In a recent candidate forum I was asked about equity and inclusion in Fort Collins. Here is my exact response:

“This is a very challenging issue as we’ve seen in the last year. I think we all agree that people should be treated equally. I believe in a colorblind society. And that’s what I do in healthcare as I mentioned in my opening remarks. In our practice we take care of almost 100,000 lives in this community, and we are completely indifferent as to their race or their sexual orientation or their transgender status – none of that matters to us. We take care of anyone who walks in our door and I’m very proud of our practice for that. Because that’s the way Fort Collins is. As my friend Wade Troxell said, Fort Collins is that city where four people pull up to a 4-Way intersection, and everyone is waving each other through. That’s the way we treat one another. We’re a kind community. I don’t think there’s racism here, and if there is it needs to be pulled up by the roots and gotten rid of, wherever we find it. But I haven’t seen that and I don’t think that exists here. So we do need to do better. We do need to work on this. This is a challenging issue that we can work on together.” (emphasis added)

The bold section has been completely misconstrued to suggest that I don’t think racism exists, which must make me a racist. This is cancel culture at its worst, and it shows just how desperate the losing side has become.

So let me be perfectly clear: yes racism exists. I have seen it throughout my life. I abhor anyone who treats someone differently because of the color of their skin. We are commanded to love one another, and that is how I try to live my life every single day. I also believe that Fort Collins is a very kind and wonderful community. I believe we go out of our way to ensure equality for all of our citizens. So when people point out disproportionate racial results in crime statistics, for example, there are some who might ascribe that to racism. That clearly infers that either our police or our laws are racist. I simply don’t accept that. But as I said, if there is racism in our community we need to completely eradicate it.

I will admit that the language in my forum response above may have been imprecise. It is difficult to take a complicated topic and boil your response down to 60 seconds or less. I am not a professional politician so I may not be very good at that. But it is the height of deception to take my thoughtful, compassionate response above and attribute racism to me. That is irresponsible, deceitful and completely misrepresents who I am as a person. But that is also how the professional political class behaves, which is why we could use a lot less of that in Fort Collins.