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Talkback: What readers say online about …

… ‘Klansville, U.S.A.’ PBS special looks at 1960s era

Why bother to acknowledge this? Some things should be allowed to die.

— Kevin Womble

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

— Chris Borre

This won’t die simply because it’s not acknowledged. It’s better to bring things to the surface and address them in a mature and civil manner than to wish them away.

— Libby Curtis

Thank you, Mark Wineka. Painful but important article, excellently written. And our history, ignored or not, never leaves us.

— Kathy Vestal

Fine article! I remember in the ‘60s when the Klan put their city limits “welcome” sign next to the welcoming signs of the Rotary and Kiwanis (a “K” of completely different connotations). Thankfully, the police took it down pretty quickly. …

— Mack Williams

Only the victims of racist violence are in a moral position to determine when the wound(s) have healed. The abuser is never in a moral position to make that moral decision. Is there a timetable for a rape victim to get over her trauma?

— Chris Sifford

I see a trend that could go on repeating itself until the real problems are addressed — economic issues and especially the growing gap between the rich and poor.

When the first industrial revolution hit the South and forced a lot of white landowners into cotton mills, the state encouraged racial tensions as a way of making whites feel less revolutionary about having had their farms and land basically stolen out from under them, forcing many into the cotton mills making menial wages and working in unhealthy conditions.

But at least, they had the assurance from Southern leaders that blacks wouldn’t be able to get those jobs — they’d be kept, for the most part, in the fields picking cotton for little or nothing or sometimes less than nothing — so for whites, then, it could have been worse.

— Susan Wells Vaughan

This was an excellent article with useful information. Rowan County’s history is rife with racism and inequality. Ignoring it so it can be “allowed to die” (as some have postulated here) simply is not a viable option.

— Joel Johnson

While serving as a pastor in Rowan County during this era, I experienced first hand the effects of Klan membership among members of the congregation and in the community. …

A fellow pastor had a cross burned in his yard and I had telephone threats on my life as a result of sermons I delivered. Many Klan supporters were not marginal income persons (as depicted in the film) but merchants and leaders of the community.

— Terry Agner

I was a college junior when I witnessed an actual Klan march in the North Carolina town where my college was located. …

The thing that stood out most and still causes me to wonder to this very day as there were two primary school-age boys: one white, participating in the march with his parents, who were wearing full Klan regalia (similar to what is displayed in the picture); and the other black, whose father brought him to witness the event.

The little black boy reacted with recognition when he saw the little white boy by greeting him and trying to get his attention. I clearly remember the Klan parents (specifically the mother) tell the son to “look straight ahead and not say a word.” …

As the marchers continued, the black boy asked his father why the other little boy wouldn’t acknowledge his presence. The father had no answer. …

I would love to find out what happened to those two young boys (who would be young men now, nearly 30 years later) and the paths their lives took after that fateful encounter.

— Michael McCoy

… ‘Klansville’ sheds light on uneasy era

Did you know that the people founding, promoting, and maintaining the KKK were Democrats?

— Stephen Owen

… Many of yesterday’s Southern Democrats are today’s Republicans. The passage of the voting and civil rights acts and Nixon’s Southern strategy were the straws that broke the back of Southern loyalty to the Democratic Party. Some people just will not get it. Today’s Republican (Party) is not the party of Abraham Lincoln; it’s the party of Andrew Jackson.

— Reginald Brown

Political angle missing from stories on KKK documentary

Certainly, there was racism in U.S. history from all walks of life, more or less. And the parties’ ideologies shift, so there were “conservative” Democrats back in the day, as the ideologies of the parties shift over time. Any good student of history will see this, and any wise person can understand the “times they were in.” Doesn’t make it right, but it’s history. Mistakes were made.

A lot of people who wanted to free the slaves back from before Revolution, and during the Civil War, couldn’t break the political actions of their times, and this goes all the way back the beginning of time.

— Butch Young

As if Abraham Lincoln (or Teddy Roosevelt) would recognize today’s Republican Party. As if Woodrow Wilson (or Strom Thurmond) would recognize today’s Democratic Party.

— Ron Turbyfill

… Boy dies after falling through ice

My thoughts and prayers are with the family. My grandson took this very hard. He played football with (Kymello McLane). As a grandmother told him that God had to come back to get one of his angels, he then looked at me with tears falling down his face and said, “OK, Grandma. I understand.”

— Angela White

Oh, my heart goes out to the family. My daughter says she remembers him, as she is homebound right now… We send our deepest sympathies to all involved. It’s a very sad event, but God took his angel back home.

— Melissa Carter

Praying for this family as they go through this tragic and hard time! I lost my 16-month-old in a drowning accident almost five years ago.

— Corbin Rabon

I’m so sorry. Absolutely heart breaking. My prayers to his family & Overton Elementary students & staff. May he rest in the arm’s of angels now. God bless.

— Anissa Arthur

Nykia, Tony and family, my prayers are with you all during this time of sorrow.

— LaTrice Robb

There are no words! R.I.P.

— Lynette Bost

My heartfelt sympathies for you and your family, Godspeed little man…

— Jan Harwood

… School board making right move on videos

The move towards greater transparency is definitely a positive development. I can’t imagine why the new policy to record all votes made by each board member wouldn’t have been unanimous.

When one serves on a public board, one’s votes should be a matter of public record.

The new policy of video records of meetings will also grant better access to members of the public, who can now view the actions, discussions, and votes from our homes, on our own time. Kudos to the school board —collectively — for making the right decision.

— Jeff Morris



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