Letter: Our irresponsible county commissioners | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Our irresponsible county commissioners

This past week our Routt County commissioners felt compelled to join the chorus of mainstream media alleging systemic racism across America and targeted Sheriff Wiggins for “divisive comments” about the current protests, riots, and looting that are taking place across the country. The sick irony is that Sheriff Wiggins’ comments were accurate and called out the fact that the riots and looting were targeting black people in their own vulnerable communities. Anyone who reads the sheriff’s words and interprets them as racist has an agenda, and that agenda does nothing but exploit vulnerable black Americans.

Our county commissioners even had the audacity to write, “We support the efforts of those who seek to fix broken systems and deliver the justice that is long overdue to our black neighbors.”

No, they don’t. Tim Corrigan, Beth Melton, and Doug Monger simply want to use “racism” as a political weapon against Sheriff Wiggins. They want to pander to a privileged, white constituency that believes standing in front of the courthouse with a Black Lives Matter sign will bring about social justice for our black inner cities. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is, privileged white kids in Steamboat Springs will finish their Wednesday protest, pat themselves on the back, feel better about themselves, jump on their mountain bikes and go grab a microbrew. Meanwhile, inner city police will be withdrawing from enforcing the law for fear of being targeted as racists. This happened in 2014 after the Ferguson riots. Many agitators from out of town descended on Ferguson and the police withdrew. In the aftermath, citizens were left without public transportation, limited means of getting to work, and churches had to bring in donated food and necessities because all the stores had been burned down.

We can do better than this. If our county commissioners are sincere in supporting “the efforts of those who seek to fix broken systems and deliver justice that is long overdue to our black neighbors,” I challenge them to stop exploiting “racism” as a political weapon and instead speak truth to the injustices of the poverty trap, failed school systems, corrupt justice systems, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and single mother households that plague black neighborhoods. Anything less perpetuates a dishonest, false narrative and is grossly irresponsible.

Pete Wood
Steamboat Springs

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