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Mar-13-2013 00:30printcomments

Is Salem in Denial of Bias?

Let us learn how to extricate such warped attitudes and truly practice universal love. Short of that, we are indulging in self-folly.


(SALEM) - (Please see links at the end of this article about racism in Salem, Oregon)

Did all of us see The Statesman's front page story for Saturday? It focuses on an ugly case of racial prejudice of a Black woman named Ms. Dau Tucker employed at Salem Hospital. Clear and simple. I find this a wake-up call not for mere words but actions.

Far too often my Caucasian sisters and brothers retreat into a "purification ritual" to try to display to the outside world that they are regretful for the racial slurs revealed and would themselves never be guilty of any similar behavior.

Nice words in an apologetic tone...but nothing really changes. Dr. Norman Gruber, CEO at the employer Salem Hospital, issued an email statement proclaiming to follow the policy of "zero tolerance" for such prejudice, but that is no cure whatsoever: How and why did the hospital climate permit such an employee to enter its portals in the first place?

What Affirmative Action philosophy found its way into onsite worker training and orientation?

In the larger society, we show great tolerance for records and tapes and movies in which various grades of prejudice and bigotry are present. When we feign disgust after the fact, are we not collectively guilty of a double standard? Is it not like apologizing to a rape victim?

This brings up a very pertinent point: How do we as a community help the survivor of prejudice to begin to heal and make the trauma dissipate? This is a treatment issue, so far unaddressed.

Even if the so-called villain were found and punished, the scars do not automatically disappear. One begins to wonder if there is a city in Oregon with a multicultural population that Salem can emulate if that city has achieved "zero" reports of acts of bigotry over the last two years.

We must search out role models of demonstrated cohesiveness, well beyond the level of "tolerance".

As a society we need to find what can bring us together without finger pointing to this or that in the ever-toxic practice of one-upsmanship at the expense of others. Reinforcement in action must be our gold standard.

I am inclined to pursue what the Peace Corps does in its training of new volunteers. That training is predicated upon erasing ethnocentric beliefs that "America is best at anything and everything" that exists.

Such narrow-minded attitudes doom us to abject failure.

We cannot brag about America if we insist in pushing our agenda everywhere else. That is the rawest form of ethnic prejudice.

Let us learn how to extricate such warped attitudes and truly practice universal love. Short of that, we are indulging in self-folly. That's a heavy burden to bear, and we do have a choice of remedies.

Newly impassioned...

(Editor's note: the following reports published on deal in dangerous racism within the Oregon Department of Corrections facilities)

Jan-30-2013: Oregonian's Sense of 'News Judgement' - Deaf, Dumb and Indifferent to Racism by Tim King
Jan-09-2013: Michael Francke: Requiem for a Reckoning Intro by Tim King
Aug-29-2012: Oregon: State of the Pedophile Witness - Tim King
Jun-11-2012: Aiding a Very Important Oregon Whistleblower - Tim King
May-04-2012: Dying Prisoner with Hepatitis C Calls Oregon Out for Denying Medical Treatment - Tim King
Apr-03-2012: White Men Can Dance - Tim King
Mar-22-2012: Mother's Wish to see Son Exonerated Not Granted Before her Death - Tim King
Mar-26-2012: Oregon Judge: State 'Stuck their neck out' for Son of DA Who Raped 13-Year Old - Tim King
Feb-27-2012: Retracted and Redacted- A Comparison of Two Oregon 'Criminals' - Tim King
Jan-19-2012: Housing Inmates Who Make Death Threats... with their Intended Victims - Tim King
Dec-19-2011: Does Oregon's Government Simply Hate Black People? - Tim King
Jul-27-2011: DNA Evidence Should Free Oregon Inmate Terrence Kimble from Prison - Tim King
May-04-2011 Is There An Oregon Attorney Who Cares About Civil Rights? - Tim King
May-31-2011: Snitch Sheets, Unresolved Murder and Severe Tobacco Crimes - Tim King
Mar-10-2011: Reader Commentary: Can Oregon Government Change its Spots? -
Mar-10-2011: Civil Rights Case in Salem Demonstrates the Power of a 911 Call - Tim King
Mar-09-2011: Civil Rights Under the Gavel of Justice - Tim King
Mar-08-2011: Oregon State Hospital and Staff Member Face Racism Charges Over Employee Termination - Tim King
Mar-04-2011: How Far will Oregon Legal Officials go to Prevent Due Process? - Tim King
Dec-27-2010: The 'Trickle Down' Effect of Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King
Dec-01-2010: Oregon Political Prisoner Being Stripped of Phone Use - Tim King
Nov-25-2010: Tim King and Ruth Kovacs on KBOO's Prison Pipeline (AUDIO) -
Nov-22-2010: Tim King on KBOO FM's Prison Pipeline Tonight -
Nov-16-2010: Federal Mail Tampering at Oregon State Prison? - Tim King
Oct-29-2010: A Witness With No Credibility - Tim King
Oct-27-2010: Inmate's Life Threatened by Staff at SRCI - Tim King
Oct-21-2010: Oregon Inmate Stabbing Victim Attacked Second Time - Tim King
Sep-10-2010: Demonstrators Call Oregon State Hospital's Employment Practices Racist, Unacceptable - Tim King
Aug-28-2010: Observations on Michael Francke's Murder, Frank Gable's Conviction, & the paid Confession of 'Shorty' Harden -
Aug-25-2010: Whistleblower Blues: Man in the Hole - Tim King
Aug-11-2010: Demonstrators Protest Local Newspaper Over Racism - Tim King
Aug-05-2010: Evidence Shows Oregon Inmate Was Falsely Convicted - Tim King
Aug-03-2010: Chicken Night at the Oregon State Penitentiary - Tim King
Jul-21-2010: Eyes on the Oregon State Prison: Voicing Concern for an Inmate's Life - Tim King
Jul-14-2010: State Prison Whistleblower Says Oregon Corrections is Blocking Federal Mail - Tim King
Jul-05-2010: A Denial of Civil Rights- Oregon's Collaboration in Racism Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King
Jun-26-2010: Getting Refamiliarized with the Murder of Michael Francke - Tim King
Jun-23-2010: Local Media Downplayed Former Prison Guard's Struggle Against Racism - Tim King
Jun-18-2010: Exposé: Skeletons Falling Out of the Closet of Oregon Corrections - Tim King
Jun-17-2010: Scott McAlister: Child Porn-Related Conviction and Practicing Law - Tim King


NOTE: B. Lee Coyne first emerged as a Caucasian cub reporter for the Black weekly NY Voice and was assigned to cover numerous civil rights struggles. It has left its indelible mark on his mindset. He can be contacted at:

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous March 13, 2013 6:38 pm (Pacific time)

Frankly this is really pretty much not a story. Maybe if she had some real evidence people might pay attention, then maybe she should move to a place where she does not feel like a minority.

Editor: This is one of several racist or borderline racist comments from this individual today.  We aren't interested in comments that are rude or foul and they will not be approved.

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