By Cody Petterson and Tommy Hough
Over Memorial Day Weekend a man named Christian Cooper, who serves as a board member for the New York City Audubon chapter, was involved in what has become a nationally-covered incident that highlights the inequities and potentially dangerous challenges persons of color face – even while enjoying the outdoors, and even while engaging in activities as benign as bird watching.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police the same weekend, the incident has become another focal point in the latest national discussion on racism in the United States. It's quite clear this incident could have quickly grown into a confrontation that may have ended in a far more destructive manner.
Audubon quickly issued a statement of support for Christian, and San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action would like to add our support, by way of these remarks from club president Cody Petterson:
"Americans of color continue to experience unacceptable risks and impediments to their enjoyment of our natural, outdoor spaces. We are committed to making our parks and outdoors, and the environmental movement in particular, safer and more welcoming to communities of color. SDCDEA stands in absolute solidarity with Christian Cooper. We hope he and his family are safe and well after this frightening encounter that was needlessly, deliberately escalated."
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