By Seamas Mulvihill - February 25, 2020
Recently there has been a series of op-eds at Westword going back and forth between Colorado natives and the new eclectic group of people moving here in regard to traditional Colorado culture and the culture of transplants.
One of the articles was titled “Denver is Diverse, Time for Natives to get over it”. The article finishes by stating that “It's time for Colorado natives to put on their big boy pants, stop whining and start acting like a more inclusive group. The cowboy ranch days are long over; it's time to get over it.”
There are several problems in this article that many in the urban ultra-progressive crowds from the transplant community are bringing with them. The first has to do with the fact that many of these people aren’t paying any respect to the traditional values and customs of our state, and think they can do whatever they want to our politics and culture. The second is related to the fact that most people moving here forget that a significant population lives in rural settings and economies, and the majority of our geography and towns aren’t urban environments.
For the people in rural Colorado the “cowboy ranch days” are actually what they live every day. Many of our rural counties are completely dependent on agriculture, oil and gas. Maybe the op-ed writer doesn’t understand that most of her dinner, makeup and clothing came from animals and crops raised by these cowboys and farmers. Furthermore, the energy, lubricants and plastics needed for her urban culture to function were largely extracted by hard working roughnecks in places like Weld County, whose jobs and industry are increasingly threatened by the day.
Colorado is a diverse place. We’ve got Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Denver and Boulder which are four cities with completely different lifestyles, mentalities and geography. We have mountain towns like Aspen, outdoor sports hubs like Durango and mountain colleges in places like Gunnison. We also have a powerful agricultural and ranching community that helps feed our nation. The fact is Colorado was a diverse, friendly and accepting place long before this wave of new transplants arrived.
Boulder has long been home to not only one of the best colleges in the nation, but was originally a diverse thought place that was home to everything from Soldier of Fortune Magazine, to a diverse and thriving alternative music and philosophy community including schools like Naropa. Pueblo is home to one of the largest Hispanic communities in the state with some of the best dirt biking at PMI Motor Sports Park and a thriving high school and college football community.
In Aurora and Colorado Springs we have major military, defense contracting and intelligence infrastructure with bases that have employed a wide spectrum of Americans for a very long time in this state. Aurora has also been a long time home to large expat communities from all over the globe. And for decades Colorado has had a form of cultural homeostasis while retaining its cowboy roots.
It's only in the last few years we’ve had things like open communist Candi Cdebaca on the Denver City Council, riots in Aurora desecrating American Flags and a mass of people sticking the thumb at our state’s traditional values and culture after just arriving. During the Aurora ICE protests, an American flag was taken down and defaced while violent protesters stormed a government center. Colorado has rarely been a place that makes national news, and recently it seems like a national story breaks every week regarding the newly emboldened radical culture taking hold of the state.
Growing up in the suburbs and attending school in Denver and Littleton, I never expected to see anything but a respectul, freedom-loving, accepting and responsible culture in the great state of Colorado. Going back a few decades, Aspen was in its glory days during the 1970s. During this time much of the state was incredibly cowboy and rural, Boulder was still a hippy college town, and Denver had the recently formed Broncos. We were diverse, friendly and a live-and-let-live state back then, long before this wave of new people. And we will continue to be so.
We welcome people entering our state with open arms, but we should expect them to respect our traditions, constitution and values. We shouldn't expect out of state money and political agents to dictate our policy and threaten our sovereignty. We shouldn't allow our state's voice given to us through the Electoral College and other constitutional rights to be given to large cities on the coasts subverting our politics and way of life. In the end the voice of True Colorado will prevail.