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Letters to the Editor 2016-11-23

Diane DeVillers responds to the election
Diane DeVillers responds to the election

LOVE IS STRONGER

I spent some time today sitting outside the Federal Building in Eugene, Oregon, with a sign saying, “Keep Love Alive” in response to the unrest in America since the election.

One man will never change my values, one man will not change the love in my heart. One man will not stop me from feeling love for my fellow countrymen and women. Whether they are black or white, gay or straight, woman or man.

Love is stronger than hate, and after we all take a deep breath and we begin to move forward, we will see the America that is represented by all the diverse people in this great country. It’s our strength, our bond with each other. Nothing or no one will change that.

And as I sat there in my wheelchair I started to see the faces of the people driving by, and they were smiling back at me or giving me a thumbs up or beeping their horns. I was there when people were driving and walking across the Ferry St. Bridge on their way to the Ducks football game. But even better than that, there were the children on a school bus that drove by. The driver waved and he drove by real slow so the children could read my sign.

It was in that moment that I realized just why it was important for me to be out there. It was for those children. And if I changed just one child’s heart today, that made it all worthwhile.

Diane DeVillers, Eugene

 

NO EXCUSE

Is blackface just like dressing up as Darth Vader [Letters, 11/17]? Is blackface, like drag, simply a valuable tool of the theater? Is dressing up in blackface similar to being transgender? 

White performers in minstrel shows (as recently as the 1960s) painted their faces black and exaggerated their lips in order to portray a caricature of a black person that reinforced all of the worst racial stereotypes: lazy, buffoonish, cowardly, criminal, uneducated. This was considered humorous and entertaining by white audiences.

Frederick Douglass called blackface minstrel performers “the filthy scum of white society, who have stolen from us a complexion denied to them by nature, in which to make money, and pander to the corrupt taste of their white fellow citizens.”

Why isn’t blackface the same as dressing up like Darth Vader? Darth Vader is a fictional character. Black people are not fictional.

Is blackface just a theatrical concept like drag? Drag is a historical form of resistance to the oppression of queer identities, particularly queer people of color. Drag culture gives a middle finger to the hetero-patriarchy and celebrates the joy of queerness and femininity. It was created by queer people for queer people. In contrast, blackface is a white invention, created to mock and belittle black people.  

Does putting on blackface have any similarity to being transgender? Transgender people are not dressing up as something they are not. Transgender people are dressing as themselves. 

People who wear blackface are not trying to live a more authentic life. People who wear blackface are not discriminated against on a daily basis. They do not go through the exhausting process of coming out, do not have to deal with time-consuming and expensive legal bureaucracy in order to be recognized, do not feel afraid when they enter public restrooms. 

People who wear blackface are making a stupid, thoughtless, racist decision to ignore historical context in order to make their white friends laugh. Blackface can never be isolated from a racist and shameful history. 

We can’t excuse blackface in order to focus on “real” issues, because blackface is one of many toxic reminders that racism is real and prevalent and insidious. People who wear blackface should know better. We should all know better.

Ana Sayavedra, Eugene

 

LIGHT UP THE DARK

“Let’s go,” said my 7-year-old recently when he heard about the Nov. 10 Vigil for Hope and Respect at Kesey Square, advertised as family-friendly. Kids love lighting up the dark, so we held up our LED candles along with a few hundred people, singing together. As a newer reader, he was thrilled that soon the crowd sang a song from the lyrics sheet:

“Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

Nothing to kill or die for,

A brotherhood of man ...”

Scores of candles spelled out “L O V E” beside the Ken Kesey statue.

With no sound system, vigil initiator Sam Rutledge’s speech was amplified by the crowd, sentence by echoed sentence. He said we were privileged in Eugene to be accompanied by peaceful security officers, unlike Flint, Michigan, and Standing Rock, North Dakota, where protesters were met with tear gas or arrests. 

Later, the large anti-Trump march came welling down Broadway and joined us. We sang “We Shall Overcome,” a Civil Rights movement anthem, as T. read along on his lyrics sheet:

“We shall all join hands,

We shall all join hands,

Someday.”

Since then, he has been singing the song again and again, alternating silly lyrics and inspiring verses. I fear the near future will be very tough for people who are being demeaned, feared and otherwise “other-ed.” 

But in our children’s hands, I trust all of America will be OK, and to reclaim the word, hopefully even great. Let us work together to hasten the day.

