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Letters, Dec. 24

Ashland Food Project grateful

As we enter a winter with the hope that we will find the resilience to build and strengthen our community, we are thankful. We are thankful for the households who donated Cans or Cash on December 12th through the Ashland Food Project Greenbag program. By sharing food, we continue to build community. More than a hundred Neighborhood Coordinators picked up thousands of cans of food and brought them to the Ashland Emergency Food bank to help alleviate food insecurity in our town.

The Ashlandfoodproject.com has had an interesting year, like so many during the pandemic. We were able to work out a way to quarantine food in Pods at the Food Bank to be able to safely collect and deliver food and store it until volunteers could safely get the food on the shelves. We raised thousands of dollars in donations, and helped to supply food to all that came to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank’s doors https://ashlandefb.org. In addition, we were able to donate money to the Ashland School District Summer Food Program, helping to supply lunch and dinner meals to students, as well as Rogue Food Unites , a program that grew in the aftermath of the Almeda fire to bring food businesses together with those who need food.

Our next Greenbag Cash or Cans effort will be February 13th. Join us! It’s easy!

Linda Peterson Adams

Ashland Food Project Steering Committee

In memoriam — Aidan Ellison

In the pre-dawn hours of Monday, November 23, 2020, in the parking lot of the Stratford Inn, a 47-year-old white man pulled the trigger of his unlawfully possessed gun, shooting a 19-year-old Black man, Aidan Ellison, in the chest, killing him.

This was the act of one person, Robert Keegan, who must be held legally responsible. And, the murder of Aidan Ellison was aided and abetted by the polluted air of racism we have co-created over four hundred years of white supremacist-racist ideology, rationalizations, justifications, laws, policies, brutal acts, and complicit silence.

From various accounts, Aidan was generous, hard-working, loyal, and truthful. Aidan lamented how hard it was for him to be Black in southern Oregon.

In an interview with NPR, Aidan’s mother, Andrea Wofford, said, “There are two rules here: smile and be whitewashed.”

Wofford continued, “Because you can’t dance. You can’t have your music. You have to talk a certain way because no one understands what you’re saying and you have to recreate your whole self. And it angered him, it angered him so much, that he could not be who he was.”

“And if you don’t submit here, you’re a problem. You’re a problem.”

The problem, of course, is us: our collective racism and our intolerance for difference.

Could we commit to cleansing our cultural air of polluting racism, superiority, and intolerance? Like verdant trees, we will be converting toxic air into life-giving air we can all breathe . . . in memoriam.

Daniel Murphy

Ashland

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