Waters: What speaks volumes | AspenTimes.com

Waters: What speaks volumes

This letter is in response to Phillip Gaylord’s letter “Blame of community unwarranted” (Sept. 2). I’d like to address some points that he raised about my letter regarding the racial incidents in Redstone.

First, one need not be present in person as an eyewitness to be shocked, appalled, angry, disgusted and saddened by racial prejudice. I was not an eyewitness to Emmett Till’s murder. I was not even born then, but there are plenty of articles that describe what happened. There are so many written accounts of racial prejudice, that not being an eyewitness to feel a range of emotions is not a valid argument.

Second, his status as a retired law enforcement officer is irrelevant to the discussion.

Third, some of the individuals that committed these acts have been identified. Gentrye Houghton, the author of the Sopris Sun article, has written an article in the September edition of The Crystal Valley Echo & Marble Times titled “Are We Really An Inclusive Community?” as a followup.

She states that on Aug. 24 the Redstone Community Association Board of Directors issued a letter of apology to the head of Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Jeff Leahy. The letter also extended an invitation to meet with any and all from CRMS to “speak freely about how the Redstone community can become more culturally sensitive and inclusive.” So, apparently, they felt that blame of the community was warranted.

Members of the RCA board notified both the Redstone General Store and Propaganda Pie of the reports from the students. Rochelle Norwood from the Redstone General Store immediately issued an apology and delivered gifts. While a board member spoke with Nial O’Connor in person, Propaganda Pie has yet to contact the school and did not respond to Gentrye for comment for her article.

We will never know who all of the perpetrators of the racial slurs were, but nearly 70 students were continually treated so poorly that they left within two hours and held a restorative circle that evening to process their trauma. That speaks volumes.

Melissa Waters


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