Recently someone posted a Confederate monument sign at the roundabout at the end of East Fire Tower Road (where it intersects with Portertown Road). The purpose of the sign was to encourage Pitt County Commissioners – who violated Chapter 100 of the North Carolina Law, “Monuments, Memorials and Parks” – to return the Confederate monument they removed from the land. from the Pitt County Courthouse in June 2020.
However, the sign is not the subject of this letter. The purpose of this letter is a celebration of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The last time I traveled to this area, the initial sign of the Confederate monument was joined by a sign of protest. The two panels displayed opposing views but they were both still in place. Both opinions have been posted. Neither party disturbed the other’s sign.
These signs were an encouragement to the principle of free speech, spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Although the First Amendment talks about the actions of our Congress, there is a provision that prohibits “restricting freedom of speech”. (See above)
Our example sign emphasizes the spirit of this First Amendment provision. How much better would America be if a return to civil discourse was allowed by the public? No screaming, no swearing, no violence; just reasonable people sharing their points of view with a respectful civility at the base. Unfortunately, in today’s world, the complete lack of civility ensures that no one wins.
Too critical of racial theory
According to Wikipedia, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a body of legal scholarship and academic movement of American civil rights scholars and activists who seek to critically examine the intersection of race and American law and to challenge dominant US liberal approaches to racial justice. Further, CRT argues that the laws and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist. Unfortunately, too many Donald Trump supporters have organized themselves to disrupt school board meetings and threaten board members and superintendents. Such intimidation prompted some CRT supporters to resign out of fear.
The CRT debate recently left a pernicious impression on the proceedings at a meeting of the Pitt County Board of Education. Board member James Tripp was right when he said, “I think we’re moving forward if we’re looking for a resolution for something we haven’t even had a problem with. I think our teachers are more professional than what I hear we give them. The remarks were in response to board members Worth Forbes and Benjie Forrest supporting a resolution to stop referrals from CRT schools in their tracks. Why would Forbes and Forrest take such an approach?
At the aforementioned meeting, Forbes reportedly said, “I don’t think our kids need to hear this. I know I don’t want my grandchildren to learn this and I’m sure there are a lot of parents out there who don’t want their kids to come home with a project that tries to downplay their race or promote a other race. … ”This is the same Worth Forbes who earned an MA in Theological Studies at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell Sr. in 1971. Falwell, in the 1950s and 1960s, campaigned against Martin Luther King Jr. and racial desegregation of school systems.
I believe that educational experiences often influence the thinking of those who are exposed to various academic environments.