Letter: Looking for a few good cats
“No matter whether it was a white cat or a black cat, if it catches the mouse, then it is a good cat.” — Chinese proverb
Lately, there has been much protesting on national and worldwide issues regarding race relations, with an impressive, quiet showing by local supporters on the courthouse lawn a few weeks ago. No marching, no angry shouting. The simplicity of the event caused me to think more deeply about what type of positive civil action could be demonstrated to show our community’s support. Here is my proposal:
Who is arguably the most famous African-American in Steamboat, past or present? My answer would be the late musical legend James Brown, who currently represents the Soul Center of the Universe Bridge on the west side of town.
Notice the current appearance of the metal railing. It looks terrible and has been that way for years. In a town that boasts shiny new gondola cars, manicured parkways and riverfront remodels, the bridge railing is an eyesore. In addition, Mr. Brown surely would not be proud to have his legacy associated with the bridge in its current condition.
So why doesn’t the community get volunteers together and paint the bridge railing? Here is a chance to make a statement and prove that Steamboat is ready to act for progressive social change and also make Mr. Brown’s bridge beautiful again.
Can local volunteers organize a painting party? I’d be eager to grab a brush, spend a few hours and work alongside my neighbors to reach that goal.
“But the paint is expensive,” may be an excuse, and yes, the epoxy paint used on metal surfaces is not cheap. I’d gladly donate $10 to $20 to get a brush and bucket to participate. Imagine the pride you would have driving, biking or walking over the bridge, knowing you helped a social, community-based movement progress. For beauty. For equality. For inclusion.
In closing, we can make a social and visual change on a local level and show the state, nation and world this cooperation can be achieved without anger and violence. According to Martha High, backup singer with Mr. Brown for over three decades, she wrote in her memoir he repeatedly used the slang word “cat” to describe people. Why not herd some cats, sling some paint and have us bring these changes to reality?
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