fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Minneapolis cancels “sacred” race-segregated staff meetings; Pearlstein calls out Identity Politics

Just about everybody at Minneapolis City Hall, even the Mayor, was running away from a plan to hold race-segregated lunch-hour sessions focused on, you got it— race. (See Star Tribune, City cancels sessions on slavery, with black, white staffers in different rooms.) All the elected officials interviewed were saying, “It was not my idea!” I guess that is the good news.

Here is the bad news for taxpayers, and anyone of any race, who values their sanity at work: Apparently city “equity staff” staff came up with the idea to hold these “sacred” sessions with black people in one room and white people in another. (What if you are a combo, or some other color? How you were supposed to pick which group you belonged to? Seriously.)

Here is the luncheon series:

Each one-hour session was to have a theme: Thursday’s was to be “remembering who we are,” the one on June 27 was designated as “recovering our narratives of oppression and liberation,” and the July 25 session was on “re-imaging a future without harm.” The sessions for black and white staffers were to be held at the same time but in different places.

Why, may I ask, is the City of Minneapolis, engaged in this conversation? Is this what “Equity Coordinators” do? If so, I have a suggestion for staff cuts that could result in immediate savings to the city’s bottom line.

Granted these were to be held over the lunch hour, but staff time was devoted to planning, now canceling/scrambling and then repackaging/rescheduling the lunch series.

Since when is work, especially public-sector work funded by taxpayers, a time to engage in what sounds like a course at one of our formerly venerable institutions of higher learning? How does this get any pot holes filled or make the city a safer, better place to live?

Just as importantly, how does this help employees of different backgrounds work together and support one another? How does this advance the “equity” ball?

City Coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde issued a statement indicating she had called off the sessions but that they would be rescheduled. It was unclear Tuesday when that would happen.

“It came to my attention … that sessions had been promoted publicly in a way the city does not condone, as we cannot nor will we divide people based on race, ethnicity or any other protected class,” Rivera-Vandermyde wrote.

Uh-huh.

Minneapolis Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel, who wasn’t involved in the planning, said the discussions were meant to be part of a long-running effort to address racial equity in city government and services such as development, transportation and housing.

“It was never our intent to exclude or marginalize anybody in the city,” she said. “What’s lost is the understanding that not everybody is in the same place in these issues.”

Uh-huh.

My colleague, Mitch Pearlstein, had this to day:

Mitch Pearlstein, founder and senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, called the sessions another example of the absurdity of “identity politics” in Minneapolis.

 “I rarely have confidence discussions about race will be productive,” he said, adding that he believes discussions usually result in people who agree getting a room and saying the same things to each other.

“Most likely people who might offer unorthodox views don’t show up,” he said.

As to the notion of separate rooms for black and white staffers, Pearlstein said that someone would “have to go well out of your way to find something that open to parody.”

What he said.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Sen. Rudy Boschwitz Presents “Magnificent America”

    Location: Signatures 22852 County Road 17 Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment in Winona on Wednesday, September 18th for an evening with Sen. Rudy Boschwitz as he discusses “Magnificent America.” Rudy Boschwitz was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. Rudy’s Dad came home the day Hitler came to power and told the family they would leave Germany forever. They settled in New Rochelle, New York. He came to Minnesota in September 1963, where he started Plywood Minnesota. Rudy ran successfully for the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1978-1991. Rudy was President George H. W. Bush’s Emissary to Ethiopia. His mission resulted in Operation Solomon,…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Fall Briefing Featuring Kimberley Strassel

    Location: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now