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Slant 2016-11-10

•  We are in shock at the dawning of a Trump presidency and all that we stand to lose: Roe v. Wade, civil rights, immigration reform, media freedom, minority representation, climate change, the list goes on. The path to resistance becomes clear. Don’t circle the wagons; don’t snipe at the Bernie voters. It’s time to listen to the anger of those who elected Trump as well as to the thoughts and fears of those who are most hurt by the policies Trump has said he will put into place. We won’t give in to hate and despair. We will reassess and move forward to create the nation we want to be.

Did you join Pantsuit Nation? We did and watched the “secret” Facebook group grow to a membership of more than two million in less than two weeks. It’s a place where Hillary Clinton supporters could wax enthusiastic about Clinton without criticism. Posts come from ardent progressives to Republicans who don’t dare tell their friends they voted for Clinton. It’s a rare place for political love, and we hope it continues and inspires. #PantsuitNation. 

• Was a valuable teachable moment eclipsed by political correctness at the University of Oregon? A UO law faculty member blackened her face — something she absolutely should not have done — in an attempt to make a point about race. Nancy Shurtz, a highly respected UO law prof for more than 30 years, invited faculty and students to her home for a Halloween party. Her costume was a white coat and blackface depicting Dr. Damon Tweedy, who wrote Black Man in a White Coat, a best-selling book about racial hurdles for a medical professional. Shurtz has publicly apologized for her mistake in using blackface. The law dean has suspended her from teaching, 23 law faculty members have asked her to resign and UO President Michael Schill is highly critical in his public statements. Wait. What about due process and facts and the UO’s own policies on free speech and academic freedom, the First Amendment? The faculty union, of which the law school is not a member, has written that Shurtz is entitled to a fair hearing, a position that we assume is held by law school faculty other than the 23? Academic politics is also a big player here, but that’s another slant.

• Eugene City Club on Nov. 4 addressed, “Should We Worry About Heavy Metal in Eugene’s Air and Water?” The takeaway from Merlyn Hough of the Lane Region Air Protection Agency and Brad Taylor of EWEB is that we are looking good, without the cadmium and heavy metals in the air or lead in the water issues of Portland and Flint. We learned if we live in an old home with lead in its pipes we should flush the cold water in the morning when we get up and again when we get home. What we didn’t learn was how quickly we would be told if there was an issue with our air. LRAPA is great about giving a head’s up about smoky air, but Hough was unclear how fast we’d find out if a study showed a possible problem. Hough laid blame at the feet of the media for causing a “frenzy,” but who can blame Portlanders for being angry about the news the state sat on the info about the heavy metals for a year? EWEB said transparency is a priority, and we appreciate that! 

• A terrific weekend soup dinner Nancy and Josh Reckord put on at their home for their neighborhood, coupled with this ugly campaign, reminded us that the neighborhood is where we must start to deal with the problems of our divided country. Homelessness, climate change, public education, mental health, drug abuse, public lands, etc., have hardly been mentioned in the last 18 months of shouting. That’s all left to our neighborhoods, city, county, state, region.