Lynching statue adds controversy

This is regarding the statue being built in remembrance of the lynching of Ed Johnson from the Walnut Street Bridge in 1906, and may I add at great cost. He was a Black man accused of raping a white woman and was taken from jail while awaiting trial and hung. He may have been guilty of this, but whether guilty or innocent the lynching was a travesty of justice regardless.

My concern is while statues of men who fought and contributed to this country, but happened to be slave owners, are being defaced, destroyed and taken down, why then does our city need a reminder of this horrible deed, and why erect a symbol of controversy in these times of unrest?

This money could have been better spent on schools, scholarships, organizations that help the community and many other choices that are more important and much more needed.

Don Howard



County mask mandate is gross overreach

As a resident of the nearby state of Georgia, I am now grateful that I can distance myself from Hamilton County's recent decision about face masks by simply "remaining south." Nonetheless, I am very disappointed to see this. All of a sudden, an elected county official has taken it upon himself to dictate, to each and every person in his domain, "what they must do," literally on pain of fine or imprisonment.

Every single one of us is perfectly aware of the potential threat that this coronavirus — or, for that matter, any other contagion — presents to our personal health. Likewise, we are and always have been aware of our relationship to all other persons whom we might meet.

We do not need any government, at any level, to decree any of this to any of us ... let alone "on pain of criminal punishment." I therefore politely encourage the county, well-intentioned though its officers might be, to immediately and decisively abandon this idea. We do not need you to save us from ourselves. That is not the proper role of government at any level whatsoever.

Mike Robinson


For the sake of all, delay school reopening

In the perfect world, it would be wonderful to open the schools as scheduled. I have to wonder if our priorities are out of order. As we have seen, young children don't get sick with the coronavirus as often as more mature people. Let's remember that there are plenty of mature individuals in a school.

I believe that the guidelines set out for us by the CDC will be close to impossible to enforce with grade school students.

Part of education is the socialization that goes with it. Students will not be able to see the facial expressions of their friends when wearing the recommended face mask. They will find it next to impossible to socially distance.

Yes, as a retired teacher and one who works as a substitute teacher, I would love to have the paycheck that I will earn, but is it worth the risks?

I feel that we need to hold off on opening the schools. What scares me is that Chattanooga is seen as a relative Hot Spot, and we have a mandate with face masks. To me, this says that we are not ready to put the students, teachers and staff members at great risk.

Mark Grantham