Dear Mayor Doyle and Councilor Bode:
I was pleased to hear that the city of Beaverton would be celebrating Mexico's bicentennial this month and disheartened to learn that Washington State resident Lars Larson has once again attacked an Oregon city. Actually, attacking Oregonians seems to be the full-time job for this Washingtonian.
As you know, Mexico is a great neighbor to America. Both nations share a history of being colonies that finally gained independence and freedom. We share a tradition of working generation to generation to improve on the dream of democracy. Oregon has been blessed to welcome people from Mexico and Mexican descendents as new citizens and neighbors. Like immigrants before them, they contribute to our state community.
Mr. Larson and his partner in crime Bill O'Reilly have unfairly attacked Beaverton (where I lived as a child and where I attended public school) for celebrating Mexico's bicentennial and not the 4th of July. Hogwash. In middle school and high school a high point of every summer was celebrating America's Independence at the Oak Hills 4th of July parade and fireworks display. Neighborhoods, community groups and houses of worship throughout Beaverton celebrate the 4th of July proudly each year.
A city-sponsored celebration of the Mexican bicentennial simply acknowledges the deep relationship between our two nations and the rich diversity of the Beaverton community. I'm afraid that Mr. Larson and Mr. O'Reilly are less interested in the truth than in using immigration and race as partisan political issues during a campaign year. As a minister in the United Church of Christ (a multicultural and multiracial denomination),I find their actions to be reprehensible. They seek to divide Americans - to divide Oregonians - when our nation needs unity. The city of Beaverton should be commended for reaching out in ways that strengthen the common good of our state.
Thank you for your leadership and public service.
The Rev. Chuck Currie