The point being missed

Folks got the wrong end of the stick over the Tanglewood wristband fiasco (“County responding to Confederate wristband misstep,” July 10).

The point being missed is that there is now a generation of adults who don’t know what “stars and bars” even means. Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that progress? Isn’t that the result that every Confederacy eraser wanted?

The young aren’t taught about what happened, they don’t know the symbols, they can’t discuss the society and pressures that, in 1860, made the whole idiotic Confederacy entirely reasonable to nearly 9 million people. Now, we can’t come back and blame the young for the ignorance we’ve forced them into.

Steven VanderLinden


Stolen valor

On July 12, talking to the press, President Trump once again bragged about passing “Veterans Choice,” which allows some veterans to seek care elsewhere when they have difficulty getting into Veterans Affairs facilities. “Nobody else could have done it,” he said.

But somebody else did it. President Obama passed it, with Sen. John McCain’s help. Trump didn’t pass it. All he did was eliminate its expiration date. Then he went on to lie about the Mueller report.

Claiming this victory for veterans is no different than stolen valor — soldiers wearing medals for participated in battles they weren’t in. I don’t know how any veteran can stand for it. I don’t know how any American can stand for it.

This president is a disgrace.

Ronnie Miller


A public servant

I have known Dale Folwell since 2006, followed his career as a public servant, and worked with him as a volunteer to increase organ donation in North Carolina. What I appreciate about him and the way thinks and acts is his consistent, straightforward approach to attain value for the people he serves. We certainly pay enough taxes that we deserve public servants who think in these terms.

I’m no expert on medical costs and billing, but from what I’ve read, Americans pay significantly more than other developed countries. Medical costs are 18% of our GDP and if anyone could explain the rationale of our current costs and billing systems, I would love to see it.

From what I understand, Folwell, as our state treasurer, is asking for transparency of this process in the State Employee Health Plan (“Email blasts Folwell, others,” July 11).

I can speak from my own personal and professional experience, which involved reviewing vendor contract compliance for my clients. When transparency is lacking, there is usually a “fox in the henhouse.”

Ken Burkel


Racist slur

“Go back where you came from” is one of the ugliest racist slurs anyone can use. It’s almost always said by white racists to black or brown people, on the assumption that this country belongs to white people and black and brown people don’t belong here.

It’s also one of the most ignorant statements that anyone can make. It’s often said to people who were born here — this is where they’re from. They are American and have as much claim to America as anyone.

But racists still say it because they think that citizenship is a matter of skin color, of race.

To pretend that there was nothing wrong with President Trump’s latest Twitter rampage (“Leave the U.S., Trump tells four liberal congresswomen,” July 15) is to be dishonest or ignorant or both. To try to pick apart his “go back” to “places from which they came” language and pretend “he didn’t mean it that way” is to be dishonest or ignorant or both.

We all know what he said and we all know what he meant.

This is no surprise to anyone who already knew that Trump is a racist. What is surprising is that people we used to think of as good and decent will continue to support him.

We used to say, “We’re better than this.” Are we? Really?

Perry Mitchell


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