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Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

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  • Joe Mingle
    Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color Published On: Feb 28 2013 03:40:06 PM CST Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:38:22 AM CST When Sarah Manski
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 1, 2013
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      Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

      Published On: Feb 28 2013 03:40:06 PM CST  Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:38:22 AM CST


      When Sarah Manski pulled out of the school board race because her husband was accepted to graduate school in California, many asked, myself included, why would she wait until after the primary to do so?

      Now we know: It was all part of a plan to silence Ananda Mirilli, restorative justice manager at the YWCA in Madison, and also a person of color. Mirilli was unfairly and falsely targeted by Sarah Manski and her husband Ben as someone who was part of a movement to privatize public schools.

      When I heard about this, I immediately assumed several members of Madison’s white elite progressive community was behind this. I believe that there is a movement in this community to silence anyone that doesn’t walk in lockstep with the status quo. They will trample over voices of color in order to preserve it.

      I was accused by some of rushing to judgment. Yet I have not heard any of these people call for an investigation into who else knew about Manski's plan and when.

      In my last column, I wrote that Madison’s communities of color needed to become involved and engaged. They need to get off the sidelines and get in the game.

      What I failed to add to that was it’s also hard to become a part of the game when it’s rigged against you.

      If these had been two Republicans placing first and second in this primary with a Democrat finishing third under the same circumstances, progressives would be storming the Capitol right now. There would be hard-hitting editorials in progressive newspapers accusing conservatives of rigging elections, not the fluff pieces that we’ve been reading.

      Madison’s communities of color are constantly told by white progressives that people like Governor Scott Walker, radio talk show host Vicki McKenna and blogger Dave Blaska are the enemy. While some may agree, they haven’t been the ones silencing, patronizing and marginalizing folks of color in Madison. That distinction belongs to the liberal establishment in this community.

      You have consistently done the most harm to us, and it stinks. We’re tired of it.

      As a former Urban League board member and chair, I am also disgusted by the way this organization has been treated by some of Madison’s political establishment. The Urban League has been at the forefront of many issues concerning the disenfranchised and people of color in this community, in particular, education. Yet over the past couple of years they have been treated like garbage.

      Ever since CEO Kaleem Caire shined a bright light on an achievement gap and low graduation rates for students of color that has plagued the Madison Metropolitan School District for decades -- even offering an idea to help to address it -- Caire has been painted as a right-wing operative with the intent to privatize and destroy public schools. Almost anyone else who supported Madison Prep has been labeled the enemy because communities of color are asking for a better future for their children.

      The smear campaign began with Nichele Nichols failed run for school board last year, and now Mirilli this year.

      While I’m angry about what happened to Mirilli, I’m also happy she decided not to run as a write-in candidate. She had no chance of winning and running would have made white progressives in this city feel better about themselves.

      They’d say, “At least she had a chance.”

      Make no mistake about it: She had no chance. Everyone knows it.

      I understand that it’s not fair to paint all white liberal progressives in Madison with a broad brush. Many are just as outraged by what’s been happening to folks of color in this community as we are.

      If you sit by and watch while it happens and fail to stand up for what’s right, you become just as complicit as the ones who are doing it.

      To the communities of color in Madison, I say this: Don’t forget what happened here. If there was ever a time to organize and become engaged, it is now. 

      • Derrell Connor works in the insurance industry in Madison and hosts a weekly radio show on WIBA AM. His column will run the second and fourth Thursday of the month on Channel 3000.


        Copyright 2013 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

      © 2013 © 2012

      Yours-

      Joe Mingle

      332-1493
      249-9699
      deurbanization.com



    • Brenda Konkel
      The Manski s actions are very frustrating to many of us. I m sorry. I agree, she should have told people before the primary. I wish I had known, that is
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 2013
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        The Manski's actions are very frustrating to many of us.  I'm sorry.  I agree, she should have told people before the primary.  I wish I had known, that is what I would have urged.  That is what it means to be pro-democracy.

