Running to be Judges – Why is that Important to Racial Equity and eliminating Disparities

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Alright – so, the state of Minnesota has become the poster child for racial injustice and disparities of the country. Black and Brown folks in Minnesota are at the bottom of the pit in almost every category from education to health to employment to wealth to the justice system. Why, Why, and Why?

Three reasons:

  1. We do not know and have not thus far learned how to use our votes to get what we need. What do we need? Better policies, to appoint people from our communities to be judges, commissioners, board members, etc. For example, Judge Peter Cahill was appointed by the Gov of Minnesota in 2007 then he won two elections which he probably did not even have anyone running against him. Judge Cahill was selected to oversee the trial of the century and will decide the sentencing time by the first black judge to be chief in Hennepin County. Guess who appointed him in 2006? No, not a liberal governor; Gov Pawlenty – the irony of this is interesting Who appointed him you ask? Well – I have written about how we need to run against judges in every category in Minnesota. Sadly, we never do. Imagine if this judge was someone who reflected us. How amazing would that have been.
  2. To run for office – I mean by black and brown folks who have a backbone and not butt kissers. Sadly, majority (not all) black and brown legislators brownnose to whatever party they belong to. They forget who elected them and who they are supposed to represent. After black and brown legislators are in office, they need to write policies and laws that hold racists accountable, change and amend policies/laws that are hurting our communities, etc. This includes protecting not teachers’ unions who fail and kick our kids from their educational environments, voting no to giving twenty million dollars to a white life in Mpls while giving cents to black lives taken by Mpls police. This simply means representing your voters – period.
  3. Sue everyone and anyone who discriminates against you even if you lose or think you will lose. The goal being make them uncomfortable as they have made you feel.
  4. I do not honestly think if we do above three well with a laser-like focus we do not need the fourth one which is demonstrations. This is time-consuming and is basically begging someone else to give you the power you already have.

Think about this: What if the few black attorneys I can think of run to be judges or county district attorneys. For example, we (all Minnesotans) have heard of Nekima Levy; clearly, she is an eloquent speaker who has a legal sound mind. Imagine instead of marching in the streets of Hugo, MN, she ran the halls of Hennepin county by running against attorney Mike Freeman and defeating him.

Another example, imagine if black attorney Cedric Frazier instead of pandering to the teacher’s unions run to be a judge where he oversaw families suing schools for discrimination and disparities.

Imagine if Athena H (And I do not even like her) instead of saying useless words in a public safety committee in MN House of Reps run for a county attorney where she can make an actual difference instead of just talking. I blogged about this before, back then out of Minnesota’s 87 counties – there was one minority county attorney. Think about that. How insane is that? We cannot just march. We need to also become those that make the law, run agencies, run courtroom, etc., etc.

Alice Walker said, “The most common way for people to lose power is by thinking they don’t have any”. You see we assume we do not have the power to be judges, lawmakers, district, and county attorneys, etc., etc., etc. But we do. We should not always ask someone else to give us a seat at their table. We need to create our own tables, get our own chairs, and fill with diversity, equality, and fairness for all. That is the true American idealism and dream.

What makes America great is the idea that anyone from nothing can make it and be whatever their heart desires as long as their mind works towards that. I remember I once went on vacation to Paris, (no not Paris, Texas), France. And I remember being so excited to be the city of love and life. To my surprise, every French person, I have met wanted me to tell them about America and how great it is. There was a McDonald’s restaurant near our hotel, and it was always busy; I remember thinking why anyone would want to eat a big mac when there is French food everywhere. You see Mcdonald’s represented this great nation that promises justice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to everyone.

The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.

Idil – Somali Autism Mom and Advocate