In his letter to the editor letter on April 21, Bill Streitz writes, "We settled the Roseburg Indian issue 5-10 years ago in a mature and considerate fashion carried home by then-Sen. Jeff Kruse. The local tribe signed on and all parties were happy. We respect our local tribe and others. What's to be ashamed about?"
Well, Mr. Streitz, let me explain what there is to be ashamed about. I've been told by tribe members that the local tribe was threatened with having funds taken away and that they were effectively coerced into signing the agreement. That is a huge thing to be ashamed about. The fact that the local tribe was not happy but seemingly had no choice is a big thing to be ashamed about.
Mr Streitz then continues, asking "What's next? Is someone going to dig up historical dirt and then we have to rename things like Fremont, Jo Lane, Harvard, Stephens streets, for example?" Well, the fact is that the dirt doesn't have to be dug up. It is common knowledge that these namesakes were all racist figures in Oregon's past, and I, for one, see no problem in removing these reminders of our extreme racist history in both our city and our state. I thought so when I attended the schools here in the late 1970's and early 1980's, and I still think so now.