Barb Johnson stands up for white people

ReCAST presentation.

ReCAST Minneapolis is a federally funded program intended to promote “healing from the damage done by a history of policymaking that has devastated African Americans, American Indians, and immigrants including Latinos, SE Asians, and Somalis.” Here’s more background from the ReCAST Community Strategic Plan:

The shooting of Jamar Clark, an unarmed African American male, by police officers is the impetus behind the creation of ReCAST Minneapolis. In our city, African Americans and American Indians are disproportionately discriminated against by the police which also echoes other indicators of wellbeing where there are greater disparities between our African American and American Indian population and the rest of the populace.

If you’re a terrible person, you might be thinking, “Why doesn’t this program intended to heal the damage of a long history of racist policymaking do more for white people?” Fortunately for terrible people, they have a champion in City Council President Barb Johnson.

Council President Barb Johnson: 

“Ms. Stephens, you know, one of the things that I find somewhat frustrating about work that we do around neighborhoods that are experiencing stress and trauma is that there are – and of course I’m thinking about the neighborhood that I represent in North Minneapolis – there are people who aren’t necessarily people of color but they’re long-lived neighbors in communities that are as much affected by some of the violence that’s going on in the community. And so how do we get to those people? I said the same thing with the – I’m trying to think, we’ve got an initiative at the police department that I can’t remember the name of – but the same thing. You know, what do you do about the people who aren’t necessarily perhaps the victims but they’re the ones that get knocked out of their houses at 3:00 in the morning because somebody’s bashed into the gas meter with a stolen car, or get awakened at 3:00 in the morning when they have to work the next day because somebody’s shooting a gun in their alley. Those people are affected as much as anyone in the neighborhood. And so I just am curious what the thought is about the broader population that lives in the neighborhoods that are affected by violence. And I particularly think this grant, we were a recipient of the grant because we had this incident – part of it – is because we had this incident in the Fourth Precinct. But that didn’t just affect people of color, it affected everybody that lived in the community. So, what’s the thought about the rest of the community?” 

Joy Marsh Stephens:

“One of the reasons we’re really intentional about shaping who we’re talking about with the grant as geographical is that we understand that it’s everybody who lives in those neighborhoods. We talk about Camden, for instance, which is one of our neighborhoods for ReCAST, it’s everybody that lives in Camden, not just people of color who live in Camden, or Native populations who live in Camden, it’s everybody who lives there. So the trauma that those communities are facing is, to your point, affecting everybody that’s there.”