FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bloomington’s election cycle ends for the Primary season and BLM Btown wants to point out to Bloomington that its mayoral seat was bought for $199,000 in out of state funding.Additionally a community that calls itself inclusive, liberal and welcoming to all was ultimately unwilling to elect a highly qualified Black man to its highest office. Don Giffin served as deputy mayor, has a long list of accomplishments and would have been the first Black mayor in Bloomington’s history. The white privilege that comes with raising $199,000 plus to win an election in a town where $50,000 to $75,000 is considered a lot to spend; means that Kerry Thomson could flood the town with her image and campaign. This is peak white supremacy and racism. Additionally so many Bloomingtonians also voted for Susan Sandberg who used racist coded language blatantly in two different forums making reference to “the big people” coming down from the cities to cause crime in our community. Additionally when asked about issues affecting the Black population of Bloomington she referenced the need for more police and law enforcement. It does not get more glaring than that. BLM Btown is sure that our elections are in grave danger from here on out due to these types of systemic racism with its white candidates. What’s to stop republican super donors from coming to Bloomington and running a Trumpster candidate with $500,000 or more to do exactly what Kerry Thomson proved she could do here? Especially when we see that racist rhetoric from candidates will still get you thousands of votes like Susan Sandberg.
BLM Btown urges all community members, especially BIPOC folks to join with us in a new form of observation and monitoring of the elections as well as the new mayoral administration. We urge all social justice organizations and civil rights groups to re-engage themselves in intersectional anti-racism and fight for more progressive leadership in our community. We are entering a time where the state is limiting freedoms for LGBTQ folks and we as Black people know our freedoms are linked. How can we trust a mayor who is woefully and willfully ignorant of the needs of our community to fight for our rights? The answer is we can not. So we must be prepared to fight for ourselves. Additionally we HOPE with the election of progressive BIPOC voices like Iska Asare, Shruti Rana, plus the continued voices of white progressives like Matt Flaherty, Kate Rosenbarger & Isabel Piedmont Smith that they will help hold the line on progressive intersectional anti-racist issues and won’t let the new mayoral admin do harm to communities of color in Bloomington.
Since the creation of BLM Btown we have stared down the racism inherent in Bloomington’s mostly white population from the removal of life saving drugs the police should have carried, to the purchase of the Lenco Bearcat; the White Supremacists in the city run farmer’s market; the constant eviction of homeless from Public spaces; to the overcrowding and abuse in the county jail; to the stabbing of a young asian woman on a public bus; to the failing to elect a Black candidate to highest level office in our community; to the extreme food insecurity and food inequities for Black folks and those living in poverty in our community. We see that the work in Bloomington is FAR from over and the systemic racism is on display clearly and strongly on our elections and community. This is a reminder for all marginalized people that we are here, we’ve been here and we are not going anywhere. Join BLM Btown’s fight for systemic change, food justice, housing first initiatives and decolonization of our public spaces. Please donate now to BLM Btown to help feed local Black families, give micro grants to Black families in need and continue intersectional anti-racism in our community.
~Black Lives Matter Bloomington (BLM Btown)