Law gives cover to discrimination
In response to “Permission to Hate” (Oct. 16):
Congratulations to Elizabeth Leland and Rick Thames for exposing the reality of HB2 – a discriminatory bill that encourages and gives cover to hate and violence against our LGBT brothers and sisters. This bill harkens back to the darkest times of American bigotry, and has absolutely no place in today’s society. It’s incumbent upon everyone who values freedom, equality and fairness to vote out of office anyone who does not publicly denounce this bill.
Mitchel Bollag, Concord
Report leans on anecdotes, not data
Bullying is wrong. Hatred of any kind is unacceptable. But Elizabeth Leland’s article attempts unsuccessfully to turn anecdotes into data and assertions into arguments.
For example, while the emotional testimonies from victims of hate crimes are no doubt very real, they are also not representative of gay people in North Carolina. Leland finally admits that “hate crimes” are in fact very rare: only 101 were reported over a five-year period from 2009-2014. But she doesn’t let this irrefutable data deter her. She asserts hate crimes are under-reported based purely on the word of a spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Other emotional testimonies in Leland’s article rightly highlight the tragedy of depression and suicide among LGBTQ people, but – again – are they in fact representative?
Warren Smith, Charlotte
Photo of graffiti slur was hurtful
While I applaud your lead story of October 16 (“Permission to Hate”), it was incredibly irresponsible of you to place the accompanying picture of homophobic graffiti above the fold. Seeing “Die f*g” first thing in the morning, regardless of the context, hardly puts me or other members of the LGBTQ community in a receptive mood.
You could have considered the effect that seeing death threats and slurs on the front page of our local paper would have on those already confronted with them in our personal lives.
Mitch Grooms, Charlotte
Popular music also can fuel disrespect
In response to “Donald Trump’s ‘locker room talk’ gives parents teachable moment with teens” (Oct. 15 Viewpoint):
Cristina Reitz-Krueger’s opinion piece on “locker room talk” should be required reading for parents. It’s right on the money. That said, we cannot possibly discuss (dis)respect for women without also listening to the lyrics of many popular songs. It’s positively alarming to me that kids chant along with songs that routinely refer to women as bitches and cheapen sexuality.
Trump’s locker room talk and some of today’s music each denigrate women with a wink and a nudge.
Tara Anastasi, Matthews
Why were candidates treated differently?
We have two candidates running for the presidency of this United States of America. You publish the dirt on Mr. Trump right there on page one of the Oct. 10 edition, yet the Hillary dirt (Wall Street tapes) is published on page 26A.
Donald Trump has issued an apology for his indiscretions; I have yet to hear one from the pathological teller of lies, Hillary Clinton.
Don Ledbetter, Statesville
This Republican won’t vote Trump
A Republican and social conservative, I will do what many of my high profile opinion leaders have not done. I renounce Donald Trump as the titular leader of the Republican Party. The lecherous and boorish musings which he calls “locker room” talk have no place in decent conversation.
Years ago, I wrote to Senators Helms and Edwards asking them to convict President Clinton of using his office to cover up his affairs. I am asking everyone who did as I did then to vote to reject Mr. Trump from entering the Oval Office. If you want to vote for a conservative, Evan McMullin is your man.
Mark Costello, Matthews
Did Gettlemen outsmart himself?
As a longtime Panthers fan and first-year season ticket holder, I’ve enjoyed the team’s rise to success and looked forward to this season. Now, I can only hope GM Dave Gettleman uses this season as a learning experience.
Gettleman’s ego led him to release Josh Norman, refuse to spend money to improve the pass rush or the offensive line responsible for protecting our MVP, and throw a set of rookies into an impossible situation. I still support Gettleman, but I hope the putrid display he’s put out on that field shows him that he has officially outsmarted himself.
Jack Presson, Davidson