Letter: Keep racial bias latch locked
Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins speaks from a perch inside a gilded cage with his Facebook post claiming that Black Lives Matter protests are not about racial issues. “This nonsense in our country has nothing to do with race.” He goes on with, “data does not support this protest movement where cops are targeting blacks and blacks are overwhelmingly killed by police more than whites.” The motto of his sheriff’s department is “To Serve & Protect.”
I invite Sheriff Wiggins and his supporters to a two-week reading challenge by locating online news articles on police brutality in East New York, the Bronx, Newark, West Baltimore, South Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and more areas across America, where proactive policing is practiced by racial profiling. Next step is for Sheriff Wiggins et al to read about the new police protocol in Camden, New Jersey.
Their final assignment is to read “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo and National Book Award Winner “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, a letter to his son on how to survive in America.
If Sheriff Wiggins and those of his mindset, self-educate on the realities of growing up and living in a racially divisive country as a person of color, perhaps they would understand why people in Toronto, London and Berlin are supporting our protesters on BLM issues in this country. Maybe by reading about life outside of Routt County, Colorado, Sheriff Wiggins and crew will understand why Black Lives Matter was painted on streets in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Charlotte and five New York boroughs.
If Sheriff Wiggins and cronies ignore the reading challenge, another alternative is, when COVID-19 statistics lessen and travel is somewhat safe, they could visit a South Chicago neighborhood and ask a few citizens about local experiences to gather hard data and assist Sheriff Wiggins in revising his viewpoint that racial profiling is a “philosophical belief.”
Similar social media postings expose moral values of elected officials, such as Garrett Wiggins, who are in political party cahoots to keep the racial bias latch locked on its gilded cage.
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