Sara Miura Zolbrod, Eugene

 

HONORED VALUES

One way we progressives can ease our depression is to use our resources in a way that honors our values. Our extended family has decided to buy no gifts at all this holiday season. Instead we are making donations to those groups that will be needed more than ever.  

We expect sexual assaults and gay bashing to increase. White supremacists are already crawling out and strutting around. A woman’s right to make her own health decisions will be under attack. The poor and hungry will be humiliated and scapegoated. Many poor families will lose their health insurance. 

I can’t imagine the level of fear and anxiety of anybody who is not white and heterosexual and not “Christian.”

Groups like Womenspace, Planned Parenthood, Food for Lane County, Whitebird, Southern Poverty Law Center, PFLAG, for examples, will be needed more than ever. We don’t need more things but our community needs our support.

Doug Hintz, Eugene 

 

OREGON HIPSTER

Jennifer Clark’s annoyance with the Best of Eugene’s attempted humor, especially the “Best Eugene Stereotype,” includes the commentary being anonymous [Letters, 11/17]. 

Actually, it’s pretty easy to figure out who wrote the snide swipe at “The Skipper.” It was another Eugene type, “Oregon Hipster” (Millennium snarkus) who can be recognized for his attempt to seem cool while hiding his anxiety that he spent way too much for his carbon fiber bicycle and then had the custom-crafted seat jacked so he can’t really ride it. 

Hipster also just learned that The Skipper’s Greek fisherman’s cap was something the old guy bought to keep from getting sunburned on his bald dome, while on a month long vacation in Greece last year. Hipster discovered this when Ubering Skipper back to the latter’s Prius, which is also when Skipper remarked he had the same model and color Subaru back in the 1990s. 

But it’s all cool, except for Hipster’s worries about his own Male Pattern Baldness that showed up a couple of months ago when he cut off his blond dreads.

Chuck Kleinhans, Eugene 

 

LEFT BEHIND

Reply to Annie Kayner’s letter in the 11/10 issue: When someone tells you they are in pain, do you tell them, “No, you’re not”? I am an intelligent, educated, able bodied, theoretically employable single white man in Eugene. In practice, I am not able to support myself by working, nor am I able to pay the costs of a formal education. 

Deep dysfunctions in a society become significant barriers to those they most directly affect long before they are visible to such quick-to-judge bystanders as Kayner. Just because you can’t see it yet, does not mean it’s not there.

Obtainable income from working jobs I can get is insufficient to cover living expenses incurred while holding those jobs. Support available to college students does not begin to cover costs of living (mainly rent). I can cover almost all the costs of attending college if I have free room and board.

Kayner said, “There are people who will help you obtain any of these things.” This is true if you are not a white male, and may likely be true if you have children. But any white male who is alone is expected to ride his privilege to success. Privilege is real: Police perceive a non-threat when they see me, and if I were rooted into the corporate ladder, I’d climb more easily. 

But for one whose concerns are basic needs, survival and education, it works against those of us who are assumed to have advantages we don’t have.

This is one of those social developments that is hard to see until it impacts you personally. People like myself will have an uphill battle and be punished every step of the way for superficially resembling someone who offended society as a whole. We can’t realistically expect help, but when someone who can’t see our situation promotes some arbitrary story about it as truth, we will reply.

No, being male and white does not give one an advantage in whether or not one is employed. No, adequate resources to support education are not there for everyone, nor even for most. 

Yes, many Americans have been left behind, including some white men. I voted for Sanders and then for Stein.

Andrew Cottrell, Eugene

 

PRESERVE WATER 

Freedom fighters of all stripes place high importance on Natives’ Rights and treaties with the Indian Nations. It is true that many indigenous people and tribes still remain in North America and around the globe. The worth of our environment is that it sustains life. The value we place on it should compare to the love for all life that we each carry inside. This force has propelled countless generations since the beginning-less past till today.

Building a fuel pipeline under a source of some of the purest drinking water on this planet (of which our country has an unusual high proportion) endangers us. Its rupture would mean disastrous chaos to many Americans. 

Let's stop dividing original settlers from colonizers and see this as a common problem. The division of today’s people should be “those who will fight for life and those who will remain on their seats glued to the idiot box.”

On Nov. 15 a rally in support of NoDAPL (No Dakota Access Pipe Line) took place in downtown Eugene. It toured the banks and disrupted some exploitive businesses. One quality which distinguishes this local protest with possible future ones can be summarized in two words: non violence. This beautiful ideal demonstrated at Eugene’s march will evaporate with the remaining potable water as the years ahead approach us and thirst will have to be satisfied “by any means necessary.”

