Waynesville protest march concludes peacefully

A group of almost 100 demonstrators hoping to draw attention to racial injustice marched through Waynesville on the night of June 1, but unlike protests in other parts of the country and the state, this one ended peacefully, with no arrests or injuries to marchers, onlookers or first responders. 

Small-town papers help knit communities together

I’m dedicating my July 4 to the courageous journalists who were murdered last week at the Capital Gazette in Maryland.

Independence Day celebrates our nation’s declaration that it would not abide by the arbitrary decrees from across an ocean by a monarch who feared putting power in the hands of his citizens. With the Declaration of Independence began the formal shaping of this nation and its ideals of freedom that are unlike those in any other country.

Confederate flag flies on lightning rod in Canton

When a policy that would prohibit the display of the Confederate flag in a tiny mountain mill town’s municipal parades was first proposed, it was immediately identified as both a sensitive cultural issue and a thorny Constitutional question that cast the Western North Carolina municipality as a microcosm of the complex national debate over the role of Confederate imagery in society today.

Franklin football banner incites religious debate

At a Friday night football game against Murphy, the Franklin High School cheerleaders took to the field like they do before every game to display a spirit banner for their team’s players to run through.

This must be the place

I’m entering hostile waters here, folks.

So, bear with me as I bring up this ideology I recently heard, which is that feminism and Islam are both “set on destroying the American way of life.” 

Contentious ‘Dangerous Faggot’ tour brings alt-right punditry to WCU

Feminism is cancer. Patriarchy is good for everyone. The wage gap is a myth. Islam is not a religion of peace. Fat shaming works.

Liberty group protests campus speech restrictions; WCU says its policies are reasonable

It was a sunny Constitution Day at Western Carolina University, and the colors shone brightly on the giant beach ball — dubbed the “free speech ball” — that the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty rolled from spot to spot.

Political and racial discussions continue at WCU

fr chalkSidewalk chalk was all anyone was talking about as campus woke up Thursday morning (April 21) at Western Carolina University. The chalk was everywhere, its biggest explosion around the fountain behind the A.K. Hinds University Center, colorful dust spelling out phrases running the gamut from  “Build that wall” and “concealed carry saves” to “Hillary for prison,” and “blue lives matter.”

Going ‘all in’ on free speech takes backbone

op frI watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the ideals of free speech following the massacre at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo by Muslim terrorists. I read about the outpouring of support for the newspaper’s gutsy cartoons that lampooned — in addition to Islamic terrorism — anything and everything.

And then I sought out the cartoons that infuriated so many Muslims so I could see for myself what kind of artwork could engender such emotion. If you haven’t looked, you may or may not want to take the time to do it. These are rough, sometimes vulgar images that are cringe-worthy. Satire has always been one of the cruelest forms of free expression because at its best it insults your sensibilities to get a message across. And these cartoons are insulting.

Sit-in at sheriff’s office prompts Jackson to consider protest policy

If you want to protest, you have to protest by the rules — that’s the message the Jackson County commissioners are poised to send to unruly social dissidents.

For the first time in Jackson County, the commissioners may pass an ordinance limiting the scope of how groups may protest on county property. County officials are using an ordinance from Catawba County for the basis of drafting their own.

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