Added perspectives

 

I was recently immersed in an interview in The Sun, “Blind Hate: Randy Blazak on Why White Supremacy Persists.” One of Blazek’s points is how changing American demographics are affecting white males who grew up in a country dominated by “straight, white, able-bodied males.” In their hearts, they feel safe and important in settings of America’s mythic past, and they feel threatened by emasculation and loss of power in today’s America.

Synchronicity is amazing. When my March issue of High Country News arrived, I noted a sea change of diverse and youthful writers. I pondered how HCN founder Tom Bell would respond to this and chuckled to think that he would probably smile and rest easy. Then I read Mark Sterkel’s letter (March 2020) in which he complains that HCN’s recent issues stray too far from its roots and readers’ interests. He finds the diversity issues a waste. He doesn’t even want to think about the changing demographic of the West. He expects science, not social issues. He concludes that HCN is making a big mistake.

I suggest that perhaps Sterkel is making a big mistake by not opening his mind and his heart to the issues of all the people in his community. HCN should be applauded for giving voice to long-muzzled Indigenous populations, as well as to the diversity embraced and represented by young readers. I read The Sun to learn. I read HCN to learn. The issues that affect the West affect all its residents. The only way to stay relevant to that diverse population is to include their input and perspectives. Without those voices, HCN will lose readers as we old white farts die off. And then who will be left to protect these magnificent spaces we so love?

—Linda Paul, via email

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