Comments on: In Oregon, Theatre and Bookstore Clash Over Free Speech & Racial Awareness in partnership with the New School Sat, 19 Aug 2017 10:59:45 +0000 hourly 1 By: Susan Furlow Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:25:00 +0000 I know I am late to the game, but this is important because it gets to the heart of why facts are important. The facts here are very clear if you focus on the actual actions and skip all the bias, hostility and implied politics.

1) OSF folks had a complaint about a window display and its implications for their play.

2) In her capacity as ED of OSF, Rider talked privately with Honore about the issue and they struck an agreement that Honore would remove the display.

3) Honore decided she didn’t like the agreement she had made — and put the display back without going back to Rider to re-open discussion.

4) Rider wrote a letter in condemnation of Honore’s actions and said that she and Rauch had directed the OSF team not to buy “Festival related” materials there for now (not an out and out boycott and not a letter meant for the public).

5) Honore went public with the letter.

6) Honore claims her business is down, and SOME people are blaming OSF for mishandling this.

OK people: if you have an agreement with someone you need to honor it — or go back and re-discuss before taking action. Honore’s action to dismiss the agreement was dishonorable. Thus, it is understandable that OSF executives chose to write the letter. The letter was private. Honore’s taking the letter forward was strange to say the least — any public reaction to it is her fault entirely as this was her choice. So you tell me: other than simply ignoring the matter, how could OSF have done anything differently or better? One could argue that Rider should have gone back for another conversation before writing the letter; however the first conversation did not have an honest outcome so what would make her think another one would be any different?

By: martin woyzeck Wed, 02 Nov 2016 19:44:00 +0000 Sounds like you have a slant towards OSF.
So not sure anyone would take your word for anything more
than an employee of OSF, which means biased.
Saying someone is a difficult ,inhospitable person is merely your opinion, and obviously a biased opinion due to the situation.
Badmouthing someone isn’t a good thing.
It doesn’t make you,nor OSF look good.

I don’t do abbreviations, have no idea what POC is.

It sounds like the other way around, OSF arrogantly and condescendingly
thinking they are giving medicine (an education) to Honore.
Very condescending and belittling.

If I were Honore, having an entire organization gang up on me,
I would be quite offended and disheartened.

‘Calling out their pain’???! What pain???
I mean really………..I’m only guessing, but do you mean because
someone saw a book of Little Black Sambo with the wizard of oz?
Is that what you mean by their immense pain?
Americans need to travel a bit more, like into under developed,
and developing countries and see what pain is.
I’ve never cared for, or sided with the rightwing of America, but I’m starting to understand the ‘bleeding heart liberal’ whine.

By: Karen Coffee Standefer Tue, 01 Nov 2016 22:39:00 +0000 Might I bring it to your attention that OSF did not take this public. Ms. Honore did. Her husband’s paper published the story to bring it to the public’s attention, not OSF.

By: Karen Coffee Standefer Tue, 01 Nov 2016 22:38:00 +0000 Respectfully, Mark Stirling, why is making Ashland a welcoming place for people of color misguided? Our people of color do not feel safe here. They have expressed this over and over in meetings throughout this year. Part of what makes them feel unwelcome are micro-aggressions, such as the display of The Oz books alongside of Little Black Sambo, as well as outward hostility, like the incident in the park that Christiana Clark experienced around the same time. I think that is something that a white person, who feels completely comfortable walking anywhere in downtown Ashland, cannot identify with.

By: The Ashland Wire for Monday October 31 - Ashland Talks Mon, 31 Oct 2016 20:45:56 +0000 […] In Oregon, Theatre and Bookstore Clash Over Free Speech & Racial Awareness […]

By: Mark Stirling Sun, 30 Oct 2016 21:30:00 +0000 This is terrible publicity for a magnificent organization.

Ms. Rider and Mr. Rauch may complain if they are offended, but not as a representatives of OSF. Sending to Ms. Honore on OSF letterhead was a mistake. An apology is necessary. Why is the board of directors hiding? Do they approve of this kind of mis-guided intimidation?

I don’t like to criticize without making some suggestions:
Efforts to entice a more diverse audience are commendable and necessary, but this is a step backward. There are millions of people of color within 500 miles of Ashland (north and south, not so much east and west) – do some focused marketing in those areas. If that doesn’t produce, take the festival to those areas – find a donor to fund some out-of-town performances.

Get training for OSF managers AND the board of directors. They don’t understand equal opportunity or first amendment rights, even now, after having months to study and think about this specific incident and its ramifications.. Anyone who ever ran a large public agency human resources department would wince at this kind of ignorance – hire one to help you.

Finally, I think Howard Sherman has done an excellent job in his summary of this controversy.

By: martin woyzeck Sun, 30 Oct 2016 03:39:00 +0000 It was hard to say who was in the wrong at the beginning of reading this article. After reading the entire article, I can say OSF was 100% in the wrong.
This woman, Honore, had one private conversation with an OSF member. It should’ve stayed that way. Instead, that member told others, others emailed each other. Doesn’t matter that it was positive emails. It was none of their business.
Then to have OSF admin people have more meetings with Honore.
That is ‘ganging up’ on someone. And the final straw , Rauch writing a letter that OSF will not patronize. For one, if I was a OSF member, I would hate for anyone else telling making decisions for me.
But also, that letter was most definitely a threat. A boycott.
And for OSF saying since they rarely bought from the store, her sales going down couldn’t have been because of them, is silly. Word gets around. Words that people shouldn’t patronize an establishment.
This is where a maybe (?) PC action, becomes an awful PC action.
This is where PC’ers think they can change freedom of speech,and decision.
One can educate someone else to inform them that something is offensive to them. And that is fine. But that’s where it should stay.
The other person, in this case the store owner doesn’t necessarily need to agree with them. They have every right to do what they want.
How one nice dialogue exchange turned sour, is due to it being spread to many people via email (doesn’t matter that it was positive), and that admin people started setting up meetings with the store owner.
That becomes ganging up on one person.
I consider myself progressive, but the PC world has gotten out of hand.

By: alicia hwang Sat, 29 Oct 2016 16:48:00 +0000 A few items to note: Honore has long been known as a difficult businessperson, inhospitable and challenging at best; her store was failing for years and she had already lost her lease before this incident and was already in talks to purchase another established secondhand antiques business. I live in Ashland and am a POC; although the Confederate Flag is a symbol of our past, I would never presume to fly it to demonstrate how far civil rights has come – who am I to give this lesson, and why preach to a choir? I find it offernsive and disheartening that Honore feels she is in a position to give us this medicine, when members of the community are calling out their pain; who does she think she is?