I went to a bar in Washington D.C. called PJ’s and sat with a Washington Post columnist named Eugene Robinson. We spoke and debated for hours on our political views. We laughed and rolled our eyes at one another, but at the end we shook hands and came back the next day to do it all over again. Those were the days when two people of different backgrounds and political viewpoints could enjoy the comfort of agreeing to disagree without casting judgement on the other.
I learned a lot that day about the importance of spending more time listening and less time talking. Unfortunately, our little community called Los Alamos fails to do such listening. We judge those without engaging others; we fail to spend time listening to their theories, sciences, religions and self-principles. I too am a victim of such judgements, but what I saw the community do to Nickole Aguilar Garcia is disappointing to say the least.
Our school board claimed that this was not an election but an appointment. But you made it a political election when you made it clear that you listened to the public’s view points on each of the candidates by reading articles in the paper and social media, reading the viewpoints of the letters you received via email, and listening to comments by concerned citizens. You judged the candidates without allowing them to speak to those comments.
Our community judged Nickole Aguilar Garcia through a post she made on social media. But they never engaged Ms. Garcia to listen to what she had to say or to understand her message. Instead our community bullied our school board not to elect such an individual because of her viewpoints. Our community judged a mother of children who attend your public school system. A mother who is engaged in your school system through athletics and academics. A mother who volunteers her own personal time to better educate herself on the profession of education.
Our community has a proud history of being one of the most educated counties in America. But this week we showed America that being educated does not make you wiser or more empathetic. You failed to educate yourself and spending more time listening. Ms. Garcia, do not let them bully you out of political life, fight the good fight, stand for what you believe in, and know that you have a vote in me this November.
Pierce Jones Ed. D
Editor’s note: Pierce Jones was the third candidate for the school board position.