News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Not the good ole days again!

We humans tend to remember the past as better; from “bigger fish” to life having been a glowing state of bliss, regardless of what actually happened. A recent Letter to the Editor identifies the “better” past starting with an 1828 (!) definition of education promoting a religiously based, loving thy neighbor, up to a 1950/60s “Leave It to Beaver” world that we should now turn to as a guide in order not to focus on skin color.

I beg your pardon? Let me get this straight. Now that we are actually seeing how our people of color are treated due only to their skin color in awful cell phone scene after awful scene at the hands of predominantly “whites,” we are supposed to not focus on skin color. Now that the Proud Boys are running amok pretending that it is the “whites” who are being suppressed — it is really the rest of us that should not care about the fact it is all about skin color with them.

Now that all of us who are finally learning a many-sided view of our U.S. history that was not included in our education until mid-1960s, and only in higher educational institutions, if there, we are to ignore this expanded knowledge and pretend it is 1957+ TV-time of whites only, where women wore pearls and heels while cleaning house until hubby and the boys got home.

NO! 1828 was the beginning of the expansion of whites, many with slaves, across western North America, and nearly wiped out the indigenous Indian population in the process. After our Civil War ended in 1865, freed slaves were not allowed to vote until 1870, Amendment XV, the Civil Rights Act and then only males. But to make sure Black male suffrage was extremely rare, shortly thereafter came two Supreme Court decisions that assured states could and did suppress the Black vote.

After World War II, in which our people of color fought on land or in the air, when they came home, they did not get any of the privileges our “white” veterans did.

Not only that, they were not allowed to buy in neighborhoods as it was in the land rights of the property owners to keep the community “pure.” And this fight to be seen as an equal, no matter color, continues — Martin L. King Jr, Malcom X, Black Panthers ...

continues to today — BLM. On the point of the final paragraph of said letter to The Nugget, about “separation of church and state.” Correct, that specific statement is not in the U.S. Constitution but in Amendment I, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is saying: We are keeping religion out of governing.

It is primarily why the 13 colonies came about — to have freedom of religion.

It means “congress” (federal or state) is separate from “church” (religion).

If a state supports one or more religions, all else are enemies of the state.

Our government does not define our enemies within our nation or within our states by religion or lack thereof.

A final word about ignoring skin color. Children are initially able to not see skin color as anything different than hair color, until they are taught otherwise. They learn by watching and parroting their parents and peers. In Oregon a Black man was lynched in 1902 and we were only able to officially recognize that fact in Coos Bay on Juneteenth 2021. Until we learn, share, and acknowledge how we have treated people of color in our distant and recent past, learn to conduct ourselves differently, and work to correct those laws that sustain racism (ergo the need of CRT), we will continue to see skin color as a separating

factor.

 

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