I have lived my 65 years as a white middle class person with ample opportunities. I grew up in a small midwest town where railroad tracks divided my neighborhood from those of my Black class and teammates who enjoyed far less.
But this letter is not about that division. I’m writing about the behavior of some of my neighbors in south Eugene and the views of some recent letter writers. Behavior that appears disturbing and selfish to me. Behavior that captures what it means to have white privilege.
These neighbors are protesting EWEB’s planned installation of two water storage tanks in a small patch of woods on a butte top near 40th and Hilyard. After a few years of significant noise and disruption the tanks will quietly deliver water to thousands of kitchen sinks from land that was purchased for that purpose before I was born. Neighborhood children will continue to play in the woods, and EWEB will help restore the hilltop’s remaining oak savanna.
Most of us at some time have had to weigh our own interests against those of the common good. For some the costs are high and they have little or no control. I would ask my south Eugene neighbors to take a step back and realize how well off they are.
David C. Hausam