LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 

LEGACY OF SADNESS

RE: "Oregon's First African Americans" [Feature, Dec 11], recounting the history of Oregon's early settlers and laws regarding race.

The exclusionary policies were a sad legacy of Oregon's earlier history. There was just as much racism in "free states" of the period that didn't want to deal with a free black population. At the same time, even without the exclusion laws I'm not sure how many blacks would've migrated to Oregon earlier on, considering most of our neighboring states that didn't have such laws didn't end up with much of a black population either. There are various reasons for the lack of much of a black population in the Pacific Northwest—racist policies of the past could be one, but a location a long way from the South and the nature of the historical economy here is another....

posted by Deezus

I appreciate this article for mentioning anything about race. Though, as a black man, I feel speaking of race primarily through a historical lens is distractionary, if not distancing us in the present from culpability. So in the future, stray from vilifying ancient institutions, because it's a rhetorical gimme. I want to see more celebration of contemporary individuals INCLUDING those outlying the circle of white privilege.

posted by Lyndsay Murray

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VICTIMLESS CRIMES

RE: "Green Herring" [News, Dec 11], regarding the Multnomah County Sheriff's struggle to stay within budget, due in part to personnel working in the county jails.

The cause of the problem of overcrowding is prodigious frivolous charges, such as sleeping on dog shit in the park and smoking grass. Subsequently, as a further result, no one's right to a speedy trial is ever honored. Anyone incarcerated who didn't receive a trial within 48 hours of having been arrested must be released and fairly compensated for unlawful detention.

posted by Occupy This Page

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SUCH A DEAL

RE: "Everything's Inside Out" [News, Dec 11], regarding the complications of an offer by the mayor to move homeless rest area Right 2 Dream Too to an Old Town warehouse.

The warehouse would just be a magnet for itinerant bums from out of state to move to Portland. The city already owns plenty of buildings; more specifically, high-rise parking structures. Let campers sleep in those. It will clear the sidewalks and get the campers out of sight. It would be practical to have some adjacent space for storage, where the campers can keep their tents and luggage during the day. Restroom facilities or at least portable outhouses need to be made available as well. Showers would be a good idea, for the campers as well as for the benefit of the general public not to have to be around dirty bums. Finally, a pair of happy rangers to stand guard ought to be enough security.

posted by Chef Multnknowman

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PLEASE DON'T STOP THE MUSIC

RE: "MusicfestNW 2014 to Be a Two-Day Festival at Portland Waterfront" [Blogtown, Dec 11], regarding reported changes in the format of Portland's largest music festival.

MFNW's spread-out multi-venue design could be maddening, and lead to musical Sophie's Choices, but making it just another "festy" sounds utterly terrible. Part of MFNW was seeing great bands in smaller, intimate venues without the bloated security/wristband/$9 beer awfulness of large venues and festivals.

posted by wazz

Fuck everything about this. The big draw of Musicfest for me was venue hopping. Especially when a show I wanted to see was at capacity and I wandered to other shows, only to discover bands that I end up loving. If I wanted to go to Sasquatch, I'd fucking go to Sasquatch.

posted by fargosucks

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WAIT FOR IT

RE: "Hot Elf Action!" [Film, Dec 11], a mocking, sarcastic review of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (he loved it).

I am looking forward to about two years from now when some motivated editor makes an unauthorized cut that turns this trilogy into one really good movie.

posted by Marq

IN THE MEANWHILE, Marq, please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for winning this week's letter/comment of the week! There you'll find films that don't suck, pizza that doesn't suck, and beverages of both the non- and alcoholic variety, which doesn't suck either.

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