UMN Sues Ucare – Why Should We Care?

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Alright – so, you’ve probably heard that the University of Minnesota (UMN) which is a state agency, and funded by the state as one sued UCare – a health plan. What do the two have to do with each other and why should we really give a flying hoot about it.

Well, it turns out that UMN is sort of in charge of Ucare. What really? Why? I guess it was funded, was part of its inception, and is the majority of their board. Ucare then tried to limit the UMN authority within its board so that it can partner with others such as Sanford. Who the heck is Sanford? some old white dude who owns a bunch of rural health systems and is headquartered outside of MN.

Then that is when all hell broke loose. Every white person I know was against it this merger. They complained to the attorney general, to the media, and to their legislators. What happened then? miracles started flying and heads turned. I asked a few Somalis about this. Most had no idea, a couple said Ucare and UMN can both go to hell and leave Minnesota. What does this have to do with autism? nada. So, why am I writing about it?

Let me line it up. Have you ever read this author’s work. She makes the point about having an international women’s day. If women were equal to men, there would be no special for them. You have never heard of international men’s day, have you? There is black history month, why? If blacks were equal to whites in America, there would be no special month for them. When I advocate as a black woman, I am called – angry, rude so on and so forth. When a white autism mom advocates, she is passionate and cares for her child and others like her. You see there is this subtle yet persistent and hurtful double standard.

This merger and all that it produced reminds me of what it is like to be a black, woman, and Muslim advocate. As a result of the white folks who were upset about this merger and sided with UMN, heads turned. The media wrote about it. The governor heard and changed his tune and is apparently now against the merger. The attorney general who was neutral before is now hesitant and the best part is legislators who represent some of these people started writing legislation that would prohibit state-funded anything going to another state. Imagine that. Imagine when black and brown folks complain about something if the same heads turned. Imagine if the legislators who represent us actually started writing legislation that would address our needs and concerns. Imagine if black and brown-owned media outlets started writing about the issues proactively. Imagine that.

Instead, we are called angry black people, difficult, wrong, abrasive, yada yada, and more yada.

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

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate