What happened to enlightened Aspen?
Dear Editor: As it relates to the “debate” concerning illegal immigrants:Aspen then …”A place where visionaries gathered – a place to explore innovative solutions to the foremost challenges of our time.””A center for dialogue, a place for lifting us out of our usual selves.””A place to appease body, mind, and spirit still spurs our collective conscience.”The original goal of the Aspen Institute, in the words of one of its earliest mission statements, was “for American business leaders to lift their sights above the possessions which possess them, to confront their own nature as human beings, to regain control over their own humanity by becoming more self-aware, more self-correcting and hence more self-fulfilling.”These words are not mine. They are ideals espoused by Walter Paepcke, the Aspen Institute and others who believed that Aspen was a uniquely enlightened place.Has it really been reduced to:”Since when did we become the welcome mat for the Latinos.””Next thing you know they will start making other demands.””Racist is a label illegals and open-border traitors are quick to place on Americans who have the guts to stand up to this invasion.””They take, they don’t contribute.””Statistics show that communities with higher concentrations of illegal immigrants really do have a much higher/more serious crime rate.”Thankfully, it seems there is hope …”I see humble workers looking to make a better living than they could from whence they came. Let’s not forget that we are all human beings here.” – Mr. Trecker, Aspen.And Mr. Starbuck, though stating that he does not endorse illegal immigrants (Aspen Times, May 18), fully understanding the issue and seeking thoughtful discourse, is not being heard through the greed and prejudice. There is a challenge in front of us, not a problem. At least, that’s how Aspen would have faced such an issue in its “glory days.” Latinos, even illegals, most definitely contribute to society in countless ways that transcend simple matters of money in or out of my (or America’s) pocket. Is our worth to society measured solely by our monetary contribution to our local or federal government? Please tell me it isn’t so. In Aspen? Once the pinnacle of altruistic thought? Using that as the example of the best our most enlightened minds can produce, perhaps there is another explanation for America’s reported decline.The immigrant Latinos are the latest in a long line of scapegoats blamed for destroying America. They join people of African, Asian and American Indian descent among many other races who have felt the scorn of America the Superior.With every passing day, America willingly or unwillingly moves toward our global family – a trend that will not reverse. How we work together in this intertwined world will shape our legacy. How do we want to be remembered?Is Aspen, a once-brilliant soul, now circling in the churning waters of a flushed toilet? Or can it rise above the waste?Jon MobeckBreckenridge
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