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Slant - 2017-08-17

• The Aug. 12 attack on counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, has us and others across the country reeling.  One woman was killed, 19 people were injured and two law enforcement officers died in a helicopter crash related to the “Unite the Right” rally. How do you respond to such hate? For some with anger, for others, by showing love and support to our fellow humans. In this photo, Jack Klonoski, age 2, a nascent Oregonian activist, military brat and son of a former Eugenean, stands protesting with a heart outside the Virginia office of Richard Spencer, one of the white supremacist organizers of the rally. For a wrenching on-the-street view of what happened in Charlottesville, check out Vice’s “Charlottesville: Race and Terror” on YouTube.


• Speaking of Charlottesville, a reader pointed out that Dino Costa, a Portland shock jock, called for people to run over protesters back in June. We wrote about it on our blog and asked Costa for comment in the wake of the deaths this past weekend. As of press time, Costa has not responded. But the Portland Timbers soccer team and the University of Oregon Ducks, both of which have ties to the sports radio station, quickly denounced the remarks and said they would review their contracts with the station. Free speech is in the First Amendment, but words have consequences. Read the story online at eugeneweekly.com.


• Here’s some good news. Congressman Peter DeFazio reports that more people have contacted his office since the beginning of the Trump administration than ever before. By June, his office had received more mail and calls than all of last year. This is participatory democracy, maybe the only way out of this bad time in America.


• Also in good news, we got great response to last week’s Pride issue, including actress Sara Ramirez (known for playing Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy) tweeting our bisexual erasure story far and wide. Despite 45’s moves against transgender and other LGBTQ+ people,  support for them continues to grow, as it should. 


• Pope Francis, we hear, has directed the faithful to pray for “better appreciation” of the Earth this month due to his growing concern about climate change. This, alongside his encyclical on climate change that he handed our commander in chief during his Vatican visit, leads us to applaud the commander of the faithful. The Vatican is also promoting a hashtag, #BeautyOfCreation, for photos of nature. Pope Francis is ahead of the game on social media and the environment alike. The ball is in your court, Trump.


• Many Eugene residents have gotten into the habit of bringing their own bags to grocery stores, but what sort of bags are we handing those friendly and hard-working checkers? Customers show up with all sorts of bags, backpacks and boxes, but we’ve heard some horror stories. Stained, damp and smelly bags with holes. Bags covered with pet hair. One checker tells us of being handed a bag with a pair of panties in the bottom. “Don’t worry,” the customer told her. “They’re clean.” Another checker reportedly contracted a bad case of poison oak on her hands from a dirty grocery bag. It’s great that we are keeping hundreds of thousands of plastic bags out of the landfill, but will we soon be seeing checkers wearing haz-mat suits?