This is in reply to two letters criticizing my statement that racial discrimination still exists everywhere, including Wallowa County. It is well worth remembering that two of the most violent racial events in Oregon history occurred in Wallowa County — the execution of 22 Chinese miners and subsequent complete dismissal of all charges by Wallowa County residents against the murderers, and the violent expulsion of the Native American residents from their valley home.
The lands appropriated from those inhabitants are today the continued source of wealth for many families who reside in Wallowa County. My own ancestors, the Wades, Bennetts and Hocketts all benefited financially from that action. Neither of these historical events are today taught to students in the county schools as part of the history curriculum, at least to my knowledge. I never learned about the massacre until much later in life.
The nation is currently undergoing a metamorphosis from a white dominated culture into a multiracial/ethnic culture. Despite the attempts by hard core socialists and anarchists on the left and armed white Trump fascists on the right, the broad moderate middle class of America is moving steadily toward a more equal society.
The pandemic has accelerated this trend and the November election will further it. Wallowa County can either join that broad movement by recognizing past behavior, or be left behind. When Nez Perce Indians live year round in the Valley and a bronze statue on Main Street exists memorializing 22 Chinese miners, then we will have moved beyond mere verbal tokenism.