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Opinion Roundup: Reflections on the carnage in Charlottesville

Posted August 15

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised the Justice Department is taking action following the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Va.

Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion, commentary and analysis on the hatred that overtook the streets of Charlottesville, the federal rule that could make life harder for nursing home patients, the looming public comment deadline on N.C. offshore drilling and more.

POLITICS & POLICY
In hate’s wake (Winston-Salem Journal) -- “We no longer have the option to pretend things are OK,” Kenneth Pettigrew, pastor of Shouse Temple CME Church, told about 300 people gathered at a unity vigil in downtown Winston-Salem Sunday.

Facing up to hatred (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) – Tempting though it may be, do not look away from the awful tragedy that unfolded in Charlottesville over the weekend. Do not dismiss it or attempt to minimize its importance.

Responding to pure evil (Jacksonville Daily News) -- We should be careful to accurately define what the white nationalist rally stood for. This is not just a different opinion, a varying perspective, someone with another political point of view. This is evil. This hatred, this desire to dominate and oppress other groups of people, is simply evil.

We all must say no to white supremacy (Fayetteville Observer) -- Nearly 185,000 Americans died fighting Nazism in World War II. One more perished for the same cause in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, when a protest of the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue spiraled into an uncontrolled inferno of white nationalism, replete with swastikas, Nazi salutes and racist and anti-Semitic signs.

Mr. Trump finally unties his tongue (Greensboro News & Record) -- Dear President Trump: Before you play your next round of golf in New Jersey, please think long and hard about the recent ugliness in Charlottesville, and your tepid reaction to it.

Charlottesville pushes Trump to the margins (Charlotte Observer) -- The president gave white nationalists a victory by declining to call them out. Then that win was undercut.

ROGER CHESLEY: Charlottesville's carnage was just a matter of time (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot column) -- President Trump's rhetoric has emboldened white-nationalist groups and so Charlottesville shouldn't come as a surprise.

MYRON B. PITTS: Refusal to talk straight about race leads to strife (Fayetteville Observer column) -- My family and I visited Charlottesville, Virginia, exactly one week prior to Saturday’s deadly white supremacist rally that shook the nation. We were in town to see friends and tour Monticello, the plantation home of Thomas Jefferson, the third president and founder of the University of Virginia, located in town. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that the same town where we had a good time, the very next week would not have been safe for my family and me, with unmasked KKK-men and neo-Nazis walking the streets.

SUSAN LADD: Keeping the vigil against racism, every day (Greensboro News & Record column) -- Candlelight vigils are beautiful and meaningful, but it's what we do every day that counts.

BRIANNA HAMBLIN: I’m a black student at U. Va. What I found when I went back Sunday (Charlotte Observer column) -- I am a student at the University of Virginia, getting ready to start my fourth year. When I looked up to see my city in the news Saturday morning, my heart dropped.

MAGGIE ASTOR: Protesters in Durham Topple a Confederate Monument (New York Times) -- Chanting “No K.K.K., no fascist U.S.A.,” the protesters slung a rope around the Confederate soldier’s neck and pulled. The crowd stepped back, out of the way, and the soldier came crashing to the ground in a heap of crumpled metal. From Charlottesville, Va., to New Orleans, officials have removed or considered removing Confederate monuments, to sometimes-violent backlash. But in Durham, N.C., on Monday night, opponents of the relics took matters into their own hands.

STACY BALLANTYNE MURPHY: Protesters Tear Down Confederate Statue in Durham (New York Times via STORYFUL) -- Days after clashes in Charlottesville, Va., protesters toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier that had stood in front of the old Durham County Courthouse in North Carolina for nearly a century.

LINDELL JOHN KAY: Critics slam Confederate monument (Rocky Mount Telegram analysis) -- Rocky Mount residents and members of the City Council said it's time to topple a Confederate monument on Falls Road in the wake of tragic events in Virginia involving white supremacists clashing with anti-protesters.

