If you read this blog then you know, I grew up in the East Coast and was a Tip O’Neill/Dukakis/Ferraro hard core DFL that is until I met the likes of Rep Liebling, Norton, Rep Michael Nelson, Sen Eaton, Sen Clausen, Sen Cohen, Sen Franken, Gov Dayton and so many others like them in Minnesota after I became an autism advocate in 2010. Seriously, I get hives from their lack of tangible minority community based policies.
These politicians give a bad name to the party of Sen Ted Kennedy and Sen Wellstone – they either want to contain minority issues and concerns or eliminate them. For example, MN DFL Chair, Mr Martin who is so savvy with his words and can sell water to a drowning minority Minnesotan always comes to our community preaching his party is for equality, fairness and sharing resources with communities of color. And, that we should hold them accountable.
The problem is when you hold them accountable to their votes, policies or lack thereof – they try to contain or eliminate. In the area of autism and Somali community, the last study was done by Gov Pawlenty and his health administration. The last Somali, Latino and Hmong study funded was by Sen Hann, Senjem, Rep Gottwalt, Lohmer, Mack, Gruenhagen, and Rep Abeler all R’s. The initial letters and help for our Federal advocacy came from Congressman Kline, Paulsen, Sen Coleman and Bachmann, all R’s.
By the same token, so many bias and prejudice legislations have been introduced by Norton, Eaton, Clausen, Cohen, Huntley that take resources away from the poor, low income and minority autism families and give it to the already buttered middle/upper income autism families. In addition, current MDH Commissioner has refused to do any autism research and Gov Dayton just ignores all Somali autism problems. Don’t waste your next vote on Franken, Dayton, Norton, Eaton, or Liebling – please I beg you. Also, did you know that Sen Cohen is the Chair for Senate Finance Committee where all bills that have a fiscal note go through is also a board member of the struggling Confederation Somali Community of Minnesota. If this was not all sadly true, it would’ve made a Comedy Central – John Stewart funny sketch or a Loren Michael SNL monologue, maybe Franken can use it when we send him back to SNL this year, God Willing.
In other words, the party that so many Minority Minnesotans vote for and put in a position of power contain our issues to limited and useless areas such as creating more diversity task forces that only has minorities and eliminate mainstream autism committees if it has minority voices, especially if we God forbid disagree with their policies.
Think about that for a minute as this is an election year and they don’t win by landslide votes – rather couple of hundred votes in many districts to several thousand votes statewide. Then, ask yourself if you are a Somali, Hmong, Latino, African American, or any other minority – why should you vote for politicians that ignore, belittle and dismiss your communities through containment or elimination.
Another good example of containment or elimination in addition to Somali autism is all of the legislations recommended by the Council of Black Minnesotans that have more DLF authors than a kid in a candy store, yet none of them seem to have moved beyond meaningless, photo op hearings. For instance, SF 2730 authored by Sen Eaton if you can believe it – I wonder if her left hand knows what her right hand is doing. On one side she wants to eliminate and silence minority autism families, on the other hand she pretends to care and authors the human rights bill. Then, she says there is no money and it is too late, blah & blah. How come she was able to push SF 314 last year which wanted …..get this over $25 million from HHS budget to give it to upper/middle income autism families. But, she can’t find funds or resources for Minnesota department of human rights to assure state agencies are actually hiring fairly and equally and following equal employment laws. Oh please, we are a lot of things in minority-ville, stupid is not one of them. Sen Eaton is not interested in equality or fairness, just look at the bills she pushes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Anyway, SF 2730 when approved can be the cornerstone and the foundation to assure all state agencies, especially DHS, MDH, MDE, DEED and others hire and recruit employees and leadership from communities of color. There are hardly any – zero person of color that represents MDH and DHS in state legislature, yet these agencies are in charge of low income families health. They usually hire 20 or 30+ Caucasian women who has never even been on foot in south or north Minneapolis yet is arrogant enough to think she can speak for us.
Therefore, to MN DFLers – at least those mentioned above, we reject your failed policies & your failed hiring practices, and we will get smarter and not keep circling D’s in voting ballots. We will have different choices including nurturing our own such as Abdi Warsame and Mohamud Noor to take you out in ward
by ward, then district by district to even higher offices across the state. It is possible in case you are thinking of underestimating our voting power.
Above words do not represent any committee, candidate or agency.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate