Our View: Real change starts with listening | VailDaily.com

Our View: Real change starts with listening

The Vail Daily wants it on the record that we support Black Lives Matter.

Some readers may take offense at our proclamation, declaring that all lives matter. But it takes a certain willful ignorance to retreat into that blanket statement. Slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, institutional oppression and the disproportionate number of deaths of black citizens at the hands of police officers demonstrates that black lives haven’t been valued equally throughout the course of our nation’s history, despite what is written in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

We also embrace Latinx Lives Matter because that’s the racism we most often encounter in the communities we serve — from correspondence and voicemails we receive to comments online.

What does this mean? First off, it means we need to be honest about who we are. The Vail Daily editorial staff is overwhelmingly white and predominantly male. We are a bastion of white privilege, and we know it. So, we need to do what white people all over the country need to do — stop trying to control the conversation and listen. 

White people don’t get to define the experience of African American, Latinx or other minority populations in this country. What’s more, white saviorism is another form of racism. It is demeaning to other populations when the white majority tries to fix their problems, implying we know what’s best.  

If we really believe that all people are created equal, it’s past time for white people to stop doing things for others and start doing things with them. And, for God’s sake, let’s let other voices speak.

That’s not easy for a newspaper. We have a big voice and we use it every day, ideally for the benefit of our community. But right now, at this moment in America, we understand the most important thing we can do is to stop talking and make a promise. So that’s what we will do.

We promise to listen.

The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Editor Nate Peterson, Publisher Mark Wurzer, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd, Business Editor Scott Miller, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor and Advertising Director Holli Snyder.

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