Racial Representation Matters
We had a local election for a seat on the school board a couple of nights ago. Two women were running. Both were equally qualified. One was white and the other one was not. Guess who won?
Students of color make up 57% of the student population in Madison, WI – but we keep electing the white candidates. There is an urgent need on the school board for racial representation. Period. We need it, the youth need it.
“Oh, so you’re making this about race?”
Um, yes, this is about race. Just like so many of the fights people are currently fighting are about gender.
It’s frustrating that there is significant lack of women in power, right? And there is a huge push for more women to run for office, right? Why? Because you know…YOU KNOW…that a man that listens well to the needs, voices and concerns of women is still a man.
Of course not every woman is going to represent me in the way I want to be represented. And there are men in office that I would trust to represent me better than some women, but let’s get real, if there is a qualified man and an equally qualified woman running, you bet I’m voting for the woman. Because there are plenty of men in power already. PLENTY.
“Yes, but the male candidate is a good listener and he understands what the issues are for females. And he has more experience.”
Ummm, no. Women don’t need to have specific listening sessions to understand the needs, voices and concerns of other women, they live it, know it and wake up every day representing.
“That is a broad stroke. Not all women are the same.” Yes, yes, I know, we covered that above. Yet, we still want more women in positions of power because half the population happens to be female, and well, we rock pretty hard!
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this local election. I’m pissed, I’m frustrated and, I’m angry. Students of color make up 57% of the student population and there has only been one Black Woman on the board…ever.
Yes, this is about race for me today, folks. I hear our community asking people of color to run for office. And then they do. And then white people run against them. There was an opportunity and we dropped the ball again. Madison buys into equity, so it says, but for some reason when it comes time to show how valuable equity really is, things just don’t work out. But, thank you! Thank you so much for a running a great campaign! Please run again!
If Black Lives Matter…if we really believe that Black Lives Matter…why aren’t we giving power to those lives?
Yes, this is about race for me today, folks. I am a white woman. I don’t know what it is like for students of color. I understand the racial disparities. I hear the stories. I see students unfairly treated and failing in a system that is not supporting their success in all the ways it could. But I will never really KNOW. I will never have the same perspective as a person of color. I will never have the lived experiences. It doesn’t matter if I love, am friends with, or even live with someone that is not white…I’m still white. Just like men making decisions about my female parts is bullshit, and we all know it, I argue that this is the same thing.
The school district is fighting to change, trying to change, but not changing fast enough. Where is the urgency, Madison? We are asking her to run again next year? We needed her now. The students need her now…and they are our future.