Letters to the Editor: Jan. 28, 2021
A political motivation behind attention to right-wing violence?
I'm very disappointed that only now the news media is taking exception to protesters' violence.
Most of 2020 was marred by violent, disgraceful, and unlawful protests in many cities across the nation. Portland figured prominently in those, and the weak leadership in the city, and the state, did virtually nothing except to excuse the protesters because "they have a right to be heard." They thought (I suppose) they were playing to their liberal base, but couldn't the "fair and balanced" media have at least reported it evenly, as it happened, instead of choosing to ignore or even excuse it?
Now, finally, reports of unnecessary and violent attacks are being condemned by the press, but only those for which have been carried out by those associated with the "alt-right." Where was the press in the years between 2016 and now?
Harold Hutchison, Forest Grove
We can't lionize the past while ignoring the present
When reading Kerry Tymchuk's My View column ("National politics: stepping back from madness"), I appreciated how he wrote that "while everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts. Facts matter. The truth matters."
While he touched upon the bipartisanship shown by Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, and held up Sen. Mark Hatfield as an example as well, I had hoped he would also reference the recent poor examples shown by certain current Republican state lawmakers.
Mr. Tymchuk surely must have seen the full-length editorial column in this paper a few weeks ago regarding how 13 Republican lawmakers, including the Republican candidate for Oregon secretary of state, signed onto a letter last month wanting Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to join Trump's multi-state U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit, in which millions of votes would have been invalidated, thus overturning the election. This candidate, after stating during the campaign that she found no issues with Oregon's mail-in voting system, essentially turned around and joined an effort to upend all those votes.
Days after these lawmakers sent this letter, another Republican lawmaker was found to have allowed the white supremacist group, the Proud Boys, to gain entrance into the state Capitol building during the Special Session. He has since been stripped of his committee assignments, but I hope he faces more repercussions.
It is all very well and good to hold up those who exemplify the best in national politics, but we have a crisis right here in Oregon as well. No healing can happen without full accountability and recognition of what has been happening in this state.
Brian McGahren, Tigard
Appreciation from Roseburg for Forest Grove mural
The new mural in Forest Glen Park gives new hope to the Forest Grove community. The hard work done by Pacific University students Seema Khatcherian and Karsen Buck is a great example of how a symbol of peace can bring a community together.
The multiple sketches and compositions of this mural show the progress it took to come up with a final design that respectfully encompassed all representations.
This mural is important now more than ever because of previous and current racial tensions in the United States. Civic engagement acts, like this, will lead us to a better future.
Taytam Trauthwein, Roseburg
Why allow 16-year-olds to register to vote?
In Oregon state, in order to register to vote, you must be at least 16 years old and be a Oregon resident. This rule varies, however, from state to state. Many states do not allow you to register to vote until you are 17 ,and then you must be 18 in order to vote in a general election.
The problem with Oregon's rules though is that even though you can register at 16, you are still unable to vote until the age of 18. The question, then, is why we are encouraging 16-year-olds to register if we are not going to give them any sort of actual say.
Isabel Lawson, Forest Grove
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