Add to history, not subtract
Regarding Lisa Sorg's call "to dismantle" the area's Confederate soldier monuments and memorials ("these homages to human bondage"), why not instead add markers that place them in historical context, explaining, for example, the Lost Cause-promoting mission of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an organization that often raised funds to build them? ("A confederacy of dunces," June 24.)
This action would change these slabs of stone from objects praising the Confederacy, which was of course deeply invested in preserving (and expanding) the institution of slavery, to interpretative markers that can help us better understand a painful, racist—but important—history whose legacy persists in the socioeconomic inequalities and pervasive bigotry that plague the ancestors of the people those Confederate soldiers ultimately fought to keep enslaved. If our goal is social change, it is far more useful to confront and try to comprehend these reminders of the troubling Southern past than to obliterate them.
Zachary Lechner, Durham
While reading about Republican leaders in the N.C. Senate plotting to redistribute tax revenues from higher-income counties to lower-income counties, I was stunned to see Sens. Brown and Berger unwittingly expose a core fallacy behind the most fundamental of conservative dogma ... Voodoo ... er, Reaganomics ("The war on cities," June 24).
Brown and Berger propose the revenue redistribution plan because the current "distribution policy," wherein local counties keep their local tax revenues, "is creating major obstacles to job creation in rural areas." Through their wealth redistribution plan they seek "to allow all of North Carolina to share in economic prosperity-by giving rural counties a fair shake."
It is only logical to conclude, then, that government spending can create jobs and economic prosperity. And that government does have a role in balancing income distribution. What would Reagan think of this heretical stance? What would Joe the Plumber think? Where is the tea party with their torches and pitchforks?
Senators, I have no idea how you happened to stumble into reality, however briefly, but while you are here I hope you will check out some other reality-based stuff, like climate science, geology, evolution or even just the scientific method. Then report back to your comrades in the General Assembly.
Mark Sullivan, Durham