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Letters to the Editor 2016-11-10

STOP THE PIPELINE

Eugene Stands with Standing Rock wishes to invite everyone to participate in a National Day of Action against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

There will be a rally and march in Eugene noon Tuesday, Nov. 15, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers office, 211 E. 7th Avenue. We will deliver letters to them and from there march to the banks. We’re asking anyone attending to please bring your letters to give to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Indigenous leaders are calling on us to take to the streets, to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers, President Obama and the incoming administration stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and any others. This movement has grown as a global outcry to stop the massive destruction of our water and earth by the oil companies and their constituents. 

We will not allow the current or incoming administration to sacrifice Indigenous rights, our water or our climate. They must reject this pipeline!

We will continue to fight until native sovereignty is honored, indigenous rights are protected and our communities, water and climate matter more than fossil fuel profits.

Please join us for the rally and march. On Facebook: Eugene Stands with Standing Rock. For more info, go to nodaplsolidary.org.

Sunita Chethik, Eugene


FORCED TO RESIGN

A UO professor may be fired or, as they say in polite company, forced to resign for wearing blackface at a Halloween party. What if a black professor wore whiteface or dressed up as a Native American or worse, a lawyer? 

The professor was not mocking Afro-Americans but trying to make a point. The theme was based on the book Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine about racism in medical school. 

I feel for you, Doc. Nobody gets my jokes either.

Vince Loving, Eugene


DARK AND WARPED

“He is the bourgeois ancestor of the evil slummers that invaded Haight-Ashbury in ’69, and his intentions are dishonest and purely vampiric.”

“Hirons pharmacy is … the humble retail equivalent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the growing clot of refuse that swirls in the Pacific Ocean current.”

After reading a few of the “Staff Picks,” I had to put the paper down [“Best of Eugene,” 11/3]. Who wrote this drivel? It was not funny; it was just mean, particularly the “Best Eugene Stereotype.” There is a difference between poking fun and maligning your subject.

Snark is in, I suppose, and since several of these pieces used the same derogatory tone, I assume they are written by the same person. Sneer all you like at the older middle class, the smug Prius drivers, but you are just as guilty of being obnoxious. 

I know it is entertaining to put people down, and it makes you feel better about yourself, but please don’t labor under the assumption that you are better than any of your subjects. You probably just alienated a number of the people who read this rag.

I felt bad for anyone who had to read that and see themselves reflected in the dark, warped mirror of those words. Geez, the writer needs to take advantage of some of that Eugene green, maybe hop in a hot tub at Onsen’s and release some of that negativity and hostility.

Jennifer Clark, Eugene


RUDE AND DISMISSIVE

I picked up my Weekly with the Best of Eugene results. It was as heavy as a phone book. (If you don’t know what that is, ask your father.) 

But before the poll results there were pages (and pages) of staff rants. I didn’t read them all; the first couple were pretty unpleasant. Rude, dismissive, vaguely ageist. “Paunchy office workers?” I thought negative body images had been left behind. “They don’t get it” because they told you? No, because you made it up. 

The rant about “Skipper,” who isn’t even a real person, was pretty strange, too. There are plenty of real hypocrites to take on. So why make something up? By the way, learn the difference between “ancestors” and “descendants.” 

Several digs at Prius drivers. Really? I drive one. You got a problem widdat? I note that the writers did not sign their work. Makes it easier to talk like a jerk when you don’t identify yourself.

I did appreciate the nod to Jake Pavlak, certainly a bright light in Eugene’s musical sky. His name might have come up in the reader responses if you had even asked readers about Best Guitarist. More on that anon.

But on to the poll results. Personally, I think Best Hangover Breakfast stopped being funny 10 years ago. Give Brails a Lifetime Achievement Award and move on, for goodness sake. 

You have more than 20 categories for food and only one for music. Really? In a town like this where we have bluegrass bands, rappers, songwriters, indie rock bands, tribute bands, all manner of folk music, an under-celebrated jazz community, several professional orchestras and music you can’t really pin down at all, the Weekly has only one category for music. “A Great City for the Arts,” indeed. By the way, I think Medium Troy was overvoting. Again.

Under the banner of celebrating the Best of Eugene you have shown us the worst: smug, snarky and trivial.

Chico Schwall, Eugene


REPEATED CITATIONS

Bartels Packing is once again in the news, this time for being shut down by the USDA for consistent and frequent inhumane slaughtering practices.

The article on the front page of last Friday’s Register-Guard cites three specific instances in August and September; however USDA, inspection records for 2005 to 2015 cite hundreds more regulation violations: non-ambulatory cattle treated inhumanely, risk materials on edible portions of carcasses, incidents of inhumane slaughter, unidentified species in cooked products, foreign material in meat products and sanitation violations.

All this in addition to repeated citations, fines and intent to sue warnings for compromising our watershed and the Fern Ridge Reservoir issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Willamette River Keepers and Eugene’s Oregon Clean Water Action Project.

Something to consider as we choose what we wish to support through our food purchases.

Diana Huntington, Eugene


SOFT-CORE TERRORISM

In response to Alyssa Jacinto’s letter on Black Lives Matter [Letters, 11/3], saying that Michael Brown’s death was a murder is like saying Jerry Sandusky was just playfully flirting with young boys on the PSU campus. 

I am not naive to the fact that there are bad cops out there doing bad things, but a lot of the problems going on with the black community is of their own doing. The BLM is nothing more than a soft-core terrorism group.

Devin Mitchell, Eugene


STEP UP AND LISTEN

It is unacceptably common in bars, apartments, frat houses, behind Dumpsters or in homes across the country for women to be touched without their consent, raped, physically assaulted or even murdered by men. It is up to men as a whole to step up, listen to women and challenge other men who treat women as objects to be exploited for their own pleasure — and those who excuse this behavior.

The latest arrest of a male athlete from the University of Oregon indicates there’s an atmosphere of toxic masculinity that is going unchallenged. With two current football players suspended from the team for allegedly abusing women, it is time for the coaches and the athletic director to stand up and declare that violence against women is unacceptable — to unequivocally state that no player will be on their roster if he treats women as sexual objects and not human beings.

In her book Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, sportswriter Jessica Luther outlines ways that programs can foster an atmosphere that encourages personal responsibility, educates men about consent and bystander intervention and creates a space where men don’t have to perform our current dysfunctional model of masculinity. 

But, Luther cautions, this has to start from the top down, with the coaches especially. If a coach doesn’t take the epidemic of rape on college campuses seriously and doesn’t give full support to programs that combat it, then the players won’t take it seriously. 

Since there are few to no women involved in the insular male sports world at the university, it is too easy for players and coaches to defend their faux-brotherhood instead of challenging the violent or predatory behaviors of some of their fellow men.

It is up to the University of Oregon to help create a safe campus and community. Perhaps the football team can wear the same uniforms for two games in a row and instead spend that money to bring in Jackson Katz’s Mentors in Violence Prevention program or buy every student, coach and employee Jessica Luther’s book. It is apparent that something concrete needs to be done, now.

Ryan Mishap, Eugene


LEAF REMINDER

It’s time to put leaves out for pickup. I would like to add the reminder that it is for only leaves, not brush or debris that would otherwise go into the gray can. The large majority of the leaves go to the city garden site, FOOD for Lane County gardens and homeowners requesting leaves for their gardens.

Please be responsible and not pass on your yard debris.

Don French, Eugene