Letter: Resist apathy in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Resist apathy in Aspen

We come to the mountains to escape, to surround ourselves with the beauty of snowcapped peaks and fields of wildflowers. But sometimes recordings of brutality and injustice make their way to the screens of our smartphones and laptops even here. Last week, we witnessed heartbreaking events with the deaths of Alton Sterling on Tuesday and Philando Castile on Wednesday. And neither of these deaths would have occurred had those men been white.

These deaths only show the symptoms of racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. Like the tip of the iceberg, there’s so much that we cannot see. But the events of this week remind us that we all must wake up to the reality that many Americans face today: that a call to the police or a traffic stop can lead to the loss of a parent, a child or a member of the community — that our system today does not protect all people but rather poses a threat to some.

In the face of all of this, I feel powerless, but I must not allow that to turn to apathy. We can all keep these issues in our hearts and minds. I have read article after article, I have written my representative, I have begun discussing these events and racial injustice with my co-workers, and I know that it’s not enough. However, it’s a good place to start, and I hope that the Aspen community will not stay silent from shock, numbness or a sense of helplessness but rather will continue the conversation about the problems that have become so evident lately and about how we can reform our police force as we collectively work toward justice for all.

Molly Pickel


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