The slippery slope of humanity

I realize your motto is you’ll print “damn near anything,” but this letter is to express my concern for a recent response in “Word on the Street.” The response was that this person would throw “people who don’t wear masks or get vaccines” on the spring cleanup junk pile. Presumably with a “haha” attached. 

While perhaps meant in a frivolous and “joking” way, I feel this sentiment toes and potentially crosses a very dangerous line for us as a society. It implies the kind of disregard for another’s humanity that leads to very scary places few of us alive today have ever experienced firsthand.  

If you don’t know what happens when people start to disregard each other’s very humanity, watch your favorite historically accurate war movie. (If you need one, try “The 12th Man,” 2017, directed by Harald Zwart. It’s on Netflix). 

I can imagine the person who said this had an inkling her response was potentially controversial due to the fact that she kept her entire face covered. 

This state of mind is a very terrifying place, and I don’t ever want to experience its worst manifestations. I fear that is the direction we are going if we are not careful and continue to toss around powerful rhetoric that implies destruction of another human being simply because their opinion is different than yours. 

My boyfriend and I are avid multi-pitch climbers, both here and abroad. As is inevitable in climbing, we have in several instances either been helped out of, or helped other climbing teams out of, dicey situations hundreds of feet off the ground. Things get real up there, and you face yours and others’ fragile humanities very quickly. Can you imagine the absurdity of aligning political viewpoints, for example, and in the new era, discussing vaccine status and mask habits as a pretext to giving or receiving aid?

I urge all of us to contemplate at these levels and to use caution before suggesting casually that one would essentially exterminate another. This is scary and dangerous stuff. 

Next time you see someone on the side of the road who needs your help, are you going to “throw them on the junk pile” if they have a different viewpoint, or are you going to take a step for human compassion and decency?

– With kindness and respect, Lexi K. Querio, Durango