Letters, March 31
Racist incident in Talent
One of our daughters lives in Talent. On Saturday she and our 5-year-old granddaughter, both Asian American, were in their front yard relaxing. A very large pickup truck was driving by with three men inside. It stopped, they yelled F.U. Kung Flu, threw some garbage at the yard and drove off.
Over the years she has endured more than a few hateful actions directed her way simply because of her race. The ignorance and meanness of this latest episode hardly require comment, however, I sent this in order to add to our collective awareness of the breadth of such behavior.
The saddest words ever written
The Mail Tribune published the saddest words ever written today, Saturday March 27th, as an Editor’s Note: Larry Mendte’s column will return next week.
Oh, how much, how long must we endure?
All together now
The Medford City Council may pass ordinances banning tents and sleeping in public. What would Jesus do if Jesus were on the council? Pass ordinances to push unhoused people farther into desperation and suffering?
What do ancient wisdom and spiritual traditions teach us about our relationship to each other? Does loving one another mean turning our backs on people less fortunate or privileged? Does it mean tormenting them by depriving them of the right to sleep and fining them? Then locking them up when they can’t pay fines we knew they couldn’t pay?
I say, everybody in, nobody out. Unhoused people have a right to sleep, and they are part of our community. Can we envision a Southern Oregon where everyone has a place to sleep, either inside or outside, and basic access to food, water, toilets, shelter? And jobs, if people are able? The future will bring many challenges, as the Almeda fire demonstrated. Now is the time to deepen our commitment to working together and creating a better Jackson County. Ordinances aimed at hurting homeless people will only hurt us all.
The losing side of history
In her March 23 Letter to the Editor, Mary Lewis asked how Oregonians feel about the Greater Idaho issue. Beyond fear and loathing, I feel that the Idaho state legislature’s ideology and rugged American individualism trumps its concern for the welfare of the citizenry.
On March 20, the Mail Tribune reported that after a number of members tested positive for COVID-19, the Idaho legislature voted to suspend their session for several weeks. The Republicans rarely or never wear masks while all the Democrats usually do.
The article also mentioned that Republican legislators want to curb emergency powers of the governor to address pandemics as well as advancing a bill that would prevent local governments from requiring people to wear masks. There has been at least one mask-burning demonstration on the capitol steps.
The legislators have also been busy approving a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent legalization of medical and recreational marijuana without the approval of two-thirds of the legislature.
Once again, while Congress is considering legalizing marijuana and even mainstream maven Martha Stewart is marketing her own line of CBD products, the potato state forges ahead to the losing side of history.