June 30 Letters to the Editor

Only in places like Roosevelt County do newspapers give serious credence to citizens who defend the term “nigger” in any context.
Only in places like Roosevelt County do elected officials such as a county commissioner refer to the removal of a racist term as “silly.”
I guess a born Northerner such as myself just can’t understand the Southern mentality of this county — a county that desperately wishes but never was a part of the actual Confederate States of America.
I’ve heard the term “nigger” used by white people in casual conversation about African-Americans in Portales more than in any other time in my life. I even hear the word in the college class that I teach!
I’ve studied the history of “Nigger Hill” at our own Eastern New Mexico University Golden Library and ascertained the veracity of the origin of its name through the recorded oral histories of the many original white inhabitants of Roosevelt County.
The hill’s name, which came from a white buffalo hunter, was intended to reference the African-American soldiers.
It seems to me that only stubbornness and just plain bottled prejudice could actually convince people that a Native American black horse was called a “nigger” and that is the root of the name of the hill.
Not a single recording of the county pioneers in the ENMU library supports the horse story — one mentions it, but dismisses it as very unlikely.
Are we changing history by renaming the hill? Hardly. Nothing can change what happened at that hill, whatever the truth is.
Are we changing a horribly offensive and racist place name in this county? Certainly. And only good can come from that.
We owe thanks to Oscar Robinson and others who worked to change the name of the hill to Buffalo Soldier Hill.

Michael C. Souders
Portales

In a June 18 editorial headlined “Americans deserve a choice on Iraq come November,” you stated, “Americans deserve a choice” on Nov. 2.
The editorial disparages John Kerry’s realization that the two choices we have are victory or surrender. Sen. Kerry seems to have learned from his thoughtless activities following Vietnam. He seems to realize that since then the United Nations is a feckless organization of self-promoting con men with chauffeurs.
The choice is obvious: Either we fight or we surrender. … The November elections will not change the situation. We citizens have no choice but to defend America from the war started by a sect of Moslems who want to enslave the world as they did over 300 years ago.
This is a different kind of war. … This war has no boundaries and it would be preferable to keep the damages outside our country.

Dr. Martin B. Goodwin
Portales

I’d like to ask readers call their senators and ask that they support the Federal Marriage Amendment.
This will not amend the Constitution. It will give the American people the chance to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to have it amended by voting to ratify it in their states or not.
I’m concerned that well-greased politicos under control of special interests will break the laws put in place by the people’s elected representatives and un-elected activist judges will decide for us what our society will tolerate or not. It will be based on their agenda, not the people’s.

Sharon Faulkner
Portales