Let’s preserve the fresh water available so there’s an abundance of it and blood spilling will not be required to pursue it.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene

 

EXPLOITED ANIMALS

Regarding Diana Huntington’s Nov. 10 letter: While it’s good that Bartels was recently shuttered “for consistent and frequent inhumane slaughtering practices,” the USDA’s hypocrisy is glaring, given that consistent and frequent inhumanity is the cornerstone of animal agriculture, from start to finish.

Just like humans, non-human animals are sentient beings. They have emotions, display preferences, experience bonds with other animals, feel joy and feel pain. Most people are cognizant of this when observing their animal companions, such as dogs, cats and rabbits. Unfortunately, these same people — frequently self-identified as “animal lovers” — deny this sentience to the animals they continue to eat, wear and otherwise exploit.

Farmed animals are treated as disposable objects, not sentient beings. They endure unthinkable atrocities including being ground up alive immediately after birth (as in the case of “useless” male chicks born into the egg industry), being forcibly dragged away kicking and screaming from their mothers (as in the case of offspring born to females being used for milk production — milk intended to feed their own babies, but instead stolen for human consumption), tail removal, de-beaking, de-toeing, castration, etc. 

The vast majority live in unconscionably tight confinement in miserable conditions until they are inhumanely shipped to slaughterhouses, where they die violent deaths, engulfed by fear.

A small percentage of “animal lovers” truly aren’t aware of the abuse and brutality involved in getting dairy, eggs, meat, fish, wool, leather, etc., into stores. But by now there are enough news reports and undercover videos out there to ensure that the majority do know that it’s a nasty, violent process, yet they ignore their direct complicity in it. It seems to be a case of “out of sight, out of mind.”

Without the demand, there would be no production. Fortunately, more consumers than ever are acknowledging that paying someone else does not absolve themselves from being complicit in the “dirty work” of creating animal-based products. 

For those interested in aligning their ethics and morals with matching actions, this site is extremely helpful: howdoigovegan.com.

Barb Lomow, Eugene

 

MAKE IT PUBLIC

Time for truth. If I am to accept Donald Trump as my next president, I ask as my right as a U.S. citizen and in the name of National Security for our country that the following information be made available to the public and federal authorities:

1. That President-elect Trump explain any communications that has been inferred by a Russian official to have happened with his campaign made prior to the election.

2. That President-elect Trump release to public authorities his latest personal, and any businesses that he has interest in, federal tax statements. So that in the name of National Security they can vetted or studied to determine if there is or could be any conflict of interest when dealing with domestic and international issues that the president must deal with on a daily basis.

I am writing this and communicating to all I see in the hope that this request/demand go viral and be printed for all those to read in the hopes of reaching someone in the federal government who has the authority to ask for this information from President-elect Trump. Spread it around.

Paul Fuller, Elmira

 

OVERHYPED AND FECKLESS

Thank you, Chico Schwall and Jennifer Clark, for your spot on letters regarding “Best of Eugene.”

I know I am not the only person who is seeing this annual “vote” as an overhyped, over-voted, inner-circle feckless fancy.

The addition of absurd categories such as “best divorce,” “best philosophical crisis brought on by a Hirons tchotchke” (WTF?), “best mustache” (who cares?) only proves my point.

Particularly self-serving was “best new eyesore.” Come on, really?

Categories like these diminish, IMO, any validity of the other meaningful accolades.

P.S. I was shocked the McDonald Theatre was not included as best music venue. They consistently offer the best music choices and have changed the music scene in Eugene more than any venue. 

Over-voted, indeed.

John Carlson, Eugene

 

THANKS TO SHELTERCARE

I’m a ShelterCare recipient and with my drug addictive past and mental disorders that go with that, I was given an apartment through a federal grant called The 18 Bed Grant. The government lets 18 homeless people have housing with really no strings attached.

Two months after moving into my apartment, I decided one day I didn’t want or need the heroin I’d been doing for 18 years. I went to prison in 2007 from the multitudes of meth possessions I had racked up being a tweaker on the streets. I came out of DOC a heroin addict.

I was sick one day waiting with money in hand for the devil herself, my heroin dealer. Made me wait hours for her in the Red Apple parking lot or the 7-11 for all to see, if they knew what a junkie looks like.

