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Jackson hole examines racial divide

Allen Best

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. In the wake of two sexual assaults, including a rape, and five beatings by Hispanics inflicted on Caucasians, the Jackson Hole community continues its troubled introspection.The Jackson Hole News & Guide reports 200 people turned out at a session to talk about suddenly tense relations between Latinos and Caucasians. Latinos far outnumbered the Caucasians, and among them was Martin Serrano, a construction worker who spoke in Spanish.Serrano warned against generalizations. “No one likes this kind of crime,” he said. “We are not all bad people. We are, for the most part, good people.”We’re here to work,” he said. “We hope you can see us that way.”One man of Japanese descent, who was not identified, said he is often mistaken for somebody from Mexico and, as such, harassed. He has had dog excrement thrown at his house and car, he said.”I live in fear,” said the Japanese-American. “I have been physically intimidated, psychologically attacked and had my personal space invaded.”He added: “If you’ve never been a minority, you can’t see it or smell it,” he said of the undercurrent of racism he believes is brewing in Jackson Hole. “It’s dangerous to put this under the table.”Meanwhile, in a letter published in the newspaper, the woman identified as the mother of one of the sexual-assault victims, also warned against generalizations. “Our hearts now go out to our Latino community, which does not deserve the intimidation, judgment and tension that seems to be present,” she wrote. “When I came to Jackson Hole 40 years ago from Los Angeles, I was labeled a ‘hippie,’ an unwanted element in what was then a very tiny community. Although this attitude didn’t last long, I understand what targeted people are feeling.”Banff boa skin mystery solvedBANFF, Alberta – For several days people in Banff were wondering just how long a big boa constrictor could survive in the early autumn of the Canadian Rockies. A snake skin had been found on a vacant lot, and authorities surmised a pet boat had gotten loose.In fact, no mice were in danger, let alone the public. Indeed, somebody’s pet boat had shed its skin, and the colorful artifact had been gleefully claimed by a tattoo artist, w ho thought he might make use of it. But, returning home from a pub a bit on he wobbly side, he inadvertently left it in the lot and hence the public mystery.Vail, Colorado


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