Last week, when perusing upcoming events in Durango to plan my week, I noticed that the Toh-Atin Gallery off Main Street was hosting two “Navajo/Diné Winter Clothing & Food Drive” donation days. These items were being collected for and given to the Catholic Charities and Toyei Industries in Gallup, New Mexico. This may seem like a good turn, but it is not.
As long as the gallery continues to allow the 25-foot-tall racist statue to stand on their property, other actions such as this one have no merit and are not honorable.
When you continue a behavior that you know causes harm to others, no matter what the scale, you are in the wrong. One hundred good deeds do not make up for one wrong that you have the power to stop, but choose not to. Artists have offered to create and donate a statue for the Toh-Atin Gallery that does not hurt our community, but the owners have refused. The sign may bring much revenue to the galley, but it is at the cost of our collective dignity.
Please, reconsider your decision to allow this monument to stand and mar our beautiful town. Durango is better than this. We are an honorable and kind people, and no amount of good turns can cover up the ugliness that is on Ninth Street and Main Avenue.