You Know the Old Saw: Trust but Verify.

Minneapolis School Board candidate Sharon El-Amin has apologized for posting anti-gay and anti-transgender items to Facebook. There are things about the apology that are going to have me in watch-and-wait mode.

And yet when someone has acknowledged being closed-minded and says they wish to change, my first instinct is to give them the room to do so. That’s the latitude I am eager to receive when I have hurt or offended. Sometimes the best I can offer the person against whom I have transgressed is my sincere wish to do better going forward.

As unsure as I am that Ms. El-Amin knows many families like mine or understands our experiences — including the rate at which transgender people of color are murdered on our streets — I am hard-pressed not to point out that we’ve seen precious little public self-reflection from several current board members during some of the very high-stakes policy debates of the last couple of years. A lot of revisionist history. And not much willingness to admit poor choices.

There are three public candidate forums coming up. I think we ought to attend, ask careful questions and evaluate El-Amin’s responses – as well as those of her three opponents — with our children in mind.


The League of Women Voters forum is October 2:

Several groups will hold a forum on October 15:

The Graves Foundation will hold a forum on October 22; details TBD due to the original venue’s cancellation. You can follow them at @JDGravesFdn to be kept in the loop.




One thought on “You Know the Old Saw: Trust but Verify.

  1. Joseph

    Thanks. I find your reporting to be exceptional.

    I see the error here as impulsivity enabled by social media. Would she write these posts if prompted that these comments would be publicly accessible for all time? Alternatively, is it better if Sharon instead hires consultants to engineer her public face for optimal social appeal?

    Do these posts indicate an anti LGBTQIA+ sentiment or are they insensitive? How do we differentiate between the two? What is the required level of accountability for different transgressions?

    I’m critical, cynical and insensitive. I understand very well the things I may say about race, gender, orientation, sometimes inadvertently, can be devastating in the eye of the beholder or more commonly an unintended audience. But it’s also who I am and how I think about the world. And I would argue (I suppose open for debate) that my insensitivity to others’ does not reflect my underlying opinions or positions.

    At the end of the day, the only thing separating me from those I see publicly maligned, even fired or blacklisted, is that I have a better handle on the consequences. I’ve certainly said much much worse.


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