My grandson and his wife, who have been living and working in Europe for almost three years, are here visiting family. They are young and bright, with backgrounds in economics and health care. Ready to begin a family, the question arises of where to put down roots.

The country they currently live in provides safety and security for its citizens: child care, health care and education. Basic subsistence provides a security which frees people to make healthy life choices. Contrary to being on the dole, people there work as hard as in any country.

Foremost in our family discussions is the challenge to democracy we struggle with today in the United States. The last administration has upended our sleepy approval of ourselves and our country. The former President has put our shadow side on the table; we must now deal with our racism, painfully and honestly. As we come to grips with the reality of racism, inequality, and the myths we have perpetuated about the American dream, we are asking hard questions.

Our history confirms that injustice harms both the oppressed and the oppressor. We all suffer, in a variety of ways, the consequences of bigotry and hate. Unfortunately, representatives in congress, paralyzed by fear over loss of power and wealth, make up the majority of a Senate which is able to block attempts to change direction. Their vision is small and mires us in stagnation. The elections of 2022 will tell us more about how many Americans buy into this fearful mindset.

Voter suppression is underway, an attempt to limit voter access to people of color. We are forced to put our attention on random acts of violence rather than random acts of kindness. We fail to understand that infrastructure includes people and not simply bridges and roads. And so on.

It is unclear to us and to many whether democracy will survive, and that is scary. Why would a young couple, who are lucky enough to have choice, choose to live in America? What do we offer in the way of resiliency and hope?

Maybe the incentive to help explore a more creative vision is enough motivation. People worldwide believe that we are a country who can do it. And maybe we can, with political will. Maybe we can grow our vision by electing more ethnically and racially diverse, informed, people to make healthy decisions for our country, decisions which offer safety, opportunity and exclude no one. Maybe we can agree that we want all our children to have safe housing and a good education.

My grandson and his wife want to raise their children among family. It is important to have the support of grandparents, aunts and uncles. Privilege allows them to act on the hopes of refugees and immigrants here and everywhere who have the same dream.

Will we act on hope and use the democratic privilege we currently have to work for causes and elect people who believe that all individuals and families in America and elsewhere deserve shelter, health care, education, and equal opportunity?

Without that, how can any of us make good choices for our children, all of whom are precious?

Janet Whitney lives in Bend.

(8) comments


Another "Woe is me" piece. Sorry, but if America is so racist, then where is the objective evidence? Evidence is something we can all see, not to be confused with anecdote, feelings, or in this author's case, imagination. To be sure, there are racist people around the world throughout all of time. So how are we so much worse compared to the rest of the world and at this time? How do they ignore the massive positive changes that have occurred focusing only on select and shallow pieces of our imperfect history to support a negative conclusion? They first conclude America is racist and then rewrite history with only information supporting this conclusion, which is bias in action.

In this country, it is quite apparent the vast majority of racism is coming from the darker skin toned people, a la "The 8 white identities", Coke's "be less white", Robin D’Angelo and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Then there’s BLMs official web page that was taken down and was incapable of saying “father” and had only negative concepts of “white male”. More recently, we have Biden clearly using racial preferences for federal dollars to black businesses. Then there is Affirmative action, which has been a clear failure of a program intended to increase the number of minorities into University. This is all done so that some in the multi-generation dark toned people in this country are able to refuse to look internally and ask why they aren’t more successful and only want to blame external forces.

It is very clear that the dominant source of racism in this country is directed at light toned people. If we truly want to improve life for everyone, then the dark end of the spectrum is going to have to be honest as a community and change their values. They need to embrace the value of education, following the law, establishing intact families, working hard, sacrifice, being on time, and in summary, they should emulate those who are successful. They also need to stop condoning violence, drugs, and criminal behavior, to wit Dahnte Cegers in this very community. Finally, the virtue signalling, liberal, white guilt crowd needs to have their ulterior motives identified and described. In my opinion, championing dark toned peoples purported misery to feel better about themselves as external validation of who they are is perverse.


Yeah, not reading all that, but the voter suppression laws that are currently being passed/considered in other states across the country are clearly meant to reduce or disenfranchise minority votes. Republicans have said it themselves, on the record.


Your word is as good as gold, at least in your mind. How is it "voter suppression" when Republicans are trying to prevent dead people or illegal immigrants from voting? Are "black people" incapable of getting a license and proving who they are? Even I don't believe dark toned people are that lazy.


Another blivet (ie ten pounds of manure in a five pound sack) couched as reasonable discourse from you Skit. Nothing to see here, other than your attempt at cancel culture, which is really the Republicans forte.


Rest assured I judge you by your lack of content and poor character. But here is a helpful link to Kevin Samuels: Start at about the 12 minute mark.

Notice that even though I criticize, I actually offer advice for you and the black community to improve. That's how I know there is no intention for many in the black community to improve, just complain, call names, play the race card and beg for special treatment.


Not buying your shtick on the "black community improvement" while your party does the legislative cancelling across the nation. Let's swipe it up under the rug and it'll go away because we don't want Jimmie or Sadie to come home feeling embarrassed about what is still going on. As I've said before, I wouldn't be surprised if you denied the Holocaust happening.


You don’t buy anything I say because you would have to realize the poverty of intellect is coming from you and would have to give up your race card. Black people have the advantage of deflecting their failures onto society via accusations of racism. Without racism, you would have to fix yourself without the convenient whiteys as your scapegoat. You project your own embarrassment and guilt onto faceless white people as well. Finally of course the Holocaust is as real as Africans were brought around the world as slaves, treated horribly, fruits of their labor stolen, murdered, raped and treated unequally under the law. It’s surprising to me how wrong you can be but still have so much confidence.


Sure Skit. In other Repub news, the RNC head is warning future R presidential candidates not to engage in the debates during their campaigns (sounds like the four Bend school board candidates). 400 pieces of voter suppression legislative actions have been proposed by R legislatures, and with regards to anything regarding race that may be discussed in school R legislatures are cancelling that.

The lady above is correct Skit. Your party represents, well, really nothing helpful to this nation.

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