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Letters to the Editor
Letters to the editor: April 2017
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 10:33

Gentrification? It isn’t new for city’s black tesidents

Gentrification in Asheville isn’t a new occurrence; this has been a long -time coming for Asheville’s black residents. 

Black residents of Asheville have been talking about this issue since the demise of The Block, where black homeowners and black business-owners were “relocated” so that things like parking lots, sanitation facilities and police stations could be built. 

As of the 2010 United States Census, the median black household income in Asheville is $30,000, compared to the $42,333 that non-blacks make in Asheville. 

What does this mean? 

It means that when the average cost of a home in Asheville is now $235,000, where it was only $125,000 15 years ago, it means that blacks can’t afford to live in Asheville. 

The problems with gentrification span beyond the most obvious, and arguably the most detrimental, to low-income families, in that the city loses its identity. 

When I moved here five years ago, this city was heralded for being a small city where they supported small, locally owned businesses. 

Now, driving around, I see many big-box retailers, as well as more Bojangles than one can count. Asheville is losing that small-town identity to cater to tourism, to provide familiarity to the outsiders when visiting. This gentrification is pricing out the people that have called this place home for many years, and for Asheville’s black residents, they are migrating to other major cities where it’s more affordable to live.

Recently there has been a push to reinvest in the people of Asheville and not just the businesses here. As Mandy Stone said during an interview with the (Asheville) Citizen Times, “We make large economic development investments to bring business into our community and those are smart…It’s equally smart to invest in the talents and skills we have within our community.” 

If this doesn’t happen soon, Asheville’s black residents will be priced out of the community, and Asheville will be just like every other major city. Indistinct.  

JEREMY LETT
Swannanoa

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lett is a senior majoring in political science at Warren Wilson College. He is graduating in May.

 

Trump, wrecking ball team, must be stopped in tracks

The Trump administration is nothing more than a cabal, that is a private group hell-bent on foisting their private views on the people of this nation and assuming we’ll go along with their sinister agenda. 

Nothing could be further from the truth and that seems a word completely foreign to the president and his cabinet made of people chosen by (Donald J.) Trump, who are committed to dismantling the very departments they head! 

President Trump and his wrecking ball team need to be stopped before we are stripped of basic rights, constitutional rights and the right to voice our opinions in opposition to this administration’s dastardly race to oblivion via their own brand of fake news and alternative facts!

HERB STARK
Mooresville


Speech from the past remains applicable today?

Dear Asheville – These famous words may serve to shape our dialogue with the universe, tune it in to our future and lend it to our children. Wise then, wise now. Namaste. WSC. 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible — Jewish, Gentile, black men, white…

“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

“Greed has poisoned men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.  

“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

“Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

“To those who can hear me, I say, ‘Do not despair.’

“The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

“Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder!

“Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate!

“Only the unloved hate;  the unloved and the unnatural.

“Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

“In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written: “the kingdom of God is within man,” not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

“Let us all unite.

“Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill their promise. They never will!”

This, one of the most inspirational speeches in recorded history was given by a comedian by the name of Charlie Chaplin in the movie “The Great Dictator.’

WILLIAM S. CHALK
Asheville

 

Most Americans termed in the dark on Islam’s perils

We presently have an almost uninformed — or misinformed — America.  This includes our government leaders, news people, educators, and the rest of us.

Those who knew about the Muslim 30-year plan to conquer America, through immigration into our country, failed to put that information out to the public, or the media didn’t touch it. 

That plan, such as, “Expanding the Muslim presence by birth rate, immigration, and refusal to assimilate,” is being carried out, as well as other parts of the plan. Not only by Muslims, but by many well-meaning Americans, who haven’t got a clue, they are being used, by them in their quest for “world domination.”  

Being naïve and uninformed is no excuse.  All countries are more than justified to ban Muslims from their country because all are endangered.  America is no exception, but may be the prime target. 

America should declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, not because we want to, but because that’s what they are.

All news organizations, which are failing to inform America, should first read, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan.” The plan has been called, “To Conquer America Through ‘Civilization Jihad.’”   

One can easily see that Islam is not the word from the “ Living God our Creator.” It goes against His Commandments.  

God’s plan of salvation/heaven is by the blood of his precious Son, Jesus.  Theirs’ is by spilling innocent blood of other humans.  Murderers go to Hell in God’s plan.

MANUEL YBARRA JR.
Coalgate, Okla.


 



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