Re: Crime and justice
I'm sorry the home of Steve Lorenz was invaded (First Person, Nov. 23) and his children were endangered and traumatized. But I abhor the sort of bleeding heart liberalism that eschews punishing the perpetrators—African-American or otherwise—because their prospects "in a city filled with racial injustice are not very good."
Less than ideal economic conditions don't have to lead people to commit crimes. I'm well aware that we are becoming a nation of haves and have-nots. My Mom used to say, "A man who won't work will steal." In our day, we might say, "A man who can't find a job will steal." Even so, being unable to find work is no license to steal.
While driving my African-American sons to school each day, I pass a day-laborer outpost where men wait in the early morning light for the chance at a day's work for a day's pay. They are among the struggling souls out there who are doing what they can to make ends meet honestly; they are not invading homes.
Robbers should be punished—despite their sad childhoods, poor diets, lack of nurture or economic advantages, etc. Locking people up may not be the solution, but the criminal justice system is all we have to work with. Promoting lawlessness through failure to prosecute crime is not an option.
If Lorenz and his children could talk to the home invaders, they'd probably have a sad story. Life is hard, and it's not fair. But that does not absolve us of personal responsibility for our actions.
Lisa Bellamy Foster
Re: Envy and avarice
Envy and avarice are always ugly, but the day before our national Thanksgiving holiday ("Why inequality matters," Nov. 23)—what up wid dat, Jonathan Weiler? Equal opportunity, not equal results, for all is why our country has been and continues to be the greatest the world has ever seen. Jonathan is ignorant of what he calls the "right," and his explanations of conservative viewpoints are totally inaccurate. On Thanksgiving even the poorest in our country should be on their knees thanking God for all their many, many blessings and then vow to do something with those talents for themselves and someone else in the next year; all problems solved. Government can't solve anything.
P.S. Fact: Eighty percent of millionaires are first generation (lots of upward mobility), but it is the hate, and trying to justify it, that is the root cause of the problem.
Re: Inspiring and depressing
In response to Hal Crowther's article "Otherwise occupied: What price revolution?" (Nov. 30): Well-told. Powerful. Profound. Insightful. Inspiring. And depressing.
Kudos to Crowther and to the idealistic occupiers who are fighting the good fight, the fight between democracy and plutocracy, between capitalism and our climate, between more and more economic inequality and polarization vs. our hanging together as one nation, one people. The fight for America's soul.
I suggest that supporters visit Occupy websites (e.g., www.occupyraleigh.org) to see the various ways they can help (money, supplies, presence).
Re: Humane and hopeful
Just wanted to say thanks to Eva Hayward/ the Indy for writing/ publishing such a reasonable, humane and hopeful piece ("So deep is the night," Oct. 5). It's an example of why I really love living in Durhamtown and working in Carrboro.
For the last five years I've never been unimpressed by an issue of the Indy—lots of good writing, lots of local insight. So thank you. Hope you keep up the great work you've been doing.