Melvin Carter won a slight majority of first-round ballots in the election for mayor of Saint Paul last night.
A long-time friend of this blog, who is a resident of Saint Paul, writes:
“White privilege elects next St Paul mayor”
That’s a headline that is accurate, but we won’t see. From what I know of Carter, and I know people who worked closely with him in his role of council member, he didn’t do a lot for his constituents. Black families in Frogtown felt disappointed by him, told his aide that they wouldn’t even vote for him in the special election when Carter left his council seat.
When he was on the council, Carter had a reputation for yelling “Off what” when Kathy Lantry – the then-president of the City Council – said “Jump”. He wasn’t what you’d call a leader – which, when you’re dealing with DFL politics, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But it is what the DFL establishment wants in a city with a nominally strong-ish mayor system.
But, lots of white people supported Carter. They seemed to hand pick him as the token candidate of color who could represent those people in St Paul. They hand picked him as the candidate of color who would help bring whites and blacks together. “See? We are so progressive, we elected a black candidate for you. One whose father was a cop. Doesn’t that help with all your recent problems?”
There are many problems with that logic. Is this the candidate that Black people wanted? St Paul Black Lives Matter supported Pat Harris.
To be fair, they are surveys that show less than a third of African-Americans approve of BLM.
But the correspondent is right about the institutional virtue-signaling among honkey progressives that’s accompanied Carter’s election. On a Saint Paul politics forum, one writer – a white woman with impeccable “progressive” credentials – wrote “I had personal friends who are Latino, Asian, Black, and White, all of whom voted for Melvin Carter”.
Can you imagine the howling if a white, Republican male had written “some of my best friends are minorities and voted for the minority?”
But, from what I know of Carter, he will look to the White people and ask, what do you want me to do? He will ask Chris Coleman to leave a check list so Carter can continue down the same path. Nothing that will help people in poverty in the city, though Carter will probably keep them in their place like Chris Coleman did. Which will help the Whites who elected him feel good about their decision.
It’s not that any of the candidates really had much different opinions, but at least some of them had independent thought and had the appearance of being able to make a decision based on reality versus the fantasy that all is well if we just declare the city to be liveable.
The PR bubble enveloping Saint Paul’s political class is impermeable to reality, reason and fact.
Of course, I have my own fantasy world. I keep thinking that at some point, the city will be degraded enough that a sensible, conservative candidate will bring out the angry voters in droves. And that a sensible conservative candidate will get fair media coverage so that those angry voters will be aware of the candidate.
I think that’s really the only hope for both cities. it’s not a completely demented fantasy; it happend in NYC in the eighties with Giuliani (yes, he was a conservative, at least on money and crime), and in Jersey City in 1991 with Brett Schundler.
But like any mid-level addict, Saint Paul has a ways to fall before it hits bottom, yet.