BYH, Donald Trump was the fat line of coke conservatives snorted, thinking it would boost their energy and weight loss....

College students learning more than some adults


Members of ECU's marching band march into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium prior to Saturday's game with UCF.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Rather than some of the outrage and threats to withdraw support for East Carolina University following Saturday’s protest actions by some young members of the university’s marching band, those indignant over it should calm down a bit, act like the adults they are and place the incident in perspective.

A handful of band members chose to kneel during the national anthem prior to a game against the University of Central Florida, apparently following a nationwide trend of silent protests against poor race relations and police-related violence. 

The issues of race and police relations are real, complex and generational. They concern every American, including young people — perhaps especially. The first reality to remember is that America is a diverse nation in every imaginable way. Issues like these (and many others) are experienced and processed quite differently among the population. That means there is not one acceptable position and not just one appropriate way to express one’s views.

At a university where young people are being encouraged and taught how to think critically — and let’s hope that’s the case — and take fresh approaches to old problems, they shouldn’t be expected to stifle those same encouragements as urgent political events unfold around them.

Consider the statement released at halftime of Saturday’s football game by Chancellor Cecil Staton:

“As an institution of higher learning, East Carolina respects the rights of our students, staff and faculty to express their personal views,” Staton said. “That is part of the free exchange of ideas on a university campus.”

Those who care about students’ maturation and development into the adult world should at least pay attention to what young people are expressing. They think about, discuss and share their feelings and emotions with each other, then peacefully express their beliefs with the courage to face whatever response their expressions evoke from more powerful and intimidating adults.

ECU students do not set or represent the university’s policies or the political positions of its faculty and alumni. They represent their own beliefs. That’s what they are learning to do; what parents and adults ought to be encouraging them to do.

Community objections to their behaviors, no matter how deep, raise opportunities to sit with them, listen patiently to their views, feel their passion for life and offer them some of the perspective that comes with life experiences.

Every experience a young person has while in college is part of his and her education. What lifelong lessons do adults think they impart through expressions of bitterness, rage and ill will? Is it to think before acting, to be positively motivated, to consider the big picture or be slow to anger and quick to forgive?

College students are skilled learners — not blind learners.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


September 15, 2019

It was daytime when the first bands of Hurricane Floyd began lashing eastern North Carolina and the Greenville area on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1999, 20 years ago today.

The Tar River was nearly 5 feet above flood stage already, thanks in good measure to two passes by Hurricane Dennis two weeks before.…


August 18, 2019

A nearly unanimous vote by the Greenville City Council this month to annex nearly 400 acres well outside the city limits raises questions about the rights of rural residents and the city’s direction when it comes to managing growth.

The council voted 5-1 with Rick Smiley in opposition to…


August 09, 2019

The Trump administration is considering a draft regulation to lower drug prices. North Carolinians have little reason to celebrate.

The administration’s proposal would impose price controls in Medicare. Rather than helping patients save money, this drastic step would stifle access to state-of-…

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July 28, 2019

Everyone embroiled in the debate over the State Health Plan should be working toward the same thing: the best health care for the lowest cost for the people of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, disagreement over how to do that escalated into a feud and now has plummeted into a childlike spat.


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July 21, 2019

“Send her back!”

The racist refrain, soft at first, crescendoed as the crowd at President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally on Wednesday in Greenville emphatically picked it up. On live television, sitting stage right of the President at East Carolina…


July 04, 2019

As the story goes, our Founding Fathers declared their independence from their mother country 243 years ago today, that the “united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.”

It is a day that…

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June 10, 2019

As the election results became clear in 2016, financial markets rose amid a surge of economic optimism. That surge continued for two years as Donald Trump and Republicans pursued a pro-growth agenda of tax reform, deregulation and encouraging domestic energy production. But with Democrats now…

June 08, 2019

Keith Cox served the residents of Virginia Beach in the public utilities department for 12 years.

Well-liked by co-workers, he spent his final moments on Friday working to protect them from a gunman in the municipal center — sacrificing his life in the process.

The remembrance of Cox,…

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June 04, 2019

Give Harry Smith credit for being willing to do his homework and change his mind.

Smith, the usually outspoken and politically conservative chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, emerged from a recent board meeting and told reporters that his thinking about what to do…

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June 03, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence came to Charlotte this week for a 2020 Republican National Convention kickoff event. The visit was a reminder of the discomfort many feel in this progressive city about the 2020 RNC — an uneasiness so deep that Mayor Vi Lyles said last summer that she wouldn’t…

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