The Minneapolis City Council adopted a resolution recognizing the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and white supremacy. The resolution cites that opponents to the Black Lives Matter movement have used the flag to intimidate protestors and perpetuate violence against them. Racial justice advocates say it’s a step in the right direction, but more concrete action is needed.
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
Friday, the Minneapolis City Council adopted a resolution recognizing the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and white supremacy. Council Member Alondra Cano co-authored the resolution. She says she was called to action by a similar move in the nation’s capitol following the January 6 attack.
“I thought, if Washington D.C. is going to do it, Minneapolis should be in solidarity with that message, understanding just how severe the presence of that confederate flag and that history was,” she said.
The resolution “rejects” the Confederate flag from being displayed in public buildings, a proactive move according to Cano. Among other things, the resolution cites that opponents to the Black Lives Matter movement have used the flag to intimidate protestors and perpetuate violence against them.
“We felt it would be a good thing for us to do as a city and to include as part of the series of initiatives that we are doing to bring healing to Minneapolis, to reject racism and structural violence, and to ensure that we’re moving forward in a positive way, in a welcoming way, in a healing way, with the residents of Minneapolis after last year,” said Cano.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports anti-black incidents nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020. Of bias crimes where the offender’s race was known, offenders were most often white.
Chinese-American organizer Nick Kor is part of Community Combating Hate, a multi-ethnic coalition pushing for policy changes around hate crimes. He says while the resolution is a step in the right direction, more work is needed.
“The police are not trained well enough to understand what’s considered a hate crime and what’s not. And then when they do report it, nothing really comes of that,” said Kor.
The coalition supports legislation that would expand classification of hate crimes, provide more support to victims, and allow for hate crime reporting to organizations besides the police.
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