The best in live theater

For over 20 years I have enjoyed volunteering and attending performances at the National Black Theatre Festival.

Each year I notice a few more white people in the audience, but seldom more than a handful. I would like to dispel the notion that the National Black Theatre Festival is just for black people; it is instead a festival showcasing the finest of black theatre for all people.

The arts — fine art, literary, music, film and theatre — can be an equalizer, bringing people of different ethnic groups and cultures together to appreciate the talent of artists of all kinds.

I encourage all of the residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to attend one — or more — of the magnificent performances that will be held at venues around the city. Whether you like music (and there’s plenty of oldies music to choose from!), history, drama, humor or more, you will find something to suit your fancy at this year’s NBTF.

It runs through Aug. 3. Don’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy the best in live theater in your own backyard.

Judie Holcomb-Pack

Winston-Salem

Presidential dignity

Regarding President Trump’s response to the rally cry in Greenville, “Send her back”: Despite his claim that he tried to stifle the chant, he clearly stood there long enough to do so yet refused to do so. I don’t know of whom I am more ashamed, my fellow North Carolinians or the president, but it is the president’s responsibility to bring us together, not to encourage or condone xenophobia and racism.

Contrast that to the moment in the 2008 presidential campaign between Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama when a lady said she couldn’t vote for Obama because she had heard he was an Arab. McCain immediately took the microphone and said, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.” It was one of McCain’s shining moments. That’s what presidential dignity and integrity look like.

Thomas W. Mann

Winston-Salem

The best

By my calculations, after living in Winston-Salem for 34 years, I’ve probably read more than 11,000 copies of the Journal. The July 28 edition was hands down the best: the quality of paper, the effective use of color, coverage of multiple topics and my personal favorite was the fabulous section called, “Better.” Beautifully done.

This section could hold its own anywhere in the world. Thank you for giving it to us, right here in little ol’ Winston.

You might want to send a complimentary copy to the New York Times…

Brenda Hutchins

Winston-Salem

It’s simple

To paraphrase a slogan from the past, “I am from North Carolina and President Trump and the Greenville rally do not speak for me.”

I love North Carolina and I love the United States of America. As citizens, we have the right to disagree on the issues. However, we also have the responsibility to not be hateful, hurtful, dishonest and disrespectful. It really is that simple.

Dean Arnold

Winston-Salem

Respect for the office

I read the Journal’s Readers’ Forum almost every day, in part because I want to know how others around me are feeling/thinking about current events. In almost every case I’ve appreciated the thoughtfulness of the letter writers (and their willingness to go public!), even those with whom I disagree.

A few recent letters have bemoaned the letters criticizing President Trump. One even suggested that criticism of Trump was disrespectful to the office of the president. I disagree — the office and the holder are independent of one another. Further, look at Trump’s behavior: constant lies, obliteration of our values, reneging on commitments and, worse, manipulating his voters for his own gain. In my 74 years I’ve never, ever, witnessed greater disdain for the office of the president than Trump’s.

To those who think there’s a bias for Trump-criticizing letters: look at what Trump is saying every day, many times a day, including constantly lying and gaslighting America. Look at what he is promoting — in our discourse (division), in cabinet leadership (think fox-and-henhouse corruption) and exposure to foreign enemies (think lying about or hiding every meeting with Russians). Even our economy, which continues to grow in ways that preceded Trump’s election, is being roiled by this man. Who can remain silent? Who can remain unconcerned about those ignoring what he is doing?

Pamela Corbett

Winston-Salem

The difference

Others have criticized Baltimore before (“Trump attacks Cummings’ district,” July 28). Others have noted its crime, its poverty, its rat infestation. What’s the difference with President Trump?

The difference is that he laid the blame for all of these problems at the feet of Rep. Elijah Cummings, and he accused Cummings of being corrupt, of using government funds for his own purposes rather than for the good of Baltimore. He made those accusations with not a shred of evidence to back them up.

When people accuse Trump of such things, he threatens to sue. He says that we need to reform our libel laws. But it’s OK for Trump to say such things about other people.

Do the accusations make Trump a racist? I’m not sure. But they do make him a hypocrite and a liar.

James T. Fuller

Winston-Salem

Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to Letters@wsjournal.com 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 journalnow.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

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