To the Editor:

In response to Tyson Sakagawa's Letter to the Editor published on December 19:

Tyson raises concern that students at Sisters Middle School are exposed to inappropriate behavior, through a book titled "George" by Alex Gino. "George" features a fourth-grade boy that is known by all as George, it is revealed that George is a transgender student that prefers to be called Melissa.

The novel has won many different awards, such as the 2016 Stonewall Book Award, the 2016 California Book Award, and the 2016 Lambda Literary Award. This novel teaches children of diversity and overcoming hardships in life.

Sisters can be known as a very sheltered community. We as people and our children will be exposed to many different individuals from a wide range of backgrounds throughout our life. We will meet people of different ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. Instead of telling the community to send their "comments and opinions" to the superintendent and the principal, I encourage the community to look up the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and The Human Rights Campaign and possibly donate.

America should celebrate its diversity. It is what makes this country so great. I also encourage people to have an open mind about things and be more accepting. We all should reflect on the wise words of Maya Angelou, "It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."

Triston Coe


To the Editor:

What another glorious Sisters morning! Sipping my coffee, eating my breakfast and reading The Nugget. Only to choke on my coffee whilst reading Mr. Mackey's letter.

The Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln. And it's laughable to think that "NRA Republicans" (as you so called them) cling to Navy Jack almost as much as Old Glory, yet bring up Lincoln's changes to this country as if they voted for him themselves.

Democrats are trying (and I'm sure Republicans, too) to right wrongdoings their own party did. However, shrugging off the hurt with a "FAKE NEWS!" or "just cant let go of that slavery thing" does not deem anyone less racist. Maybe try seeing cultural appropriation as what it truly is.

Lincoln had no intention of freeing slaves, any more than JFK/LBJ intended on pushing civil rights, yet turn of events forced the hands of both parties. The voice of THE PEOPLE changed both parties. Neither party is the same as it was 20, 50, or 100 years ago. Both have adapted and have now become two controlling forces that fight over this country like kids over a toy.

People of color are not stupid, and they don't automatically vote red or blue because someone told them to. There are people of color, alive today, who have heard first-hand accounts of slavery AND the 153 years (to the month) of grief that came after. Their frustration comes from the gross lack of representation from both parties, and instead see large corporations (like the NRA) making policy on their behalf. Large corporations are covering campaigns in return for leverage, and only a handful (I believe 12) senators refused corporate money. As such, people of color are seeing Democrats as the only party to even recognize it as a problem.

While I don't dispute the facts used in favor of your argument, I don't see the relevance. If you're white, you do not get to determine what is or isn't racist. You can be a voice for those who are misrepresented. You can look to have a conversation, and get off your soap box. Ask why, instead of automatically jumping to protect your need to FEEL not racist. And for the love of God.... STOP. BELIEVING. FACEBOOK.

Shauna Harris


To the Editor:

Jeff Mackey is right to resent Democrats who call Republicans racist because they want a strong border. Jeff and other conservatives care deeply about the effects of immigration on our country. Sure, some of them are racist, but not


However...when Jeff talked about the history of racism in the U.S., he forgot to mention that Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat, strongly supported the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965). Johnson did this despite knowing it would cost the Democratic Party the support of Southern Democrats. "Though some Democrats had switched to the Republican Party prior to this, 'the defections became a flood' after Johnson signed these acts..." (

I also have a problem with Jeff's opinion that Democrats might like the idea of tearing our country apart. This is far from the truth, in fact thousands of miles from the truth. We love our country as much as any Republican, and that's why we worked so hard to reinvigorate the Democratic Party after Trump was elected. We felt that Trump would degrade our country in regard to civil rights (everyone's civil rights), the environment, social progress, and our standing in the world. His most frightening idea is that global warming isn't really happening and that his opinion is more accurate than over 90 percent of the world's


Jeff is a very nice man - I know because he and his wife were my next-door neighbors for a couple of years. I also know that he is definitely not a racist. But writing inflammatory opinion pieces will only push us farther apart, something that Jeff doesn't seem to like. Where's the love?

Paula Surmann


To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the letter posted by Jeff Mackey, December 19.

Jeff, I would ask that you look to researching some history before presenting FAKE news. You stated many things in your letter that present a false record.

First off, the parties switched platforms very early on. Here is some information from a Columbia University Study:

"The familiar U.S. electoral map - with the Democrats winning in the northeast, upper mid-west, and west coast, and the Republicans dominating in the south and center of the country - is recent. In the past few elections, rich states have gone for the Democrats and poor states have voted Republican, but 30 years ago there was no such pattern, and 100 years ago things looked completely different in 1896 and in 2000. Almost without exception, the states which went Republican in 1896 supported Democrat Al Gore in 2000, while nearly all the Democratic states in 1896 moved in the other direction."

The report goes on for many pages. But in a nutshell, the parties switched many years ago.

So Jeff, please do not add to the disinformation that you are clamoring about. Yes, the party that used to be of Lincoln is now the party of right-wing extremists, racists, and those who have chosen to let children die in the custody of our government. So sit where the truth is, deflection does not absolve responsibility.

Michael Valoppi