Letters for January 18, 2018

Radiant letter

Re “The trail is cold” (Let Freedom Ring, Jan. 11):

At least check your facts. The Little Ice Age and similar climate fluctuations have been directly linked to increased volcanic activity, including super volcanoes, unlike present times. And for the past four decades the sun’s irradiation has actually been declining (Yale University), yet global temperatures are still rising. Last year marked the third consecutive year of record global temperatures.

Marcial Reiley


Career choice

Re “Consent matters ” (letters, Jan. 11):

If you don’t see a certain connection between a culture that promotes and rates strip clubs for the male animal with the abhorrent behavior of those men who harass women then you probably miss the connection between clouds and rain. Consent matters. So does common sense. I would expect your paper and editor to take a more responsible approach toward weighty matters. If the strip clubs are, let them be. Must you rate them and, by such, glorify and approve of them?

Perhaps one day we can show “progress” in all areas of our society by letting women know that they are of greater value and worthy of more respect than we have shown them in the past. Continuing progress will be shuddered strip clubs for lack of patrons. Take a stand! Perhaps in the future, strip clubs won’t appear in your “Best of.”

Thom Waters


Ancestral spirit

Re “School spirit” (cover story, Jan. 4):

I “enjoyed” the article by Kris Vagner regarding the Stewart Indian School history. I qualify enjoyed because as one of Native-American lineage it’s always a mixed bag to read anything about how my ancestors had their culture destroyed by “well-intentioned” Christian Europeans.

My paternal grandfather was 100 percent Cheyenne-Cherokee and my dad is a “half-breed”—forgive the racist slur, but I only quote the nastiness of the white man—who was born and partly raised on a reservation. My sister, my only sibling, received her PhD in Native-American mental health, and she’s one of the leading authorities in North America on issues of drug/alcohol abuse and suicide among all the tribes.

My sister bothered to secure her tribal registration but I never have because I was not raised in the Native-American culture, so I’ve always felt it would be disingenuous for me to seek a registration number. I don’t feel that way toward my sister because she’s been working with the tribes for over 20 years, and she’s a hero among them. However, I am critical of how so many people with as much or less N-A lineage than I have—I’m one-fourth N-A—have jumped on the bandwagon and proclaim themselves to be Native-American when, like me, they were never raised N-A. Unless one is going to dedicate oneself to Native-Americans in a real and meaningful way as my sister has done, to me it’s an abomination to think that one only need do sweat lodges and smoke raw tobacco from a peace pipe and that makes them a full-fledged Native-American!

In my 20s in the 1970s, I worked and lived with Hoopa, Paiute, Shoshone and Miwok under the auspices of the various government agencies I worked for. I was always fully embraced as one of them by virtue of my Native-American genes, and that was always an honor for me. Those experiences gave me a close-up look at how terrible my N-A brethren have been treated, and just how much their culture has been destroyed. Most Americans are clueless to how much Native-Americans are the forgotten ethnic group in our country. No other ethnicity in American—maybe global—history has experienced the genocidal magnitude of what my collective N-A ancestors endured. The estimates range from 30 million to 100 million Native-Americans killed off by various intentional means over a 300-year period.

I hope we can see more articles about the truth of what the white man did—and continues to do—to my ancestral people.

Jeff Middlebrook