Dick Lamm Gets Flack For Comments, Book

According to the Rocky Mountain News, former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm is receiving criticism for statements he made regarding Latinos.

Former Gov. Richard Lamm is under fire for comments in a recent speech and in his new book that Hispanics remain an “underclass” in America because their culture is “not success-producing.”

Lamm made the statements during a speech Monday in Vail hosted by the Vail Symposium, a nonprofit group that hosts educational and cultural programs. He addressed about 120 people, only a handful of whom were Hispanic or black, said Vail Symposium Executive Director Fraidy Aber.

Afterwards, some voiced their opinions on the comments and Lamm opinions.

Local Hispanic and black leaders say Lamm’s viewpoints fuel stereotypes and extremism instead of helpful dialogue.

“I was quite offended,” said state Rep. Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, who is black. “I think there’s room to have conversations about personal responsibility and we should. But we can have that conversation without demonizing.

“It’s sad that someone as intelligent as Governor Lamm can’t see how these types of comments really don’t do anything to further legitimate debate.”

Fidel “Butch” Montoya, former Denver manager of safety and a leader of Confianza, a Hispanic clergy group, said he’s “outraged” by Lamm’s comments.

“I couldn’t believe that in this day and age that someone would be so open with a sense of bigotry and extremism,” Montoya said.

This isn’t the first time that Lamm has embraced controversy, however.

Last week the Confidential (and this author) reported on connections between Lamm and the Pioneer Fund-a group accused by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center For New Community (two civil rights watchdog organizations) of funding bogus studies to prove racial superiority.

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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