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So I discussed racial justice with some people of color last night at my house

Kirk Bangstad

So I discussed racial justice with some people of color last night at my house. They probably wouldn’t mind if I mentioned who they were, but I didn’t ask them if I could include them in my post so I’ll leave them anonymous for now.

The discussion revolved around what I could do as a white man running for office to help advance the current social justice movement taking place around the country and in the Northwoods.

We came to the conclusion that if I had a mouthpiece and wanted to use it for social justice, I should just tell their stories.

So we started telling stories, and had a little wine. This morning my head hurts, but damn was it a fun night.

In telling stories, the one theme that kept popping up was the lack of a social safety net for so many of our neighbors, be it those of color or not.

Stories were told of being stuck in the welfare system no matter how hard you try to get out, not being able to afford childcare and thus not being able to go to work, and the mental toll associated with the constant struggle of keeping one’s head above water. It was super sad, but it also was encouraging because at least we were talking about it and trying to figure it out.

So that’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna use my mouthpiece in this campaign to tell their stories and shine a light on ways to get our economy working again for those that need it the most, not the rich and powerful who are the only ones winning right now.

I’m also going to use my mouthpiece to call out the dishonest rhetoric that blames those that are under-privileged for being under-privileged, and the dishonest rhetoric that bullies those that don’t have the means to fight back.

Along those lines, I posted the letter that my new friend, attorney Fred Melms, wrote back to our local bully, Lakeland Times publisher Gregg Walker, who is trying to take away my mouthpiece by threatening to sue me for speaking truth to power.

Hopefully we can all draw strength to fight back against bullies, and to fight to elect politicians who care more about us than themselves.

Written by Kirk Bangstad on 06/18/20

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