Letters, Feb. 1
When I first heard the land acknowledgements at OSF, it was a bit surprising. I’d never heard a land acknowledgment at that point, and as someone who didn’t grow up in Oregon, I wasn’t aware of the tribes who lived in the Rogue Valley before the arrival of Euro-Americans.
After almost two years of attending Zoom webinars and meetings originating from all over the country I’ve found land acknowledgements are more common than uncommon. I also learned that in Canada, land acknowledgements are part of the call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada as one way of recognizing and respecting Indegeous peoples.
I personally don’t feel blamed or guilty when listening to the land acknowledgement when I attend OSF productions. I see it as an invitation to learn more about our history and recognize those who lived here first and how I, too, can be part of truth and reconciliation.
Black lives matter?
I was walking past one of the many “Black Lives Matter” signs in Ashland, when I spotted a Black man nearby. I asked him what he thought of the sign.
He said he didn’t like it. We chatted about it, and I said, “If I saw a sign saying, ‘Women’s Lives Matter,’ I’d feel that it was a slap in the face to me, as a woman. Isn’t it obvious that women’s lives matter? Is there a question about it?”
He said that’s exactly how he feels when he sees “Black Lives Matter” on a sign. He said that he thinks that people put up the signs to compensate for their subconscious racism. It’s a feel-good technique.
If you’re a woman, or a minority such as a Jewish, gay, or disabled person, imagine that there are signs all over town saying, “Gay Lives Matter,” “Jewish Lives Matter” or “Disabled People’s Lives Matter.” How do you feel?