I decided I had enough and went into Buckley House that same day; the angels at Buckley finally got me the help they had tried to give me for years and I am now clean and sober for 19 months. I thank the unconditional love from Buckley House and the angels at ShelterCare and I have done the groundwork, but with the grace of God have stayed and will be clean.

Aaron Smith, Springfield

 

DONATE NOW

Donate money to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Make America Great Again. Do it today.

Gary Carl, Oakridge

 

KINDNESS AND COMPASSION

Big surprise in the election. Glad it didn’t change the effort to help homeless youth (“15th Night Project Aims to Reduce Youth Homelessness” by Kianna Cabuco, Eugene Weekly, Nov. 10, 2016). Grateful it didn’t end the LCC program for women in transition (“LCC’s Women in Transition Program Celebrates 30 Years” by Kelly Kenoyer, Eugene Weekly, Nov. 10, 2016). 

Many other examples of kindness and compassion continue. My work to pass the Reach Every Mother and Child Act recently got commitments from more Members of the House, bringing the number of cosponsors to 214, nearly half the House, and 26 senators, bringing hope for the 5.9 million children and 289,000 mothers who die each year from mostly preventable causes. 

So grieve for what might have been, but then focus on using your voice for change. Not sure what to do? Try RESULTS (results.org) and raise your voice to bring an end to hunger and poverty in our country and our world.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Washington

 

USE YOUR WORDS

The presidential election was a referendum on whether the First Amendment should endure. Free speech is under attack by Social Justice Warriors. Rather than using facts and logic to combat words, SJWs no-platform and punish those with whom they disagree.

The First Amendment is first for a reason. The unfettered exchange of ideas is the foundation upon which tolerant and prosperous societies are constructed.

Since 1972, I voted Democrat for President nine times and for Ralph Nader twice. This year, I voted Trump. Hillary panders to political correctness while Trump fights it. If Hillary won, she would have rewarded SJWs with laws restricting speech. Hillary was the greater threat to democracy. Millions agree. Ask us why.

Hillary’s narrative was that anyone not voting the vagina is a sexist, racist, hate-filled, know-nothing, deplorable bigot. Personal attacks are not a valid argument.

I don’t care if SJW’s feelings are triggered by my horrific words. It is long overdue to debate whether the SJW narrative is based in reality.

In America you can believe anything you want, but the fact that you believe something does not make it true. If you missed the word “debate,” the anti-SJW side is waiting for you to show up.

Joe Tyndall, Eugene

 

WEB LETTERS

 

NEXT STEPS

This election must be seen as an opportunity. I say this even in solidarity with the nation’s majority that disagrees with Donald Trump’s social platform. Like many, I left my house last Wednesday feeling like I lived in a war-torn country, co-opted by a fascist dictatorship, where my core values were unrecognized by the powers that (will) be. However, we on the left must learn from the mistakes of not listening to our working-class brothers and sisters on the right. In part, they are frustrated with political elites and economic inequality; they are not all racists, xenophobes, sexists. Our common interests may supersede divisive rhetoric. Unquestionably, bigoted actions have and will occur, and we must respond with a united voice that our societal visions do not include these. Yet we must reject the actions and not the entire group of people. We must respond to hate with love. Let us work to bridge these divides every day in ways that our individual positions of privilege enable us. Politically, it may be time to build a third party uniting working-class Democrats and Republicans, as neither party serves our interests. Bernie Sanders built a movement. Now we take the next step.

Dawn Harfmann, Eugene

 

HACKING QUESTIONS

Here are a few hypothetical questions.

Consider the many major hacks of computer systems that have occurred in the recent past — hacks of millions of personal records of military service members; hacks of major banks; hacks of major online platforms like Yahoo, etc. 

Consider that computer science professors have demonstrated that individual voting machines can easily and quickly be hacked and voting results manipulated.

Consider that the voting systems in most states do not have paper ballots, or any method at all to conduct a recount, or assess if there was tampering with the computer systems.

Consider that the hacks of the Democratic Party’s internal communications successfully revealed some embarrassing details that may have helped sway the election.

Consider that those hacks were likely traced to Russian government operatives, and that Mr. Trump is alleged to have large financial obligations with Russian oligarchs, and that Mr. Putin has openly admitted that his government was coordinating with the Trump campaign.

Is it a big stretch of the imagination to think that hackers could have flipped the statewide vote totals in a handful of battleground states, and thereby flipped the election?

If it is technically possible to do it, don’t you think they would try?

And, how would we know?

