Two recent opinion columns in this paper reflect the best and the not so good, respectfully, in locally written pieces on the issue of race.

First, kudos and appreciation to The News-Review Editorial Board for its piece entitled “Call Racism What it is: Evil” for its unequivocal, clear condemnation of racism in America. It renewed my hope that The News-Review will write clearly on issues of national concern and provide a moral force in the Roseburg area community. Thank you, Editorial Board, and I hope you can extend a similarly lucid and constructive voice to other issues of concern to the community.

On the other hand, no kudos and no thanks to David Sayers for his muddled, confused and disjointed guest column “The American left–America’s new Taliban?” I don’t know whether or not the author chose this unfortunate title, but, in any case, the headline was inflammatory and unfair. What an outrageous comparison of (all? or the majority? or any significant fraction?) of progressives to the murdering, torturing, anti-American and vile Taliban.

Contrary to what Mr. Sayers suggests, I, as a progressive, do not, and will not in the future “tear down ancient temples, throw homosexuals off buildings, and behead people and stone women for whatever crimes (I) can imagine.” This claim/comparison is not only preposterously unhelpful but just as useless to understanding as the claiming that all conservatives, and all Trump supporters, are really all KKK, Nazis and Adolph Hitlers.

The “logic” of Mr. Sayers piece relies on holding all progressives responsible for the weakest thinking or worst behavior of anybody identified as a progressive or politically “left.” We need better and clearer thinking than that. His column goes even further afield in drawing on disconnected and unsupported claims about some on the political left and generalizing those claims to all progressives. In the process, Mr. Sayers manages to avoid identifying the Charlottesville proponents of the Robert E. Lee statue as self proclaimed Klan sympathizers, white supremacists and Nazis. When one member of this assemblage took it upon himself to run his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, it was argued, it was partially the fault of local civic leaders in Virginia because they should have “perceived that the (city’s decision to remove the statue would) “give rise to the turmoil and even death.”

This laying of responsibility with the city is hogwash. Mr. Sayers need not look so far afield to find blame, and his generally irrelevant laundry list of (even some partially justified) grievances against progressives will not help him locate where responsibility for this tragedy should be laid. For that he need look only so far as the racist mob, marching with their tiki torches.

I suggest that instead of trying to blame the left for the deaths and injuries he further reflect on the role of those people (whether or not well meaning) who tolerate, gloss over, or excuse the mob’s — and the participants’ — racist violence and murder.

Peter Pollaczek is a retired attorney living in the Roseburg area, and in most respects, identifies as a political progressive.

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(13) comments


***Sound8. Overzealous? At least I have lots of life experience to apply to my opinions. How can one not be zealous after spending multiple decades putting myself in the position of protecting the public. You want to talk zeal? At 16, I had two high school friends become brain dead from using LSD. At that point, I then went after anyone I knew was a dealer, made sure they were arrested and yes, testified against them in court. That is what you may refer to as a narc. Is that enough zeal for you? Think about this. I do not know you, but if I saw you on the ground being whipped to pieces by some dirt wad, I bet you would be happy when I stopped and evened things out in your favor. Would you do the same for me? As long as I can walk, I will always get involved. I always call in DUII's. Do you? If you see a woman getting pounded by a man, will you stop? Will you call 911? Will you get involved? There are reasons why some people go into law enforcement and others become librarians, or bank tellers. Not everyone can do it or want to. So, you want someone that is eager to do what is expected on an LEO job, or someone that wants to flitz around in uniform and giggle like a flamer?


just proved the point. hate speech, name calling. ugh.


***Pollaczek*** Why did you not rebuttal my comments about you? You are like a hit and run driver. You made your comments and left everybody hanging as to follow up. If you cannot rebuttal something this easy, then how could you go to court and put up a fight for your client? You voiced your opinion, like you were a mad tiger..... but then you trailed off like a little kitten.


If the title is correct then you deem anyone who disagrees with you bad and ugly. How progressive of you! You must suffer a lot of nose bleeds looking down at the rest of us. Figures a lawyer would think he knows everything!


***Pollaczek. A retired attorney? Well, I say you are a muddled, confused and disjointed retired attorney for your opinion. You take a personal dislike of Sayer's article. I do not like yours. You want the NR paper to take a one-sided approach to all of its articles and opinions, all on the left. FYI, your opinion only matters to those with similar thoughts, as do people that think as I do. One exception is, we believe in two sides that freely disagree, unlike your 'want to force it down our throats' beliefs. Then you just had to toss in Trump's name, into the morass of your one sided thinking. And to top it off, you whine about Sayer's unfair headline. That is cry baby talk. But hey, if you want to cry like a baby, that is fine with me.


Can't respond to what the writer has to say, just ad hominim criticizms. Be nice to hear a cogent argument from you one of these days, Try rebutting what he says if you disagree with it. And you have the nerve to call him a crybaby?


He's not capable.


*************Husker boy. When are you going to admit, that you are not now, nor most likely were never a police officer? I am sure there are some people that recognize your handle 'OregonHusker' and know you are not an active law officer. Your reluctance to prove me wrong just gets worse with time. Are you afraid I have connections with every PD in this county, as well as the SO? Well, actually I have connections with about13-15 different police agencies in two states, but hey who is counting. If you fess up and admit you only did one month as a reserve, that is fine and we can let it go. But you said, and I quote, "I was hired and he (Sayer's) was not." Here is the clencher. If you were hired, that is defined as working for a fee, compensation, or a price for your services.


***Husker*** Your failure, deliberately as it is, to provide info you were and or are a law enforcement officer is pathetic. You show a lack of integrity that is needed to be an LEO.


***mysteron. Not sure what 'hominim' means as it is not in the dictionary. And check the spelling of 'crticizms', a tad off. Does not matter if you dislike my comment or opinions, as there are plenty who do. Geez, you want me to write 10 pages on how this alleged attorney has misguided thoughts? How about you write something that reflects how you feel about him and his opinions and then let us comment. That way, you can show people that you can rebuttal with facts, one way or the other. And yes, he is a cry baby and probably was in court too.


Thanks for proving my point.


exdep, how do we know you are what you say you are? How do we know your supposed background is true? You seem overzealous for a true deputy or ex-deputy.


Thank you for a rational and thoughtful response to recent editorial pieces. Well done.

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