Here’s how to support the cops

To the editor:

Are you a supporter of Blue Lives Matter?

If so, why don’t you give our local police a break? Make their jobs and their lives dramatically easier by not counter protesting.

If you really respect them as you claim, simply stay away. To do otherwise would make you something of a hypocrite, no?

Ken Brown

Maggie Valley

Counter-protest is often counter-productive

To the editor:

First, I will not comment on who is right and who is wrong in the recent national debate on Black Lives Matter. That is up to each individual.

I do want to comment on what I have seen in over six decades of observation on counter-protesters confronting protesters in an aggressive matter. It is usually counter-productive and elevates the cause of the protesters.

I recall hearing something about a march in Waynesville several weeks ago but I thought little of it and I do not recall hearing about a similar gathering in Canton. Nor as a resident of Maggie Valley was I aware of the recent protest march in Maggie Valley until days later.

Now everyone who is half paying attention knows about the Maggie Valley protest and the aggressive or at least less than civil behavior of some of the counter-protesters.

So, what is the result? If there had been no counter-protest of the relatively small group that marched, most people, if they were even aware it happened, would not have cared.

Now instead of quickly fading away from our minds we have become much more aware that this is not just some far away national issue but a very local one.

And I understand there is talk of the protesters coming back for a second march. Is that what the counter-protesters wanted to accomplish?

After two earlier peaceful marches in Haywood County were the counter-protesters really afraid that this small group of protesters would resort to violence?

While they certainly have the same right of free speech as the protesters, I am sure the Maggie Valley authorities would have granted the counter-protesters the right to march on some other day. Instead they chose to come out and express their anger, some in a vulgar manner.

Again, I am not trying to suggest who is right or wrong on the Black Lives Matter issue. As has happened before, and not long ago again shown in Charlottesville, aggressive and even violent behavior by counter-protesters actually strengthens the support for the protesters.

If there is a second march in Maggie Valley I wonder if those opposed to it will think about what they are trying to accomplish. Will they again take counter-productive action that causes more people to support the protesters point of view?

John Mills

Maggie Valley

Healthcare champion?

To the editor:

Must be an election year. I just got a mailing from Thom Tillis extolling himself as a champion of healthcare for people like me. Really?

Is this Speaker Thom Tillis who boasted about denying 500,000 low-income North Carolinians expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act?

By the way, many of these low-income folks are the very ones we’re now praising as selfless “heroes” for their work during the COVID crisis.

Failure to support these 500,000 people not only threatens their health, it threatens closure of healthcare clinics in rural NC.

Is this U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis who voted at every opportunity to repeal the ACA? If successful, that action would have eliminated coverage for 20,000,000 Americans currently insured.

Many others with pre-existing conditions (diabetes, heart conditions, etc.) might lose their coverage as they would be cast upon the tender mercies of insurance companies.

The Community Health Center Fund (CHCF), established under ACA, is a major source of support for rural clinics that fight opioid abuse. If ACA disappears, CHCF probably would too. What is Tillis’ master healthcare plan? First, eliminate ACA. Then?

Tillis realizes it’s an election year, of course. After five+ years of hearing nothing from him, he’s now advising me by email on my health and safety, like laying in supplies of 60 percent alcohol.

Thanks for the sudden interest. But that unneeded suggestion on disinfectants can’t wash away your six years of disinterest in the health of North Carolinians.

My memory may not be what it once was. But I remember who Thom Tillis is and what his record has been.

If you want someone who has slavishly supported every ill-conceived action (and inaction) of President Trump, he’s your man. But don’t buy his “champion of health care” bologna. That he ain’t.

Everett Baucom


The president could prevent gun violence

To the editor:

If the president wants to reduce crime in our major cities, why doesn’t he insist on legislation to prevent gun violence? Fighting crime with more guns and heavily armed federal agents leads to even more violence and chaos.

Sarah Hunter

Lake Junaluska

Protest and Constitutional freedoms

To the editor:

I read a well written article by Kyle Perrotti in your Wednesday, July 22, edition describing the protesters and massive counter-protestors in Maggie Valley.

