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News and blues

Tom Boyd

Kobe Bryant in the courtroom, white supremacists beating the streets, New York firefighters recalling one of our nation’s gravest moments, feminist rallies in front of the Justice Center, two semi-trucks crashing on the highway, Kathleen Denson on trial for murder, Mark Mogul pleading guilty, I-70 collapsing in a flood, mudslides in EagleUUUgggh!* sigh * &#($&!Needless to say it’s been a busy summer.As a relief from all this I was planning on writing a lighthearted column this week. I was going to stay out of the rumble and avoid typing the letters B-R-Y-A-N- or T (in that order) for first time in six weeks.But when a set of pathologically obsessed, self-proclaimed racists distribute flyers in my town I get pissed.Word to the people who did that (whose name I refuse to print): It’s not cool, and you’re not going to get any positive publicity out of it.Nor are you going to get any sympathy. I set the Eagle phone tree in motion and guess what I found out: every single one of your disgusting flyers ended up in the trash can.Immediately.You made us sick to our stomach.It’s my duty, however, to contact the people who did this. Which I did. And I had a very surreal, very long, very civil conversation with a white woman from Ohio who is the spokesperson for the organization that distributed the flyers. She’s like a female David Duke: College educated and terrified of blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Chinese, and basically anything with two legs that’s not whiter than a field of Colorado snow. This woman and I discussed the finer points of hatred for nearly two hours, but I’ll spare you her rhetoric and the embarrassment she suffered under the mildest of scrutiny.Unfortunately, we’re going to have to get used to this kind of thing. White power, black power, woman power, media power everybody with a cause and a candlestick will be holding vigil over the Eagle County Justice Center as the months roll by (unless, of course, Cirque du Kob is moved somewhere else but don’t count on it).In the meantime, we’re going to have to get used to rhetoric, jargon, and people that are, “furious at the direction this nation is headed”Standing upon their soapboxes, borrowing Bryant’s spotlight for selfish purposes, people from near and far are going to preach to us, day after day, for a long time to come. And to prove they are right beyond a shadow of a doubt they will quote our founding fathers, call forth the power of the first amendment, and point at the American flag, asking us if we’d rather live in Iraq or Iran, or some other such place.While most of what we see will be hollow, and based upon the particular psychological grievances of the person delivering the dogma, that doesn’t mean we should ignore everything we hear.This is a good time to take a look at where we stand, as individuals and as a community, on very complex issues.Some of the debate about the role of the media, for example, is valuable, and I think the media has a chance here to prove that it won’t always kneel to the tabloid creed (although it’s already too late for many media outlets). The Vail Daily has argued a few points on this issue, but I must generally disagree with Don Rogers, who most recently wrote that, “The public knows O.J. Simpson’s murder trial was a farce precisely because of the American media.”Properly edited, that sentence should read: “The reason the O.J. Simpson trial was a farce was precisely because of the American media.”Freedom of the press doesn’t mean the press should do whatever it wants, or whatever it takes to sell advertisements. It should also be guided by firm moral principles something we’ve rarely seen applied so far in the Bryant case.With helicopters swarming, racists descending, and newsreels turning, there’s one thing that’s become clear about the Kobe case: Neither this valley nor this nation will benefit from another O.J.If you want to know more about the diatribes of the white supremacists who invaded the valley, or want to join the online discussion of the valley’s major recent news events, click on http://www.vailtrail.com. Look for Tom Boyd under writers, or feel free to call anytime at (970) 390-1585, or e-mail the king of the ‘hood at tboyd@vailtrail.com.


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