A few years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor that seemed too resonant with a few (however few) people. It was about an experience with three young people responding to a sign: “In This House We Believe….” Well, as much as things have changed (for the better) many things have not changed, and perhaps since so many want to “blame” someone for the world we inhabit these days, have gotten worse.

Three young men, high school age, were riding by the other day and I heard them use a curse word about my sign. An attitude I can only imagine comes from the hate-filled rhetoric from many that harbor prejudice, misogyny and fear. If you listen to far-right media, it is full of fear, replacement fear, unfounded fear.  The only thing that might be founded is a fear of being treated just like we have treated others.  There is plenty of that fear to go around, none of us are free of it.  It is how you target that.

In that earlier letter, I had related what I experienced when I avoided the draft by enlisting in the Air Force. The military has a certain way - 30 of us rural Eastern Oregon kids were matched with 30 kids from Harlem. I have never seen the world the same since. It hurts when I see kids today that will never change their view because they will not, or cannot, get away for even a short time. Meet new people, experience new things, quit thinking that just because someone has a view not the same as yours that they deserve to have their property destroyed. Next time stop by, talk to us, explain why the sign is bad and not a sign that welcomes.

Ben Boorman

Brookings

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