        Brenda

        On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 8:05 AM, Joe Mingle <jwmingle@...> wrote:

        Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

        Published On: Feb 28 2013 03:40:06 PM CST  Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:38:22 AM CST


        When Sarah Manski pulled out of the school board race because her husband was accepted to graduate school in California, many asked, myself included, why would she wait until after the primary to do so?

        Now we know: It was all part of a plan to silence Ananda Mirilli, restorative justice manager at the YWCA in Madison, and also a person of color. Mirilli was unfairly and falsely targeted by Sarah Manski and her husband Ben as someone who was part of a movement to privatize public schools.

        When I heard about this, I immediately assumed several members of Madison’s white elite progressive community was behind this. I believe that there is a movement in this community to silence anyone that doesn’t walk in lockstep with the status quo. They will trample over voices of color in order to preserve it.

        I was accused by some of rushing to judgment. Yet I have not heard any of these people call for an investigation into who else knew about Manski's plan and when.

        In my last column, I wrote that Madison’s communities of color needed to become involved and engaged. They need to get off the sidelines and get in the game.

        What I failed to add to that was it’s also hard to become a part of the game when it’s rigged against you.

        If these had been two Republicans placing first and second in this primary with a Democrat finishing third under the same circumstances, progressives would be storming the Capitol right now. There would be hard-hitting editorials in progressive newspapers accusing conservatives of rigging elections, not the fluff pieces that we’ve been reading.

        Madison’s communities of color are constantly told by white progressives that people like Governor Scott Walker, radio talk show host Vicki McKenna and blogger Dave Blaska are the enemy. While some may agree, they haven’t been the ones silencing, patronizing and marginalizing folks of color in Madison. That distinction belongs to the liberal establishment in this community.

        You have consistently done the most harm to us, and it stinks. We’re tired of it.

        As a former Urban League board member and chair, I am also disgusted by the way this organization has been treated by some of Madison’s political establishment. The Urban League has been at the forefront of many issues concerning the disenfranchised and people of color in this community, in particular, education. Yet over the past couple of years they have been treated like garbage.

        Ever since CEO Kaleem Caire shined a bright light on an achievement gap and low graduation rates for students of color that has plagued the Madison Metropolitan School District for decades -- even offering an idea to help to address it -- Caire has been painted as a right-wing operative with the intent to privatize and destroy public schools. Almost anyone else who supported Madison Prep has been labeled the enemy because communities of color are asking for a better future for their children.

        The smear campaign began with Nichele Nichols failed run for school board last year, and now Mirilli this year.

        While I’m angry about what happened to Mirilli, I’m also happy she decided not to run as a write-in candidate. She had no chance of winning and running would have made white progressives in this city feel better about themselves.

        They’d say, “At least she had a chance.”

        Make no mistake about it: She had no chance. Everyone knows it.

        I understand that it’s not fair to paint all white liberal progressives in Madison with a broad brush. Many are just as outraged by what’s been happening to folks of color in this community as we are.

        If you sit by and watch while it happens and fail to stand up for what’s right, you become just as complicit as the ones who are doing it.

        To the communities of color in Madison, I say this: Don’t forget what happened here. If there was ever a time to organize and become engaged, it is now. 

        • Derrell Connor works in the insurance industry in Madison and hosts a weekly radio show on WIBA AM. His column will run the second and fourth Thursday of the month on Channel 3000.


          Copyright 2013 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

        © 2013 © 2012

        Yours-

        Joe Mingle

        332-1493
        249-9699
        deurbanization.com






        --
        We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." - Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King.

        If life were a thing money could buy, the rich would live and poor would die. - Widespread Panic (Arleen)

        Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss


      • Jeri Casper
        I saw it more as a selfish little girl needing to win a popularity contest, quite frankly. Maybe she felt inferior to her politician husband. To me it looked
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 1, 2013
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          I saw it more as a selfish little girl needing to win a popularity contest, quite frankly. Maybe she felt inferior to her politician husband. To me it looked like she had to prove something, in spite of the fact that she was going to screw over an entire community. 

