Letter: Don’t excuse or rationalize violence

Reading the recent letter to the editor from Susan Newcomer, my reaction, at least to the first section, would fall under the classification of incredulous. Talking about the recent riots in this country, she put “mobs” in quotations, as if they were little more than some folks crowding the toppings table at a community center ice cream social.

Well, no, those were mobs. They were violent, criminal — since, at least for the time being, wanton destruction of public and private property is a crime — and they were, in ugly fact, murderous. I wonder if the chair of the Grand County Democratic Party is aware of the death toll inflicted in these riots. That number is 15. Fifteen with the majority African-American.

Some people have heard the name David Dorn, a retired police captain, 77 years old, a father and grandfather — an African-American. He was killed while trying to protect a friend’s store. The “by and large registered voters demanding that attention be paid to demonstrable racial inequality in this country” that Newcomer referred to shot him dead and then stepped over his body to loot the store. There is a good article on the website of KTLA TV in Los Angeles about the murdered. Please find it, look at those pictures and read about who they were. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they did not make the Twitter feed of any celebrity, nor has anyone from the glitteraria offered up money for those families, or to replace those businesses.

The property damage will be in the billions. Graffiti, broken glass, stolen property and a massive burn scar that rivals a Western wildfire. Do not trivialize this. That is disrespectful to our fellow citizens whose lives were shattered. There is nothing here to be flippant about. We all would do well to respect these words: “Let us not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.” Barack Obama said that.

— Gary Honodel, Granby

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