• 79°

The treatment of Paula Deen by the Food Network, several stores dropping her merchandise and Ballantine books should serve as a wake-up call to Southerners who naively believe that those in the Northeast are ready to accept white Southerners as full American citizens.
It doesn’t matter what deeds any of us do. It doesn’t matter that in the Northeast, ethnic jokes, inter-ethnic strife and white-on-black race riots abounded for more than 100 years. (In 1863, the same year of the Gettysburg Address, a white-on-black race riot killed hundreds of helpless black people).
I do not excuse the N-word or Mrs. Deen’s admitted use of it, but I note the hyperbolic overreaction. I note that while others have far more recently said vitriolic words — a certain Alec Baldwin comes to mind — they are defended and excused, while Mrs. Deen is excoriated.
As individual people, we can do little about that, except to note the punishing merchandisers and do our part to give tit for tat. To use an eloquent British phrase, I will be withdrawing my “custom” from those stores. I implore others to do the same.
— Stephen Owen

Kannapolis

Why can’t our county fly a decent flag, especially now, during this week of the 4th of July, at the fairgrounds? Every day when I go by there, I am saddened by the ragged condition of the flag being flown there. If it can’t be replaced, then why not just remove it?
— Debbie Taylor

Salisbury

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