          Good thing they are leaving the state, because they have certainly burned their bridges here, in my opinion. Who could ever trust either one of them again? 

          Bunch of a-holes. 


          To: einpc@yahoogroups.com
          CC: PDComm@...; worthingtonpark@yahoogroups.com
          From: brendakonkel@...
          Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 08:10:46 -0600
          Subject: Re: [einpc] Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

           
          The Manski's actions are very frustrating to many of us.  I'm sorry.  I agree, she should have told people before the primary.  I wish I had known, that is what I would have urged.  That is what it means to be pro-democracy.

          Brenda


          On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 8:05 AM, Joe Mingle <jwmingle@...> wrote:

          Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

          Published On: Feb 28 2013 03:40:06 PM CST  Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:38:22 AM CST


          When Sarah Manski pulled out of the school board race because her husband was accepted to graduate school in California, many asked, myself included, why would she wait until after the primary to do so?
          Now we know: It was all part of a plan to silence Ananda Mirilli, restorative justice manager at the YWCA in Madison, and also a person of color. Mirilli was unfairly and falsely targeted by Sarah Manski and her husband Ben as someone who was part of a movement to privatize public schools.
          When I heard about this, I immediately assumed several members of Madison’s white elite progressive community was behind this. I believe that there is a movement in this community to silence anyone that doesn’t walk in lockstep with the status quo. They will trample over voices of color in order to preserve it.
          I was accused by some of rushing to judgment. Yet I have not heard any of these people call for an investigation into who else knew about Manski's plan and when.
          In my last column, I wrote that Madison’s communities of color needed to become involved and engaged. They need to get off the sidelines and get in the game.

          What I failed to add to that was it’s also hard to become a part of the game when it’s rigged against you.

          If these had been two Republicans placing first and second in this primary with a Democrat finishing third under the same circumstances, progressives would be storming the Capitol right now. There would be hard-hitting editorials in progressive newspapers accusing conservatives of rigging elections, not the fluff pieces that we’ve been reading.

          Madison’s communities of color are constantly told by white progressives that people like Governor Scott Walker, radio talk show host Vicki McKenna and blogger Dave Blaska are the enemy. While some may agree, they haven’t been the ones silencing, patronizing and marginalizing folks of color in Madison. That distinction belongs to the liberal establishment in this community.

          You have consistently done the most harm to us, and it stinks. We’re tired of it.

          As a former Urban League board member and chair, I am also disgusted by the way this organization has been treated by some of Madison’s political establishment. The Urban League has been at the forefront of many issues concerning the disenfranchised and people of color in this community, in particular, education. Yet over the past couple of years they have been treated like garbage.

          Ever since CEO Kaleem Caire shined a bright light on an achievement gap and low graduation rates for students of color that has plagued the Madison Metropolitan School District for decades -- even offering an idea to help to address it -- Caire has been painted as a right-wing operative with the intent to privatize and destroy public schools. Almost anyone else who supported Madison Prep has been labeled the enemy because communities of color are asking for a better future for their children.

          The smear campaign began with Nichele Nichols failed run for school board last year, and now Mirilli this year.

          While I’m angry about what happened to Mirilli, I’m also happy she decided not to run as a write-in candidate. She had no chance of winning and running would have made white progressives in this city feel better about themselves.

          They’d say, “At least she had a chance.”

          Make no mistake about it: She had no chance. Everyone knows it.

          I understand that it’s not fair to paint all white liberal progressives in Madison with a broad brush. Many are just as outraged by what’s been happening to folks of color in this community as we are.

          If you sit by and watch while it happens and fail to stand up for what’s right, you become just as complicit as the ones who are doing it.

