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Letters 

The Racial Divide
Regarding "Oil and Water" by Tara Servatius (Oct. 20), Ms. Servatius just scratches the surface of the real problem here: white privilege. I was recently laid off from Microsoft after being a top performer. Why? They say they need to decrease the head count because call volume isn't high enough. If that's true then why wouldn't you want to retain your best performers? Most of the others let go were also black. This is racism in its purest form. It could only get more pure by hanging one of us. The poorer performing whites were retained along with the whites that performed well. There is no escaping one's melanin in this land. It runs down to the bone. There is no escaping the ability of white men to send minorities to the streets and subsequently to jail. Forget the divide, there is no democracy in the country and there never will be. Black people need to realize this if they want what's best for themselves and their children and their children's children. We have been taking leftovers from the Democrats for centuries. It's time for black people to have our own outside of the malevolent influence of white privilege. There is no other choice except a slow painful death.

-- George Thompson, Charlotte

Given Away, Not Stolen
You cannot call the elections stolen because the citizens of Mecklenburg stood by and allowed it to happen ("Stolen!," by Tara Servatius, Oct. 20).

The Libertarian Party for 33 years has been fighting to get the election apparatus out of the monopolistic control of the two major parties.

Time and space limits listing most of the unfair and un-Constitutional powers the two parties have, but a few are: Tax dollars pay for private political parties to hold their primaries. Millions of tax dollars are given them for their primary candidates; then millions more for their national conventions; then millions more for their general election candidates. Third parties face almost insurmountable obstructions to gaining ballot status -- in some states it is almost impossible and in most, the process has to be repeated every four years. These and more need to be resolved. It should be as easy to run for office as it is to vote. But even with all of these unfair obstacles, the object of Servatius' diatribe should have been citizen lethargy, not politicians ... that's their nature.

--Charles Blackwell, York, SC

Not Poor and In the Army
Do you think the US should have an army? If not, do you think it is the Atlantic and Pacific which keep our country safe from other countries' armies? If you agree we should have an army and if you are physically able, have you let someone serve in your place?

Aletha Hart's article, "Fighting on All Fronts" (Oct. 6), stated that our society uses a "poverty draft" to obtain its recruits. She claims only the poor enlist. I disagree.

I grew up in Statesville and graduated from the University of North Carolina in June 1967. In September 1967, I enlisted in the Army. Yes, there was a draft, but I felt that it was my duty as a physically fit 22-year-old American man to go into the military. I served with the 2nd Infantry Division for 16 months along the Korean DMZ. Six members of my platoon were shot and two died in the DMZ in the summer of 1968. Our wounded were treated by Charlotte orthopedist Jim Pressly, a Davidson and Duke graduate who was in the army.

I never knew whether Michael, Earl, Cleveland, Reese, Um and the South Korean whose name I can't recall, were rich, poor, drafted or enlisted. I do know it could have been me as easily as it was them. We served in your and my army, protecting your and my country. I didn't enlist because I was poor. I enlisted in the army because it was my turn to protect you. It was an honor to have served.

-- David Benbow, Statesville

Libertarian Vote Not Thrown Away
While I am sure Sam Boykin's purpose was to be entertaining with his recent article, "Beyond Bush, Kerry & Nader" (Oct. 13), I would like to mention that there is one other reasonable alternative to tweedle dum and tweedle dee. Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate for president, will be on the ballot across the country. I would like to remind voters that the State of North Carolina will throw their vote away if you vote for any of the "alternative" candidates Boykin mentions. Regardless of the hoops we jump, Libertarians have in the past had enough support to earn a vote from the electoral college, and we are more than 11,000 voters strong in North Carolina. Libertarians aren't always recognized by the media like Nader is, but we have consistently offered a voice for individual rights and small government.

-- Jennifer Schulz Medlock, Charlotte

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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