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August 3, 2021

Letter: Passions are too high to make good decisions now

Bin Laden could not have imagined the destruction he unleashed. The death of 3,000, destruction of landmarks, 16 years of war, trillions of dollars of debt, thousands of lives physically and emotionally destroyed was just the beginning. 9/11 changed our national psyche. We live with constant existential angst.

Humanity has dealt with this before. Europe accused Jews of poisoning wells during the Black Death in 1348. It is easier to cope with anxiety if you can identify a source. If the tiger bares its teeth, you know why you are afraid.

We’ve chosen to blame each other, fashioned a circular firing squad. As Pogo said: “We’ve found the enemy and he is us!”

Our country has been polarized from the time of the founding fathers. While the debates were heated, there was mutual respect. Now those that disagree with our point of view are seen as evil. The passion is malignant. Our response to existential angst is violence and hate.

The Obama and Trump administrations are easy targets. I feel less anxious if I’m passionately left or passionately right or a member of a hate group.

I’ve never made a good decision during the height of passion. Our country is passionately polarized, not only nationally, but locally here in Salisbury-Rowan.

Now is not the time to make a permanent decision about our statue, Fame. Let other cities tear down their monuments and shroud their memorials, let us wait until passions cool and calm reason is the order of the day.

I propose a moratorium on any decision regarding Fame for several years, trusting that in time we can have discussions we can all applaud and be proud to support.

We have so much to do here. We might focus on the quality of our schools and relationships with our neighbors.

— Dennis Hill

Salisbury

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