          To the communities of color in Madison, I say this: Don’t forget what happened here. If there was ever a time to organize and become engaged, it is now. 
          • Derrell Connor works in the insurance industry in Madison and hosts a weekly radio show on WIBA AM. His column will run the second and fourth Thursday of the month on Channel 3000.

            Copyright 2013 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
          © 2013 © 2012
          Yours-

          Joe Mingle

          332-1493
          249-9699
          deurbanization.com






          --
          We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." - Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King.

          If life were a thing money could buy, the rich would live and poor would die. - Widespread Panic (Arleen)

          Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss



        • Diane Farsetta
          I appreciate how Groundwork members, in the op/ed below, focus on white privilege and how white folks in Madison need to work to understand the pain and
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 1, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            I appreciate how Groundwork members, in the op/ed below, focus on white privilege and how white folks in Madison need to work to understand the pain and urgency students and families of color in our schools face, so we can engage more honestly and productively on school issues.
            best,
            Diane

            http://host.madison.com/news/opinion/column/kristen-petroshius-and-ali-brooks-school-election-points-to-white/article_f0624c8c-81eb-11e2-a042-001a4bcf887a.html

            Kristen Petroshius and Ali Brooks: School election points to white privilege problem


            Sarah Manski’s abrupt withdrawal from the race for Seat 5 on Madison’s School Board two days after the primary is unethical any way you look at it. Manski’s decision to run despite her uncertainty about whether she would remain in Madison, and to wait until after the primary to withdraw, was unfair to her supporters, other candidates and, most importantly, students and teachers, who have been denied their right to be supervised by board members elected through a fair and open democratic process.

            Manski’s conduct during the race is all the more pernicious given recent debates about racial disparities in Madison schools, and her withdrawal points to the white privilege that is rampant in liberal Madison. As a result of Manski’s withdrawal, another white person will win the race by default, while a third candidate, a woman of color with a strong racial justice platform, will not appear on the ballot. While none of us knows Manski’s intentions and it’s counterproductive to speculate, this feels to many people — especially to people of color — like a white person, backed by a progressive white community, manipulated an election to keep Ananda Mirilli out of office. As white people, we too are learning that it is not the intent of our actions but rather the impact that is most important in understanding how we are complicit in racism.

            It is not just Manski’s withdrawal from the School Board race that makes apparent the prevalence of white privilege and systemic racism in Madison. Our School Board has an overwhelmingly white majority despite the fact that 55 percent of district students are people of color. Both covert and overt racist scapegoating and stereotypes have been prevalent in the School Board campaigns and public discourse about the achievement gap: from the framing of students and families of color as “Madison’s urban problems” to the spreading of rumors that candidates of color are anti-union and in favor of school privatization — despite very clear campaign platforms and facts that demonstrate otherwise. The challenge James Howard is facing to his seat simply because he voted for Madison Prep and advocates that the district hire more staff of color further demonstrates the retaliation and suspicion people of color are facing post-Madison Prep.

            Such simplistic, divisive thinking that if you’re for Madison Prep you must be anti-union and in favor of school privatization intellectualizes something that is an extremely painful reality — the racism families of color experience in our district.

            As white people it is hard for us to even imagine what it would be like to have a child facing the barriers students of color experience. It’s time those of us who are white start feeling this reality: What if almost all of my child’s teachers were of a different race? What if my child had to learn a curriculum based on the norms of another culture, which erased the histories and contributions of her people? What if I knew that my child’s demographic peers faced frighteningly low graduation rates? What if I saw my child becoming disengaged over time and then labeled a “troubled kid” even though I knew how talented and ambitious he is? What if my child’s disengagement from school landed her in jail or prison? And what would it feel like for all of this to happen alongside a generally disconnected white liberal Madison refusing to feel the pain of my lived reality, shooting down my proposed solutions as though my own experiences mean nothing, telling me this is all really just an issue of “poverty,” and then retaliating against me for advocating for my child?

