Inspired by Native resilience displayed at Powwow
Re: “Denver March Powwow: ‘Culture is alive and well’,” March 20 news story
This was my first time at a Powwow. I spent three days viewing and experiencing this special event at the Denver Coliseum. What I saw was beautiful and joyous. It was an expression of Native love, tradition, and unity. Their dance to the beat of drums, their energy and joy was a sight to behold. Yet, I felt something much more profound. Their sound was not a soft compliant drumbeat. The pounding of the drums expressed their anger and defiance. It was powerful. The singing that accompanied the beats was one of anguish and crying out for life.
The dancers were all so beautiful with their colorful regalia and feathers. Mothers and fathers held their babies as they danced together. The young children danced enthusiastically and proudly. The elders, who danced slower, expressed their deep-rooted feelings for the love of their culture.
I appreciate Native courage and persistence to carry on. Though they have gotten the short end of the stick for decades, they continue to fight for their right to life, dignity, and happiness. Natives know their history and the pain they have endured from others who have tried to suppress them. They still struggle to preserve their lands and the right to adequate water, education, and health care. They continue to fight for their lives.
I will return next year.
Juan Caraballo, Denver
Paying a human toll of batteries for EVs
Re: “Falling prices are making electric cars more affordable,” March 21 business story
The article was accompanied by a photograph of men in the Democratic Republic of Congo, covered in filth, standing in a deep, narrow mine shaft, with zero supports to prevent a cave-in and zero safety equipment of any kind. They are hauling heavy bags of cobalt and lithium from deep in the ground, for God knows how little they are paid, so that global corporations can use the raw materials to create batteries for electric cars and trucks.
The picture brought to mind the past outrage that resulted when the matter of “blood diamonds” was revealed to the world. How different is this terribly unsafe and laborious exploitation of poor workers in the Congo from the exploitation of the poor workers in Sierra Leone, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast?
Does anyone even care where the materials come from, for the batteries in their pricey electric vehicles, or how those materials are obtained? I’m betting the answer is “no.” I’m also betting that there will be no outrage or condemnation of the dangerous and back-breaking labor being done so the world can have our lithium and cobalt-based batteries (and myriad other products that rely on the exploitation of those laborers who are so desperate for the meager income. I know; it’s nothing personal. It’s just business.
Alfred Foster, Loveland
Some skip license plate fees while others pay unfairly for trash, sidewalks
Standing on the corner watching the cars go by, I notice one out of 10 is not displaying their license plate as required by law. License plates are hidden from cameras. The most common infraction is no plate on the front of the car. Some people hide them on the dashboard. Some are hidden behind a dark semi-opaque plastic cover. Some covers are dusted with spray paint to “protect privacy,” and some cars have no plates at all.
If Denver started issuing fines for these thousands of drivers deliberately ignoring the law, there would be enough money that the city would not need to rip off people by charging for trash pickup that has already been paid for by property taxes and a $400 sidewalk tax for people who live on a street corner.
Donald L. Sloan, Denver
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