Re: July 8 guest column written by Hank Sparks

I am an incoming sophomore at Cheyenne Mountain High School. I read the column written by Hank Sparks, a former student who was advocating for the school to change its name.

— As a current student I find the article to be factual but I also find it to be very one-sided. Many of the complaints posed by Hank Sparks have been handled. We no longer see headdresses, and the Tomahawk Chop is no longer used. There is only one symbol depicting a Native American, and it is on a vintage sign in front of the school.

We have established a positive relationship with the Native Americans, and have Native American speakers at our assemblies. We also have Native Americans participate in ceremonies that welcome incoming freshmen.

Garret Lang

Colorado Springs

Another response to July 8 guest column written by Hank Sparks

I have no doubt that the young man who wrote the article is a very fine, intelligent, CMHS grad, who is, as stated, currently studying government at Harvard College. Certainly, Native Americans were treated unjustly, when they were conquered and moved to reservations by the United States government.

However, I believe that the article demonstrates more about the philosophy, societal views and politics of the teaching faculty of some colleges and universities, such as Harvard, than it supports the guest’s assertions: “If CMHS changes its mascot, it will still owe reparations for the damaging portrayals of Native Americans that it perpetuated over decades”; and, the existence of, and need for, “eradicating systemic racism in all its forms at Cheyenne Mountain.” Those assertions go far beyond any real discussion of changing a high school sports mascot. Rather, they are an invocation of the current buzzwords, “racism” and “racist,” to shame, and to prevent any such discussion.

I assume that “The Cheyenne Mountain Indians” was chosen by the school, and accepted by its students, as a symbol of pride, respect and tradition. Why would they choose or accept a symbol because it mocks and dehumanizes? Nevertheless, if a majority of Native Americans actually believe that it mocks and dehumanizes them, then it should be changed.

I was not familiar with Simon Moya-Smith, who was quoted in the piece. I therefore searched online and found he authored an article in Real Clear Politics, dated Jan. 27, 2019, titled, “America mocks and dehumanizes natives at every turn,” That article’s opening paragraph is: “Let’s be absolutely clear about something here: Whatever else may have been said about it or our country’s reactions to it, the racist disrespect of Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder, by Nick Sandmann and his MAGA-hat clad classmates of Covington Catholic High School at the Lincoln Memorial is nothing new. In fact, it’s quite the common thing. In this increasingly depraved society, that kind of behavior is often encouraged or excused as just good ol’ American fun.”

As most people who watched the nationally broadcast video now know, the high school student in the MAGA-hat did not do or say anything, and did not disrespect Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder, as the national media falsely proclaimed. In fact, the only harassment was by the said Native American elder. As a consequence, Nick Sandmann is now a very wealthy young man, due to the settlement payments made by various news and media outlets, for their acknowledged, false, defamatory, public statements. Yet surprisingly, Moya-Smith was still quoted as a source.

I wonder, was this deplorable, racist situation perceived while a CMHS student, or only after he escaped to a more progressive, homogeneous, college faculty, which recognizes systemic racism in all its forms? Although (Sparks) is studying government, the faculty is teaching, and he is learning, politics.

Richard Kennedy

Colorado Springs

Re: July 8 From the Editor column “Colorado proves voting by mail works”

I have voted in Colorado for over 30 years, both in person in my precinct prior to 2013, and since then often by mail. I much preferred voting in person.

According to the column, (the editor of this paper has) been here five years. We are exceptionally fortunate with the individuals responsible for conducting our elections, primarily the county clerk and staff. Not every county in Colorado is as fortunate. Certain counties are corrupted.

Your lack of satisfaction with voting in Pennsylvania and Vermont is because the person or persons responsible for conducting elections were lacking.

Because prosecution of voter fraud occur long after an election is called, and because such events rarely are reported in the press, very few citizens are aware that election-related crimes do occur, and there will likely be more.

Janice Taylor

Colorado Springs

Letters to the editor are published on a space-available basis in the Cheyenne Edition. Send letters to michelle.karas@pikespeaknewspapers.com. Priority goes to letters 250 words or fewer. Letters should have the author's full name, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Cheyenne Edition reserves the right to edit submissions.

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