News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 7/8/2020

I’m writing to express thanks to Craig Eisenbeis for his article “Oregon’s History Steeped in Racism” in the July 1 issue of The Nugget. It was painful to be reminded that laws in force in Oregon in my lifetime discriminated against African Americans. I grew up in Medford in the 1950s. I don’t think any Blacks lived there then.

I heard later that “sunset laws” meant that Blacks were not welcome overnight. Recognizing historical events we might prefer to ignore is the important first step toward equality for all. Now we need to rededicate ourselves to making it so.

Carolyn Gabrielson

To the Editor:

Good things happen in Sisters.

I went to Sisters Bakery a few days ago to get some of the famous pastries for a special treat for my wife and visiting daughter. While waiting in line to go in, there was a young man behind me that appeared to be a painting contractor. I offered to him to go first because he was working person and I am retired. We both proceeded to get our goodies and when I went to pay, the lady said that the young man had already paid for my purchase. What a very nice thing for him to do.

If you read this I would say; May God Bless You.

Gary Kutz

To the Editor:

Last week, Jeff Mackey wrote:

“Who would benefit from erasing the truth about what and who was the reason behind the civil war?”

Wrong question. The correct question is: Should soldiers and generals from the Confederacy, a treasonous regime whose goal was to preserve slavery, be glorified, celebrated and honored by statues, names of streets and names of U.S. military bases? The obvious answer is no. These monuments to slavery were erected well after the civil war ended and their purpose was clear: to continue to oppress blacks and take away their rights as Americans. The Confederate flag has become a symbol for white supremacy. It also should be banned from public places, as should the Nazi flag. These are symbols of hate and oppression.

He also wrote:

“Shouldn’t we at least continue to honor and celebrate the thousands who gave their lives to end slavery?”

Certainly. This is why it is so important to remove the names and statues of those who were pro-slavery and replace them with those who actually legislated or fought to end slavery, like those liberated slaves who actually fought in the civil war. The history books and museums will still reflect the history. This is all about honoring and glorifying the right people in public places, not about preserving history.

He also wrote:

“Where are the poverty, homelessness, and crime highest? Who has been in charge of those cities for 50-plus years...”

Let’s see. You are trying to insinuate that it’s Democrat left-wing leadership that is at fault here. Blaming Democrats, so called “elites,” and big cities does not help. It turns-out that the highest crime rates in the nation per capita are: Bessemer, AL.; Monroe, LA; St. Louis, MO; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Flint, MI. Five of the top 10 cities are in RED states, which have Republican leadership. Those plus Michigan voted majority for Trump. There are bad people everywhere, including in Central Oregon, where unfortunately even here there is a white supremacist presence. The blame game solves nothing, particularly if you don’t have your facts straight.

He also wrote:

“ …is our nation better off since kicking God totally out of school classrooms?”

Our democracy claims that we are all equal under God, but it also requires that there is a separation between church and state. In the Bible it states “Give back to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God.” Even the Bible says that government and church should be separate. Preaching a particular gospel in classrooms is fine for evangelical schools, but not public schools.

Religion is a guide for principles and morals, not a solution. The solution is a societal change in culture, which requires leaders in both the government and churches to lead with the right policies and by example. We are not getting any moral leadership or policies that will fix this from our government. This why people are in the streets protesting, for that cultural shift that is so badly needed. We are better than this.

Steve Nugent

To the Editor:

I must take issue with the writer of Facts Matter which you featured in page 2 of the July 1 Nugget. While I agree, wholeheartedly, with the author’s contention that facts must form the “foundation from which we make our decisions,” they must also be put in proper context and reported accurately.

The writer makes two serious errors in reporting “facts.”

First, the author contends that number of deaths associated with COVID-19 is comparable to deaths caused by two earlier flu pandemics, the Asian flu and Hong Kong flu, neither of which, the author contends, caused a national lockdown. If this current pandemic were over, the author might have a point but, from what the experts tell us, this flu could continue to spread and kill at even higher rates for another 18 months resulting in a far higher death total than either of the earlier cases. The author’s assertion is a classic case of comparing apples to oranges based on sloppy thinking.

In many ways the author’s second assertion, that just “10 unarmed Black men were killed by police in 2019” is even more poorly constructed.

The Washington Post database, upon which the author bases this claim, does not report the number of unarmed Black men killed by police, it only reports on the number of unarmed Black fatally shot by on-duty police officers.

The killing of George Floyd will never be reported in that database as he was suffocated by a police officer.

Neither are deaths caused by police beating, tasering, neglect, choking and off-duty officers counted.

Perhaps there’s a case to be made that the killing of Black men by police is not endemic but the author fails to make it.

Jeff Tryens

To the Editor:

The Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank has always been a community effort. While the Kiwanis Club provides the building, organization and many of the volunteers, it heavily relies on the Sisters community for the money to purchase the food and supplies. But COVID-19 radically changed the needs of the food bank. And WOW — has the Sisters community responded!

On behalf of the Sisters Kiwanis Club, We want to acknowledge the incredible community effort to support the Sisters Food Bank. The community generosity over the last five months has been nothing short of amazing. Individual and organizational contributions are far greater than they have ever been. The community not only responded with more donations, but community volunteers also responded with their time.

Operating the food bank is now difficult because most of the volunteers are in the COVID-19 “at risk” category because of age. Special safety and social distancing procedures were needed to protect all the volunteers and food bank customers. And, when our normal group of Kiwanis and community volunteers needed help to operate the food bank, extra volunteers stepped up to fill the void. Volunteers donated a huge amount of time and took on extra risk to keep the food bank operational.

The gratitude of people using the food bank made it all worthwhile.

Obviously, there is a lot of uncertainty over the future demands on the food bank. While we all hope that demands will slow this summer, there is even more uncertainty over what will happen this winter. But, after much deliberation, Sisters Kiwanis believes the food bank is adequately funded for the summer and early fall.

So, the Club wants the community to know it will be OK to hold off donations at this time. We are concerned there are other un-met social needs in Sisters. You might consider supporting other Sisters charities instead. However, we ask you to keep the Food Bank in mind for your traditional Christmas giving. Kiwanis will let the community know if there is a need for more funding.

Again, thank you so much for the outstanding support! You made a difference!

Doug Wills, on behalf of Kiwanis officers and board

To the Editor:

I see each weekend the signs “Black Lives Matter.” I hope these refer to Black-on-Black murders in all the big cities and the breakdown of Black families, poverty, up to 70 percent abortion rate in some areas.

The Black community says it’s not the White’s problem, but theirs to address and fix.

The radical “Black Lives Matter” movement is fully funded by the Marxist socialist movement and agenda in America.

Fox News had a “BLM” leader of New York City and he said he would burn America down if he didn’t get his way. Terrorist threat?

In the Bible with the three sons of Noah — Japheth, Shem, and Ham — all humanity began. Now Black, Brown, White, God says each life matters to Him! Our society needs reforms on social injustices and other problems.

We are battling a wild pandemic, also. I would and others challenge the Christian churches as a whole to meet at the middle school grounds for a time of calling on God in prayer for help we critically need.

Chet Davis


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