Guest Opinion: Boulder and Diversity

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Today in my fencing class I asked this lady if she would sign my petition to get Junie Joseph on the ballot.

She said, “Well no.  I am not voting for Junie,”  to which I replied, “I am not asking for your vote.  I am asking you to help get her on the ballot.”

So she said, “My issue with Junie is that she has not been in the community long enough.”

So I said, “Boulder progressives are always talking abut how they want diversity, but the moment they get it, they start conditioning their support in a way that weeds it out, “I am not withholding my vote from Junie because of race,” she shirked.  “I never said  you were,” said I.

Then I went on to explain that the numbers of African Americans in Boulder have only recently increased..  So you may not be withholding  your vote from her because she is African American, but you are withholding for a condition that many African Americans find themselves, that of being new to the community.  So what is the difference if the result is the same?

Basically she has narrowed her support down to those who have been in community for a while.  Well, that excludes many people of color than it includes according to recent stats.

I have heard people say, “I am voting for so and so because we played tennis together at the Boulder Country Club when we were teenagers,” or “I am voting for so and so because I have known her for 23 years.”

Um, a, is that the criteria?  Do you have to have lived in Boulder for 23 years, or play tennis to simply get on the ballot?  Well I suppose so.

Look, I get it!  It’s her vote to use the way she wants.  No problem.  But if that is the way you feel then why does the literature on so many pamphlets and brochures and websites and lit drops say, “We value diversity.  We honor inclusion.  We are excited about equity.”

I mean, whom are you trying to impress?  The Republicans among us?

Kenneth Flowe, Boulder

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