I offer two thoughts for consideration. First, I would like to bring up one point from our Bill of Rights and then two comments from the article.

Initial point.

Giving credit to the demonstrators who promoted their ideas in public peaceably on public sidewalks. This was accomplished under of the 1st Amendment of our Constitution, as was the counter demonstrators who stood against them.

I would also point out two quotes which show ignorance for our Constitutional freedoms.

First: ‘On page A8’ Simmons; ‘One of the leaders of the protesters is quoted as having said that “she was disappointed because she believed the officers allowed hate speech and threats from counter protesters.”’

My reply is: If you want to voice your opinion against others publicly, then you should not be surprised if those who disagree respond to you with their opinions, and that they have the same rights as you when it comes to free speech.

Unfortunately today; we read and hear more against our 1st amendment rights, being promoted in the news, liberal government, radical groups and academia alike. Some even want to change history.

Change history to better fit what the liberal mindset thinks it should have been, not what it actually was. This is akin to book burning and to which I say “Shame!”.

Second: ‘On page A8’ Simmons made the comment that “it was a bit frightening going through the waves of counter-protestors, even with her fellow protesters who agreed to shield people of color should there be any trouble.”

Perhaps I misunderstand the basic premise that all people (black and white) stand equal and black people can and should stand on their own two feet and not depend on some white people to hold them down by pretending to protect them over others regardless their skin color.

Harold Abbott


Is the U.S. becoming an authoritarian government?To the editor:

Are you OK with the path our country is taking? Are we possibly moving toward authoritarian government? Please take a few minutes to reflect on the items below. Which of these points do you think may apply to the United States today?

1. Extreme nationalism — “America first,” disregard for allies;

2. Disdain for human rights — rights can be ignored for perceived need;

3. Scapegoating as a unifying cause — racial, ethnic and religious minorities, immigrants, liberals, socialists, etc.; terms used as pejoratives;

4. Importance of the military — disproportionate funding while domestic agenda is neglected; military service glamorized;

5. Rampant sexism — male-dominated leadership; more rigid traditional gender roles; a national policy of opposition to abortion, LGBTQ people, etc.;

6. Distrust of the media and attempts to bend it to government’s advantage (ex. “Fake news”);

7. Obsession with national security — fear and misinformation used to control and manipulate citizens;

8. Mixing government with religion — religion used to manipulate public opinion, although the religion’s tenets may be diametrically opposed to government policies and actions;

9. Protection of corporate power — industrial and corporate aristocracy keep leaders in power to gain business benefits for the power-elite;

10. Suppression of organized labor — middle and working class suffer;

11. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts — promotion of hostility and reduction of funding to higher education, academia, and arts;

12. Obsession with crime and punishment — focus on “”law and order,” creation of a militarized national police force with unlimited power (ex. Portland);

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption — placing those in office who will support and protect the administration although these frequently lack experience or understanding of the departments they lead;

14. Fraudulent elections — foreign interference, smear campaigns including lies against opponents, voter suppression or intimidation, extreme gerrymandering, reducing the number of voting districts, use of media and judiciary to manipulate or control elections.

How many could you check as possibly happening? These points are drawn from an article by political scientist Lawrence Britt in Spring 2003 which gives 14 characteristics of fascism. I pray we are not headed in this direction as a nation.

Gary Knapp


Broyhill benefit was a success

To the editor:

The fundraiser at Black Bear Cafe to help restock the food bank at Broyhill Children’s Home was a wonderful success.

The show of support for Broyhill was truly amazing. We are thankful for each and every one who volunteered their time to help with the event and each one who came and donated.

We served over 500 meals and had a considerable amount of charitable contributions that in all totaled $7,620.

The most common statement with these generous donations was God has blessed them and now they can in turn help someone else. In a time that seems to be full of division and chaos, it brings so much hope and joy to see our community come together and meet the needs of our neighbors.

That is Haywood County and that is the town we are thankful to be part of and blessed to call home. We would like to challenge all of our neighbors to turn off the TV, get off Facebook and look around. There is a lot of compassion, concern and love around us.

Thank you for your support and coverage of this event. No doubt it took all of us together to make this the success it was. We appreciate you.

Angel Stockton


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