NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday January 26th 2022

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Raise Your Voice

Local World News

By PETER MOLENAAR

It is said that no small part of the world had its eye on our 2021 elections. As it came down, 7 of our 13 member city council are newly elected; 8 are people of color, and there are 3 who identify as “Democratic Socialists”. Congratulations Minneapolis! On the other hand there was, I think, an element of unprincipled opportunism in the mix.

Question: What is the sociology of our persistent low voter turnout and, for the sake of democracy, what is the solution?

Within the immediate purview of the alley community, we must uphold the election of incumbents Jamal Osman (Ward 6) and Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8).On a personal note, I am delighted over the election of Jason Chavez (Ward 9) and Robin Wonsley Worlobah (Ward 2) inasmuch as they have elevated the banner of socialism.

Indeed, Worlobah managed to defeat the “wildly popular” Cam Gordon of Green Party fame. As a matter of principle and practical consideration, we suggest to Cam that he pass on any useful experiential knowledge. I believe Robin will, in some fashion, reciprocate.

Similarly, our reelected Mayor Frey would do well to welcome Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad into his inner circle. After all, Kate and Sheila garnered many thousands of votes and represent a body of opinion deserving of respect. The winner-take-all approach will not serve the mayor well. No, not this time.

“We need to resolve this gun violence crisis… that’s number one”, so said Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5), “and that requires having an accountable public safety system”. Sadly, these two items have been posed as opposites.

Early in the period of mobilization and intense discussion, in harmony with the public safety charter amendment, this column advanced the slogan: “dismantle and reconstruct”. Our proposed rehiring procedure envisioned  psychological profiling tests which, in some instances, would result in redeployment away from the “inner city”. Officers of the D. Chauvin type (in his case, a record of 17 brutality complaints) would simply be fired. This vision has not been lost.

As it happened, however, the slogan “abolish the police” and the more modest slogan “defund the police” combined with a rising crime rate to create an atmosphere conducive to fear mongering. Mayor Frey acted upon an astute calculation and he won. However, he is not responsible for the whole history of racial capitalism and is, for the most part, a respectable human being. Truthfully, I ranked him as my third choice.

Anything else?

Marxism asserts that the ’state’ (i.e., the armed force of law enforcement) will eventually “wither away” in a socialist society as all manner of material and spiritual oppression is lifted from the development of every child, no matter what. No child is a born criminal. Don’t you agree?

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