The Dalles Dominant view
To the editor:
Editor, I challenge you. I read your editorial of July 9, “Give Communities a Chance”. It was a good editorial, a thoughtful treatise, well-developed, and a good synopsis of the view of the dominant culture.
It was an editorial presenting a false perspective of the minority. It was a “Here is what I think you think,” when you referenced Florida and Utah examples and quoted Rey Leno of the Grand Ronde.
I challenge you to attend a meeting of the elders of the mid-Columbia Nations, The Wasco/Paiute, Yakima, Nez Pierce, and the Umatilla at the Rock Creek long house. Go to their fort just by yourself, don’t even take an aide, and listen to their view.
The elders will outnumber you perhaps as much as 50 to 1 for the several hours you listen to them. However the ratio for Native Americans is 110 to 1 in the general population and they live with that every minute of their lives.
Native Americans are U. S. Citizens as well as citizens of their respective aboriginal nation. We are they and they are us. Not punching someone is far distant from embracing them. Not offending someone is far distant from including and understanding them.
The school mascot issue is an important one that goes to the heart of what it is to be a minority in this country.
I challenge you to go by yourself to their fort, for a couple of hours feel what it is like to an underwhelming minority, listen to their perspective not drowned out by the dominant culture, and write your editorial again.
Terry B. Armentrout