News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 7/1/2020

To the Editor:

Maybe you have read in some of my previous Letters to the Editor and determined that I have considerable dislike for our two party system of government.

I carry this aversion after years of witnessing the ineptness of our so called Congressional representatives and their inability to compromise on relevant issues. Congress needs to understand that no one side can possibly be 100 percent right on any issue. This is why race relations, immigration, gun control, police reform and so many other issues remain unresolved.

America is falling apart right before our very eyes strictly because of this divisive PARTISANSHIP created by our elected representatives.

Sunday morning Chris Wallace interviewed Hawk Newsome, the head of BLM from New York state; he and his sister founded BLM in New York. Both are Marxist who I have little in common with; however he was articulate, intelligent, and forthright in this interview. He made several points that I fully agree with having to do with Congress and their lack of accomplishments on racial matters. He referred to Congressional Black leadership as being especially inept on the issue of Black on Black crime.

That interview was followed by 30-year Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes from Washington, DC, who answered to some of Hawk Newsome’s complaints. She of course blamed the other side for not supporting her side and justifying her 30 years of at least trying, again all at our expense. She believes Andrew Jackson’s — as well as multiple other statues — should come down, but legally, not by violent protesters.

You may call this petty politics but it is everything but petty; this division is now a trillion-dollar business created by our rather naive forefathers and their inability to preemptively control the power they gave to Congress. If we as in “We the people” of all colors continue to follow our chosen party line like blind sheep we will be party to the demise of this country. If we continue in this direction one side will achieve 100 percent, and I already don’t like that side.

Terry Coultas

To the Editor:

The right to protest is a basic tenant of our American culture but the mob-driven destruction of public/private property to somehow erase our history is nothing more than vandalism and criminal behavior. What happened to the education system that taught “if we don’t learn from our past mistakes how can we prevent repeating them in the future?”

Who would benefit from erasing the truth about what and who was the reason behind the Civil War? Shouldn’t we at least continue to honor and celebrate the thousands who gave their lives to end slavery? Do we want to forget the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II? What about the civil rights marches, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and who gave birth to the KKK? Should we erase all of that history and tear down more monuments and also rewrite all textbooks? Who would benefit from hiding the truth?

As we look across America’s major cities where are the majority of issues with police brutality claims? Where are poverty, homelessness, and crime highest? Who has been in charge of those cities for 50-plus years; and what have they done with the billions of tax dollars received for implementing solutions?

Along with the mainstream press, who seems to twist every issue into being about race; especially during an election cycle? What if learning about positive race relations once again focused on our children?

“Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black and white

They are precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children

Of the world”

Also, is our nation better off since kicking God totally out of school classrooms? Ronald Reagan profoundly declared, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

Jeff Mackey

To the Editor:

Some suggest that this is a time for whites like me to actively listen to people who have multi-generational experience as the victims of racism. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one author whose writing I’ve been reading — specifically, his 1963 Letter From Birmingham Jail. The text of the letter is available at

Dr. King addressed his letter to eight white religious leaders who had objected to his unsettling presence and work in Birmingham, Alabama, yet claimed to be friends of justice. Volcanic fury bubbles just below the carefully reasoned surface of his letter. He rebutted their objections, in part, by explaining that he intended to create “constructive tension.” He asserted that such tension is foundational to progress toward a more just society.

Reading the letter created “constructive tension” in me. Among other effects, it has caused me to consider how I can improve my ability to recognize and seize opportunities to be a more active accomplice of justice.

You may react differently to Dr. King’s letter to his white correspondents. I imagine there may be nearly as many different reactions as there are readers. Listening to others’ responses may help us clarify our own thinking about race and justice.

I’ve scheduled a 45-minute “Zoom” conference for Thursday, July 2, , at 7:15 p.m. The only prerequisites are that you live within the Sisters School District boundaries and that you read Dr. King’s letter before the Zoom session begins.

White or otherwise, please send me an email at [email protected] if you want to participate. I’ll send you an invitation and further details.

Pete Shepherd


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