            It’s time for those of us who are white to listen to people of color, feel the pain and urgency of families of color, and work together to create promising futures for every single one of our children.

            Kristen Petroshius and Ali Brooks are members of Groundwork, a community organization in Madison.



            On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 8:05 AM, Joe Mingle <jwmingle@...> wrote:

            Connor: Madison liberals hurting communities of color

            Published On: Feb 28 2013 03:40:06 PM CST  Updated On: Mar 01 2013 07:38:22 AM CST


            When Sarah Manski pulled out of the school board race because her husband was accepted to graduate school in California, many asked, myself included, why would she wait until after the primary to do so?

            Now we know: It was all part of a plan to silence Ananda Mirilli, restorative justice manager at the YWCA in Madison, and also a person of color. Mirilli was unfairly and falsely targeted by Sarah Manski and her husband Ben as someone who was part of a movement to privatize public schools.

            When I heard about this, I immediately assumed several members of Madison’s white elite progressive community was behind this. I believe that there is a movement in this community to silence anyone that doesn’t walk in lockstep with the status quo. They will trample over voices of color in order to preserve it.

            I was accused by some of rushing to judgment. Yet I have not heard any of these people call for an investigation into who else knew about Manski's plan and when.

            In my last column, I wrote that Madison’s communities of color needed to become involved and engaged. They need to get off the sidelines and get in the game.

            What I failed to add to that was it’s also hard to become a part of the game when it’s rigged against you.

            If these had been two Republicans placing first and second in this primary with a Democrat finishing third under the same circumstances, progressives would be storming the Capitol right now. There would be hard-hitting editorials in progressive newspapers accusing conservatives of rigging elections, not the fluff pieces that we’ve been reading.

            Madison’s communities of color are constantly told by white progressives that people like Governor Scott Walker, radio talk show host Vicki McKenna and blogger Dave Blaska are the enemy. While some may agree, they haven’t been the ones silencing, patronizing and marginalizing folks of color in Madison. That distinction belongs to the liberal establishment in this community.

            You have consistently done the most harm to us, and it stinks. We’re tired of it.

            As a former Urban League board member and chair, I am also disgusted by the way this organization has been treated by some of Madison’s political establishment. The Urban League has been at the forefront of many issues concerning the disenfranchised and people of color in this community, in particular, education. Yet over the past couple of years they have been treated like garbage.

            Ever since CEO Kaleem Caire shined a bright light on an achievement gap and low graduation rates for students of color that has plagued the Madison Metropolitan School District for decades -- even offering an idea to help to address it -- Caire has been painted as a right-wing operative with the intent to privatize and destroy public schools. Almost anyone else who supported Madison Prep has been labeled the enemy because communities of color are asking for a better future for their children.

            The smear campaign began with Nichele Nichols failed run for school board last year, and now Mirilli this year.

            While I’m angry about what happened to Mirilli, I’m also happy she decided not to run as a write-in candidate. She had no chance of winning and running would have made white progressives in this city feel better about themselves.

            They’d say, “At least she had a chance.”

            Make no mistake about it: She had no chance. Everyone knows it.

            I understand that it’s not fair to paint all white liberal progressives in Madison with a broad brush. Many are just as outraged by what’s been happening to folks of color in this community as we are.

            If you sit by and watch while it happens and fail to stand up for what’s right, you become just as complicit as the ones who are doing it.

            To the communities of color in Madison, I say this: Don’t forget what happened here. If there was ever a time to organize and become engaged, it is now. 

            • Derrell Connor works in the insurance industry in Madison and hosts a weekly radio show on WIBA AM. His column will run the second and fourth Thursday of the month on Channel 3000.


              Copyright 2013 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

            © 2013 © 2012

            Yours-

            Joe Mingle

            332-1493
            249-9699
            deurbanization.com






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