Letters to the Editor for July 15, 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.

Demand end of filibuster, passage of Senate Bill 1

On Wednesday, June 23, The Bishop Dr. William J. Barber Il and the Reverend Jesse Jackson were among more than 20 people who participated in non-violent civil disobedience and were arrested near the Capitol Building in Washington DC. 

Although the arrests received scant coverage in the local news media in Western North Carolina, this action by the most prominent leaders of today’s Civil Rights Movement deserves widespread attention for its historical context and for the issues behind it that are so important to the lives of millions of people, including and especially for poor and low income people of all races, the elderly, the disabled, students and young people.

This dramatic, non-violent but personally risk-filled demonstration at the Capitol was held for the purpose of demanding the end of the filibuster and the passage in the U.S. Senate of the “For the People Act,” Senate Bill 1. 

Senate Bill 1 overrides state-level voter suppression laws, bans massive inappropriate voter-role purges, mandates independent commissions to draw redistricting lines to end political gerrymandering, and outlines more stringent campaign finance laws to limit the influence of corporate money in politics. 

The measure has already passed in the U.S. House. But, in the Senate, the filibuster has prevented debate on the bill. 

Because of the actions of these brave, determined Civil Rights leaders and a tremendous and growing grassroots coalition of people and organizations throughout the nation, political pressure is building to change or end the filibuster rule in the Senate so S1 and other vital legislation can move forward, overcoming the self-declared obstructionism of a minority party that incredulously denies the legitimacy of the last presidential election and is still attempting to overturn it.

The obstruction of filibustering that prevents the passage of the “For the People Act” is having a deep impact on the lives of people who live in Western North Carolina and elsewhere in our state and nation. 

Gerrymandering has caused the under-representation of poor, low income and all disadvantaged people.  For example, in the 2020 election in North Carolina, while 50.3% of voters statewide voted for Democratic Congressional candidates, Democrats, who are generally favored by racial minorities and disadvantaged populations, are represented by only 5 out of 13 Congressional seats. There is similar disproportionate representation in the NC General Assembly in both the House and Senate. 

Unreasonable Voter-ID laws and other voter suppression measures such as the closing of voting stations, the reduction in early voting days and the strategic shortage of voting machines in urban areas have greatly contributed to under-representation, as well.

This under-representation has resulted in a failure of the state to accept billions of dollars of available federal funds for the expansion of Medicaid that could be covering more than 500,000 additional low-income people statewide, thousands of whom are in Western North Carolina.

This undemocratic distortion of our political system has prevented the state government from raising the minimum wage to a living wage for full-time employees.

• It has resulted in the under-funding of our public school system in favor of a “voucher” program that syphons public money into private schools. 

• It has prevented the reform of an antiquated criminal justice system that harshly discriminates against people of color.

• It has resulted in the gutting of environmental regulations that have protected public health, our air, our water and our forests.

The Jackson County, NC Branch of the NAACP urges every newspaper, radio and television station in Western North Carolina to inform their readers, listeners and viewers about the importance of S1 to Western North Carolinians and the determined grassroots movement to convince the Senate to end the filibuster, get this legislation passed in Congress and signed by the President.

Thank you. 

Dr. Dana Patterson – President of the Jackson County, 

NC Branch of the NAACP, 54AB

 

Take writers’ opinions with a ‘grain of salt’

Readers of “Letters to the Editor” should keep in mind that this section is self-described by the Editor of this paper as a “public forum open to a wide variety of opinions.”

When a letter writer claims, without any data or sources, that his opinion is fact or the truth, take it with a grain of salt.

In a recent letter to the editor, the writer asks, “Why do many Americans choose to ignore the obvious facts of a massive corrupted 2020 election?”

The writer answers his own question, “Our worldview depends on which resources we receive information and not all resources are truthful.”

This letter writer fails to see the irony in this opinion.  

John Barry – Franklin, N.C.

Library should be kept wholesome for children

I vehemently disagree with the people who believe that we should have LBGTQ+ / pride literature for young children in our public library.

