Letters to the Editor

Duke has a race problem? So does everyone else

Race issues go down to our cores

In response to “Duke University has a problem with race” (Jan. 29 Opinion):

Duke University has a race problem? Of course it does. So do all our other institutions and organizations, because race is bred into the very bone of our culture.

In the case of an obviously hostile environment toward international students in Duke’s biostatistics department, let’s be sure to put the responsibility where it lies, which is faculty who complained to Professor Megan Neely about students speaking in their native language. However misplaced Neely’s response to that complaint was, it seems clear that she was in fact attempting to “look out” for the students who must endure racial prejudice inflicted on them by their still-unnamed professors who can indeed derail their careers as students and graduates.

Why haven’t we heard who they are?

Araminta S. Johnston, Charlotte

Racism is just a label these days

Racism is being used as a political label. I realize that racism and xenophobia exist in our country and should be addressed and condemned when recognized. However, I hear too often that someone is “racist” because they agree that some barriers are needed at our southern borders or that foreigners seeking U.S. citizenship should consider assimilation into the culture and fabric of our society.

The term “racism” is now being used by politicians to describe people whose political opinions or affiliations differ from their own. The term “racism” is used today too often as a generalized label that stifles opinions and loses its usefulness to teach tolerance and respect for people’s differences.

Matthew Brown, Fort Mill

Don’t break the law even if hard working

In response to “Undocumented folks I know inspire me” (Jan. 27 Forum):

Kenneth Kyzer
Kenneth Kyzer

I am curious as to what point Forum writer Diana Travis was making. Is she actually saying that violating immigration laws is OK as long as the law breakers are willing to work hard and contribute? Have we truly reached the point where we justify crime by saying the criminals work hard and contribute?

We are either a nation of laws or we are not. It would appear that we aren’t then in this case.

Let me be clear, I favor legal immigration, but I do not favor those who ignore the law – no matter how hard they work or how good their intentions are.

Kenneth Kyzer, Charlotte

It takes more than Trump to get the wall

Critical thinking requires understanding the relevant facts that are too often overlooked in today’s partisan United States.

A number of Forum writers have written recently suggesting that President Trump is not serious about the wall, as he waited until after the Republicans lost the House in the 2018 elections. This partisan attack by the Blue Team mirrors the partisan attack by the Red Team against President Obama and his support for the “DREAMers,” after the 2010 elections. Neither attack is well-founded. By rule, most legislation requires a super-majority of 60 votes in the Senate in order to defeat a filibuster.

Neither Obama nor Trump had the ability to force his desired legislation through the Senate.

Robert F. Salvia, Charlotte

What happened to cause gun ban?

In response to “Some Mecklenburg commissioners want to ban guns in parks. Do they have the power?” (Jan. 28):

Can county commissioners tell us how many firearm incidents there have been to prompt banning them from the parks? An incident will probably be caused by someone who is not permitted to possess a firearm. That endangers those who are permitted whether carrying or not.

Do we not trust our state and its process for licensing firearms any longer? How do you plan to stop those who are ineligible but are carrying anyway?

Robert R. Cuminale, Charlotte

Teach youth a trade with housing project

Jim Van Meerten
Jim Van Meerten

I hope Vi Lyles doesn’t blow this “two birds with one stone” opportunity with the upcoming housing project.

The affordable housing budget will pay to either build or rehab thousands of housing units. That’s a lot of jobs for construction managers, carpenters, electricians, roofers and plumbers. Our local at-risk youth need training and jobs. If we take advantage of the CPCC VoTech capabilities to train our local youth to build these units, we all gain.

We should recruit our local youth, teach them a trade at CPCC and employ them to build these housing units. Keep the money right here in Charlotte while providing skills and jobs at the same time for them.

Jim van Meerten, Charlotte