Open space development isn’t a solution for inequity

guest opinion

Timothy Thomas’ “opinion” in the October 7, 2021 issue of Boulder Weekly (“Open Space, CU South and civil rights: A first step towards ‘Just Sustainability’ in Boulder”) seems takes us to new heights in Boulder’s political theater of the absurd in his attempt to make “Civil Rights” trump (no pun intended) environmental conservation. He takes issue that the same Boulder Liberal White people who have often taken his side in civil rights have now somehow betrayed them because of their strong stance on environmental concerns. Thomas stated: “Building on vacant land (aka open space) will do the same,” aka provide “higher levels of regional geographic equity.” His theory is that blocking further development on Boulder open space betrays African Americans and minorities by not affording them low income housing. If we take this argument to its extreme we can have any minority or special interest group demanding that coal and the combustion engines be maintained as an exemption to clean energy and electric cars if somehow they perceive their interests are diminished by such measures. In that case if we grant such a large loophole or out-clause for environmental protection that we will have no environment protection left at all.

Thomas cites a previous Boulder Weekly article, “Black in Boulder,” and quoted the author: “people in Boulder pride themselves on being very liberal, very progressive . . . I think that the idea of liberalism sometimes blinds to the notion of where people in this community contribute to the perpetuation of white privilege or white supremacy.” To a certain extent I agree with his argument, and so does Malcom X who warned us more than 50 years ago: “The worst enemy” that we have is “these White liberals.” Dr. King echoed his sentiments referring to the “polite racism” of White liberals who pandered defeatist policies to African Americans to pacify them rather than treat them as equals in both their communities and their corporations. However, accusing Boulder residents of supporting “White Supremacy” is about as outrageous as accusing Donald Trump of being a “Marxist.”

Since the civil rights movement and the “War on Poverty” brought in a massive new wave of social welfare programs, we still find ourselves with gross inequities in minority incomes and in some cases complete deprivation of the very groups that we have been trying to “help.” The Native American community has been completely decimated by social welfare. Rather than instilling pride and work ethic we have destroyed both with paying people to simply stay home. The family unit has been decimated, teenage pregnancy has skyrocketed and drug addiction has become epidemic. Prior to the 1960s, African Americans actually had a lower divorce rate and higher rate of both a father and mother in the home. Social welfare and “special incentive programs” created monetary incentives for unwed and unemployed mothers and resulted in the perpetuation of poverty in the very neighborhoods we intended to help.

The way to achieve total equality is to simply TREAT PEOPLE EQUALLY. In my previous technology company we had an African American CFO of Jamaican ancestry, a Hispanic American Vice President of International Sales, a Filipino American Comptroller and an Israeli American head of our engineering department. I left out genders because this is Boulder, but for the record more than half of our top executives were women. The Chief Operating Officer, Eman Dillon, who leads my current real estate development company, Max King Realty, is a Muslim American Egyptian immigrant. Nobody got their job and/or promotion because of their racial background or gender. They were rewarded because they were simply the brightest, hardest working and most capable members of my staff. In summary: THEY EARNED IT. People were promoted equally for their competence and capability. They were motivated by the fairness of this policy and the company prospered accordingly.

My two favorite philosophers were Albert Einstein and Richard Pryor. You might think that odd but both were brilliant and many years ahead of their contemporaries. Einstein stated: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Pryor stated: “How long, how long will this Bullshit go on!” It has been 50 years since these so called social welfare/equity programs and incentives have been initiated. THEY DO NOT WORK! We are still here today debating the same problems and asking for more of the same old failed solutions. It is time to stop both the insanity and the Bullshit. 

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.


In the I Love Local Guide to the Holidays (November 17, 2021), we erroneously stated that Santa’s House Boulder, hosted by the Pi Beta Phi Sorority House at CU Boulder, would be taking place this year. It will not, due to COVID restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience.