The right to kneel

Columnist Mark Thiessen is in denial (“Kneeling is a protest against America,” June 20). Who is he to tell anyone when to stand or kneel?

All of the evils against African Americans happened right here in America, so he should consider himself correct! Police brutality is only one of the ills of oppression that has existed in America towards African Americans. Voting rights, health care, segregation of schools and equal pay are other ills, just to name a few.

“With liberty and justice for all” has unequivocally applied to the privileged. America has reneged on its promise to all! The flag is symbolic of this country, and there is nothing written that mandates standing for the anthem. What Thiessen should do is stand and leave the kneeling to those who choose to do so.

While many are protesting across the world for justice for all, Thiessen is concerned about justice for himself and those who think like him.

Oh, by the way, Thiessen can stop trying to stir us up about protesting against the military when one kneels. We’re not buying it!

Judith Whitmire-Bryant


Wearing masks

I don’t understand why people decide that they have the right to infringe on others’ right to be healthy.

I am in the high-risk category and I am afraid to go out for any reason. I am very blessed to have a husband who is in good health and does not mind doing all the errands.

Should others decide to show common sense and care about others, then they would wear masks. The ones who do not wear masks choose not only to not protect themselves but others — especially their own family members.

I don’t get why this is a reason to protest or boycott businesses — this is a health issue, not a personal issue.

I agree with our governor: We should be pro-active!

Be safe, be blessed, be healthy!

Nancy Wade


The cyclical loop

To my white allies in the recent protest:

I am thankful that you have been awakened to the atrocious killing of George Floyd. As an integral part of the protest, I also hope you now recognize the cyclical loop that occurs after these atrocities.

There is an aim to divert the general public’s attention away from the rudimentary problem by demonizing the victim and characterizing protesters as looters, thugs and rioters. I hope that, after the adrenaline of the protest wanes, the cops are arrested, police and National Guard go home, optimistic photo ops of the police walking in solidarity with the community and the branding of Winston-Salem as a peaceful community subsides, you realize that institutional racism still prevails in the U.S. and Winston-Salem. Institutional racism is what has made the rewind button stick, and now is the moment to get your devices fixed so that we all can experience something new.

I hope most of all that you will address institutional racism in our community as you fight against poor housing, the disparity of property values between white and black communities, inequitable educational opportunities reinforced by a school board unwilling to dismantle “school choice,” poverty among dedicated workers who piece together non-livable wages and unequal access to health care.

The list is unending. Realize that the momentum of your protest only continues by addressing the real problem.

Akwete McAlister


Here’s selfishness

Webster defines selfish as “concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.” If one needs an example of a selfish individual, one need look no further than the incompetent president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Only a selfish person would schedule a political rally to be held in an indoor facility at a location that has seen a huge surge in COVID-19 cases. That is exactly what Trump did when he went to Tulsa, Okla., ignoring warnings from health experts that his rally could be a COVID super-spreader event. He needed to feed off the excitement of his selfish non-mask-wearing supporters, not caring who might become infected. And he knew there was a risk because he made the attendees to the rally sign a waiver that his campaign could not be sued by anyone who contracted the virus.

And of course we cannot forget the reason that Trump moved part of the GOP convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville, Fla. Not being able to predict the state of the pandemic in August, Gov. Roy Cooper could not guarantee that he would allow a packed Spectrum Center. Trump, needing the cheers of thousands, moved his con act to Jacksonville.

On the evening of Nov. 3, Trump will hear tumultuous, vociferous cheering when the results come in and he is voted out of office.

Rudy Diamond


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