Dear editor:
I’m not an Idyllwild resident. I live in L.A. My boyfriend works at Idyllwild Arts and we’ve been sheltering in place back and forth during the pandemic over the past few months.
I started reading your paper every week that I’m here and always look forward to spending a few quiet moments with it, reading the articles, learning about the town, completing the word search and crossword.
As I was reading the latest issue, I came upon the letter “How Black people have never really been able to breathe.” With Tiana Major9 blaring in my air pods I started reading, frankly expecting something different from what I read just based on where I am.
A paragraph in and I had to turn my music off. I was so enthralled by what I was reading. I read it all the way through, nodding along in agreement and letting out the sounds and words that were coming out almost like I was talking to the writer … “Mmhmm” and “EXACTLY” at one point. Then I finished and started it over and read it again.
At a BLM protest in L.A. a couple of months ago, we all knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds (We actually did twice during the march down Sunset Boulevard).
Both times I felt sick. I noticed how badly it even hurt my knee to just kneel that long. And I couldn’t stop thinking that he just stayed there and let him die. I felt sick.
If no one else needed to hear that there was someone else that shared the same view about George Floyd’s murder, and so many others I can’t count, I needed it.
I’m from the South originally, moved to L.A. in 2005, so I’m used to people around me making racism a political issue. And it isn’t. Yes, political views often shed light on the racist among us but it isn’t political, or at least, it shouldn’t be.
I echo your voice of outrage. Because at the end of the day, George was murdered. And his life was important. His life mattered. I don’t want to forget, more than anything, that he mattered and he was murdered by a white police officer. A police officer who was hired, like all of them, to PROTECT the community.

Derek Tilley
Los Angeles