From Me to We

“The story can’t be about the heroism of one person any more, it has to be about the heroism of communities.” — Barry Lopez

Careless book banning is seldom a good idea

Removing the book “Dear Martin” from a 10th-grade English class at Tuscola High School likely didn’t prevent students in that class from having a deep, meaningful discussion about race in America and their own attitudes about this issue. Hopefully the teacher found some other book that inspired students to have this kind of discussion, because it’s one today’s young Americans need.

The nostalgia of football and Snoop Dogg

My mom was a tiny Southern lady who graduated salutatorian of her senior class and never said a cuss word in her life, minus the one time someone cut her off in traffic and I heard her whisper the word for a female dog. But underneath that seemingly demure exterior was a fierce and funny woman, a lady that held multiple degrees, could make some mean fried peach pies and started a successful tour company after she’d retired from 35 years of teaching. 

What lesson does censorship teach our children?

When I learned of the removal of the book “Dear Martin” from an English II class at Tuscola High School, my first thoughts were of my daughter’s English teachers who created opportunities for the students to read texts that made them think. They engaged in discussions about important topics and real-world issues and were asked to critically analyze different perspectives and experiences. My often-reluctant reader was motivated and inspired. High-performing schools allow for intellectual discussion and debate, and I am grateful her Tuscola teachers provided these opportunities.

Birthdays, cardinals and roller skating

My older son turned 13 on Jan. 19, and my younger son turned 10 on Jan. 20. They are both officially in the double digits, which is hard for this mama to believe. Since they were babies, we’ve hosted a dual birthday party, as opposed to separate celebrations for each boy. 

Police need more resources to succeed

Make no mistake, it would be a stretch to say a partnership between Western Carolina University and the town of Sylva’s Police Department  is the model for the future of policing in small-town America.

Truth, not lies, will keep us free

To the Editor: If we really seek the truth, we go to primary sources — those who originate an idea, policy, or program. Mr. Ford’s letter of January 4  relies only on sources proven repeatedly to push lies. Instead, he read the social media posts of his hero Trump and the few loyalists left from his occupation of the White House. He should have watched the testimony of law enforcement officers who wer inside the Capitol on January 6: www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-live-house-investigation-of-jan-6-attack-begins-with-police-testimony

You’ll need to know this word — anocracy

To the Editor: A word most of us are unfamiliar with but will become commonplace in the months and years to come is anocracy — or semi-democracy — a form of government that is loosely defined as part democracy and part dictatorship, or as a regime that mixes democratic with autocratic features.

Clampitt speaks on Oath Keepers

Editor’s note: Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, has been open about his membership in the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers since running for election back in 2012. Last week, Oath Keeper founder Stewart Rhodes was charged with seditious conspiracy related to his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The SMN asked Clampitt to respond to Stewart’s arrest.

Moms, remember … new year, same you

I listened to a podcast recently that blasted January’s public relations company for making everyone feel bad about themselves. Instead of promoting “New Year, New You,” the podcasters honor “New Year, Same You.” Although we’ve entered into 2022, we have the same mind, same body, same soul. 

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