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home : letters : letters September 23, 2017


8/22/2017 5:02:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 08/23/2017

To the Editor:

The flags flying on Cascade Avenue August 18 through September 1 were posted by the Sisters Veterans Group (VFW, Am. Legion and Band of Brothers) to show their appreciation and support for law enforcement officers in Central Oregon and across the nation.

Coast to coast and border to border, these men and women serve tirelessly day and night to keep our communities safe and our nation secure. Far too many law enforcement personnel have fallen while on the job these past few years. Every day they risk their lives doing their jobs. Join us in stepping up to support all law enforcement personnel this week and every day thereafter.

Wherever you are, try to take the time and make the effort to thank them for their service to us.

Art Buell

••••

To the Editor:

Craig Rullman's column in The Nugget titled "Charlottesville" (The Nugget, August 15, page 21) is a barely veiled, and completely wrong, claim of moral equivalency of white supremacists and counter protestors, more specifically those of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement, during the recent demonstrations in Charlottesville.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in 2015, white supremacists accounted for 38 percent of all extremist killings, followed by Islamist, anti-government, and anti-abortion extremists. Left-wing extremism accounted for around 1 percent of all killings; so-called "black extremism" did not

register.

We can accept the belief that black lives matter. We can accept the belief that white lives matter. Each of these statements is true by itself, and stating one by itself does not diminish nor negate the other. It is sad and telling that a group feels the need and compelled to state that their lives matter.

Rullman dismisses the media, as he has in the past, parroting Trump's ridiculous accusations of "fake news," as biased and misleading, but he says nothing about the media's pursuit of the truth when presented with Donald Trump's lies. The latest lie, Trump stated the counter protestors did not have permits to demonstrate, but they did have permits.

Rullman states there is no institutional racism in the United States, but we don't have to look beyond the White House to see it, where Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka not only bring with them a history of racist rhetoric and acts, but who are currently stoking and inculcating racism in government, and the populace, with their opinions and policies.

If you claim to be an American, and that you love the United States, then you must be against those, and monuments to those, and the disgusting "heritage" embodied by those, who tried to destroy the United States, such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and you must be against those who now don't believe in one of the United States' most admired principles, that all people are created equal. Unfortunately, this principle is under growing attack, and Rullman has implicitly lended his support by his column.

John Mapes



Craig Rullman responds:

Your letter, like so much of the current atmosphere, is full of righteous "musts." That's unfortunate, a missed opportunity really, and I would submit that you risk painting yourself into a very tight moral corner when making such blanket demands of, and accusations toward, your fellow intelligent and free-thinking citizens.

I'm sorry that you insist on a belief that America is institutionally racist, apparently based on your vehement dislike of the current administration. Many millions of your fellow citizens, from all walks of life, would be rightly appalled to find themselves so condemned. You do honest people a terrible injustice with that approach, which can only serve to be divisive.

Notably, you do not condemn the violent actors in Charlottesville where, in a scene reminiscent of Altona, in 1932, both brownshirts and communists, moral equivalents by any objective standard, met in the streets to do violence.

Naturally, you are entitled to believe that a statue of Robert E. Lee, or any memorial at all-one supposes-is subject to demolition during spasms of atonement.

There are, as I'm sure you know, motions currently afoot to defund the Jefferson Memorial for the same reasons. One can be forgiven for asking, then: if I refuse to disavow Thomas Jefferson, will I one day be lined up against a wall by the latest arbiters of truth? Must I be?

The world has seen that sort of thinking before.

You are factually wrong in your assertion that I "dismiss" the media. That isn't nuanced enough. Rather, it's that many of us recognize a growing trend toward hyperbolic news, which often devolves even further into hypothetical news, which isn't really news at all.

A discerning adult must question the coverage bias of the information provider, and I certainly hope my column encourages readers to do so. Each day, it appears, there is less and less journalism and more and more political ideology masquerading as balanced reporting. That's true across the spectrum. Unlike you, I'm often left unconvinced that our monolithic news organizations are, in fact, pursuing the truth over an agenda. I'm glad you don't struggle with those

notions.

In fact, I like the media so much, I wonder if you would join me in condemning the supposedly peaceful counter-protestors who brutally beat two journalists in Charlottesville after they refused to stop filming Antifa antics?

In the meantime, while you savage your neighbors with vile inference-whose only fault is testing some of your positions-I'll stick with Alveda King, who said of Charlottesville: "I believe that if we pray, and we act like reasonable, thinking people, one blood, different skin colors, one human blood in America, we will get to the bottom of some of this. My uncle Martin Luther King said, 'I decided to stick with love. Hate is too difficult a burden to bear.' I agree with that."

Amen.

•••

To the Editor:

As I sit here anticipating the start of a new school year, I wanted to take a moment to thank the school district staff for the work that they have and will put in for us to be ready for our students on August 28.

To prepare for the bond work, some of our teachers have had to pack up their entire classrooms, others have had limited to no access to their building and classroom. Yet, they will be ready for our students on August 28. On Sunday, as I was checking on the buildings, I ran into teachers trying to get a start on the year. It is not unusual to have staff in "prepping" during the summer, but the lack of access to the facilities will make this next week a sprint for many of our teachers.

I have seen this commitment from all of our staff. From classified staff that stepped in to help where they could, to our custodial and maintenance staff working with, around, and behind the contractors with all of the bond work happening this summer. Many staff have been dislocated from their work space and have shown great flexibility in the process.

Administrators and department coordinators are working tirelessly to help support community events and partnerships, while keeping the work on our facilities moving forward.

Although the challenges may be different, based on their duties, I am very proud of the work that all of our staff has put in to be ready for the start of school. Even though some flooring may not be finished or every project complete, because of what I have seen this summer, I know we will be ready for our students. I would once again like to say "thank you" to our staff for their hard work.

Curt Scholl

Superintendent, Sisters School District





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