Outlaw demonstrations brandishing symbols of hate
Recently, a letter to the editor appeared in The Bulletin stating that a right not to be offended does not exist. The writer cites the confederate flags display in parades or anywhere, are a guaranteed expression of free speech as is denial of the Holocaust and even the justification of slavery – all these forms of “free” speech are guaranteed, the writer insists. While it might be the case of the literal word of the amendment, the actual tolerance of it it's… disgusting.
Visiting the slave trading squares in the South of the US, or the cobble stones plaza of the Pelourinho in Brazil, where African slaves were bought and sold, young or old, would be a reality lesson for those attempting to justify slavery. The Civil War was fought to correct the horrors of the practice and institute a nation of equality of opportunity and justice for all. The South, fighting to protect such system incurred in secession and treason – honoring any aspect of those actions must not be seen as “free speech”.
Walking the dark chambers of Auschwitz or Dachau camps where millions of Jews were killed by policy should be enough but to still insist that a Nazi flag is a demonstration of “free speech” is abhorrent. A visit to such places should be plenty to convince people of good will that such evil must be eradicated.
Germany has recently started its acceptance of responsibility for the holocaust. We would be well served to have our own atonement for the period of slavery by outlawing demonstrations brandishing attitudes or symbols of hate and abuse of others. Now is the time.
— Carlos "Charlie" Wysling, Bend
Planning for evacuations
I am concerned with the safety on our roads in the event fire evacuations are necessary. What will the city/county/state do to ensure there are safe evacuation plans out of neighborhoods? That is especially worrisome with the roundabouts that are frequently clogged.
I live up off SW Century Dr. in the Braeburn development. The traffic is getting worse up and down on Century Drive. I believe there needs to be planning on how people can evacuate safely. Maps are needed to show evacuation routes out of neighborhoods. We may need sheriffs, officers, state troopers and more to participate.
I lived in the Bay Area in 1991 when a horrendous fire consumed the Oakland- Berkeley Hills. There was no planning for how people would escape and not enough room for cars, trucks, people, and wildlife to all leave the area. Twenty-five people died and many lost their homes, belongings, and cars. The area worked together afterward to plan safe evacuation routes.
Don’t let a tragedy like that happen here. Prepare, plan and practice. It will take a lot of support.
—Lora Schachtili, Bend
Don't pick Kate Brown
I read with utter dismay The Bulletin article where Kate Brown was appointed by the office of the President to serve on the Council of Governors. The main purpose of the bipartisan council is to "strengthen partnerships between the federal and state governments to better protect the nation from security threats." Reading this news, I'm feeling safer already! After what has been happening in my beloved state for the past 2 years, they chose this state's governor as being one of nine governors for this council?
I suppose all you need to do is look at her resume of working with the Fed's around strengthening safety for the citizens and business owners in Portland? All kidding aside, I'm sure Biden is one step ahead of us and we can only hope he picked Brown to learn from the council about the absolute need to take back control from groups of thugs, looters and rioters in our state's largest city.
—Rand Rietmannm, Sisters