This week, $15 minimum wage campaign wins court case to appear on Minneapolis ballot, Green Party candidate Jill Stein promises “New New Deal,” and two Minnesota colleges named LGBTQ-friendly.
As fairgoers begin the day with excitement and energy around the Great Minnesota Get-Together, it is critical that we acknowledge how the State Fair has always been a place of oppression for people of color. The Minnesota Territory ran its first territorial fair in 1854. The 1857 census shows fewer than 100 black residents in Minneapolis and St. Paul combined. The fair became the state fair in 1859, one year after Minnesota’s statehood. It has taken place in 151 of the 156 subsequent years, only being canceled for reasons such as war and polio outbreaks.
In certain circles, shooting an unarmed person of color in front of a child is only awful if we can prove that the victim deserved to live. For them, respectability sources the right to draw air.
Through popular education, putting pressure on policymakers and keeping the movement alive, real and local people have brought about changes not only in individual parks, but across the whole Minneapolis parks system.