I took my 93-year-old mom on a drive recently through the backroads of Kings Mountain and Boiling Springs, N.C. Churches, farmland, cows, horses and RV rental parks span both sides of the two-lane state roads that traverse hillsides near the border of North and South Carolina.
During the drive, I counted at least three Confederate flags and 12 Trump-Pence flags placed in yards or on the back of pickup trucks on the outskirts of Boiling Springs, Shelby and Gaffney.
The election was more than three months ago and those election signs, showing wear and tear from wind, rain and the cold, remain. They stand like the cross, as if these Trump supporters anticipate a resurrection of sorts. "He's coming back," the flags and their owners seem to cry out. Has Trump reached Jesus-like status among supporters?
It is dangerous and sad that many of them — victimized by confirmation bias from four years of lies magnified and kept alive by right-wing traditional and social media outlets, and gutless politicians afraid to refute the lies — have not let him go.
Like shots to protect against COVID-19, his base could use massive doses of a misinformation vaccine, and rehab.
The writer is an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at N.C. A&T.
The news article about Guilford College’s new interim president (Feb. 25) emphasized instability, but members of the Guilford community are overjoyed with the board’s decision to replace Carol Moore with Jim Hood.
An appropriate headline would be “Guilford College getting back on track.” After months (and years) of painful losses and a massive derailment last year, we are celebrating. The board has listened to its constituents and pivoted.
Our challenges remain great, and our hurts are deep. Our staff has been decimated. We need more democratic governance and a mission-focused course correction. But with a new president who is intelligent, steeped in Quaker values, full of integrity and beloved, our future now looks much brighter.
On Feb. 24 hundreds of Guilford students, faculty, staff, alumni and board members participated in a “Day of Testimonies.”
We listened to one another as we shared what we love about Guilford, the challenges we’re facing, and our vision of the college’s future. It was a moving and powerful enactment of community. Our community is imaginative and dedicated. We need more money (please donate at www.guilford.edu if you can!), but otherwise we have the resources we need to thrive well into the future.
The writer is a professor of sociology and anthropology at Guilford College.
The social dilemma
Facebook and Google are not benign tools providing helpful ways to enrich our lives. They’ve become powerful wealthy businesses by creating a zero-sum battlefield where for one side to win the other must lose.
However, they always win by monetizing our differences, pushing “helpful” information supporting clicks, adding reinforcing messages with specific views, keeping you online adding to their databases. Unfortunately, truth has become an opinion, based on how and where you get information.
Concerned? I suggest watching “the Social Dilemma,” a documentary released late last year on Netflix. This movie’s a master class into how they manipulate algorithms to maximum revenue, told by people who built these models creating our addiction and giving power to the loudest voices often with a minority or fringe following.
The movie exposes how this isolates us from many people we once valued but can no longer speak with. They won’t stop; it’s how they make money. But we can reduce their unwanted influence by better understanding their methods and modifying our choices.
Wouldn’t it be great to once again have truth based unbiased, non-conspiracy theory laced conversations with neighbors, friends and those you love?
A good plan
I support President Biden's American Rescue Plan. I believe it will contribute toward rebuilding our economy and help many Americans who are suffering and continue to suffer terribly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need to do whatever it takes and spend as much as is required to crush the pandemic; the American Rescue Plan provides resources to help suffering Americans get by while the economy is being rebuilt and restored. The plan provides funds to ensure that adequate resources are available to vaccinate the public. It also addresses the persistent inequities and inequalities that have become more pronounced during the pandemic.
I encourage Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and Rep. Kathy Manning to support the president's plan. We need not stand by and do nothing or do too little.