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Admittedly an incomplete list, the following words remind us of slavery, and may need to be purged from American English:

“Black” reminds us of slavery, as does “white.” “Emancipation” reminds us of slavery, as do “Union” and “Confederacy.” “Mississippi” reminds us of slavery, as do the words “Alabama,” “Louisiana,” “Tennessee” and maybe “Texas.”

Cotton reminds us of slavery, as do picking, hot weather and riverboats; Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn remind us of slavery, as do Mark Twain, Jim and the word “river.” The name “Abraham” reminds us of slavery, as does the family name “Lincoln,” also the names “Robert” and “Lee.” Gettysburg reminds us of slavery, as do bondage, “Jefferson,” “Sally” and “Hemmings.” “Plantation” reminds us of slavery, as does “Gone With the Wind” and even Clark Gable. “Dixie” reminds us of slavery, as do shows like “Showboat” and “Porgy and Bess”; songs like “Ol’ Man River,” “Summertime” and “Mammy”; names like “George Gershwin” and “Jerome Kern” remind us of slavery, as do “Eddie Cantor” and “Al Jolson.” Words like ...

Richard Merlo



While young people are dying as heroes in our schools, the cowards in Congress do nothing.

Sonny Thomas


Rough on rescue mission

You guys really blasted the Winston-Salem Rescue Mission over that golf tournament. Put them on the front page, twice already (“Questions plague charity golf event,” May 4; “Mission officials probing golf event,” May 5).

Yes, the officials trusted someone they shouldn’t have trusted and they probably did a poor job of due diligence.

I got to play in that tournament and I believe the director of the Rescue Mission was stunned by what happened. Before we started play, he apologized and offered to return any money that we had given to support the tournament because of what had happened.

Frankly, I had a great time and I was exposed to all the sponsor advertisements by being there.

I have also been fortunate to volunteer at the Rescue Mission and see the good it has done. Men’s lives have miraculously changed by beating alcohol and drug addictions. Many have benefited our community.

We live in a country that appears to be more about tearing each other down and dividing than building up and uniting.

I think you guys are better than that. Maybe the reason the man who perpetrated this hoax used PGA Tour Champion Steve Stricker’s name was because he knew what a class act Stricker is and that he is the kind of man who would support the marginalized in our community like the Rescue Mission does. We are all sorry it came to this, but it doesn’t have to end like this.

Carl Deaton


Wait no longer

Six and a half years ago, I was a new mom walking my dog to get some fresh air, wearing my sweet baby snuggled up close in a carrier, when a neighbor told me the news: a shooter had gone into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children and their teachers.

Now, my sweet baby is 6 and in kindergarten. I love his school. I love his teachers and classmates. Each day, I make sure to kiss him as he hops out of the car. Will this be the day the violence comes to his school? Will he be huddled in a cabinet with his friends, hiding from a murderer? Will I be a mother waiting in the crowd to see if her child will make it out?

I meant to write this letter a few weeks ago after the shooting at UNC Charlotte, but I am busy with three small children. Since then, there has been a school shooting in Denver. Recently I saw on WXII that there were threats at a Reynolds High School, then I learned from the Journal that there was a gun at Paisley Magnet School last week. I can no longer wait. I am horrified by the gun violence epidemic in America and want action now. I urge our legislators to support universal background checks on all gun sales. It could save my children’s lives.

Jessica McCrory


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