Serving is an honor
I want to send hugs to all police officers and their families. I was so proud to be married to a police officer for the 38 years he proudly served for low pay, awful hours, traffic duty, walking a beat, detective work, being Officer Friendly in the schools and being part of the internal investigation team, K-9 corps and division captain. Police work isn’t just one job.
We were lucky, as a team, to educate ourselves and our three children and to survive the profession with the highest divorce rate.
My prayer is for legislation to remove any officer who shows inhumanity to anyone, and never let that officer ever have the honor of being a police officer again.
E. Joyce Connor
Wife of Capt. Harold Connor,
Rochester, N.Y. Police Department
How can anyone support President Trump? I think I know the answer.
Trump stated in 2016 that he “loves the poorly educated.” Those who read newspapers, books and magazines and follow media including Fox News (not exclusively), aspire to be educated. Unfortunately, reading levels have been on a downward spiral in the public schools since the 1970s.
It is no wonder that we now have Trump in the White House, denouncing and insulting journalists. He need not worry. His base is unfamiliar with journalism and is amused by his rants, lies and insults.
Twitter fact-checking is taking away his right to free speech, he says, yet peaceful protesting is threatened with military force. Fact-checking is a normal practice for journalists who, if caught in deliberate lies, are exposed and fired.
Trump confuses freedom of speech with freedom to lie and mislead with impunity.
Poor government leadership
Only a few months ago, it was among the best of times for many people. Today, it is among the worst of times for a lot of those same people, as well as for numerous others. And currently, it looks like conditions are going to continue to get worse, especially with regard to the coronavirus.
What are our so-called government “leaders” doing to keep conditions from getting even worse? At every level of our government, most of these “leaders” have not responded on a timely basis and/or they have responded like someone who does not have a clue as to what they should do.
A primary example is our president, who initially denied that we needed to be concerned about the coronavirus in our country, and then subsequently demonstrated by his words and his actions — or the lack thereof — that he had neither the knowledge nor the wisdom necessary to deal appropriately with the worsening situation.
At our state and local levels, the responses seem to have been somewhat better, but far from wise, as evidenced by the fact that the number of cases of the coronavirus are again rising rapidly in both our state and our city.
So, what needs to be done? Because many people are not consistently socially distancing, one thing that can be done is to require that everyone wear a mask everywhere there are people other than family members who live in the same home. This should include every workplace and every retail establishment.
Rubin’s vile tripe
It is puzzling why the Journal persists in printing opinion columns by Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.
Please understand that I am not a Trump lover. The man exhibits characteristics one might expect from a rich kid who has always been the “boss” since he took over leadership of his family’s real estate business in his 20s. As such, he never learned the principles of human relations that working one’s way up in business or living in the real world imparts. Consequently, he is an inconsiderate bully who never became an experienced human being.
Having said that, however, I do not believe that the nasty, vicious hate displayed by Rubin is in any way representative of professional journalism.
Examples of her nastiness in the June 22 paper (“What the MAGA crowd calls ‘great’”) include “Trump restated his support for U.S. Army bases to retain names of Confederate traitors and white supremacists” (Lincoln successfully resisted the radical congressmen who wanted to treat leaders of the Confederacy as traitors); “…America to him is his white base”; “… he and his lily-white staff…”; “It seems that (Trump) would be most at home when the Confederacy was still revered (by racists...), when scientists lacked the ability to contradict him, and when only certain kinds of voters could manage to cast their ballots.”
I cannot comprehend why the Journal continues to publish this kind of vile and contemptible tripe in the name of presenting balanced viewpoints.
What does it take for all Americans to be outraged by President Trump’s behavior? Is there no depth to which he won’t sink in his quest to be reelected? When will Republicans acknowledge that their emperor has no clothes?
Trump’s actions outside St. John’s church in Washington, D.C., were an affront to political and social norms. He violated the rights of Americans gathered to peacefully protest an outrageous act of violence by using violence against them. Just for a photo op! Is that not an abuse of power?
He held up the Bible as if he has been a paradigm of Christian behavior. He apparently knows as little about the Bible as he does the Constitution. Lawyer Joseph Welch said to Sen. Joseph McCarty at the 1954 Army-McCarty Senate hearings, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” I ask Trump and his enablers the same.
A comprehensive policy
The clean energy sector was one of the fastest-growing job sectors before the coronavirus hit. Before recent layoffs, North Carolina had more than 110,000 clean energy jobs. Nationwide more than 3.3 million people were employed in the clean energy sector, which is more than triple the employment in the fossil fuel sector. Yet, as pointed out by the Journal’s June 14 editorial (“Distraction = More Environmental Damage”), the Trump administration is trying to roll back regulations in large measure to prop up an already declining fossil fuel industry. The rollbacks will supposedly help create jobs.
Just a few months ago, President Trump was touting all the jobs that had been created during his administration. Those jobs were created with all those regulations in place and those clean energy jobs were created despite the subsidies and other policies that prop up the fossil fuel industry. Many more jobs would have been created if, instead of propping up an industry that pollutes the air and alters our climate, we had enacted policies to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Marginalized communities are disproportionately impacted by the environmental degradation caused by dependence on fossil fuels, which includes impacts from climate change. Reducing fossil fuel use will clean the air, reduce the risk of climate change and create jobs. Instead of reducing regulations for short-term gains in a declining sector, we need a comprehensive policy like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act to transition to a clean-energy economy.
Making things better
In Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, here and dozens more places, communities are calling out for justice. Hate has become an open sore and some of our elected leaders are throwing fuel on the fire.
Our fellow citizens are calling for systemic change and visionary leadership. The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 has made the need to invest in our communities all the more urgent. Instead of continuing to invest in militarizing the police department, we can make our communities safer by redirecting some of those funds into community-led health and safety strategies.
Communities of color experience disproportionate trauma from police violence, climate change, COVID-19, underemployment and more, and much of this trauma is caused by systemic racism. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today, and their deaths are horrific examples of a system that relies on black subjugation. We need a new path forward, with new leadership.
The path toward justice must begin with accountability, and a commitment from all of us as individuals, community members and organizations to do more to combat racism in all its forms.
It is time for new leadership in Raleigh. Terri LeGrand has my support during this campaign for N.C. Senate District 31 because she is compassionate, a great listener and a courageous leader. Follow her and her political allies as the campaign season opens. We can make things better with our vote for Terri LeGrand.
Donna Von Bargen
Look a little deeper
In response to the June 13 letter “It’s not defunding?” I don’t want to insult the writer’s intelligence, but I do want to ask him to look a little deeper. Choosing to use part of the police department’s budget in positive ways that deter crime seems to me the very best option. Everyone benefits financially if the police, courts and prisons are less occupied. Our entire county becomes a happier, safer, more desirable place to live. We are more attractive to businesses wanting to relocate and to talented young people who might otherwise leave Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.
We are fortunate that our police and sheriff’s departments already focus on community outreach. I believe their efforts helped keep our protests on the peaceful, moral high ground.
More investments in positive programs should pay even greater dividends. A summer job that provides work, income and a positive experience for a minority teenager is a great thing, obviously. Less obvious, perhaps, is the hope it gives these young people for their futures. Surely, all who struggle through racism and a difficult economy will be strengthened knowing that their community cares, respects them and invests in their futures.
The more law enforcement chooses to serve, the less they will need to protect. Good for them.