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Must do better

For months we’ve been hearing about the horrible living conditions under which immigrant children are being kept by the U.S. government, including accounts of children having to sleep on bare concrete floors, wearing soiled clothes and being denied basics like toothpaste and soap. Some other aspects of their interment are too horrible to repeat.

On Monday, members of Congress visited two Border Patrol stations in El Paso and Clint, Texas, and found squalid conditions. People were being housed for weeks on end without being able to bathe or even wash their hands. They wore the same clothes in which they arrived. They were being told to drink from toilets.

Oh, but let’s get upset over the term “concentration camps” being used. That way we don’t have to actually do anything about these deplorable conditions. We can sit back in our comfortable easy chairs and get all frothy because of words we don’t like.

We tell the world that we’re the greatest country in history and that people who come here have freedom and can get rich if they work hard. Then when people come here out of desperation, when they risk their freedom rather than risk their lives, we say, “You shouldn’t have come here.” And we say they deserve whatever they get. Even these squalid, inhumane conditions.

How did Americans become so uncaring? How did they become so accepting of human misery? We can do better. We must do better. A great nation would do better.

Jane Freemont Gibson

Winston-Salem

Our great constitution

The North Carolina Constitution is full of important information and available for all to read. One of my favorite passages is Section 2 of Article I, Declaration of Rights. It reads, “All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” Isn’t it wonderful to include this dictum in our state’s definitive legal document?

There seems to be a mistake, because most of the legislation passed by the Republican-controlled General Assembly mirrors no acquaintance with Article I, Section 2.

There have been so many efforts to snatch control from local governments with no regard for local opposition. For instance, early in the Republican reign there were attempts to commandeer Asheville’s city water reservoir and Charlotte’s airport without consulting local officials. Forsyth County had to change our statutes on gun restrictions. All counties were forced to obey more restrictive voting procedures and policies.

Recently, the legislature was in the process of completely changing our City Council by reducing the number of wards from 8 to 5. This configuration would reduce African American representation by two. Our elected officials were not consulted.

Now the new GOP budget does not expand Medicaid, but it does continue tax cuts for the rich.

How do our legislative leaders act with impunity in their violation of the N.C. Constitution?

Charles Francis Wilson

Winston-Salem

Another tax cut

I am so sick of state legislators working against the people and for the corporate fat cats.

Let’s make sure everyone in North Carolina has food, a roof over their heads, a good education and medical care. Then, if there’s any left over, let’s let the rich folks have another tax cut. Isn’t that the way we should be doing this?

Rebecca Minor

Winston-Salem

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