Kevin Powwell`s blog

Aurora, Colorado, through her eyes

Their eyes are watching Aurora, Colorado, home of the awful mass shooting last week by James Holmes. They are the American media machine, law enforcement officers and specialists, gun control advocates and opponents, politicians, religious and spiritual leaders, and the usual assortment of talking heads, pundits, pontificators, and people who just like to talk ish on facebook and twitter.

Still, their eyes cannot see what Mrs. Montiqua Lewis can see. Montiqua is 37-years-old, and married with two daughters, ages 20 and 14. She is a banking services representative studying to become a licensed broker. She was born in Denver in the 1970s, in the Black part of town, but when she was 3 or 4 her dad decided, as did many African Americans on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, that the family deserved a better life and the kind of options and possibilities woefully missing in ghettoes like Denver’s.

But Black and Latino families moving into Aurora meant the same kind of White flight that swept other parts of America in the 1960s and 1970s. Notes Montiqua: “As more and more Blacks and Hispanics moved to Aurora, the Whites and Asians moved further and further South.”

That flight also meant in Aurora, as elsewhere, the draining of money and resources from those now mostly Black and Latino ‘hoods. And with the great influence of California street activity, by the 1980s Aurora and Denver both, according to Montiqua, “started having an influx of the Crips and Bloods.”

So, yes, Aurora, Colorado does have the diversity that has been highlighted in the media, and evident in still photos and video clips of the mass murder aftermath. But it is also a semi-segregated metropolis, like other American cities and towns, with deep divisions by race, culture, and class. James Holmes, in fact, lived in the hub of Aurora’s gritty urban enclave.

“The area where the shooter lives is in the lower income part of Aurora, close to where I grew up.”

An area, Montiqua points out, that has been “hot” the entire Summer with a plethora of gang activity and shootings. In other words, inner city Aurora ain’t no different than any other impoverished ‘hood where the public schools stink, jobs are limited, and hopelessness, rage, and violence reign supreme.

This, Montiqua emphasizes, makes the shooter’s choice of residence even more bizarre: “He is White and the areas he targeted, his apartment and the movie theater, have a high concentration of minorities.”

Why James Holmes chose this neighborhood is anyone’s guess, but it is not unusual to see young Whites living in poor communities of color throughout America. These 20something Whites, like James Holmes, have led the charge toward gentrification, pushing poor Blacks and Latinos out of neighborhoods they’ve lived in for years. Neighborhoods, says Montiqua, where the residents suffer through multiple kinds of indignities, including regular racial profiling by local police.

“I do not support racial profiling, which happens a lot here in Denver and Aurora, but maybe if the police turn their efforts less on the minorities and more towards what White Americans are doing they would catch some of their heinous acts before they happen.”

Montiqua and her husband are very thankful the Aurora tragedy did not directly affect them. Their 14-year-old daughter had gone to a midnight screening of the Batman film, but luckily it was at a different theater. Although, Montiqua adds, “my sister-in-law’s son knows two of the victims. One of them did not survive. Right now the community is in shock.”

A shock that makes Montiqua wonder how people are just allowed to stockpile weapons as James Holmes did. And, she says to me matter of factly, she heard on tv that the ratio of gun dealers to McDonald’s in America is 9 to 1.

“Is gun control the answer? I don’t know. Maybe there should be a national registry of gun owners and put a cap on the number of guns people can own. I believe people should have the right to protect their property. The question I ask is how many guns does it take to do that?”

Until then Montiqua says she and her husband will continue to instruct their daughters on how to deal with a world that is violent.

“They are both book and street smart and they know sometimes things happen that are out of their control. They know they have to watch their own backs.”

As we all must, sadly, in these times—

Kevin Powell, writer, activist, public speaker, is the author or editor of 11 books, including “Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and The Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays” ( Email him at or follow him on Twitter @kevin_powell


103 Responses to “Aurora, Colorado, through her eyes”

  1. In which individuals stay using subject unanswered: how to write papers? An incredible essay must have the some elementary features. It needs to be evident, simple to comprehend, relevant material ought to get, and it must be persuading. The specific language employed from the essay needs to be processed and also grammatically as well as largely suitable. Your essay is composed related to 3 aspects: launch, entire body, and also finish.

