To the Editor:

As a native Oregonian, product of the Oregon school system, retired Army Nurse Corps veteran, wife, mother, grandmother and citizen of Keizer for more than 31 years, I have been incredibly proud to be an Oregonian. It has always been a thrill to come home from travels to this gorgeous place that offers all people so many opportunities. We seem to be somewhat insulated from much of the nastiness elsewhere. At least that has always been my perhaps naïve view of our state.

Unfortunately outside poison is seeping in. Why am I not surprised it is via the media? Through things as simple as political cartoons in our local weekly newspaper, anti-Semitism, encouragement of racial divisiveness and anti-police attitudes are all alive and well in Keizer.

The so-called “cartoon” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Keizertimes opinion page Aug. 8 showed him as a fat frumpy male patting the head of a female child telling her: “To prove we’re the good guys…we have to keep killing you.” The child represented Gaza. This shows no understanding of the Israeli-Hamas conflict whatsoever and demonstrates an amazing ignorance of what is happening in Israel. For that reason alone it was a poor addition to the paper. An excellent letter from Connie Miller of Keizer on the opinion page Aug. 15 addressed this “cartoon” so I’ll move on.

In his book One Nation, Dr Ben Carson notes Walter Cronkite was decidedly left wing in his political views but one would never know it from his reporting as he was so professional. Gone are the days when credible journalists just reported the news and let us make up our own minds on an issue. Today we have to wade through the muck of media with an agenda to get to the truth,

Now let’s look at the political “cartoon” in this Friday’s paper (Aug. 22) showing an overweight frumpy-looking police officer with a smoking gun saying to an apparently shot individual at his feet, “He was black, that’s reason enough.”

Congratulations, Keizertimes, you have now joined the legion of race baiters the like of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama. How disgusting. We don’t know anything near the whole story of what went on in Fergeson,  but you are right there with the mob jumping to judgement and scapegoating the police officer through this “cartoon.” Are you also advocating breaking into businesses and stores in our community when something happens we don’t agree with or feel passionately about? It was a low moment in journalism for the Keizertimes to print this “cartoon” when you must know our police officers put their lives on the line every time they put on their uniform. Former detective Mark Fuhrman might have had it right when he suggested perhaps police officers should get in their cars, turn on the air conditioning and remain there as calls for assistance come in. I wonder what would happen to the folks who really need their help.

The frightening thought that the Saul Alinsky radicals and Fabian Socialist agenda (from decades ago) to destroy our country from within might be more successful than we realize, raises its ugly head now and then. It makes me intermittently afraid for our country. We live in a wonderful community and country but we the people must be more vigilant and less apathetic than ever to maintain what we have and assure it is there for all our citizens.

When there are differences we have to learn to discuss them with respect and focus on the issues, not refocus on tearing down the person who has a view different than our own.

If the Keizertimes must resort to these “cartoons,” their circulation must really be in trouble. I would hope in the future they will be more judicious in the material they print.

Diane LeMaster