Punishing the police

What is the basis for the recommendations to defund the police? Has crime decreased? I think not. It looks like an ill-advised attempt to punish the police. In reality it will punish us all by allowing for less safety and increased crime.

It is appropriate to look for unbiased, responsible policing but these calls for decreased funding will not lead to that. Some of the social programs mentioned are in place, indicating there is a perceived value, and perhaps they deserve additional funds but these should be based on the results of the programs and sourced through the budgeting process.

Anthony C. Kantor

Winston-Salem

Avoid hypocrisy

We continue to see the horrors of racism before us. This isn’t exclusively a Black Lives Matter issue concerning only African Americans. This is a human rights issue for everyone to fix.

Many faith leaders took the well-intentioned step of placing an ad pledging to address the problem in the June 14 Journal. But what good does it do to show compassion for racial strife if many faith followers continue to deny LGBTQ rights and shun gay clergy and gay marriage?

Some may say, “Hey, let’s fix one problem at a time,” but it is the same problem: human rights and equality for all. The word for that is hypocrisy.

The Supreme Court just declared LGBTQ worker protections for all. It is time for churches to support LGBTQ staff members instead of firing them. It is understandable why memberships to organized religions continue to decline with such confusing messages.

Racism, misogyny and xenophobia were clear during the 2016 campaign. They are clearer now.

If our current president “loves the black people” as much as he says, then why has he delayed the Harriet Tubman $20 bill? Why did he insist that President Barack Obama was not a citizen? Why has he worked so hard to undo the former administration’s accomplishments?

If you want to be nonracist, please carefully consider your November vote. We are all guilty of treating others poorly in some way. Let’s all pledge to be kind to all people now.

Dirk Robertson

Lewisville

Robertson is the co-founder of Equality Winston-Salem. — the editor

Peaceful protests

On June 13, 2020, the Journal published a front-page story on the 11th peaceful protest in Winston-Salem after the May 25 death of George Perry Floyd (“ ‘Our voices are making changes’”).

We are lucky to have had such peaceful protests. I think the citizens of Winston-Salem should be pleased with the tenor of the demonstrations and offer thanks for the thoughtful planning and energetic participation. There are several specifics that are worth mentioning.

First, on May 29, our Police Chief Catrina A. Thompson and Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough had an online press conference concerning their perspectives on the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd. Both peace officers were transparent, empathic and professional. They are to be congratulated for their prompt response to the horror of Floyd’s death.

Second, the participation of such large numbers of concerned people is a living drama of the gravity of the tragedy.

Third, the multi-racial diversity of the crowds is encouraging. Perhaps “Black Lives Matter” has finally become a universal call to action.

Fourth, the fact that so many of the organizers are young is hopeful. They are the future, and it looks promising.

Fifth, municipalities throughout the country are beginning to consider policies that are designed to eradicate police brutality and promote positive, community involvement. I hope justice will be served.

With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act everything was to change. Somewhere we dropped the ball.

We cannot let it happen again.

Charles Francis Wilson

Winston-Salem

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