Letters to the Editor – 2017-01-05


As a third year law student, I find the University of Oregon response to Prof. Nancy Shurtz’ blackface incident disgraceful.

According to the university, the disruption caused by the professor’s costume “was so significant that it outweighed any right that Shurtz has to free speech and academic freedom.” It is patently offensive for the university to assert the right to selectively abide by the Constitution, because state entities have no such ability.

Moreover, it is imperative to a well-rounded education that students be exposed to contrary views and opinions. Instead, the university is attempting to assure that nobody’s delicate sensibilities are offended. This is humorous considering that many law students will be dealing with murderers, rapists and (hopefully) corrupt politicians in the near future.

Additionally, I am disgusted by the cowardice of the professors who demanded Shurtz’ resignation. It takes no courage to pick up pitchforks and torches in the midst of a mob mentality. However, defending the rights of the vulnerable and unpopular requires a spine.

Matthew Watkins, Eugene


I am glad that Prof. Nancy Schurtz has decided to hire a lawyer — I hope not one from the University of Oregon law school, whose faculty members have been complicit in persecuting her. The way this affair has been handled by the university administration and the law school faculty is an embarrassment and, in my opinion, will lower the esteem with which people regard the law school and, by extension, the university.

I remember blackface, used to poke fun at the stereotype of black characteristics — similar to men wearing dresses and ridiculing their stereotype of female traits. This was nothing like a representation of a character in a book.

The reaction by the university is ridiculous. I hope that Schurtz does not resign and, although it is too much to hope for, I wish that the law professors who signed the petition asking her to resign would offer a public apology.

Betty Taylor, Eugene


“Lamentable response” — I’ll say. I’d like to start by giving the University of Oregon props on its response to a prof wearing blackface. The idea that some overpaid white lady could bring perspective to America’s race issues would be laughable if it wasn’t f**king disgusting.

As for Shawn Boles’ viewpoint [12/29], I am much less impressed: “On Halloween a respected scholar, in the privacy of her own home, attempted to open a discourse about white privilege using props consisting of a blackened face, a stethoscope and a white coat.”

This is doublespeak at its finest, as if he uses enough obfuscation we won’t get he picture. “A blackened face,” not blackface. This is an overpaid white person defending the rights of another overpaid white person to do whatever they want while people of color face discrimination in every facet of life.

I agree that there is a difference between narrative and fact. Boles’ narrative is that rich white people should be able to do whatever they want. Luckily the majority of the UO staff agrees that this is at least an unpopular narrative to voice aloud.

I’d leave a burning bag of shit on Boles’ porch, but since he is one, this would be redundant.

Ian Blumberg-Enge, Eugene


This last year I saved up, juggled my insurance of “allowable” procedures and spent a boatload of cash to fill a gap in my smile with a dental “implant.” It actually took two years, as my insurance would not pay for the complete procedure in one-year’s coverage.

At the end of two years, screw and fake tooth in place, I was good to go. About two weeks before this Christmas, the “implant” started to ache. Since the tooth and roots were gone, I worried it might be an infection of some sort.

When I called my dentist’s office, the billing woman checked my coverage and said my insurance would not cover any more services in 2016, informing me that I could self-pay or they could see me on Jan. 3, 2017. I opted for the January appointment, knowing that the x-rays and possible treatment needs could really cost and hoping the pain wouldn’t get too bad.

What a strange reality that, in the most “powerful” country in the world, citizens have to spend holidays in pain, waiting days for the new-year insurance eligibility before getting dental healthcare.

Citizens suffer while health insurance CEOs rake in big bucks, i.e. Cigna CEO $27 million and United Healthcare $66 million, just to name two. This is not fair!

When will citizens demand single-payer healthcare for all?

Debra McGee, Eugene


After considerable thought, I am forced to accept that the letter that appeared in EW of Dec. 8 [“Sodom and Orlando”] was a cruel and thoughtless attack on my faith. My faith is so much greater and more important than some “ranting” letter in a “rag” of a newspaper.

The “radical left” has no problem defending Islamic terrorists, and yet their open disdain for Christians and religious faith is apparent in every aspect of American life today. There is something much greater than a “God the father.”

