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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Adrienne's letter to the editor

Today's edition of the Rocky Mountain News has a letter to the editor submitted by Adrienne Benavidez. This is the only letter, concerning the columbus convoy of conquest, that the RMN has printed, though many more have been submitted. We will be posting the non-published letters over the next few days.

City leaders should condemn celebrants

I read with interest the recent News story about the award of a parade permit to organizers of yet another Columbus Day parade. My interest was piqued, not because the permit was issued, but because of the relentlessness of the organizers of such a spectacle.

The organizers continue to pursue a "parade" despite the fact that after four years there are no revelers, there are no spectators. The organizers still haven't been able to comprehend that Columbus' torture of millions of indigenous people he encountered when he arrived in this continent and his institution of the transatlantic slave trade aren't the kinds of things most people celebrate. Every group has had its own historical figures who have committed less-than-noble acts, but not every group insists on raising those figures up for special accolades.

Sure we can argue that the parade organizers' right to have such a gathering is protected by the First Amendment as it was the Klan's right to rally at the state Capitol in the early 1990s. But is it right? I don't think so. We can say this is only an Indian issue (and maybe their Latino sympathizers who acknowledge their Indian heritage), but how long before we realize this is a human issue?

If we are to end this, I call on all people of moral conscience, especially the mayor and members of City Council, to give voice to their personal opposition to this spectacle of hate and racism. Mayor Wellington Webb made such a statement opposing the Klan and we should expect no less from our current elected leaders. full article

Adrienne Benavidez
Denver

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