You might recall Minneapolis City Councilor Alonda Cano; last winter, she was abusing her access to city data to “shame” people who criticized her support for Black Lives Matter. Then, when called for alleged laziness by (of all outlets) the City Pages, she…
…well, that actually brings us up to this week:
Tuesday evening, it was Cano’s turn to join the public conversation, doing so in the form of a Facebook post on her city council page. Cano wrote it was “hurtful and disappointing” to read the words “lazy,” “always late,” and “clueless” used to describe her work ethic on the council.
“It is important to illuminate,” Cano went on, “that these words, when used to frame women and people of color, carry a history of coded language that serve to create negative racial stereotypes.”
That could be.
Those words, when referring to someone who’d rather grandstand than learn their damn job, are also not-coded-at-all terms to refer to lazy, inconsiderate people who don’t do their homework, whatever their skin color.
Cano wrote that the negative story “weighed on me heavily,” and she went back and forth on whether she should respond to it. After all, she and her south Minneapolis constituents in the Ninth Ward have far greater concerns: wage theft, slumlords, a lack of paid sick time for workers, even working moms.
Which Cano, apparently, isn’t doing jack for.
“However,” Cano continued, “when loaded and biased attacks occur, it is vital that we stand up and speak the truth. In this case, this story was racist, sexist, and it was an attempt to smear all of the things I stand for.
Well, no. It was an attempt to tell the public that Cano – who reportedly has ambitions to run for Mayor or the Legislature – isn’t doing a very good job, when her job doesn’t involve granstanding, or taking spiffy trips on the taxpayer’s dime.
I want you to know that I am unabashed in my commitment to continuing to advance a racial and social justice agenda no matter the backlash.”
Let’s take a moment to go over what just happened. Alondra Cano – an elected member of a power bloc with absolute one-party control of a major city, a person with in effect a lifetime sinecure either in government or non-profits for her and (likely) her entire family, one who wields the kind of power that mere citizens don’t even know how to dream of – is trying to paint herself as a victim.
Cano – like Nekima Levy-Pounds, another person with immense power and privilege herself – is perfectly fine using her position to shame critics who don’t buy newsprint by the trainload; when someone – even the lowly City Pages – comes along and hits her from the level, she cries “victimization”.
Question, Minneapolis: Do you deserve better, or not?