Letters to the editor - Friday (5-17-2013)
NAACP has the right to protest injustice
I would like to respond to Mr. Michael Bitzer, political science professor at Catawba College, who stated the NAACP “risks going too far with its rhetoric,” referring to protesting the legislature and being arrested at the General Assembly (May 12 Associated Press article).
Professor Bitzer, what qualifies you to determine the NAACP’s risks and limitations in pursuing civil rights? Teaching and experiencing social and political injustices are two different things. I am quite sure you wouldn’t accuse Paul Revere, Patrick Henry or the Founding Fathers of this nation, all of whom which engaged in civil disobedience, as going too far. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and many others were arrested several times for civil disobedience; I would certainly hope that you are not teaching your students, particularly African-Americans, that the civil rights movement has a limit in the effort of achieving social justice.
As a college professor you should know that civil disobedience is both protected and constitutional. Does not the NAACP have the right to participate peacefully in civil disobedience? Are we not citizens of this country? Your outrageous and arrogant claim is like charging the victim with the crime. I would hope your students who believe in the fundamental principles of American government challenge your statement as well.
— Scott Teamer
Scott Teamer is president of the Salisbury-Rowan NAACP.
Editor’s note: The phrase cited above is the Associated Press’ characterization of Bitzer’s comments, not a direct quote. Here are the two paragraphs in the article that reference Bitzer’s views on the protests:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has to begin laying the groundwork of highlighting potential overreach from the GOP, but the group risks going too far with its rhetoric, said Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College in Salisbury.
“North Carolina is a center-right state. It’s not a liberal bastion, so on both sides they have to be careful of going too far to one side or the other because that’s just not where the middle of North Carolina is,” he said.
Outrage in Landis
I am a junior at South Rowan High School, and the recent story of the Landis resident, Nadine Cherry, who was forced to leave a public town meeting by Detective Rodger Hosey and Mayor James Furr, was really outrageous to me.
Our forefathers wanted government to be open and interactive with its community in order to prevent corruption. They would not stand for citizens being intimidated by the same government that is sworn to protect and serve their needs. I think most people know that government has its flaws and problems, but for this corruption to be so close to home should be a real wake up call for the people of Rowan County. Citizens must watch and participate in local politics to prevent such actions in the future.
For now, I believe a public apology should be given to Ms. Cherry by both Detective Hosey and Mayor Furr, to protect the integrity of the city of Landis.
— Dakota Sechler