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Letters, Nov. 13

We got it back

This message is for:

  • Lt. James F. McDonald (Union Army)
  • Pvt. George Sauers (WWI)
  • Lt. James Sauers and Capt. Brown McDonald (WWII)
  • Leonard McDonald (Korea)
  • James Leonard McDonald (Vietnam)

We got it back. We got our country back. You know, the one you fought and sacrificed for. The one of democratic values like justice, equality, fairness, truth, opportunity, community, and decency.

We got it back! And we promise to never again have to apologize to you for your sense of betrayal and disgust. Thank you again for your service. We got it back!

Craig McDonald

Ashland

Boycotting the Ashland YMCA

My family and I have been members of the Ashland YMCA for more than 12 years. We recently withdrew our membership due, in part, to the YMCA’s decision to dismiss what appear to be credible claims of racism reported by former YMCA Sports Program Director Tony Akpan. I also stopped coaching girls’ soccer there and moved my team to another organization due, in part, to the Y’s actions against Tony.

Tony is an outstanding, honest person who grew the YMCA’s sports programs out of his desire to expand sports options for families of all races, nationalities and income levels. Tony started YMCA Academy level Soccer through the Development League of Southern Oregon (DLSO). This provided a lower-cost travel soccer alternative for families pursuing higher level soccer in the Rogue Valley.

I had heard, during my coaching tenure, of racism at the Y that the management chose to ignore. The events that led to Tony’s demotion and eventual separation reportedly stemmed from repetitive racism from a coworker.

When Tony went to the CEO to attempt to resolve the situation, rather than resolve it, the CEO demoted him under the guise of COVID-19 cuts. This appears plain wrong on many levels. In a community such as ours, where we tout inclusion and diversity but seem to struggle to make it a reality, it’s racism such as this — under the radar — that keeps it from being a reality. My family will be boycotting the Ashland YMCA until justice is served.

Brett Lutz

Ashland

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