Sunday’s letters: I honor my ancestor … but not the cause he died for

I honor my ancestor … but not the cause

My brother recently sent me a photo of the gravestone of our great-great-grandfather, who died in 1864. He is buried in a Confederate cemetery in Ohio, having died in a Union prison camp. The upright stone marker is simple: “C. Hughes, CO. H 16 VA. REG. C.S.A.”

To see the resting place of an ancestor I have researched to understand my history and the history of my country deeply touches me. I honor his memory, as I am of his bloodline. He is now one of my guides: a man living in challenging times, making difficult decisions.

I do not honor the cause for which he fought, and I am eternally grateful the Union prevailed. Some say the Civil War was about “states’ rights.” The grain of truth in that statement is that “states’ rights” meant the right to own other human beings. There is no way to describe enslavement as humane, just, Christian, ethical or right. On some level every American knows this.

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We have yet to evolve into the democracy of equality that our founders dreamed of and described in powerful, world-changing words. Like them, we remain shackled and blinded by our fear of facing our history, learning from it, healing our many wounds and moving forward.

Our own challenging times offer an opportunity to fully explore and know our nation’s complex history, acknowledging its painful failures along with its monumental achievements. We need Lincoln’s “better angels of our nature” now more than ever. Each of us has that better angel within.

Doreen L. Hughes


Political theater

Today was a sad day for the American justice system, and as someone who spent his life serving in law enforcement, it makes me sad.

I have never been a fan of the “perp walk” where the suspect is paraded out as a spectacle for the media. This is exactly what was done in Fulton County, Ga., by a liberal district attorney and liberal sheriff. Making former President Trump take a motorcade to the jail, which cost manpower, inconvenience to the public and untold thousands of dollars, was all for political theater.

The same thing could have been accomplished by having a judicial official, a deputy to serve the indictment and a deputy to take his prints and photo meet him at the airport. The 15 minutes the event took would have cost less than a hundred dollars. It could have been done in the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport police station, or even a hangar, without the political theater.

I will not get into the question of whether Trump is guilty of any of the charges, I have my opinion, you have yours, and legal scholars have come down on both sides on the validity of the charges against him. My point is that the subversion of the criminal justice system on the federal and local levels for political games is lessening respect for our criminal justice system. Too much of that is going on and, as a nation, we are the weaker for it.


That mug shot

The mug shot of Donald Trump made me recoil. Still does.

The photo is also amusing: It reminds me of an actor mugging for a promo shot for a 1940s gangster movie.

I do believe that Trump sees himself as a don (Mafia-styled), and this should make us all recoil, including Republicans. God save the USA from him.

Robert Gerhart


It won’t work

The logic of gubbermint never ceases to amaze me. Good luck on getting your leaves in that yard waste bin — maybe if you have one small deciduous bush.

No real tree will comply with that small container. Nor will 15 of those expensive paper bags be enough.

Oh, yeah, I bet the wind won’t comply, either, by blowing extra neighbors’ leaves into an already crowded situation.

Tom Ozment

Leave it alone!

Regarding your Sunday column, “Hallelujah and amen: My last loose-leaf collection column!” (Aug. 20):

I often agree with you, Allen Johnson … but not this time!

I surmise you don’t live in a yard with many trees. I, along with many other residents, live on a street with numerous trees. Come fall, if not raked, they would easily measure 12 inches deep across my entire yard. Having faithfully paid ever-increasing taxes for more than 30 years, being able to rake them to the curb has truly been a lifesaver — one of the reasons I gladly pay those taxes.

There are too many items to mention, but …

  • Elderly people won’t be able to handle a larger leaf can.
  • Can you imagine how long it will take to bag those additional leaves? Or how much more a yard service is going to charge for that?
  • Would you like for us to name programs that waste more money than what is currently spent on leaves?
  • And will this reduce our taxes?

How many residents do you think would disagree that the new plan actually makes the service better, as you claim? I bet most would agree that this causing you to write fewer columns is not worth giving up this valuable service to so many residents.

Please, readers, if you agree, call the mayor’s office at 336-373-2396 and let them know we need to cancel another wasteful project, not this one


A better way

Thank you, Greensboro city staff and City Council, for the recent change to our leaf pick-up program. I can’t wait to get my new yard waste toter. It will allow me to wheel yard waste to the curb every week without dragging three to four different cans.

I also think that it will allow me to keep up with my leaves weekly by blowing leaves onto my grass where I can mow and mulch them and then by placing the excess in the toter.

While I may have to mow more than once a week during the heaviest periods, it will be wonderful not to have them sitting in front of my house for months at a time.

By the way, I have a large yard with multiple mature trees and qualify for the senior discount at Harris-Teeter and I still welcome the plan.

Ronnie Grabon


Who’s the extremist?

In response to the letter “Hardister’s wrong” (Aug. 15):

The author calls Michael Logan a “bigoted political extremist.” And she says the Board of Education does not need a “bigot” on it.

But the school board already has a “bigoted political extremist” on it — and her name is Deena Hayes-Greene. Sadly, she is the chairperson of the board, but also is co-founder and managing director of the extremist Racial Equity Institute.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, “bigot” is defined as “A person who won’t listen to anyone whose ideas or beliefs are different from her own. A bigot is someone who doesn’t tolerate people of different races.”

On the REI website, Ms. Hayes-Greene states that “Deep racial inequity exists in the U.S. – but many Americans don’t want to believe it.”

The website states that “Racism is fundamentally structural in nature” and uses the analogy that this structural racism is like “groundwater” in society.

The website further says that the workshops “pay specific attention to identifying and questioning the utility of white organizational culture. …” The REI website says that racism has been “a fierce, ever-present, challenging force … since the beginning of U.S. history.”

Ms. Hayes-Greene is a “political extremist” who is bigoted toward anyone who doesn’t agree with her.

I have attended one of the all-day workshops, and all I heard throughout the day was hate toward white people. There was no opportunity for discussion or a difference of opinion. The lectures preached to the attendees, telling us white people how bad we are. Ms. Hayes-Greene and her REI workshops are the epitome of bigoted political extremism, and she should not be allowed to serve on the school board.

Wayne Ford


She’s here to help

I have been very disappointed to see the negative letters about Maria Adams (volunteer leader of Moms for Liberty in Guilford County).

She is a friend of mine. She runs a successful business, and she is a great mom and a strong community volunteer. What is the point of attacking her?

Don’t those who are so critical realize that our Guilford County school system has unacceptable results? Fewer than half of our kids pass the competency tests in math and reading. Maria wants to improve the system and results.

Can’t we agree that parents need to be involved in our school system? I wonder what the folks who write the critical letters are doing to improve our schools.

Gene Parker


The writer served as Guilford County sheriff for 24 years.


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