There was a time when moderation in Durango was commonplace. Durango’s diverse population spanned generations and most folks resolved their differences in private.
In those days, kids learned to respect others at schools where the richest kid in town could be seated next to the poorest. Fort Lewis College was considered a place where local students could receive a good liberal arts education.
The environment has changed. A recent Herald editorial said it’s time for the old “Chief” diner sign to go (“‘Chief’ had his day,” June 23).
Then, a long op-ed piece co-authored by the president of FLC echoed the same sentiments (“Caricatures of Natives do not fit with our values,” June 24).
And now the mayor wants City Council to weigh in.
The sign has been a Durango icon for decades. It is now displayed by a Durango family that has provided an outlet for generations of Native American artists. Their gallery would be devoid of inventory if those artists shared the views of the Herald, the FLC president and presumably, the mayor of Durango.
If the sign is on private property and doesn’t violate city code, trying to remove it using a public shaming campaign is patronizing arrogance, not justice. If you don’t like the sign, don’t shop at the gallery.
Publishing one-sided bandwagon-agenda editorials won’t help the Herald or the community. My FLC education served me well, but I wouldn’t feel welcome there in this day and age. La Plata County and Durango have become an echo chamber intolerant of debate. It’s time to get Durango back on track.
Bill MartinsonTulsa, Oklahoma