Letter to the Editor

Disappointed by editorial

To the Editor:

Constituents of the greater Salem-Keizer area drew attention to the dog whistle that is “The Reawaken American Tour,” during the March 21st Keizer City Council Meeting.

Hannah Shooting Bear drew the most direct connection between the rhetoric and ideology of the tour, with its roots in our country’s history of colonization and white supremacy, and the real impact on Indigenous communities, “we’ve got dead children…our boarding school children.” April – Child Abuse Awareness Month – means nothing if we can’t make this connection.

I have no quarrel with Oregon’s “muscular” free speech laws. I am, however, disappointed with the Keizertimes editorial “Rally can’t be stopped” (Keizertimes editorial, March 25), which parroted the “just stay home” rhetoric we heard during the March 21st Council meeting. Our city holds,“Pride, Spirit, and Volunteerism” in one hand, and in the other, “just stay home.”  

I’d appreciate hearing the position of our elected leaders. Do they stand with members of our community who have flagged their concerns about the likely intimidation they will experience this weekend? 

My sincere hope is our elected leaders will publicly condemn the intimidating and hostile rhetoric the tour participants will bring – not just to the Volcanoes Stadium – but to the small businesses and big chains in our community where many of our community members will dine, shop, go to work, and live their day-to-day lives. That is, unless we really mean that our neighbors should actually “just stay home.”

Michele Roland-Schwartz, Keizer