I am surprised and concerned about the recent media flurry (both mass and social media) resulting from a few limited social media actions taken by one first term Council Member in Minneapolis.
I certainly acknowledge that individuals and media outlets of all types have every right to engage in discussions about what should and should not be public and I share concerns about any individual, elected or not, whose family or personal safety is threatened. But I hope we can resist the inclination to let this distract us from the more critical and more complex story about systemic racism in our city, state and county, that we so desperately need to understand and analyze. Our democracy may well depend on it. The future of our society may depend on it. Black lives certainly depend on it.
Let me be clear, I share Council Member Cano’s commitment to justice and combating the implicit and explicit racism that plagues our city and larger society. But this is not about me or about any Council Member.
Black lives matter. The need to speak out against, protest against, and legislate appropriately against white supremacy and white privilege, bias and hatred, has never been greater. I commend and stand in solidarity with all elected officials in Minneapolis, in the state and from around the country who are calling and working for real transformative public policy changes to reverse white privilege, and bring about meaningful criminal justice reform.
So now, can we please get over this sidebar distraction and get serious about the much harder to tell and more complicated story behind the (apparently legal) violence and injustices we see today, and every day, that are disenfranchising, oppressing, imprisoning and killing people of color in our country? Can we please get real about ending the New Jim Crow, transforming our criminal justice system, dismantling institutional racism and preventing future deaths? And while we’re doing it, let’s keep seeking justice for and remembering those who have already been killed - Jamar Clark, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Terrance Franklin, Mya Hall, Michael Brown, Alexia Christian and so many, many more.
That’s what should matter to us.