Winston-Salem’s spectrum

I grew up in the South Side behind the Boys & Girls Club. I’ve lived on the North Side and walked the length of Reynolda Road to get to work. I’ve lived and gone to church in East Winston. I now live in the West Side, where I work for an organization that oversees the behavioral health needs of those in need of mental, substance use and developmental disability health care in 20 counties. My life is a bold trajectory from poverty to comfort.

A river from every district empties into the bus depot. I’ve returned to the depot time and again watching businesses come and go on Fourth Street or watching the Innovation Quarter and other developments thread their advancements into our city.

I agree that no one should have to be unsafe in the face of panhandlers (“Panhandlers stir complaints,” July 25). I encourage us all to recognize, especially Bobby Finch, that while growth and change is inevitable, any effort or suggestion to remove the organizations or institutions patronized by our most vulnerable is segregation-positive.

For many, the only thing that introduces the spectrum of Winston-Salem’s population to the growth of downtown is the transportation center. It’s where courts, treatment, faith, recreation and resources congeal.

For those of us privileged to build onto the beauty and bones of this city, remember that we are building our mirror in a space where every color of Winston-Salem’s rainbow connects. We should expect to see more than just ourselves.

Ashley Johnson


Enough is enough

Every day the Readers’ Forum seems to be filled with letters disparaging our president. It has gotten to the point that I just glance at them and move over to the real comics page and read Lola and Beetle Bailey. The cartoonists are much more original.

Please do us a favor, writers, and try to come up with some good reasons to vote for one of the 20-something Democratic candidate clowns who emerge from the VW Beetle and take the debate stage. They at least have split their time and spend half of it telling us what a bad guy President Trump is and the other half saying how sorry a president any of the other Democratic Party candidates would make if we are dumb enough to elect one of them.

What in the world has happened to dialogue about the real issues that are troubling our nation? At least they did take time off from the hatred tour to increase their ability to print and borrow more money in case they actually do get something done. Oh wait, the growing national debt is one of the nightmare issues facing all of us.

Tom Jones


Out of the playbook

I saw President Trump on TV on July 23, talking about “the Squad.” He said, “We don’t like it when they talk about ‘evil Jews.’”

So, just for the record, Trump is against anti-Semitism? I really think we should get that established before he uses anti-Semitic tropes again, like he did in his presidential campaign.

In July 2016, he tweeted an image that originated on a neo-Nazi forum of Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David against a background of cash. His last campaign ad featured sinister images of Lloyd Blankfein, Janet Yellen and George Soros — all Jewish — while warning of “global special interests.” This type of language is straight out of the neo-Nazi playbook.

For the record, I’m not convinced that Trump is an anti-Semite. He is, however, opportunistic enough to use anti-Semitism if he thinks he can benefit from it.

But if he’s against it, we shouldn’t expect to hear it from him during his re-election campaign, should we? It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

It’ll also be interesting to see if his followers are always against anti-Semitism or just when they think Trump’s opponents are anti-Semites.

Incidentally, none of the four members of the Squad have ever, in public, said anything about “evil Jews.” Trump is, once again, lying.

Gabriella Price


Please submit letters online, with full name, address and telephone number, to 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

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