The time for ‘good trouble, necessary trouble’ has arrived


To the Editor:

On Saturday, July 17, the Jackson County NAACP and our Sylva Indivisible group (IndivisibleCommonGroundWNC) organized a “Good Trouble” Candlelight Vigil in Sylva to celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Rep. John Lewis on the one-year anniversary of his death. We were one of 150 vigils happening all over the country and in 42 states. The vigil honored the legacy of Rep. Lewis and called for the continuation of his life’s work, by passing the For the People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and D.C. Statehood.

America is at a crossroads. Six months have passed since the failed attack on our nation and our democracy on Jan. 6. Since that day, anti-voter laws have been passed in states all over the country and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to weaken the remaining parts of the voting rights act make the fight to protect voting rights “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War,” according to President Biden.

We are confronting a historic set of challenges – an out-of-control pandemic, devastating job loss and economic displacement, sky high health costs, and more.

To confront these challenges, we must have a fully functioning democracy – one where all voices can be heard, where the public interest – not special interests – guide decision-making, and where the people can put faith in their leaders to do the right thing for the country.

The House of Representatives recently passed the For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1), a sweeping democracy reform package that will expand and protect voting rights for all, end partisan and racial gerrymandering, get dark money out of politics and restore transparency and accountability in our government.

The Senate must take immediate action to pass the bill before it can arrive on President Biden’s desk. I would like to encourage Sens. Burr and Tillis to do whatever it takes to swiftly get the For the People Act passed in the Senate and signed into law. It’s time for the Senate and President Biden to enact these bold and common sense reforms to heal our country and build a more just, fair and inclusive democratic society.

This is how we move forward together, assured that our elected leaders govern in our name and deliver what the people need, from pandemic relief to racial justice and climate action. Together, we can transform our democracy into one that represents, reflects and responds to all Americans.

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time on a Saturday evening to attend our candlelight vigil. As Rep. Lewis said, “Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting into what I call “good trouble, necessary trouble.”

Nilofer Couture, Cullowhee


Let’s combat evil with good


To the Editor:

What is really important to each and every one of us?

It has become apparent to me that we have been able to manufacture a vehicle that can take us to outer space, but we have not been able to learn how to stop being violent and to stop killing each other on this earth. It seems to me that it would be a priority for us to care enough about each other to prevent cruelty in the way we treat each other.

Maybe we need to be wiser in terms of how we invest our money for the sake of living a more rational, caring and humanistic life. It is amazing that we can use this intelligence to create a super rocket, but we cannot stop living crazy lives in the way we treat each other. If you desire to have a real challenge in life, learn how to communicate with your neighbor without having to resort to violence.

The first requirement is that we need to have a healthy conscience. The second is that we need to be able to know how to love. It does not require money to learn how to love each other. People can disagree with each other without having to resort to violence. Killing someone has nothing to do with being courageous. Being violent with someone is also not a sign of being courageous. Hopefully, we learn to communicate without violence in a healthy home. It simply means that we need to care enough about each other so that we will take time out to teach each other how to be empathic.

One should not have to depend on academia to learn how to live a life that is stable and sensible. That starts at home. It does not take any brains to know how to be violent and to kill someone. It only takes someone who is mentally healthy and sound to get along well. It doesn’t even take much money to do so. It only takes a desire to care about each other. It requires being humble, truthful and being attentive to each others’ need. Being kind to each other is actually a sign of being a human being who is truly alive. Pope Francis encourages us to combat evil with good.


Michael Gonzalez, Sylva