The rules and laws of all this infinity of which our world is the smallest part show that there is something, some law or power behind it. I have always believed we are part of a tremendous whole of which we have no conception. We may be the insignificant part, but we belong.

The Bible, which I read daily, to me is a series of simple stories to illustrate the benefits of living by the code, and the punishment of living outside it. Read it. Perhaps Mr. Shaw should look at himself in a mirror before he calls someone a bigot.

Just one word more — I cannot refrain from saying it. I am not one of those that have the least anxiety about my faith and principles it upholds. I have seen fools resist providence before, and I have seen their destruction — utter destruction and contempt. That faith will prevail is as sure as that God reigns. Thank you.

Lon Miller, Drain


Our workplaces should be politically neutral, but “hate radio” turns public space and privacy on its head.

The alt-right intimidates logic and truth with a relentless 24-hour media blitzkrieg.

Menacing, right-wing broadcasts are financed by a secretive wealthy fringe, its circus peanuts underwriting rabid elephants like Rush and Hannity — 30 pieces of silver for their moral betrayal of America.

Trump’s financial warlord, Carl Paladino, is another modern lynch-mob conservative vomiting through a megaphone. Paladino insults Obama’s wife and wishes death on our President. Those who warn that “it has an off button” are only half right.

Every two minutes these septic tanks of radio broadcasting should be forced to repeat “mine is not actual news,” because it isn’t.

Why has the FCC allowed rubbish and lies to get swept in as evil entertainment and bogus opinion?

If you are subjected to “idiot radio” at work, you can easily complain to the FCC via e-mail. Include the station and time of broadcast, the personality speaking and the exact comments made. The FCC does respond and significant fines can be assessed for egregious lies.

You remember Glenn Beck, right? These days he “regrets” all the racist pain and hate he inflicted. Liberals meekly accept another lame apology from yet another pathetic Jim Crow.

Too bad God’s lightning bolt of truth doesn’t strike Rush Limbaugh playing golf at his whites-only private country club.

Lord, please enlighten another misfit who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Glenn Jones, Eugene


Ok, folks, chillax. What is, is.

We have four interesting years ahead of us. There is a Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

We get the government we deserve. The reasons for it are many, but we have no one to blame but ourselves for the outcome. We must do something different if we want a different outcome.

It has been said that the pendulum will and must swing to extremes occasionally for things to end up somewhere near the middle over the long run.

So sit back and enjoy the ride; it’s going to be a doozy.

We may even learn something from it.

Chris Percival



On Tuesday, Dec. 20, at about 5 pm, my daughter was hit by a pickup truck while crossing Willamette Street at 25th Avenue. The driver stopped just long enough to ask if she was okay, then left the scene of the accident.

My daughter was, in fact, not okay. She has a bruised shoulder and collarbone from being knocked to the ground by the impact with the truck. I called the EMT to have an initial assessment of her injuries done. She will take weeks to heal.

My daughter was too shaken to think clearly, so did not get much information about the truck or the driver. She did, however, know that the truck was a full-sized pickup, dark grey or silver with an OR plate. And that the driver was a young adult man, white, average build, tallish, with a bit of a beard.

I am asking that this young man come forward and file a report with the police. If anyone knows of information about the accident, I ask that they provide it to the police.

With hopes that this young man will do the right thing,

Beverley Mowery, Eugene


Here’s an invitation for you, Dan Mattheisen [“Childish Response,” Letters, 12/15], to earn your very own participation ribbon: All you have to do is attend the Women’s March in Eugene on Jan. 21, 2017, taking place in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.

Along with Portland and other cities around the country, we will unite in Eugene, standing together in solidarity with our families and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our community — recognizing that our diversity is the strength of our country.

Yep, Dan, I’ll see you at the new Federal Courthouse at noon on Jan. 21. We’ll exchange participation ribbons, okay? But I promise I won’t insult you or be condescending by calling your voting choice a “childish response.”

And no need to quell any sad feelings. But thanks for the concern anyway.

According to an ancient maxim of common law, “silence gives consent” (Qui tacet, consentit). And like so many citizens in this democracy, I am not consenting to a Trump presidency, and I will not be silent. Instead I will be pushing back and intentionally resisting the advances of the sexual predator, bully and racist in the “Make America White” House that you voted for … silently.

Karen D. Myers, Eugene

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