  2. jvnjftjzo says:

    Madison (Early dismissal – MHS at 12:06 p.m., MJS at 12:25 p.m. and Elementary at 12:45 p.m.) moncler jackets outlet Shorthorn steers to 拢695 Yatesfield; AAX hfrs to 拢655 Shotton; Herefd X hfrs to 拢570 Gallowhill. Cattle 11-16 m-o. – Lim X steers to 拢825 Stotsfold; hfrs to 拢785 Fairview; Char X steers to 拢770 s Coach Outlet Online
    “We start in January,” he replies. “It is the best time to do it because everything is still fresh in your mind – what was good, what didn’t go so well, what would you want to repeat, all of that sort of stuff. Louis Vuitton Outlet The administrative head of the state’s judiciary, the chief justice makes $155,403 a year, or $8,000 more than the $147,403 the other justices.
    Michael Briggs, a Sanders campaign spokesman, declined to comment about Trump’s criticism on Tuesday. For him to play the way he has . . . he has missed a couple tackles but for the most part Conor O’Neill and Derek Landisch have been the two staples on that kickoff team. a louis vuitton outlet online
    Flintoff told Sky Sports 1 viewers: “There will be people around the world today watching and thinking ‘He doesn’t even play for England – why oh why?’” oakley sunglasses With the state of Israel only a few kilometers away and its borders closed, with Beirut buried under trash, and living next to the ongoing war in Syria, the region sometimes feels like caught in a trap. The gateway has become a cul-de-sac.
    k Advertisement discount oakley sunglasses The bio-filters are designed to enable surface runoff water to be collected, purified via environmentally friendly physical and biological methods, and then channeled into the aquifers as clean water. These new bio-filters join an older one that has been operating successfully in Kfar Sava for a number of years. ugg boots
    Does Jack Nicholson do a North-East accent? Michael Kors Handbags Valediction
    2. Involve kids.Before you shop, talk with kids about your expectations. If you are struggling financially, you do not need to worry your children. However, even young children are old enough to understand when parents or guardians are trying to make smart decisions. That means making choices rather than purchasing everything that catches their eye. Look at the shopping list with your children. Make a plan before you leave home, and work together while you are shopping. Adolescents can take charge of their clothing budgets. During the younger years, parents might wish to supervise. Later, kids can shop on their own as part of learning how to make financial decisions. air max 95 statement said was carried out by the Daesh terror group. x discount oakley sunglasses
    鈥淭he challenge is for businesses to identify work that could be accomplished within prisons, especially work that may have gone off-shore, as the staff in this prison are capable of delivering real quality. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping The technique also represents a step toward generating blood for use in transfusions, and that would be particularly useful for people with rare blood types. The scientists were able to generate red blood cells, various types of white blood cells, and megakaryocytes, or platelet precursors.
    0.0164 Coach Outlet Store Online As the property market nose-dived, entire streets of homes were abandoned, leaving swathes of the city resembling Earth after the apocalypse. From 2000 to 2010, the population of metropolitan Detroit plunged by 25 per cent to 700,000. In July 2013, the city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
    “During the 6 year history of the Grand National theatre we have host special productions every year for Shakespeare. During 2011, Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey led an all English production of Richard IIIX. During 2012 we also had an English production of Henry the XV and the winter story. The name of the troupe that performed these two pieces was called propeller, they were an all male performance troupe. They gave a completely new perspective on both of these plays that left a strong impression on the audience. ” canada goose sale The chamber: The Parliamentarian Chamber Participating in the Association
