 10:1-3: “Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their rights.” 

As a U.S. Army veteran, I believe life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, social security, healthcare, and voting are all my rights. My family and I will happily give Thom Tillis a “pink slip” on or before Nov. 3. Will your family and friends give him “pink slips” too? If yes, please tell somebody about our junior senator. Thom Tillis is an embarrassment to most of us, including our senior senator, the “honorable” Richard Burr!!!  

James J. Hankins


Terri LeGrand for NC Senate 31 

To The Editor:

Terri LeGrand is running for NC Senate Seat in the new District 31. Her incumbent – a right-wing tea party extremist who won that seat in the old gerrymandered district – recently ran a desperate attack ad filled with lies.  

President Obama, who knows fact from fiction, recently endorsed Terri LeGrand. A public advocacy attorney who works to help lower income students, LeGrand aligns with Obama’s policies, character and values. 

Obama knows how important a LeGrand win is for our nation and state. A LeGrand victory is key to whether or not our state legislature is controlled by the Republicans or Democrats. This is because NC Senate Seat 31 is one of three senate seats most likely to flip from red to blue.  

It will be a close race and every vote will count. Education, criminal justice, healthcare—all these issues are on the ballot in this race. A vote for Terri LeGrand is a vote for progress, justice and a brighter future.

Elizabeth A. Carlson


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