Column: Your voice, not ours

Print space is prized amongst my staff now. Giving up a whole paper to mostly non-staff made content isn't something we would normally do. 

But the start to this school year has been anything but normal. Given the past two weeks, we thought it might be time that we stopped talking and give others a chance. 

Issues like Silent Sam, the Center for Civil Rights and national events have been on the mind of every student, alumni and community members. While I hope our reporting is reflecting this community, ultimately you're the best to represent your own interests. 

This issue is to show the voices of our community — regardless of opinions on the matter — and what the community thinks should be done with the monument. 

It also highlights that what is  happening in Chapel Hill isn't isolated to the town or the students currently here. Alumni from all over are writing in too. We all care about this community, and hopefully this edition of the paper will helps us all understand the diversity of opinion on this issue. 

While this edition is a special moment for our opinion desk, I think it means much more than that from a journalistic perspective. There is no way we could fit in this many perspectives into one story — which can make it look like there is a larger consensus on what to do than there really is. 

These letters were not solicited by a member of my staff. All were organically submitted by community members. We tried to run as many as we could in this edition, no letter was turned down based on the opinion of the writer. 

And of course, this isn't the end of the issue, please keep writing us about Silent Sam. We want to hear from you. 

In conclusion, please read these letters with an open mind and try to see that we're all coming to this conversation with different perspectives and experiences. 

This issue is just a snapshot of what people in August of 2017 thought. Let's take these perspectives and keeping working towards progress. I hope future Tar Heels look back at this moment in history and realize how difficult things were, but I also hope they see how passionate people were. 


Thanks for reading.

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