Two weeks ago, we ran a letter from Christopher Ross bemoaning the cancellation of the NC Pride parade, which was scheduled for Yom Kippur and thus would exclude the observant Jewish LGBTQ community. “Sadly,” he wrote, “when Pride organizers caved in to the demands of unnamed ‘observant Jews,’ they set a very dangerous precedent.”

Renee Rauch responds: “As a Jewish person who spoke with the Pride committee when it became apparent that Yom Kippur fell on the same date as the Pride parade, I did not and do not know any other Jewish person who did want or insist or ask that the parade be canceled. Many of us voiced our disappointment at not being able to participate, as the Jewish community as a whole is greatly supportive of the LGBTQ community and certainly wished that the dates did not intersect. But after voicing disappointment that many of us would not being able to attend, I and many others in no way wanted or expected the parade to be canceled. On the contrary, many us noted that we would all be back with support and love next year. We were not eager to demand special treatment. I wonder who the writer listened to or spoke to that he/she came to that conclusion. Could this be based on underlying prejudice of the ‘other’?”

In last week’s paper, we ran a story about the Durham County Commission trying to assess the value of the Confederate monument that protesters tore down in August. On Facebook, Ayo Wilson writes, “All the Confederate monuments nationwide aren’t worth an ounce of rat shit. If you support those monuments to bullshit, you’re a white supremacist and you need to stay your hate-filled, racist ass away from me.”

Jimmy Cox adds: “Plenty of deserving soldiers who fought and died for the U.S. should be memorialized with monuments. Not one Confederate who fought against our country. There’s not a lot of Nazi statues in Berlin.”

Alex Bird points to the council’s findings—that the statue, including the still-standing base, was worth about $71,000— and writes: “Didn’t you guys just report a month ago that these statues were mass-produced and cheap. Fake news; $100,000 doesn’t sound cheap to me. Sounds like a couple felonies.”

“In its current state,” writes Heath Satow, “the statue has far greater historical significance now than before it was pulled down. The city may owe the people who pulled it down money.”

Finally, Harold A. Plein offers a helpful suggestion: “Melt it down and recast it into bronze urinals.”

Moving on. We had plenty of reaction to our coverage of local elections last week, especially in Raleigh, which, with the retirement of Mary-Ann Baldwin and the defeat of Bonner Gaylord, voted in a new, neighborhood-friendly city council.

Meredith de la Vergne takes issue with our characterization of the new council as NIMBYs: “Just because one of our two newly elected council members is pro-neighborhood and natural resources, it does not qualify her to be labeled a NIMBY, which is a pejorative term from the eighties relating to the siting of hazardous waste facilities. How great it is to have more neighborhood advocates on the council!”

FONCitizen, meanwhile, has doubts that new at-large member Nicole Stewart will in fact be a neighborhood advocate: “Nicole Stewart was endorsed by Mary-Ann Baldwin, her campaign manager is Nancy McFarlane’s daughter, and she was supported in her campaign by Nancy McFarlane. I will believe Nicole Stewart is a neighborhood advocate when she proves it.

“Mary-Ann and Nancy are both very developer friendly and neither one can claim to be neighborhood advocates. So, I am wary of their preferred candidate. Nicole Stewart has an admirable record on environmental stewardship. I commend her on that record and welcome her in bringing that expertise to the council.”

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