Dear Editor:

I enjoyed the article by Suzanne Stewart, “Yes, I can.”

My mother canned everything edible for the winter menu, and that included sauerkraut.

I question whether Mrs. Bland’s mother kept sauerkraut in the cellar until it was ready for canning. Ours was kept where it was warm to speed the fermenting, which was in the pantry next to the kitchen. I remember the pleasing aroma in the fall of the year after returning from our one-room school. The aroma was so enticing that I’d sneak in, lift the curtain and the weight and grab a handful. Don’t recall ever being caught. I still enjoy sauerkraut, even without the aroma.

Bob Kellison
Cary, North Carolina

Dear Editor:

I support the NFL players who take a knee during the playing of our national anthem. Colin Kaepernick and his teammates didn’t turn their backs on the flag, they changed the meaning of celebrating our national anthem from pride to something more somber, more reflective. Eric Reid, then teammate of Kaepernick’s who joined him in kneeling said “We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.”

The tragedy Kaepernick and other NFL players are calling attention to is the national disgrace that taken as a whole, black and brown people are treated unjustly by many of our institutions, including law enforcement. It is a right and proper thing to bring attention to police shootings of unarmed black men and boys. It is an honorable and patriotic thing to do to speak up and say our society is not living up to the values embodied in our constitution and represented by the flag, such as equal protection under the law.

I hear people say, the NFL games are not the right place. Why not? We as a nation are not living up to our ideals, and isn’t that important? People of color are being harmed and killed. People of color are asking for equal treatment and they are not being heard. If you are thinking “they are doing it wrong,” or “there are no injustices happening,” or you insist that this heartfelt protest is a disgrace, then I would like you to tell me why you do not believe these people, why you do not  acknowledge the truth of their experience. I would like to know why all of us are not working hard to fix the wrongs men like Colin Kaepernick are bringing to our attention at great sacrifice. If you are saying “but I have troubles too,” understand that our brown friends and neighbors could be working alongside you and helping you if we spent more time being patriotic than looking patriotic.

Tenley Shewmake
Renick