Bloomington school board candidate forced to defend his good name

The silly season has officially begun for the 2023 election. Today’s installment comes from Bloomington courtesy of some unhinged liberals accusing Ricardo Oliva of “anglicizing” his name to appeal to different groups of voters. Oliva was also accused of lightening his skin in campaign photos ostensibly to appear more white. If you recognize his name, yes, Oliva’s father is beloved Twins hall-of-famer Tony Oliva, who raised his family in Bloomington under the shadow of Metropolitan Stadium.  

These accusations were made on a large Facebook group called Bloomington MN for All that boasts over 20,000 followers. Most days the page serves as a community bulletin board with people asking for a good plumber or promoting a weekend event.

But last week frequent poster Sara McAtee used the page to give Bloomington voters a “heads up” that Oliva was “changing his name to appeal to ethnic families.” She went on to claim, “…he is now using the non-anglicized version of his name in order to woo minorities, especially Latinos, Brazilians and Mexicans.”

As usual, the Left is fixated on skin color and ethnicity. Ms. McAtee’s accusation that a candidate would try to manipulate voters this way is outrageous and classic projectionism. (By the way, aren’t Mexicans also Latinos?) McAtee is a keyboard warrior who appears upset with Oliva because he dared asked the Bloomington School Board to revisit their policy regarding age-appropriate materials and books in school libraries.

She also spends a lot of time and energy attacking a group called Moms for Liberty as a hate group because the Southern Poverty Law Center said so. John Stossel debunked the SPLC hate group narrative earlier this summer.

Oliva answered his critics by patiently explaining who he is and where he came from in a  post on Facebook:

My name is Ricardo Robert Oliva. My dad is a Cuban immigrant and my mother is from South Dakota. I am mixed-race Latino. My first name is Spanish, my middle name is in honor of my maternal grandfather. I have been known as Ricardo, Ricky, Rick, and Ric. I use Ricardo on formal documents, as that is my birth name, but will often include “Ric” on materials so people know I’m the same person.

When you run for office in Minnesota you sign an affidavit of candidacy that states: “the candidate’s name as written on the affidavit for ballot designation is the candidate’s true name or the name by which the candidate is commonly and generally known in the community.” It’s clear Mr. Oliva is well within the law to use Ricardo “Ric” Oliva on his lawn signs.

It’s a sign of the times that a candidate has to spend energy defending the name they go by in the community. But it’s all part of the larger strategy to talk about anything but the staggering collapse of academic excellence in our schools at the expense of the “equity” agenda.

Photo credit: resedabear via cc 2.0