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: https://lwvmpls.org/school-board-candidate-forum/
Several groups will hold a forum on October 15: https://secure.everyaction.com/kXVGA5hqm0mne_IuABH6TA2
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.