Five Years Later
Five years ago it was Primary Election Day in Minneapolis, an exciting day for me. We were on the brink of electing a new mayor, an upstart, a reformer; and having just come out of employment at city hall, I knew that it was high time. We were on the brink of major changes at city hall as well (you can change city hall!), and I woke up on that day brimming with optimism.
Now it is five years later, and it’s so difficult even to remember my life before I knew about September 11, 2001. Of course I remember events from before that time; but I cannot seem to grasp what it was like to be unaware of what I know now, how I felt. And again, tomorrow is Primary Election Day.
Keith Ellison is an African-American and a Muslim. He is also the best candidate, in my opinion, to represent the 5th District. He’s against the war, discrimination against women, discrimination against immigrants, discrimination against gay/lesbian/transgender people. I know him and trust him. Atheists, out of necessity, vote for theists all the time, but Keith is someone unique.
He has also been shamefully slimed by the other, apparently jealous Democratic candidates (and by Republicans such as Katherine Kersten), who were shocked that they did not receive the DFL nomination and will not abide by the party’s decision. (Keith has parking tickets! He went to the Million Man March! The idea! Well, I seem to remember the mainstream media and Republicans like Katherine Kersten blessing the Million Man March when it happened.) “See you in November!” shrieked Erlandson as he stomped out of the CFL Convention. Classy, that.
I count some of these candidates as friends. The Minneapolis Star Tribune (to which I wish we did not subscribe, but my boyfriend still reads it) came out against Keith in its endorsement. All I can say is that I’m extremely disappointed with everyone’s behavior recently, except Keith Ellison’s, despite the parking tickets.
(No, I never got any parking tickets myself, or speeding tickets, or anything. I was a good but nervous driver who was terrified every second of hitting someone’s kid or pet. Small wonder that I gave it up. I didn't enjoy it at all.)
If Ellison does not win the primary, I still intend to vote for him in the election. If Ellison loses that, then I will accept the winner graciously and work with that person. But I do urge people to vote for Keith. He will not disappoint them.
Tomorrow, the people will decide. It is the people that I trust to make these decisions, just as it was the people on September 11, 2001 who governed ourselves effectively and courageously. No matter what, I look around and I’m just astonished at the collection of imaginative, humorous, brave individuals who make up our electorate, regardless of how they vote.
It’s five years since September 11, 2001. Courage!