    Poynette’s softball team scored three runs in the fifth inning to post a 6-4 victory over Algoma in the Division 3 semifinals of the WIAA state tournament Friday at Goodman Diamond. Coach Outlet At Bzebez bridge, which links Anbar and Baghdad provinces some 30 kilometres southwest of Baghdad, thousands wait at checkpoints while officials demand residents in the capital vouch for them before they enter.
    z League career: Lyon (2009-13) Played 145 Goals 50 air jordan shoes As baronial halls go this is pretty bijou but still mightily impressive with a massive stone fireplace, sweeping staircase, wood panelling, ornate plasterwork etc. Some might find it a bit intimidating but we just enjoyed playing lord and lady of the manor, being served on discreetly and diligently by Liz and her husband, Derek (the real lord and lady of the house).
    QUOTE: 聯Saudi Arabia聮s F.M. poured cold water on Russian calls to join cheap oakley sunglasses Brandon Bee, OL, Ithaca; Dominic Belisle, DL, Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs; Austin Brogley, OL, Platteville; Heath Butler, LB, Black Hawk; David Chadd, OL, Lancaster; Brent Curtis, LB, Potosi; Andrew DeYoung, LB, Cambria-Friesland; Preston Droessler, DB, Cuba City; Justin Eggers, OL, Marshall; Brett Erickson, OL, Darlington; Spencer Francis, DB, Brookfield Academy; Logan Furniss, DB, Lodi; John Garlewski, DB, Cambridge; Tyler Glass, RB, Lancaster; Zach Grabner, OL, Omro; Logan Haefner, OL, Marshall; Brody Halverson, WR, Cochrane-Fountain City; Zach Hintze, K, Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs; Grant Johnson, WR, Lake Country Lutheran; Matthew LaFaunge, WR, Black River Falls; Reave Lincoln, DL, Brodhead; Riley Lytle, TE, Poynette; Logan Maurer, DL, Brodhead; Tower Menning, OL, Poynette; Ryan Millis, LB, Black River Falls; Brett Morris, QB, Big Foot; Connor Naeve, LB, Racine St. Catherine’s; Luke Nowak, RB, Iowa Grant;Ben O’Connell, OL, Columbus; Eli Parker, OL, Black River Falls; Lee Pronschinske, RB, Arcadia; John Quinn V, DL, Arcadia; Lucas Risse, DB, Clinton; Vincent Runkel, OL, Eleva Strum; Andy Ryan, DB, Lancaster; Jacob Schley, OL, St. Thomas More; Brandon Shemanski, WR, Belleville; Sy Staver, DB, Mineral Point; Brenden Taylor, DL, Clinton; Kelly Thomas, DL, Racine St. Catherine’s; Nathan Tranel, QB,Lancaster; Will Utesch, DL, Big Foot; Ryan Weber, LB, Platteville; Cole Whalen, TE, Darlington; Zach Wolf, DL, Darlington; Shawn Woodruff, RB, Black Hawk. u Ugg Outlet Online
    “It’s an 80-minute game. Knowing that is one thing, but dealing with everything that’s around it puts incredible pressure on the players. Cheap NFL Jerseys Conversation between acquaintances
    j But INSPIRE director and UC鈥檚 associate dean of innovation Professor Robert Fitzgerald said the 鈥渇irst person view鈥?offered by the device had huge implications for education, training and first responders. Some in the government reject yesterday s report in The Australian that 30 per cent was on the table. It is an obvious point of political pressure. Labor used the report to claim Abbott rolled Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Environment Minister Greg Hunt. t
    Their first home game at New Ferens Park sees them host Oxford United on March 19, with their final fixture taking them to the West Country to face Yeovil Town on October 18. cheap ugg boots ISTANBUL, April 27 (Saba) – One miner was killed and six others were wounded in a coal mine landslide in Nevsehir city in central Turkey Saturday night, local media reported Sunday. moncler jackets outlet
    鈥⒙犫€⒙犫€?Coach Outlet Online According to Richard Gordon, chairman of the , urban risk reduction must include early warnings and evacuation – both of which require locally-tailored public communication. In Tacloban, he said, messages were not communicated clearly enough during the Category 5 storm. i discount oakley sunglasses
    fish, include: Rat, Cat, Fox, Heron, and Nike Roshe Run You look around at the 30 teams and I don’t know if anybody has just one person making all the decisions. It has changed.
    鈥淚f it comes down to it we would rather play than not play,鈥?said Caridi. canada goose jacket On May 5, Solis sent Muschitiello a screenshot of his control panel displaying 13 devices either infected or targeted for infection. One is named “MobilFigueroa” – “Figueroa s cellphone.” b Michael Kors Outlet
    If the bank cannot reclaim the funds immediately it will investigate further and the customer will be told within a maximum of 20 working days what the outcome is. Cheap Uggs More In:

