Dropped the ball

On Oct. 9, the City of Durango inadvertently posted on its Facebook page “Happy Columbus Day” instead of Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Within an hour it was taken down and replaced. An informal apology was issued.

Shortly thereafter, the Community Relations Commission (CRC) requested that the City Council issue a formal apology over this incident. The City Council refused to do so. What a missed opportunity to build understanding and trust between the City Council and the CRC. Even if the City Council did not really want to apologize formally, what could it have hurt to do it anyway?

Instead, I was left with the impression that the City Council didn’t care, refused to accept responsibility and/or just wished to ignore the incident. Really? Again, this was an opportunity for the City Council to demonstrate thoughtful leadership, as well as sensitivity, to the multicultural environment in which we live. Had they put a little more thought into the situation, taken a moment or two to “walk in another’s shoes,” they might have better understood the value of a formal apology. Instead, the CRC was told no apology would be issued, so four of the five CRC members resigned.

What does this say about the City of Durango and its cultural and community awareness? It is quite sad. We need you, City Council, and we need the Community Relations Commission as well. How are you going to go about repairing this situation?

– Lissa Paak, Durango