Monday, April 02, 2007

Why are Oregonians Such Passive People?

This isn't a question I am intending to answer for anyone who is reading, but more of a question I am hoping will be answered by those who read this. I really don't understand, although I am from the state that Oregonians hate the most, California. I have lived in Oregon on and off for several years, and my family came across the old Oregon Trail, and I have some family and friends here in Oregon. However, I am increasingly disturbed by the passiveness of the residents here, and wish people would take more of a stand against the things that are wrong.

How about the Kaady shooting in Sandy? (You can read either Portland Independent Media Center or Clackamas county sheriff's version, but either way, it boils down to this: A young guy caught himself and his car on fire while transporting a gallon of gas and smoking a cigarette, and while struggling and burning in his car he swerved and hit at least two other cars. The pain of his burns caused him to take off his burning clothing, but he had severe burns and melted skin on his body. He then ran down the road, where he was chased, suffered a physical confrontation by the relative of one of the driver's he ran into, and was then subject to a run-in with the police. They didn't help him though, instead they viewed him as "non-compliant" because he didn't lay his burned, melted skin onto the dirt and gravel road, so they tased him multiple times, but because his nerves were burned the tasers had little to no effect, and they shot him multiple times, killing him before they even knew he had been injured. The officers were considered innocent of any wrong-doing, or use of excessive force. Why aren't people getting more pissed off about this - it could have been any one of us who drive through Sandy on a regular basis!! Or maybe not, could it have been his "terrorist-like" skin or hair type, whatever that means, but I've heard it used as an excuse for the brutal execution of the young man, who's past proves him to have been an excellent role model for young kids to follow, except for the fact that he ran out of gas earlier that night, and borrowed a family member's car to go fill up a portable tank of gas, and the poor choice to light a cigarette.

But before Igo too far on how I feel about that shooting, or the other police shootings on unarmed civilians, I should share the scoop on healthcare. If you are over the age of 18, there is no health care option, unless you purchase a plan like the well-paid workers with full benefits. While the emergency room cannot refuse to save your life, they are under no obligation to actually help, and they make you feel as if there is nothing that they can do to help you. I wonder how it feels as a doctor to use the words "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do," for a simple throat infection...but hey, they get paid the big bucks to tell me that. Their reasoning is that they are not a family doctor, they aren't able to make those determinations. Wow - I didn't realize that the same person who could save my life if I am in a catastrophic accident could not understand the complex nature of infected glands, in order to prescribe an antibiotic. Either way, they billed me for the conversation. I wish someone would pay me $100 a word to say things that mean nothing.

So I understand why Oregonians are so hostile towards Californians, part of it is because they sue people, they fight, they stand up for their rights, (and most of them have little respect for the nature of the land.) I guess that's a valid point, although all of their fighting, suing, and standing up for rights has awarded Californians a guaranteed health care program available to all families, and they have successfully set examples of how to fight against racist cops and police brutality, and win.

Alright, I'll stop...for now.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't agree that Oregonians are passive. After all, it was Oregonians that created a nationally-known land use planning system, rather than passively allowing unimpeded development (as occurred in southern California and San Jose, and is now occuring in the Central Valley).

    As for whether Oregonins are passive in the face of police misconduct, there have been some notorious actions by the Portland police that resulted in public outrage (ever hear about the oppossum incident?), but nothing on the scale of the Rodney King incident in Los Angleles.

    Meanwhile, the Oregon Health Plan is a step ahead of most States.

    As for the guy that caught himself on fire while lighting a cigarette and carrying a gallon of gas (inside his own car???).... I would imagine most Oregonians feel that is an example of Darwinism at work.


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