  3. Nicinha says:

    You people with your robot like blind deitovon to TC, it’s pathetic. WHY on earth would you bash Brad and AJ for donating 4.1 million dollars to a charity? I mean WHY, can someone just come forward and explain why you believe this is a bad thing???Anna, can I just say you are a terrible spokesperson for the TomKat crowd. You fail at making any kind of point.The money has nothing to do with it, it’s about making the right choices.One couple took control of the media, and donated 4.1 million dollars to charity.The other couple did a 22 page spread, and the only people to profit from that was Vanity Fair.You mention AJ living off Brad .uuummm, and what has Katie been doing?Your completely IDIOTIC comment about posing for pictures, are you KIDDING?? Would you like to comment on the THOUSANDS of posed pictures the two media whores posed for on a daily basis if not twice a day FOR MONTHS at something as private as their childrens sporting events?????? Please, share with me how that’s somehow better than what anyone else does? You make NO SENSE with your hateful ramblings!!!Would you also like to comment on how T&K whored out Suri at their wedding? The first public pictures at that media circus PLEASE!!! They keep the baby hidden for months saying loud noises aren’t good for babies, they’re afraid of the paparazzi, they’re keeping her safe and then they expose her to THOUSANDS of photographers and paps, and flash bulbs at their wedding!!!!!HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!And lastly, I’d like one of you rabid TC fans to answer this question for me, although I’m pretty damn sure I won’t get an answer.How do you feel about Tom Cruise leaving Nicole Kidman FOR NO APPARENT REASON mere months after she had miscarried his supposed FIRST biological child NOT COINCIDENTALLY right before he would have had to honor the payoff of their 10 year marriage contract was due to be up????Answers .anyone???

  4. David Smith says:

    Kevin, you always find the voiceless and speak to it and in this article you hit on the head once more. In my practice, I hear so many stories around fear, race, class and much more which I can not answer in 55 minutes. You always help me find a new angel for their questions.

  5. Bri' says:

    Interesting perspective Kevin. I enjoy your writing.

    @ChristopherWilk: If you are referring to the bible when you say “it is written…” The thief in the night is NOT in regards to death. 1 Thess 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. This scripture is referring to the return of the Lord.

    • Bilal says:

      is born to King Stephen and his Queen (The March from the Tchaikovsky ballet plays) and all the ihntbitanas of the land come to her Christening in the great hall of the castle. Aurora’s three fairy godmothers Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (later Disney animators said they based them on three actual little old ladies) bestow the baby princess with the gifts of song and grace. But the Gothic enchantress Maleficent, the rotten apple in the bunch, was not invited and naturally, she is outraged. She wears a purple-black robe, has Devil horns on her head and her constant companion on her shoulder is a black raven. Sometimes I don’t think she’s very happy Fauna says of her. Caught up in a nasty mood, the evil sorceress casts an evil spell on Aurora. She will prick her finger on a spinning wheel an die on her sixteenth birthday. To avoid this catostrophe, King Stephen orders all the spinning wheels burned. Merriweather, the fairy in blue, brings hope- only the kiss of a brave and noble prince will lift the curse of the death-like sleep.That prince is Phillip, who was already engaged to wed Aurora as a boy, (in an obvious statement about political unions in European monarchies). The three fairies do their best to prevent the terrible fate on Aurora, so they hide with her in their cottage in the deep forest and change her name to Briar Rose, raising her as their own child. But.. luck would have it, she meets Prince Phillip as he is hunting, they waltz and fall in love and she is brought back to the castle where she was born. There, Maleficent makes her prick her finger on the spinning wheel in a hypnotic trance. The spell is cat Poor Aurora But you know the rest, don’t you ? Fairy tale loves always have a happy ending. The Tchaikovsky music, the artistic animation, and the engaging story will delight audiences as far into the future as 2059. In 1959, children and young girls might have been captivated (they said that Aurora was based on either Leslie Caron or Audrey Hepburn) but in the future, the tale will still win hearts. Young girls will once again be gripped. Virtue will be rewarded. After all, true love conquers all.

  6. Great Blog Kevin, but the sad part of everything that has occurred over the past week is there are many more James Holmes in the world, and in America. So, we as a nation must stay prayed up for it is written death would come like a thief in the night. For no one would know the hour, I am so pleased to know I am more than ready to leave this Journey when my work is complete, but everyone cannot say that people wants to live forever. I will not look down on a man whom has done such evil as far as to the lifestyle he came from because a man from wealth can do the same thing. My concern, is what did innocent people do to him in order to be gunned down in such a horrific manner, I am sure they will put him to death and many will be pleased, but just keep in mind their is another in this world who is waiting to do the same thing keep up the good writing Kevin.

Leave a Reply