Red level reveals white privilege |

Red level reveals white privilege

The following public letter is to Snowmass Mayor Bill Madsen and Garfield and Hecht attorney Chris Bryan.

I am very disturbed to read the comments you both made or wrote at the recent Pitkin County Board of Health meeting. While I understand your intentions to support the restaurants, how you went about it I found appalling. I hope as influential representatives of Pitkin County that you shocked yourselves, as well as everyone who heard you comparing racism to the board’s decisions. Regardless of whether you agree with the board’s choices, racism has no place in your arguments.

Chris Bryan, using a Martin Luther King Jr. quote that was meant to wake white people up to their part in systemic racism to pressure the board to do what you feel is right for your clients, is abhorrent. Bill Madsen, likening the murder of George Floyd at the hands of white racist policemen to the board’s treatment of the restaurants, I found viscerally disturbing.

Giving you both the benefit of the doubt, at best your comments reek of white privilege and white superiority. I pray it was deep ignorance and callused insensitivity to systemic racism and police brutality and not conscious racism.

I sincerely hope you will both take this opportunity to educate yourselves and do much better going forward. I’m currently reading Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How to Be an Antiracist” in my continued quest to wrestle with my own role in white supremacy and systemic racism, as a white woman. I just purchased the book from Explore Booksellers for each of you. I will drop them off personally to you this week, so you know that I mean you no ill will, just a deep hope from my heart to yours that we all want to learn and improve.

Sheridan Semple


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