Letters to the editor - Thursday (4-18-2013)
Warren’s proposal would make state’s highways safer
Regarding Rep. Harry Warren’s proposed immigration bill:
While the Gang of Eight attempt to keep their heads above water on immigration reform, N.C. Rep. Harry Warren has taken proactive measures to make our roads, neighborhoods and communities safer. Representative Warren’s proposed bill is the bridge we need to keep North Carolina safe until Congress gets its act together.
Representative Warren’s bill, the “Reclaim N.C. Act,” requires undocumented immigrants to obtain a restricted driver’s permit, submit to a criminal background check and provide their fingerprints. This bill will give law enforcement the tools they need to make our state safer by better distinguishing authorized and unauthorized drivers, and removing from our roads those operating vehicles without a license, permit or insurance. As North Carolinians, we deserve to know that an oncoming car has a trained driver behind the wheel with the required insurance.
At its core, this bill isn’t about immigration — it’s about public safety. It will help ensure that more people have completed driver’s education, received proper instruction on the rules of the road and are adequately insured under state law.
This bill isn’t about which side of the aisle you stand on. This is about a safer and more accountable North Carolina. Whatever your stance, we can all agree that there are thousands of undocumented immigrants living around us and driving beside us. The Reclaim NC Act will empower law enforcement officers to remove from the road those who have broken our laws.
I thank Representative Warren for his brave and bold stance to make North Carolina safer. It is refreshing to find a politician who believes in taking decisive action to protect the people in our state and community.
— Richard Renegar
Quote deemed offensive
I find the “quote of the week” allegedly made by Rep. Harry Warren socially irresponsible and racially offensive. I am referring to the part of the statement which read, “the guy picking vegetables for us.”
Representative Warren could have not been referring to farmers because the subject was targeting immigrants who committed serious felonies. I would also like Representative Warren to define the word “us” as it relates to this quote. Assuming Representative Warren is of European descent, then he should keep in mind it was the European immigrant who faced ethnic barriers. More than half arriving in the 17th and 18th centuries arrived as indentured servants. I am grateful, as he should be, to those in the farming profession, who feed our children and sustain life.
Racial slurs such as vegetable (tomato) or cotton pickers, although intended to be insults, lack intelligence. It was cotton that fueled the North and South economy. During slavery, cotton was equivalent to the present day oil industry and was traded all over the world. Speaking as an African-American whose ancestors fought and earned the right of legal citizenship, Representative Warren, I am disappointed thath a man who has your educational background, claiming to be a devout Christian, would subscribe to such cheap language.
In closing, all people regardless of race, color, ethnic group, religious or political affiliation have contributed to the success of this great melting pot we call America.
— Scott Teamer
Scott Teamer is president of the Salisbury-Rowan Branch of the NAACP.