Letters to the Editor for July 1, 2021

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of opinions as a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected based on content. Letters must be signed and contact information provided. Views expressed are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of publisher, editor or staff. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Email lettters to: maconcountynews@gmail.com.

Why I became a librarian…

I have two deep-seated memories from the Macon County Public Library’s Youth Service’s section.

First, when I was around 8 years old, my mother took me to the Macon County Public Library.  Libraries were a staple in her life and reading was expected.  It was around October, and I remember looking through the children’s books for an idea for a Halloween costume.  I stumbled upon a book about Joan of Arc.  After reading the book I had decided, right then and there, that I would need a “suit of armor” for Halloween.  I had never related to a real historical person before as a gender non-conforming child who had no vocabulary to describe myself or way to relate to others at the time.  Thinking back on that moment, which isn’t just a “library memory,” it’s a profound memory for me, makes me realize that the library, just by providing information that my hard-working teachers could not possibly cover in the second grade, has boosted my confidence and enriched my life.  

My second prominent memory comes from when I was a teenager.  The Macon County Public Library was across the street from Franklin High School, and I used to walk over to get my homework done.  I knew that education was the only way for me to become financially independent.  One day, I picked up a new book about puberty that was being displayed.  It’s not that I could not talk to my parents, who have always listened and supported me as good parents do, it’s that I didn’t know how or when to ask questions about my body and my hormones.  You see, I was so different from everyone else, I wasn’t chasing attention or boys, I was trying to understand myself in isolation.  While not a profound memory, I’ll not forget that the library was a safe, community space and had books featuring the most up to date, well-researched information for me, at a time when I needed to know what I didn’t know.  

As I went through school including a BA in history from WCU, and an MA in history from ECU, I realized that our world is changing faster than it ever has before.  I learned that if we were to retain our humanity, we would need to see each other as humans, without the armor of social media platforms where anyone with a wi-fi connection and basic computer skills can say nearly anything and back it up with information that may not be accurate.  Thus, I became interested in information literacy and the freedom of information and realized how important the library is and has been in my life.  That’s when I decided to become a librarian and pursue a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. I have been working at libraries since and the Macon County Public Library was the first library that hired me out of school.  This letter does not represent the Fontana Regional Library or the opinions of my current employer, this letter consists of my own opinions and words solely.  To be frank, I would have benefited from a LGBTQIA+ display in the Youth Services section just as I have benefited from displays featuring different genres, displays featuring various holiday traditions, and displays featuring books about different countries and cultures.  

The Mission of the Fontana Regional Library is “to provide the public of Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties with excellent service and convenient access to resources for their educational, informational, and recreational needs.”  Franklin (Otto) was my hometown and I want to personally thank the library for providing me, throughout my life, with access to resources for my “educational, informational, and recreational” needs.  The Fontana Regional Library has reminded me that I, too, belong in western North Carolina.  I hope you know that you are welcome too.

Savannah Dehart – Franklin, N.C.

Truth matters

In our never-ending search for truth, Americans must accept (if nothing else) one predominant lesson from Jan. 6. Identified fittingly by David French in TheDispatch.com, he states simply; “that when you tell tens of millions of Americans one political party is trying to steal an election, some Americans will act like a party is stealing an election.”  Despite the total absence of supporting evidence, the Republican grassroots remain unconditionally convinced the 2020 election was stolen and have consequently turned against almost every American institution, including the military.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognized that former president #45 is still the most influenctial figure in the GOP and is also (as conservative writer Charles Cooke observes in NationalReview.com) “unmoored from the real world” and that his persistent and insistent declaration that “he’s the real president is deeply corrosive to our democracy.”

We can find some solace in believing the Republican Party suffers from idiotus, an almost incurable disease that causes the brain to shut down and the mouth to keep running. It’s only somewhat comforting because at the end of the day I’m still left with the dilemma; how does one borderline burnout with questionable social skills go about causing over 500 nefarious men and women with predatory instincts, in Congress, to change their way of thinking?

Senator Mitch McConnell (R/Ky.) always places his personal and party’s interest above the nation’s and has vowed, therefore, to block 100 percent of President Biden’s agenda.  Passage then, of any bill before a divided Congress and nation that would preempt state legislatures from passing laws enabling them to overturn the will of the people, is simply unobtainable.

Hundreds of bills being considered in 45 (or more) states, masquerading as “voting integrity” bills are no more and no less than the Republican Party’s underhanded, spineless and dishonorable attempt to suppress voters.

Former President Bill Clinton stated in Time, June 21, “Republicans have clearly decided to double-down on the Hatfields and McCoys.  Now they want to get it where they can win if they lose both the Electoral College and the popular vote by having a Congress that won’t certify the electors.” Ari Berman echoed similar sentiments in the July/August issue of Mother Jones.

If you believe nothing else, believe this:  that a GOP controlled Congress could overturn election results to install Trump (or a Trump clone) is a very real possibility and would spell the end of American democracy.

I believe, as Albert Einstein believed, “the world in not dangerous because of those who do harm – it’s dangerous because of those who watch and do nothing.” I also believe we should want our lives to be a reminder that truth matters – even though we may not be here to see how history judges us.

We’re facing the decision that all men in all times must face, the eternal choice, to endure oppression or to resist.  

 David L. Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Truth matters

In our never-ending search for truth, Americans must accept (if nothing else) one predominant lesson from Jan. 6. Identified fittingly by David French in TheDispatch.com, he states simply; “that when you tell tens of millions of Americans one political party is trying to steal an election, some Americans will act like a party is stealing an election.”  Despite the total absence of supporting evidence, the Republican grassroots remain unconditionally convinced the 2020 election was stolen and have consequently turned against almost every American institution, including the military.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognized that former president #45 is still the most influenctial figure in the GOP and is also (as conservative writer Charles Cooke observes in NationalReview.com) “unmoored from the real world” and that his persistent and insistent declaration that “he’s the real president is deeply corrosive to our democracy.”

We can find some solace in believing the Republican Party suffers from idiotus, an almost incurable disease that causes the brain to shut down and the mouth to keep running. It’s only somewhat comforting because at the end of the day I’m still left with the dilemma; how does one borderline burnout with questionable social skills go about causing over 500 nefarious men and women with predatory instincts, in Congress, to change their way of thinking?

Senator Mitch McConnell (R/Ky.) always places his personal and party’s interest above the nation’s and has vowed, therefore, to block 100 percent of President Biden’s agenda.  Passage then, of any bill before a divided Congress and nation that would preempt state legislatures from passing laws enabling them to overturn the will of the people, is simply unobtainable.

Hundreds of bills being considered in 45 (or more) states, masquerading as “voting integrity” bills are no more and no less than the Republican Party’s underhanded, spineless and dishonorable attempt to suppress voters.

Former President Bill Clinton stated in Time, June 21, “Republicans have clearly decided to double-down on the Hatfields and McCoys.  Now they want to get it where they can win if they lose both the Electoral College and the popular vote by having a Congress that won’t certify the electors.” Ari Berman echoed similar sentiments in the July/August issue of Mother Jones.

If you believe nothing else, believe this:  that a GOP controlled Congress could overturn election results to install Trump (or a Trump clone) is a very real possibility and would spell the end of American democracy.

I believe, as Albert Einstein believed, “the world in not dangerous because of those who do harm – it’s dangerous because of those who watch and do nothing.” I also believe we should want our lives to be a reminder that truth matters – even though we may not be here to see how history judges us.

We’re facing the decision that all men in all times must face, the eternal choice, to endure oppression or to resist.  

  David L. Snell – Franklin, N.C.

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