I want  to make crystal clear that I personally have no opinion how another person decides to live their life. Most of us have family members or friends that lead some type of alternative lifestyle. This is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about shoving a perverted agenda down our children’s throats.

They get it from every direction: TV, phone, iPad, commercials, you name it – it’s in their face. Every time they turn it on, from commercials, to pop up ads, to perverted and/or sexual ads geared specifically for that child using that device.

This past week, a London library  hired a self-described anti-racist carnival troupe with a performer dressed up as a monkey with a large dildo hanging between his legs for a children’s reading event. You may be thinking that would never happen in our town.

You’d be right.

As long as I’m alive, I’ll fight this type of agendized literature and behavior against our children; I hope I won’t be alone in doing it.

Families have been escaping big liberal cities in droves to make a new home for themselves in our quiet, conservative, family-friendly, God-fearing mountain community.

I believe most of them, as well as the majority of us, don’t want that LBGTQ+, BLM, CRT, communist, satanic agenda anywhere near our families.

Please keep the library a wholesome place for our children to come and check out age appropriate books.  

Brooke Reale – Franklin, N.C.

Random thoughts

Corporations do not pay income taxes. Every company that sells a product or service hopes to make a profit on each sale. The government collects an income tax on profit. If the corporate income tax rate goes up, taxes and prices will also go up in most cases. The customer will end up paying the increase in corporate income taxes, even if their personal income taxes don’t increase.

Why have we forgotten to judge a person by their character, not by the color of their skin?

If a person is caught committing a crime and is not punished, why do we think that person will not commit another crime?

The U.S. government closed our border with Mexico 15 months ago except for “essential” travel and it is to remain closed until at least late July. Wonder how many tens of thousands (family units, migrant children and others who crossed illegally) have come across that border just in the last six months and are still here?

History is what actually happened and taking down reminders of it doesn’t not change anything. Actions and ideas from years ago need to be judged in the context of those times. People need to know what happened in the past so the same mistakes are not made in the future.

Some are ashamed of the Untied States because we “stole” the land. People have stolen land and other property from others since the beginning of time. When the first person came to the U.S., they “stole” the space they occupied. If the first settlers to America had come from another area of the world, would the world be a better place today?

There is a law of unintended consequences. Too often, government sees a problem, tries to fix it, gets its remedies wrong, overcorrects or doesn’t fix the problem. For example, instead of having a serious discussion on racism, we start accusing all whites of being privileged oppressors.

There is so much emphasis on “politically correct” speech that almost anything said or written these days will probably offend someone unintentionally. As a result, many are afraid to speak their minds.

Some, even members of Congress, complain about this country. The USA is not perfect but I can’t think of a better place. Citizens have the right and ability to try to make changes and speak against the way thinks are without being jailed as is the case in many countries.

If politicians and all citizens don’t learn how to talk, listen and compromise to make the country better, I am truly concerned about the future. We are supposed to one country indivisible but are becoming more divided daily.  

Ken Stonebraker – Franklin, N.C.

It’s time government returned to doing its duty

The mega-tech giants, are fabulously wealthy by virtue of their creativity and the federal government giving carte blanche to their operations. Users flocked to express to this new communication, enriching the owners beyond the dreams of Midas. However, the giants confused their reason for being in business. The business of business is business.

Today, the lines between government and private businesses are blurred. Tech is limiting freedom of speech on their platforms which is contrary to our constitutional rights. Government has yet to halt their tyranny.

One can only surmise that the government has not stopped the power grab and limitation of American freedom of speech while permitting the Ayatollah of Iran to chant “Death to America”on their platforms. How much tech money has gone into pockets of our government representatives, from the very top to the very bottom? What other reason would halt government intervention?

Government officials took an oath to protect and defend this country and the citizens thereof. It’s time government returned to doing its duty. A major step in the right direction would be treating big tech as publishers, publishers who are in business, not governing.  

Kathryn van Heyningen – Franklin, N.C.

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