And, why aren’t these questions being asked?

Peter Chabarek, Eugene

 

NEXT STEPS

This election must be seen as an opportunity. I say this even in solidarity with the nation’s majority that disagrees with Donald Trump’s social platform. Like many, I left my house last Wednesday feeling like I lived in a war-torn country, co-opted by a fascist dictatorship, where my core values were unrecognized by the powers that (will) be. However, we on the left must learn from the mistakes of not listening to our working-class brothers and sisters on the right. In part, they are frustrated with political elites and economic inequality; they are not all racists, xenophobes, sexists. Our common interests may supersede divisive rhetoric. Unquestionably, bigoted actions have and will occur, and we must respond with a united voice that our societal visions do not include these. Yet we must reject the actions and not the entire group of people. We must respond to hate with love. Let us work to bridge these divides every day in ways that our individual positions of privilege enable us. Politically, it may be time to build a third party uniting working-class Democrats and Republicans, as neither party serves our interests. Bernie Sanders built a movement. Now we take the next step.

Dawn Harfmann, Eugene

 

BAD ENDORSEMENT

I was disappointed that EW endorsed Ron Wyden this year, both in the primaries and general. This man is all in for the TPP and similar trade deals — deals that contain increased Intellectual Property timelines and penalties, that only nod to environmental and labor rights concerns but provide no enforcement, and that contain expansion of ISDS, the extrajudicial and highly partisan tribunal process whereby corporations can sue governments if their regulations or laws cause them to "lose profits" (e.g., if environmental or safety regs require they spend more or desist in an activity). This last puts a major dampening effect on cash-strapped municipalities that try to legislate in the public interest. This alone makes Wyden toxic in my view, and I would have thought EW was against stuff like TTIP, TPP and TISA. Guess I was wrong? Or were your people just too overworked to do this research? Either way, I see it as a disservice.

Marise Gwin, Eugene

 

MEAT INDUSTRY

I have no fear of all the goblins, the witches or even the evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me are the latest reports about the meat industry.

Like news of pig farms dumping millions of gallons of pig feces into North Carolina’s water supplies during Hurricane Matthew. Or of saturating their neighborhoods with windborne fecal waste spray. Or of animal farming accounting for more greenhouse gases than transportation.

Like recurring media exposes of horrific atrocities against animals on factory farms. Or of subjecting slaughterhouse workers to crippling workplace injuries at slave wages. Or of exploiting farmers by controlling prices.

Like repeated reports of studies linking consumption of animal products with elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. Or reports of the meat industry bullying health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines.

Now, that’s really scary.

I fought back by dropping animal products from my menu, and my local supermarket has rewarded me with a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams. I am no longer scared, though I still fear for my friends and neighbors.

Elijah Hennison, Eugene

 

FORCED DRUGGING

A little knowledge — and health aides that went out of their way to dismiss the input of numbers of advocates — can be a dangerous thing for liberal Congressman Peter DeFazio. Instead of listening to David Oaks or mental health rights advocates about the “Murphy Bill” (HR 2646) which DeFazio sponsored thinking it was an improvement, DeFazio erred here by doubling down on treatment modalities that he should have known were steps backwards into coercion and civil liberty impositions [Letters, 10/20]. 

DeFazio owes Oaks an apology for not doing the homework himself. If he or his aides had engaged the data or information offered, he might’ve understood that this bill really does promote and offer millions of dollars in incentives for what is actually called “Outpatient Commitment,” which DeFazio instead refers to by the prettier, more warm and fuzzy name “Assisted Outpatient Therapy” given to it by the lobbyist group the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC).

TAC is led by the legendary forced treatment agenda of E. Fuller Torrey, a psychiatrist whose most notable claim to an oppressive fame is advocating for physical implants of psychiatric drugs (which have known serious and potentially irreversible neuro-toxicities) to insure medication compliance. Murphy, bankrolled by Big Pharma as the bill’s creator, was given the 2014 Annual “TAC Commendation Award” by Torrey himself.

Besides those actually seeing these systems in action, it is important to understand that AOT’s and ACT’s (Assertive Community Treatment, the other form of coercive community treatment promoted in the bill) actual fidelity measures include and tolerate force and forced drugging in the community.

Robert Drake, Springfield

 

MEDICARE PROBLEMS 

I am very troubled by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service's (CMS) attempt to reduce costs by limiting drug access for many patients. Money should never overshadow the need for proper provider prescribed medicines to treat specific needs. Doctors know better than CMS what medicines work best for any given condition. This should not be diverted to a "money first" approach.

