Methods to block racism – Letters To The Editor

Methods to block racism

My 9-year-old son’s experience as a black child in this region has been largely harmonious, but occasionally racial remarks disturb our sensibilities. Just recently a boy made derisive comments to my son about his skin color during his soccer game.

It would behoove conscientious parents of white children in this racially homogeneous region to act pre-emptively. Raise your child’s consciousness about the beauty of diversity in ethnicity, languages, skin colors, nose shapes, hair texture, eye shape, cultures, etc.

Some suggestions:

1. Children are not color-blind. Ask leading questions; watch for prejudice and stereotyping. Seize upon “teachable moments.”

2. Does your child believe most people are white? Point out that globally most people are non-white.

2. Does your child refer to skin or flesh color as beige? Point out the broad range of human skin tones and provide art supplies to reflect this.

3. Buy ethnically diverse dolls, action figures and artwork. Provide diverse and non-stereotyping books, TV shows, movies and plays.

4. Show disgust whenever you notice stereotyping or racist undertones in the media, or anywhere.

5. Praise leaders, inventors, and heroes of various ethnicities.

6. Attend local ethnic/cultural events and celebrations of minority leaders, e.g. our annual MLK celebration. Take family trips to more diverse areas; visit parks, restaurants, art and history museums.

7. Check yourself. Do your own behaviors, including non-verbal, show racial prejudice?

Nip racism in the bud — not just for my child’s sake but for your child’s too.

Lorie Anderson

Honoring retired AHS teacher

A few months ago, our communities celebrated the graduation of hundreds of our youth from high school. Along with them “graduated” quite a few teachers as well.

One of these was Russ Otte from the Ashland School District.

Mr. Otte was one of those rare teachers that expected a lot from his students. I know, because I had the privilege of being one of his students.

Some 25 years ago, Mr. Otte had a choir class made up of ordinary junior high kids. Fortunately for us, Mr. Otte didn’t see any class as ordinary. Over the following months, his commitment to excellence transformed our rag-tag group of adolescents into a cohesive team. As we strived to reach Mr. Otte’s high expectations, we found in ourselves our own excellence. By the end of the year, our choir had been recognized as one of the best in the region.

Even more important than the recognition though was the confidence and pride we developed in ourselves and in each other … a confidence that helped shape our lives as we moved beyond junior high.

I will be forever grateful to Mr. Otte for providing me with one of the highlights of my young life … for inspiring me to stretch beyond that which was easy or comfortable … to strive to be the best.

May he enjoy the retirement he so richly deserves and may his example inspire more teachers to embrace the pursuit of excellence in their own classrooms.

Tim Caswell Jr.
AHS Class of 1987

Class warfare invading Ashland

Your Oct. 12 editorial on “Billings’ broken dream an uneasy sign” speaks of a “developing class warfare” in Ashland. I wonder what you have in mind.

Do you assume that Ashland “is an island; entire of itself” or see it as “a part of the main?” If the latter, then it’s hard to ignore Warren Buffett, one of this age’s richest people:

“If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning.”

Or Bill Moyers, one of our most astute political observers:

“The vast inequality of this new Gilded Age didn’t just happen. Nature didn’t ordain it, the market didn’t require it, and Adam Smith’s invisible hand doesn’t sustain it. What happened is the rich declared class war and spent what it took to win.”

Any class warfare plaguing our city and country is of the top-down variety.

Stan Druben

Seniors dangerous on the road

I take safety for loved ones, strangers and myself very seriously. That being said, each time I drive in Ashland, another senior citizen driver just about kills me, or runs down a bicycle rider or a pedestrian. Having lived in Ashland since 1989, why is it that I have yet to witness any older drivers being issued warnings or tickets from our police officers? If I drove my car as flagrantly awful as so many of our older residents do, the police would most certainly pull me over and read me my rights — so what’s up? Are there some standing orders to let these clearly terrible and dangerous drivers run about without check? Here’s what I think … If you are stopping ten feet before the line at intersections, changing lanes without looking and without using your turn signals, backing up without looking, driving 10 to 15 MPH below the speed limit, driving in both lanes at once, driving in the bike lane because you think it’s the slow lane, or driving around so medicated that you can’t remember if you already took those pills … Then please take responsibility and stop driving your car, ask someone for help to go shopping or just call a taxi. I fear that someone will get maimed for life or die before our police start taking this issue seriously.

Simeon Schatz




Letter Submissions
ALL SUBMISSIONS for the Opinion Page should be e-mailed in text-only format to the newsdesk. Please include your address and a daytime phone number where you can be reached. All submissions should be followed up with a phone call by the author to confirm authenticity. Please call 482-3456 x225 or x223 to confirm your submission within 48 hours of sending it.

Letters: Submissions are limited to 250 words and may be edited for content and clarity. Letters are given priority and published as soon as possible. Letters At Length and Guest Editorials are published as space permits.

Letters At Length: Submissions are limited to 400 words and may be edited for content and clarity.

Guest Editorials: Submissions are limited to 500 words and may be edited for content and clarity. Local residents only are encouraged to submit guest editorials on local timely issues. All editorials must include a tag line at the bottom of the submission that informs readers of who the author is and how long he or she has lived in Ashland.

The Tidings gives priority to letters on local and regional topics of current interest. It seeks to encourage thoughtful, well-reasoned leters and to discourage personal attacks, repetitive messages and personal disputes. Form letters are not published in the Tidings, nor are letters identified as having been published in other local publications.


Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.