The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 1st

Moral Monday protestors are not extremists

TO THE EDITOR:

Last week’s editorial condemning Moral Monday as “an extreme leftist reaction” was completely wrongheaded. Protestors are defending policies that served our state well for decades — some for longer than our lifetimes. That logically makes them moderates or conservatives, not extremists.

This legislature wants to end unemployment policies from 1951, teacher salary policies from 1941, and environmental policies from 1985. Legislators want to increase inequality by ending an income tax scale from the 1930s and then boosting the sales tax. They have driven our education spending down to 46th in the nation. Why is it “extreme” to resist such radicalism?

You’re missing what current proposals mean for your readers. The governor’s budget cuts UNC-system funding by $139 million, the recently passed House budget takes $125 million and the Senate “only” asks for $50 million. Inefficiencies this large are long gone, so these cuts will definitely hurt education. Since cutting other salaries is illegal, for example, my department is cutting teaching assistants, who are crucial to learning in a school this big. University spending is not the same as social welfare, but this legislature makes war on both.

Both sides in a conflict are not always “extreme,” and splitting their differences is not always moderate or wise. You’d help your readers more if you weighed this controversy on its merits instead of relying on mindless labels like “extreme left.”

Harry L. Watson
Professor
History

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