Black people can’t live if they can’t breathe

Since I retired from AT&T three years ago, thanks to my union-negotiated retirement benefits, I’ve been able to remain active in my community. I take my volunteer service seriously because I love my community.

And right now, my community is in pain.

The pandemic has killed more than 1,200 people in North Carolina. Most of them were retirees like me.

How can I pretend it’s over when people are still dying? Unemployment is killing the futures of more than 600,000 people who have lost their jobs since the pandemic began.

This is especially true for Black women because of the long-existing pay and wealth inequality. How can they hope to retire tomorrow when they can’t afford to make ends meet today?

And the ugliness of racism, policy brutality and racial injustice keeps killing Black people. How can we live if we can’t breathe?

Our officials still have a job to do to address the triple threats of this pandemic, unemployment and structural racism. We need action from lawmakers to keep people employed now, protect the retirement benefits we’ve earned over a lifetime of work, and to value Black lives.

That’s what the HEROES Act does, and we need Sen. Tillis to support it.

Jocelyn Bryant

Greensboro

Local leaders should listen to all citizens

On June 26, the News & Record ran a story headlined “Police concerns focus of meeting.”

The reporter stated that “Mayor Vaughan … and the rest of City Council are listening to the demands of the Greensboro Rising protesters. ...”

But why isn’t Mayor Vaughan listening to anyone else?

Why isn’t she listening to small-business owners whose stores were looted on May 30 and 31? Why isn’t Mayor Vaughan listening to 911 calls from business owners whose pleas for help were never answered?

Why isn’t Mayor Vaughan listening to law-abiding citizens who were peacefully shopping at Friendly Shopping Center on Friday, only to be bullied and disrupted by protesters — who didn’t have a legal parade permit?

Why are the protesters allowed to disrupt dozens of businesses without a legal protest permit?

Why are these protesters allowed to block I-40, a major thoroughfare through Greensboro?

Why isn’t Mayor Vaughan listening to taxpayers who were trying to shop on Wendover Avenue on June 7?

Why doesn’t she listen to law-abiding voters who do the right thing, pay their taxes, and expect to be free to live their lives — without illegal disruptions?

Why doesn’t she listen to the rest of us?

Wayne Ford

Greensboro

The term ‘Karen’ has become a racial slur

“Karen” is a deprecating term used to label a demanding white woman who displays a sense of overbearing entitlement in various societal confrontations.

If your mother, sister, wife or daughter had this name how do you feel having it denigrated to a racial slur?

Labels are the social cancer of our country.

Michael Lopez

Summerfield

Sheriff shirks duties and oversteps bounds

Alamance County Sheriff Terry S. Johnson has stated he won’t enforce the new executive order for face masks.

He also refused to enforce the orders to reduce crowds at Ace Speedway to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since when did Sheriff Johnson become the sole arbiter of what laws will be enforced?

The mission statement of the Sheriff’s Office is “To serve, protect, and defend the citizens of Alamance County against all unlawful activities that may arise to be.”

Not to be a judge, jury, governor or legislature.

Kevin Reilly

Burlington

Former Aggie trainer made a difference

Jim Melvin, a personal hero of mine, frequently writes to honor important people in our city as they pass from this world. I am writing to recognize one of the few people he may not have known.

Tom Bynum recently left us.

“B” was a U.S. Army veteran who worked at Cone Hospital for a while, but most importantly, he was an Aggie. He played basketball at A&T and eventually returned to the school as head trainer, a position he held for decades.

We worked together in the 1990s when I first started help take care of the Aggie athletes. No one did more with less. He did amazing things with Ace wraps and tape.

He taught me inexpensive, old-school remedies that often worked. He always had his athletes’ best interests at heart and was a father figure for many through the years. I remember one football player I diagnosed with an arthritic knee. I told B he should never play again.

He and Coach Bill Hayes convinced me not to disqualify him and we’d simply keep him “on the bench, off the streets.”

That student graduated. Now my good friend Mr. B has, too.

Peter Dalldorf

Greensboro

Nice to see Jeri Rowe in the News & Record

When Jeri Rowe left the News & Record several years ago, I was so disappointed. Every once in a while he does a few special articles. His recent stories on Guilford County graduates have been so inspiring.

I especially loved the stories on Elizabeth, Shianne and Jose. Thank you, Jeri, for capturing these amazing young people and sharing their stories with us.

Julia Saguier

Greensboro

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