Black lives do matter
Dale Courtney’s recent opinion piece elides statistics that need sorting out. First, the conflation of Black Lives Matter and the Movement For Black Lives — the latter espousing the most radical of the proposals used to paint both organizations.
Second, the idea that BLM has no concern for the vast numbers of Black people killed in the nation over and beyond those killed with impunity by police is utterly without foundation, but is used to deflect from the very real issue at hand — one which he clearly agrees needs addressing, namely the unaccountable excessive use of force resulting in disproportionately high rates of death at the hand of law enforcement. (Not including our local law enforcement, which has exemplary history, and transparency.)
Police unions are not the same as other public sector unions, because they have systematically covered up misconduct, violence and murder. The Washington Post has tracked death by police shooting in the years since 2015 (because efforts at providing transparency are thwarted regularly by those police unions, so they have been the compilers of record) and noted roughly 1,000 deaths a year, more than half of which are nonwhite. Blacks are shot at twice the rate of whites. That, I would submit, suggests a systemic issue of racial bias — even without more explicit reports of misconduct.
The statistics from the Washington Post of course only include shootings, and do not include choke holds, knees to the neck, beatings and other causes of death. Calls for defunding the police are calls to adjust priorities in civic budgeting towards the deescalation of violence and away from militarization of police forces. There are communities working on this in Oregon now. It will take time and hope and good will. Black lives do matter. Let’s enact policies that reflect that idea.
Mary Beth Rivetti
Biology is not bigotry
New St. Andrews’ ad about the appropriateness of sex-segregated bathrooms is one of the few things Doug Wilson and I agree on, and I was dismayed at (a recent) letter extolling the virtues of what the writer called “gender-neutral bathrooms.”
It’s not the sex stereotypes called “gender” that pose a risk to women when men invade our bathrooms, locker rooms, jails and shelters. “Gender” is nothing but a collective, oppressive set of behaviors that reflect either masculinity or femininity, and rather than existing in scores of different ways on an endless spectrum, it ought not to exist at all. That used to be Feminism 101, but undiscerning “tolerance” has changed that.
It’s biological sex and men’s socialization that puts females at risk in intimate spaces — which we’ve had public access to only for little over a century. Men’s bodies combined with male aggression can and do result in harm to women everywhere. How much more so in private spaces originally created to protect women? Now, any man who “identifies” as a woman can destroy that intent — and harm women.
Transwomen are men, and they should never be harmed in male facilities. But this is a problem of male violence that women are being asked to solve at our own risk. This is not liberal, and it’s remarkably intolerant of women’s safety. Biology is not bigotry, and liberalism desperately needs an overhaul if it thinks so.
Our toddler president
America is great. However filthy and unfair the method, we arrived. Whew! Now, he says we will, “transition to greatness.” Umm, how can we transition to great if we already made it?
I wonder how this sits with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castille, Tamir Rice or the multitude of dead, innocent African Americans murdered by crazed, gun-happy big-city police?
Furthermore, demi-god Don displayed even greater ignorance than the usual everyday kind by using his cronies Attorney General Bill Barr, who ordered the military, in unmarked uniforms, to forcibly oust peaceful protesters, plus Senators McConnell, Graham and attack dogs Johnson and Nunes, each showing sufficient homage to do Trump dirty work. (Graham, an apprentice back stabber, is learning his trade from mentor Don. John McCain, formerly Graham’s bestie, will tell ya.) This, for a photo-op in front of a church, awkwardly holding a Bible — the ultimate Trump hypocrisy.
Unfortunately for everyone, the long overdue protests on police brutality and racism have placed the pandemic on the back burner. Terrible news. Not for Trump though, since his glacial response to the pandemic offers a finality only deadly disease can deliver. Plus, a lack of caring for people, especially Americans, Muslims, and Hispanics and a personal tax “reform” bill passed by Congress fully displays his selfishness.
Last week, Trump displayed his maturity level for all to see, by saying the disease will magically disappear if we don’t test for it. Wow. A comment like that is akin to a 3-year-old who thinks hiding is closing his/her eyes. This, our toddler president — of white nationalism hate, division and lies.
Hope despite difficult times
It has been a difficult spring on many fronts. I’ve been reassured, though, by the community spirit displayed on the Palouse. From patrons purchasing gift cards to help struggling businesses, to restaurants providing free dinners for those in need, to marches to protest racism and state violence, I’m proud of our community.
This pride and reassurance makes me optimistic that we can work together on other problems we face. The consequences of climate change are coming home to the Palouse — we can see it in changing weather patterns, rising river temperatures, and declining fish populations.
Nonetheless, I am optimistic that we can put in the work necessary to achieve a cleaner, safer and healthier future. We can be good stewards of this beautiful place that we all enjoy. We can support our local governments and their efforts at sustainability (for example https://www.ci.moscow.id.us/551/Sustainable-Environment-Commission).
And, we can act on a nationwide level as well: there is increasing bipartisan support for H.R. 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (https://energyinnovationact.org/).
This act uses the free market to encourage reliable clean energy and technology, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2050, and give us peace of mind about the future. We can tell our members of Congress to support this important bill.