Stand up for humanity and against bigotry |

Stand up for humanity and against bigotry

As I read the news out of El Paso and Dayton last week, I was reminded of a similar tragedy that affected our community 18 years ago. On July 3, 2001, a man shot and killed four and wounded three in Rifle. All seven of the victims were Latinos, targeted for that very reason.

Even as I write this, I wonder if there may be other mass shootings that will take place before this letter is published. The hatred of the “other” that pulses through our national discourse is playing out in our schools and streets, our synagogues and shopping centers to devastating effect.

As I recall that tragedy in Rifle, I also recall the way the community came together in solidarity to stand up for the dignity of human life. Whites and Latinos marched side by side, reminding us all that this community is big enough, and loving enough, for all of us to have a place.

The past is not past. We live in a world where violence can surface suddenly. But these events are not without warning. National rhetoric is feeding a culture of fear and hatred. We cannot allow these sentiments to penetrate our communities, to affect the way we treat each other.

When we see signs of bigotry and racism surface, we must speak up. It will take all of us, Latinos, whites, longtime residents, and newcomers working together to foster a community of inclusion, that recognizes the humanity of us all.

Alex Sánchez

Executive Director, Valley Settlement

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User

Letter to the Editor

Make the best of unjust arrest in Carbondale

The recent arrest of Michael Francisco at the Carbondale City market reminds me of a similar incident involving a Starbucks Philadelphia-area store. On April 12, 2018, police contacted two black men seated at Starbucks and…

See more