Correspondent of the week

LINDA COLLINS, Kernersville

Southern heritage

My Southern heritage is in my genes. I am a genealogist and love history, my family and tradition.

My ancestors enslaved people in three states. My great-grandfather was buried in his Confederate uniform under a blanket of flowers of the Confederate flag. My own father received a medal for service in World War II from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. I was steeped in white privilege and superiority. I was taught to revere my Southern roots and family.

Because of my heritage, I think I have the right to speak out about the Confederate flag and what it symbolizes. It symbolizes racial hatred, white supremacy and a desire to go back to the Jim Crow days.

I am more than willing to give up that part of my heritage and embrace the tenets of what this country espouses to. I have given up nothing but gained so much.


JIM HELVEY, Winston-Salem

Culture, not laws

Franklin Graham is correct in his response to the killings in Charleston, but has not gone far enough.

On a Facebook posting, he recommended that our president challenge Congress to pass laws restricting Hollywood from producing movies and TV programs with violence and the killing of people. In fact, the president ought to appeal to his supporters in Hollywood to stand against participating in such violent movies and TV programs.

The call for better laws to control guns and the sale of ammunition is in order, but people are motivated more by the media than they are by laws. Laws do not solve the problems of human society, as racism reveals. Ultimately, it is a change in attitude that comes from recognition of the value of all lives, regardless of ethnic background.

Christianity promotes this, as did Christ, who loved everyone, but not all religions and cultures emphasize respect for all people. People need homes where there is respect for human life, for the absence of family relationships creates problems in human society.

The solution to the social problems of people going on shooting sprees comes not from the laws of government, but from people in communities where there is concern for people of all races and genders, as the members of the church in Charleston demonstrated.



A confusing symbol

The symbol has always been not only divisive, but contradictory and confusing. You cannot claim to be a member of the party of Lincoln while clinging to the Confederate flag.

People whose major sense of pride is rooted in acts committed over 150 years ago are to be pitied. They need to examine their lives for something more substantial.

I have no illusion that taking a flag down will end racism; but it will no longer sway on government property to glorify racism. That’s a positive step.


SYLVIA OBERLE, Winston-Salem

A remarkable feat

The intricate choreography of professional homebuilders and their subcontractors building four houses in five days was a remarkable feat (“Habitat for Humanity builds 4 new homes in 5 days,” June 16).

Even for someone like me who’s involved daily in the building of houses, it’s hard to describe the logistics involved in securing donations of materials and labor from almost 90 suppliers, coordinating their movements safely and successfully on a crowded neighborhood street and devoting the manpower necessary to take the houses from foundation to finish, complete with landscaping, in such a short time.

Those who will live in these homes were understandably excited and eager to begin this new chapter in their lives. But just as significant was the obvious new chapter for the other residents of 23rd Street and nearby locations, who rarely experience such a flurry of professional attention.

Stopping by during the week to observe the progress, neighbors remarked that they had “never seen anything like this” and expressed their thanks to all the workers. Many of the professionals, who typically build higher-priced, custom homes, reported being changed by the experience and the week’s interactions.

Our community owes a big thank you to the builders who freely gave their time and resources, and encouraged others, to make the Home Builders Blitz a reality: Sonoma Building Co., Isenhour Homes, Adams/Egloff, PCI Builders and Veritas Construction. Their actions are summed up in an often repeated quote: “If service is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.”

Oberle is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. – the editor


WILLIAM, B. PERRY, Winston-Salem

Bold words

“I want to remind everyone today, humbly, the Supreme Court of the United States is not the final authority, nor is the culture itself, but the Bible is God’s final authority about marriage and on this book we stand,” Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd said while passing a resolution against same-sex marriage on June 16 during the group’s convention.

But Floyd is wrong. First of all, Bible-believers do not own marriage. They don’t get to tell everyone else what their marriage is “about.”

Secondly, things may be different in Russia, but in America, the Supreme Court is the final authority.

“I declare to everyone today, as a minister of the Gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies,” he said. “I completely refuse.”

Bold words. But it’s easy to refuse to do something that no one’s asking you to do. No one in his church or any church will be forced to marry anyone they don’t want to marry. That will never happen, because in our country, we separate church from state.

Unless, that is, the Baptists succeed at tearing that wall down. Then, indeed, it could happen.

Poor Baptists: Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.


BUDDY OSBORNE, Winston-Salem

Doing something

I agree with some critics that taking down the Confederate flag and eliminating it from public acceptance won't eliminate the kind of racism that spurred the deadly attack in Charleston. But people want to, have to, do something. Good Americans can't accept these gun massacres, performed with legally-obtained firearms, repeated over and over again. They’re frustrated. And since the murderous gun lobby is too strong to allow any sensible gun controls, the Confederate flag and other racist symbols are next in line.

Gun proponents are right: Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.

This problem has been solved in other countries. Why can’t we solve it here? Why do we have to live with it? Sure, people who want to kill others will always exist. They exist in other countries. But here, we arm them.

So if we can’t disarm them, we’ll do whatever else we can. The Confederate flag: Gone. What’s next?


CHUCK HURLEY, Belews Creek

Playing games

Sadly, but easily predictable, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will graduate with honors from the electoral college in November, 2016.

She will win these states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, D.C. plus every state in the Northeast – probably Virginia and maybe Florida. Only the South and Southwest will go to the pitiful Republicans.

Why even bother spending the almost $2 billion that will be spent by both sides?

These are games we continue to play. Welcome aboard, Madame President and Co-President Bill.


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