JAWEED KALEEM: After violence in Charlottesville, cities rush to take down monuments as white supremacists gear up to fight (Los Angeles Times analysis) -- To the white supremacists who gathered from across the country, the havoc in the Virginia college town and the international attention it earned them marked a win. To the counter-protesters, widespread acknowledgment of the threat posed by racism — evident in television images of Nazi symbols and other blatant bigotry — was proof they had prevailed. It remains unclear what will happen to the racist movement that has been energized by the election of President Trump and was laid out for all to see in Charlottesville. But one thing seems certain: The fighting is not over.

CAMERON MCWHIRTER & JENNIFER LEVITZ: In Fight Over Confederate Symbols, Some Backers Feel New Unease (Wall Street Journal analysis) -- Groups that support Confederate monuments and other symbols fear the violence in Charlottesville, Va., is tainting their movement, amid fresh calls in some cities to remove or relocate the icons.

MAGGIE HABERMAN & GLENN THRUSH: Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster (New York Times analysis) -- Rupert Murdoch has repeatedly urged President Trump to fire him. Anthony Scaramucci thrashed him on television as a white nationalist. Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, refused to even say he could work with him. For months, Mr. Trump has considered ousting Stephen K. Bannon He also has admirers, including Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, who said that without him, “there is a concern among conservatives that Washington, D.C., will influence the president in a way that moves him away from those voters that put him in the White House.”

ABBIE BENNETT: ‘Violent, racist movements’: Dan Bishop likens Black Lives Matter, white supremacists (Charlotte Observer analysis) -- N.C. state senator Dan Bishop compared the Black Lives Matter movement to white supremacists on Twitter on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.

NAOMI PRIOLEAU: Poverty In The Triad: One Woman’s Journey Out Of Generational Poverty (WUNC-FM analysis) -- Some of the deepest poverty in North Carolina is right in the middle of the largest cities like Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, and Raleigh. One single mother in the Triad area is trying to break her family’s cycle of generational poverty.

D.G. MARTIN: End-of-summer reads challenge our history knowledge (Winston-Salem Journal column) -- Two recent books have pushed North Carolinians to deal with unpleasant episodes in our state’s history -- In “The Wilmington Ten: Violence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s,” by Kenneth Janken and “Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory,” by East Carolina University’s Karin Zipf.

HEALTH
ROSE HOBAN: Proposed Federal Rule Could Limit Ability to Sue for Nursing Home Harm (N.C. Health News analysis) -- The rule could to make it harder - or impossible - for nursing home patients and their families to go to court when something bad happens.

BRAD WILSON: Blue Cross NC’s perspective, ‘Surprised and disappointed’ (Asheville Citizen-Times column) -- At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C., we’ve worked with health systems all over the state to bring excellent health care to the people of North Carolina. And, until very recently, we counted Mission Health among our allies in that effort. So we were as surprised and disappointed as anyone that Mission Health executives decided to cancel their contract.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
STEPHANIE CARSON: Tick Tock: Deadline Nears for Public Comment on Offshore Drilling (Public News Service) -- Citizens have two more days to weigh in on restarting the process of offshore drilling on North Carolina's coast.

CATHERINE KOZAK: Plastic Bags Only Part of the Problem (Coastal Review analysis) -- Efforts to repeal the Outer Banks’ longstanding ban on plastic bags may have temporarily stalled, but the plastic pollution problem is bigger than just bags.

EDUCATION
ALEX GRANADOS: Digital education’s opportunities and pitfalls (EdNC analysis) -- Digital education is the hot topic in public education. How can technology change the way we teach children? Today, Host Alex Granados talks with Lance Fusarelli, professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at North Carolina State University’s college of education, about the possibilities and pitfalls of incorporating technology into education.

Barton should adopt Chicago Principles for free expression on campus (Wilson Times) -- The nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is urging schools like Barton to adopt the "Chicago Principles," a commitment to student speech safeguards in place at the private University of Chicago.

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