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UT pronoun crusade ridiculous

Letters to the Editor • Sep 1, 2015 at 11:30 AM

​Times-News photo crossed the line

Most of the time I am content to read and reflect internally, leaving public commentary to others who feel passionate about specific topics. There comes a time, however, when a stand must be taken. The front page of your Thursday edition contained a picture (more specifically a “framegrab” from a video) showing a pointed gun and the three victims just seconds before Wednesday’s tragic shooting near Roanoke. Two were fatally wounded.

In this gun-obsessed world in which we live, publishing this specific photo reeks of journalistic sensationalism and clearly crosses the line of acceptable reporting. This photo is extremely disrespectful to the victims and could even serve to glamorize the event to other troubled individuals seeking to make a statement. We all make mistakes. In the future I hope that the Times-News will choose to report the news without feeling the need to compete with tabloids and graphic Internet images.

Jim Cooper, Kingsport

Editor’s note: We agree. The photo added nothing of value for the reader and we regret its publication.

UT pronoun crusade ridiculous

The University of Tennessee just became one of the last places I would recommend. UT is a great university; however, its new policy to thwart “offensive binary” pronouns such as “he” and “she” and replace them with “gender neutral” pronouns of “ze,” “hir,” “xe,” etc., puts it in this list for me. Honestly, I can’t believe it. In its effort to be “more welcoming and inclusive for all,” UT has an office of Diversity and Inclusion which figured that changing the language to something nobody understands and which makes no sense would solve this problem . The UT website explains: “We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems. Transgender people and people who do not identity within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth.”

To ensure this is implanted in the student body (although they say it is voluntary), “students are asked to provide their name and pronoun” in response to role call, to “start meetings with name and pronoun,” noting, “the more we make sharing of pronouns a universal practice, the more inclusive we will be as a campus.” I remember the good old days when you went to school to receive an education, and that was the primary focus. How far will we let this PC stuff go? How long will a significantly small minority be allowed to control our lives? I will never participate in this type of senselessness and hope the students follow suit.

Jack Van Zandt, Jonesborough

Remember how commissioners voted

Recently, the Sullivan County Commission raised the property tax rate 27 cents. Previously, the commission had voted no on a motion to cut their own pay. The motivation for being a commissioner should not be money, recognition or special privileges. Our commissioners should have a sincere desire to serve the residents of their area in a wise and prudent manner.

Do not forget how your commissioners voted on these two important issues when they seek re-election.

Perry Carter, Kingsport

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