CMS should immediately withdraw the proposed change to Medicare Part B and engage with the people whose lives those changes might impact.

Because every patient is different, medical treatments should be focused on health outcomes, not necessarily using the cheapest drug.

The CMS proposal to change Medicare Part B would affect how my health care provider prescribes treatments — the only person who should help determine the best treatment for me.

Medicare patients are not test subjects and don't deserve to be treated as such. Disrupting treatment to experiment with Medicare Part B does just that.

Going forward, CMS should invite patients, caregivers and healthcare providers to provide input on any proposed change to Medicare Part B before proceeding with any type of pilot program.

John Altshuler, Eugene

 

DISSERVICE TO SOCIETY

You must be joking! Placing flowers around the necks of pit bulls? [“Flower Power,” 6/23] It is lipstick on a pig, a marketing sham. I am a dog person, having adopted and cared for primarily bird dogs for more than 50 years. Friends refer to me as a dog whisperer, as I have a connecting and calming influence on dogs.

There is a reason shelters are getting pit bulls in the first place. Pit bulls were/are bred for fighting and killing, and there is no evidence they have evolved beyond that instinct. People get them as puppies and love them until they grow up and finally snap, attacking another dog, or worse, a person. Then they are ditched at the shelter. Hearing stories of attacks from my friends and neighbors, and reading story after story of pit bull attacks, I managed to avoid them until last May.

Returning to my car from a hike in the Columbia Gorge last May, I cut through a Forest Service campground to witness my 13-year-old, 40 pound, partially deaf springer spaniel attacked adjacent to a campsite by a 100 to 125 pound pit bull, who dragged my yelping dog by the neck like a cougar with a fawn. Without thinking, I yelled and tackled the pit bull to the ground, pushing my hand into its jaw, forcing it to bite its own cheek before it miraculously released my dog into the waiting arms of my partner, who sprinted from the restroom upon hearing our dog’s cries.

My dog escaped with puncture wounds to the neck, yet ironically, I was the one who went to the hospital to be treated for puncture wounds to my hand. I felt fortunate that was the only damage I sustained. Pit bulls are banned from cities and municipalities across the U.S. One only has to research them or, heaven forbid, have my recent experience to understand what killers they are. To imply they are harmless, loving dogs is not only inaccurate, it does a disservice to this community. Yes, Ms. Gamand, you are being irresponsible to society.

Marc LaPine, Cottage Grove

 

MENTAL HEALTH CARE

We need to discuss the state of mental health care in Eugene. Not only are psychiatrists in short supply (it is impossible for most people to get appointments until 2017 at this point in the year), but practitioners in the field seem to have quite differing viewpoints on which medications work, which medications should be avoided entirely and whether or not medication is useful at all.

This harms the patients more than anything, many of whom seek help in the ER or the Johnson Unit at the hospital, or worse, resort to alcohol and drug abuse because they are not able to get the help they need. Some struggle with insurance issues, but many are not able to receive assistance not only because practitioners are in short supply, but because psychiatrists, general physicians and therapists struggle to communicate with one another and address patients with a team approach.

We need a national overhaul of the mental health system, but we should start small and start in Eugene. People with mental illness are still people: We deserve the chance to live and thrive.

Kassia Lind, Eugene

 

SOCIETAL MADNESS 

So Trump has named Steve Bannon to be his senior advisor and chief strategist, with an office in the White House. Bannon, a self-described White Nationalist, and former CEO of Breitbart News, has said he wants to work with and support White Nationalist political parties in France, UK, Germany, Austria, Hungary. This movement espouses views that white people are superior to other races, that they have the right to establish whites-only jurisdictions or states, and that the principle of diversity is equivalent to genocide against the white race.

In The Register-Guard, it was reported that a man in Springfield was yelling and threatening his Hispanic neighbor, words to the effect of “now that Trump won, you and all your people are getting kicked out.” In the same article, a local judge who is Muslim had anti-Muslim slurs yelled at him by a man who didn’t like the results of his divorce proceedings.  

People, this stuff is not just happening in Alabama and Texas. It’s right here, right now. If we don’t speak out, loudly and clearly and boldly, fear grows, apathy grows, and the descent into societal madness gains steam.

“First they came for the Hispanics, but I wasn’t Hispanic, so I didn’t say anything. Then they came for the Muslims ...”

Peter Chabarek, Eugene