The problem is us

Run. Hide. Fight.

Scott Sexton laments that the only message we have left to our children is to run, or hide, or fight (May 2 column). Unfortunately, the message is accurate.

We are not suffering from a failure of leadership. Our elected leaders long ago sold out to the merchants of death by accepting NRA money, than immediately turning their backs on gun violence. We are suffering from a failure in fellowship. We as a community have followed right behind the leaders who knowingly and willfully allowed the proliferation of weapons of all shape and sizes, and most stunningly, followed sheepishly along as the solutions to gun violence are, incredibly, more weapons of mass destruction.

Our leaders are bought and sold, but the message of lives lost, children lost should not be buried in NRA propaganda. Who are you willing to follow?

John Eder


Put ‘Dixie’ to rest

It’s a song, a mythic place, based on a country that supported enslaving people and fought against the U.S. to preserve that legacy. It helped revive the Ku Klux Klan. It was sung by segregationists protesting integration of schools.

Recently, it was sung in Winston-Salem to show support for the Confederate statue that used to stand in downtown.

My ancestors fought in the Confederate Army. And in other wars. My children are descendants of Robert E. Lee. I don’t want to erase that family history. I want us to sit with it, process it and understand it for what it is.

And for how we can do better — as a family and as a community. There’s a lot to be proud of in the South that isn’t rooted in slavery, racism and sedition.

Why do those few years, out of the last 250, get to define us forever? Why can’t we claim new voices and new identities that embrace all Southern people?

The name of the fair must be changed so that all members of our community feel welcome and supported. I hope this is the next step in the movement to stop memorializing an idea built on slavery and hatred and start celebrating those who advocate for true “liberty and justice for all.”

There are lots of wonderful and inclusive names that we can replace Dixie with: Piedmont Classic Fair, Catawba Classic Fair, and others. Please change the name.

My family has never gone to the Dixie Classic Fair, and we will never go as long as it is called Dixie.

Katie Sonnen-Lee


No name, photo or notoriety

The quest for notoriety and infamy is a well-known motivating factor in rampage mass killings and violent, copycat crimes. In an effort to reduce future tragedies, I am asking the Winston-Salem Journal to adopt a No-Notoriety Policy. Seeing the face and name of the UNC-Charlotte shooter in our paper on April 30 was unnecessary; the Journal can thoroughly and professionally cover tragic stories like this one without those details. I hope the Journal will adopt the No-Notoriety policy because, sadly, we know that this isn’t the last time you’ll have to report on a shooting at a school. (Case in point: The Denver school shooting occurred while I was writing this letter.)

Valerie Brockenbrough


About that cartoon ...

It took me re-reading both of the last two Sundays issues of the New York Times before I went back to Cal Thomas’ column in this morning’s Journal (May 7) and realized he was talking about the International New York Times, which is published in Europe, not the one we get here. I wonder how many other readers also missed this distinction.

I’ve thought for a long time that Thomas is unfortunately out-of-touch, and this situation does nothing to change my mind. We, of course, didn’t get the offending editorial cartoon, either, although I don’t see that much wrong with the cartoon as Thomas describes it. I’m not sure the International New York Times needed to apologize for it, as Thomas reports the newspaper has done.

Much more appropriate, to my mind, is a column by Yousef Bashir on the back page of last Sunday’s Times “Sunday Review,” which we do get here. Bashir — the author of “The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine” — was 15 years old in 2004, when an Israeli soldier shot him in the back, apparently accidentally. It took him a year to learn to walk again, but he has forgiven the soldier. His column was titled, “An Israeli Shot Me. An Israeli healed me.” He says of the soldier, “I wish we could talk. I would tell him that I want to do my part to make peace between our peoples more possible, the way my father taught me.”

Tom Dillon


Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to or mail letters to: The Readers’ Forum, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Letters are subject to editing and are limited to 250 words. For more guidelines and advice on writing letters, go to

Make sure you never miss our editorials, letters to the editor and columnists. We’ll deliver the Journal’s Opinion page straight to your inbox.

Load comments