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Bridges to Nowhere



I live in Dinsmore and have no horse in the McKinley statue race but I have to say that Dale Bridges xenophobic letter in the March 29 issue had me scratching my head. Who does he think lives in Arcata? He even says, "... we moved here, were born here or stayed here," which implies the locals he says he's speaking for came from somewhere else.

And does he not see the logical outcome of his "not-from-around-here" argument? Doesn't he recognize that the people protesting the hardest are the ones with the greatest claim for "being from around here?" I'm sure the Native Americans requesting the removal of the statue would be quite happy if those white "individuals and groups that came into our area" in the 1850s and changed the tribal cultures "to their satisfaction" would, instead, have just gone away when the Natives told the newcomers, "If you don't like it, you have the option to leave."

The fact is people migrate and mingle. It's kind of like sex for cultures. And just like sex strengthens the human genome, the cultural exchange of ideas strengthens communities by giving us different sets of tools for facing the challenges of living in groups. Sure, new people with new ways change us, but that's what growth is about — change. Let's hope all of us struggling with change can open our minds and indulge in the great pleasure of experiencing "The Other" as friend instead of enemy.

Lauri Rose, Dinsmore


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