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Tuesday's letters

Tuesday's letters

  • 6

The media's mess

Two generations ago, Walter Cronkite was the trusted voice of truth to Americans, a reputation earned by decades of honest, forthright reporting. Now an extreme radical, "Stop The Steal" movement is determined to overthrow a national election, but there is no Walter Cronkite to bring sanity to chaos.

Yes, social media are partly responsible, but the real issue is lack of trust in mainstream news media. Ideological extremes on race, gender, religion and radical liberalism generally, have undermined your message and created an opening for alternative news sources (Breitbart, One America News) and now a movement which threatens our very democracy.

Yes, they are dangerous radicals who will not listen to reason, but they are only a symptom of a deeper problem: lack of trust in our basic institutions, and this newspaper and most mainstream media are responsible. For decades you have bent your reporting to your own ideological biases. Many Americans are disgusted and refuse to listen anymore.

Gaze out upon this nation in its agony, which you have wrought. Unless you act quickly and forthrightly, it could be the end of our democratic republic, but I wonder that enough Americans still trust you.

Bob Gaines


Sorry. Not sorry.

Having just read “Updated manual reflects ban” in today’s News & Record (Nov. 14), my anger is palpable, my disappointment all too real.

Once again, the city of Greensboro’s Police Department has not only deceived their own mayor and entire City Council, they have deceived our entire community. Having advocated that we rightly reform these issues myself, I can say immediately, “Thank God for the vigilance of one Greensboro citizen/advocate: Hester Petty.”

Without Ms. Petty’s informed, persistent presence and voice, how long might this travesty continued, violating the very core of public trust. Thankfully, through her work, light was shed upon the reality of the situation.

So now is there a written policy banning the use of RIPP Hobble restraint devices (only). Apparently, this is the police department’s preferred reform strategy: “Sorry. Not sorry."

The headline today also makes it clear why we have no further substantial reforms enacted by the GPD. Only lip service — badly performed at that — has taken place over the more than two years since Marcus Smith died following his encounter with the GPD: hobbled, choking, in desperate mental distress.

Where do we start to reform the GPD (again) now?

Julia Blizin


Heart of democracy

In every county across North Carolina there is a local Board of Elections and a full-time staff that does the work of implementing the decisions made by said board.

In the case of Guilford County, we have approximately 20 people whose job it is to ensure that our votes are all accounted for and tallied properly. To put it simply, these 20 people are the heart of democracy.

And having just spent two full days watching them work, I am left feeling nothing short of inspired. It is one thing to believe and trust that the Board of Elections does its job with thorough fidelity, but it is another thing entirely to witness their work firsthand. Their dedication to and care for every single vote shines through in their commitment to the tedious work of researching and cross-checking every circumstance that needs attending.

They work tirelessly to give us a fair and trustworthy process. And at a time when there is so much in the world that is so challenging, it is comforting beyond measure to know that we have such esteemed individuals working with such diligence to uphold our democracy with such integrity.

Tessa Pendley


Myths exposed

It’s been unclear whether Donald Trump or James Buchanan was the worst president ever, though I’ve favored our Don John. The question’s now settled. Trump’s irresponsibility in downplaying COVID, promoting quack pseudo-experts and snake-oil cures, holding disease-spreading gatherings at the White House and mass rallies nationwide, telling lie after lie about the pandemic’s course and our recent election’s validity, and endangering national security with personnel purges, epitomizes “worst.”

He has two accomplishments, however, the shattering of two myths:

1. That minority citizens vote for Democrats because they’d rather gather government largesse than work. As soon as his helter-skelter economic policies disrupted the relationship between workers and the work that needed doing, employers who could overlook their prejudices found record numbers of minority workers who had always been willing to work when they could get hired.

2. That Euro-Americans as a group are at all superior. By their cheers and votes for Trump’s lies and antics, sing-song, infantile platitudes and rip-roaring cesspool diatribes, they have demonstrated no greater ability to critically appraise basic information, understand math or science, follow the precepts of their Constitution or religion or even act decently, than anyone else — and often enough that they’ve slipped below average.

Christopher Tew


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