Letters to the Editor 2017-03-01


While walking down a narrow aisle at a local store, I passed a young Latino family. Dad moved aside and mom clutched her young son. Fear was in their eyes. 

Based on Trump-incited anti-immigrant behavior and new immigration policies, their fear is reasonable. Any encounter that may draw attention — a false accusation, a traffic ticket, a misunderstanding or a cheating employer — could lead to jail, deportation and family separation.

During the election you couldn’t miss the Trump signs in rural farm areas. If I were a Latino worker, undocumented or not, the last place I’d go would be a farmer’s field, or a processing plant, or a site for day laborers — fish in a barrel for federal immigration agents.

Last year, before Trump’s new, stricter and broader deportation rules that could victimize millions of immigrants, I read national stories of farmers forced to leave thousands of dollars worth of crops rotting in their fields since they couldn’t find enough workers local or otherwise for picking or processing. Farmers lost money and produce prices increased. And few Latino families spent money in local stores.

Perhaps all those Trump signs could be painted over to read: Help Wanted!

You reap what you sow.

Leslie Weinstein, Eugene


As EW’s letter’s section reflects, many people are either pro-Trump, intellectually dishonest and insane, or anti-Trump, intellectually dishonest and insane.

Cooler heads are reminded of how racist and crazy the right was when Obama took office. Apparently, everyone is a Nazi and it’s okay to physically assault people for exercising their right to peaceably assemble and freedom of speech.

At the F17 [Feb. 17] march downtown, rumors spread like wildfire that I am a white supremacist because I dared to criticize Black Lives Matter for calling for violence and because one of the patches on my coat is the German flag.  

So-called “hate-free zones” are full of hate. Many who preach tolerance are extremely intolerant. Many who claim to be against racism and sexism are “reverse” racists and sexists. But apparently, ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery, hate is love, violent authoritarians are peaceful anarchists, speech is violence and it’s okay to violate civil liberties because hysterical mobs are good and wise enough to know who is a Nazi and who is not. Sure.

All of this is severely discrediting the left. Stop the witch hunt. How? Start by heeding the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who, despite what propagandists like Talib Kweli have recently claimed, unambiguously condemned riots.

Most importantly, be an individual: Refuse to simply believe what you are told, to give in to fear, hatred, hysteria and peer pressure. Love, not hate, is the way.

Justin Antitheist, Eugene


There is no mercy in the current wave of dream-crushing selfishness and hate. Time to focus on a vision that includes the needs and voices of women, children, people of color and indigenous peoples, the under- and unemployed, financially struggling and medically fragile, immigrants, veterans and so many others who have become fodder for religious, financial and political gain.

Our hearts must remain open to those who view things differently from this vision. The Dali Lama said “we are all one — all the same.”

Love but resist, and advance a new vision.

We must draft ourselves into a revolutionary movement to salvage what little democracy remains and bring that original vision of liberty and justice for all to a new level of inclusiveness. We are in a fight for the soul of this nation, and we cannot make any excuses for inaction. “Your silence gives consent,” as Martin Luther King Jr. warned.

Christopher and Deb Michaels, Eugene


As someone who has lived abroad on four continents and seven states in the U.S., I decided years ago that this area had the best people and most amazing environment. This is my home, and you are my extended family.

That said, I am deeply embarrassed and disappointed with many of us who are acting like children having a temper tantrum. What has changed in the past 20 years is that today’s discontented would have failed to inspire and challenge my younger self like those of the late ’90s did. The majority of today’s malcontents seem weak, unable to give a logical explanation and overly emotional.

I’m no fan of government, and I don’t pick sides. Everyone I see rioting and crying today seems like Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton sympathizers needing a diaper change, rather than independent, strategic and logical humans.

Here’s a word to the wise: The more ridiculous and violent your protests become, the more you turn people against you. You call Trump and his supporters fascists, yet who is silencing free speech, burning flags and books, setting buildings and cars on fire, shooting cops, and committing violence against those who disagree?

The Left of today looks more and more like the Bolshevik party. I expect better of people I choose to live with.

Jason Ellis, Creswell


March 2 marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period preceding Easter when many Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness before launching his ministry.

The call to refrain from eating animals is as old as the Bible. In Genesis 1:29, God commands humans to eat only plants, and the Prophet Isaiah predicts that “none will hurt or destroy on God’s holy mountain.” 

A number of Christian leaders have followed the call, including Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army founders William and Catherine Booth, Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen G. White and prominent evangelical leader Franklin Graham.

A meat-free diet is not just about Christian devotion. Dozens of medical studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A United Nations report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals being caged, crowded, mutilated, beaten and shocked.

Lent offers a superb opportunity to honor Christ’s powerful message of compassion, but also to protect the health of our family and our planet Earth by adopting a meat-free diet.

Edward Newland, Eugene


In regards to the letter(s) suggesting the renaming of Skinner Butte to “Ya-Po-Ah,” I would like to remind those interested that we have already used that name for one of Eugene’s landmark buildings.

What better way to pay tribute to the Kalapuya Indians then name a monolithic monstrosity of a building Ya-Po-Ah?

I am sure the tribe is proud of Eugene for this honor.

John Carlson, Eugene

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