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Letters to the Editor

Praise for the Sun Editor, The Sun: It’s only natural that corruption and poor oversight of public funds increase when no one is looking. And that goes double when communities start to suffer from the influence of partisan politics in economically and socially unstable times. I found these sobering statistics on the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s website: “There are hundreds — if not thousands — of communities at risk of becoming isolated news deserts. There are almost 200 of the 3,143 counties in the United States without any paper. An additional 1,449 counties, ranging in size from several hundred residents to more than a million, have only one newspaper, usually a weekly. More than 2,000 have no daily paper.” Here is a quote from Penny Abernathy, the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina. “We lose transparency at the very local level when we don›t have someone showing up to cover routine government meetings. And there›s been recent research that shows when you lose on newspaper, citizens in a town tend to end up paying more in taxes because there›s just no one reporting on the local bond issue. The second thing we›re losing is the watchdog function, which expose corruption of both government and business executives and officials.” Our wonderful little town has a much better chance of thriving because we have someone who is willing to sit through tedious city council and school board meetings so there is transparency in how things are done in our city. In last week’s edition of The Woodford Sun, there were stories about how our police are equipped to protect us and themselves, local COVID-19 information, important voting information, detailed reporting on how the school board is planning to handle large amounts of money, not to mention news about people who live and work right next to us. All of this, if you’re a subscriber, at less than 50 cents a copy. Miriam Tucker Woodford County When are riots justified? Editor, The Sun: I’m choosing to believe that Joe Graviss, in his recent letter on the current unrest in the country, was not trying to justify violence and mayhem in the pursuit of justice. But one could certainly be forgiven for drawing the opposite conclusion. By saying Martin Luther King Jr. was “right then and he’s right now” when he said, in 1967, “...a riot is the language of the unheard...”, one could easily be led to think that what has happened in Minneapolis and Seattle and other places should be praised as acceptable reactions to the many instances of police brutality with which we’re all familiar. And if that is his intent, then I wonder if he would show as much understanding if other “unheard” sectors of the country employed the same tactics: pro-life marchers targeting and destroying abortion clinics; 2nd Amendment advocates invading and ransacking the offices of those who push gun control legislation; or those who decry the moral degradation of our popular culture setting fire to libraries where “drag queens” hold reading circles for elementary-age children. Whether or not those causes are on par with police brutality isn’t the issue; it’s whether those who are angry and believe themselves to be “unheard” in those causes would be justified in expressing their frustrations through violence. And I would certainly hope we can agree the answer is a resounding No. The right to peaceful assembly and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” is protected by the 1st Amendment. But when that right devolves into violence and property damage, it is never acceptable unless the goal is all-out war, at which point we have an entirely different set of principles in play. And if the present lawlessness is allowed to continue unchecked and is instead called “the summer of love,” as Seattle’s clueless mayor recently did, I’m afraid that’s exactly where we are headed. Jack Webb Woodford County

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