The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, December 16, 2015, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
The Nugget will close at 3 p.m.
on Thurs., Dec. 24, and will
be closed on Fri., Dec. 25
Early deadline for display advertising and the
events calendar for the issue of December 30 is
Thursday, December 23 at 3 p.m.
Deadline for classified advertising,
announcements, letters to the editor and
press releases for the issue of December 30 is
Monday, December 28 at noon.
Happy Holidays!
Letters to the Editor…
The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer’s name, address and phone
number. Letters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions not neces-
sarily shared by the Editor. The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a response to letters
submitted to the Editor. Letters should be no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or
returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday.
To the Editor:
On December 6, at approximately 4:45
p.m., I was traveling east on Highway 126. It
was very dark.
Someone lost a large Christmas tree in my
lane; I hit the tree to avoid a head-on collision.
If people are going to cut trees in the forest
they should be very sure it is tied down correctly.
The Forest Service issues permits with numbers
but does not keep record on who purchases.
Please be responsible; it cost me $1,600 for
their irresponsible act.
Sandy Boyer
To the Editor:
One commenter wrote last week: “Although
it is no longer popular to be a Christian, the
religion still does exist and should be afforded
the protection given in Article 1 of the Bill of
Rights, as should all other religions.”
Agreed! And this is a time more than ever
for us to band together and support people who
are a part of any religion, whether popular or
not. Specifically, there are people of Islamic
faith being reprimanded because some indi-
viduals who consider themselves a part of that
religion are acting radically. This is where my
mind went during the prayer at the tree-light-
ing. I do not automatically condemn prayers to
God, but as a city-sponsored event wasn’t the
tree-lighting ceremony supposed to represent
the whole community?
Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday, but
we all know that Christmas has become a holi-
day beyond religion. By the City Council of
Sisters, Christmas was chosen to be the holi-
day to celebrate during this time of year (when
there are many holidays that could be chosen)
so shouldn’t the ceremony represent us all?
I believe that the prayer was offered to
everyone from the heart, with the intention
of sending love out into the world. This is
See Letters on page 20
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Robert B.
American Voices
A gunman killed three at a
Planned Parenthood clinic in
Colorado. Later, in explain-
ing his motive to the police,
he reportedly said, “No more
baby parts.”
On November 23, gunmen
opened fire on Black Lives
Matter protesters in Min-
neapolis who were demand-
ing action against two white
Minneapolis police officers
involved in the fatal shooting
of Jamar Clark, an unarmed
black man, on November 15.
Meanwhile, the FBI has
warned of an upturn in threats
against Muslims and mosques
in the United States.
In Connecticut, police are
investigating reports of mul-
tiple gunshots fired at a local
mosque. Two Tampa-area
mosques in Florida received
threatening phone messages.
One of the calls threatened
a firebombing. In an Austin
suburb, leaders of the Islamic
Center of Pflugerville dis-
covered feces and torn pages
of the Quran that had been
thrown at the center’s door.
Hate crimes will never be
eliminated. A small number of
angry, deranged people inevi-
tably will vent their rage at
groups they find threatening.
Some will do so violently.
But this doesn’t absolve
politicians who have been
fueling such hatefulness.
Perpetrators of hate crimes
often take their cues from
what they hear in the media.
And the recent inclination
of some politicians to use
inflammatory rhetoric is con-
tributing to a climate of hate
and fear.
Carly Fiorina continues
to allege, for example, that
Planned Parenthood is sell-
ing body parts of fetuses.
Although the claim has been
proven baseless, it’s been
repeated not only by Fiorina
but also by other candidates.
Mike Huckabee calls it “sick-
ening” that “we give these
butchers money to harvest
human organs.”
Even in the wake of Fri-
day’s Colorado shootings,
Donald Trump referred to vid-
eos “with some of these peo-
ple from Planned Parenthood
talking about it like you’re
selling parts to a car.”
Some candidates are also
fomenting animus toward
Huckabee says he’d “like
for Barack Obama to resign
if he’s not going to protect
America and instead protect
the image of Islam.”
Ben Carson says allow-
ing Syrian refugees into the
United States is analogous to
exposing a neighborhood to
a “rabid dog.” In September,
Carson said he “would not
advocate that we put a Mus-
lim in charge of this nation.”
Since the attacks that
killed 130 people in Paris last
month, Trump has advocated
registering all Muslims in
the United States and putting
American mosques under sur-
veillance. He’s also claimed
that Muslim-Americans in
New Jersey celebrated by the
“thousands” when the World
Trade Center was destroyed
on Sept. 11, 2001, although
there’s no evidence to back
that claim.
Indeed, much of Trump’s
campaign is built on hateful-
ness. And Trump not only
fails to condemn violence he
provokes but finds excuses
for it. After a handful of white
supporters recently punched
and attempted to choke a
Black Lives Matter protester
at one of his campaign rallies,
Trump said “maybe he should
have been roughed up.”
Trump began his cam-
paign in June by falsely alleg-
ing Mexican immigrants are
“bringing crime. They’re
Weeks later, in Boston,
two brothers were arrested
for beating and urinating
on a 58-year-old homeless
Mexican national. One of
the brothers reportedly told
police, “Donald Trump was
right, all these illegals need to
be deported.”
But instead of condemning
that brutality, Trump excused
it by saying “people who are
following me are very pas-
sionate. They love this coun-
try and they want this country
to be great again.”
I’m not suggesting that
Trump, Carson, Fiorina or
any other presidential candi-
date is directly to blame for
hate crimes erupting across
America. But by virtue of
their standing as presidential
candidates, their words carry
particular weight. They have a
responsibility to calm people
with the truth rather than stir
them up with lies.
In suggesting that Mus-
lims, Planned Parenthood
staffers, Black Lives Matter
protesters and Mexican immi-
grants are guilty of venal acts,
these candidates are fanning
the flames of hate.
This itself is despicable.
© 2015 Robert B. Reich
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.