2 BOCNEWS.com OCTOBER 2018 Where is Saira Rao? This is an honest question and one not easily answered. The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance (GMDMA) has great concern for the answer to this question. She was our Colorado Congressional (District 1), Primary candidate. We endorsed her and her candidacy with great enthusiasm. We were well aware that she was an underdog, but her vision and passion for the people of Colorado were impres- sive. She brought an understanding of the issues facing not only the African American Community but also provid- ed great insight into all of the Colorado communities that we believed have not been fully represented in Washington. Rao is and has been an ardent fighter of inequalities and injustice for underserved persons in the Denver community. She has worked on law and policy to help eradicate the evil environment of institutionalized rac- ism and sexism so pervasive in gov- ernment and community. In Rao, the GMDMA found a fighter and the future of the Colorado Democratic Politics. We saw her passion, brilliance, charisma, and dogged determination as one of the bright lights in a political world that has been darkened and muddled by the partisan politics of both parties. Rao’s candidacy was “David” to Congresswoman Dianne DeGett’s “Goliath” political machine. Unlike David in the Bible, she would not pre- vail. On June 26, 2018, her storybook campaign came to an end. She lost her bid to unseat Congresswoman DeGette. Just like many other candi- dates that night, she thanked her sup- porters, celebrated the effort and fully intended to retreat for much-needed rest with her family. However, that would not be the case. After the election and after what must have been a good deal of soul searching, she retweeted a New York Times Twitter column by Emory University professor of philosophy and sociology, George Yancy, titled “Should I Give Up on White People?” Oddly enough this was an informative article promoting his new book, “Backlash What Happens When We Honestly Talk About Racism in America”. Rao concluded the article with the positive and affirmative answer tweet of, “YES”. Unfortunately, a number of peo- ple including Democrat State Representative Paul Rosenthal dis- played what Author Karen DiAngelo has coined in her new book “White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.” Representative Rosenthal answered her tweet with a response that was textbook “White Fragility”. Not real- izing he was being dismissive and displaying White Supremacy traits he retweeted the article tagging several online blogs. They, in turn, retweeted to known racist blogs Brietbartt and Politico, just to name a few. With one keystroke by a Liberal Democrat, this became the “High Tech Lynching of a Brown Woman named Saira Rao!” The irony is Rosenthal’s response was exactly what Professor Yancy was discussing and what New Progressives had discussed what was wrong with the Democratic Party over the last 30 years. They had only valued white male opinions or those minorities who had been approved by them. Rao has done no more than what academic writer Tim Wise, who is white, has lectured about saying the same things she has. I might add that Tim wise has made a small fortune lecturing at universities and private institutions propagating the same message. We should not be surprised by what took place, next, when this first generation Brown woman dared to call out White supremacy in America. It was indeed a challenge to all White folks, but espe- cially challenging to the White liberal who takes a complacent irresponsibil- ity in fixing the mess that the entire “White Body-Politic of America” has created! Rao is no pushover and not eas- ily intimidated, but it is hard not to relent and retreat from one’s posi- tion when your children’s pictures are attached to death threats being sent to you online and on social media. Let me repeat: “Death Threats!” Saira Rao had to go into hiding for her family’s protection. The FBI is now investigating this case. What makes matters worse, there has been a deaf- ening silence coming from the vaunted Colorado Democratic Party. Liberals, Progressives, Women’s groups, and Ethnic communities within the Party she has fought for in Colorado have been, unapologetically, silent! This is not the first time a female Democratic politician of color has faced death threats for her views. We remem- ber the attacks on Representative (now Senator) Rhonda Fields and the silence and reluctance to defend her. Senator Fields continues to be one of the real social justice champions of the Democratic Party in Colorado, but she, too, receive little if any support from the party. Thank God for people like former House Representative Joe Salazar who stood up to the bullies and defended Saira Rao. Joe has been the lone voice. The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance stood with her in her candi- dacy and we are standing with her in these troubled times. We are praying for her and her family’s safety and their safe return. The question remains, though, if this Colorado Democratic Party is really for minorities, families, and safety, and if this Party stands Where is Saira Rao? The High-Tech Lynching of a Brown Woman Terrence Hughes By Rev. Dr. Terrence Hughes POLITICS Rao is no pushover and not easily intimidated, but it is hard not to relent and retreat from one’s position when your children’s pictures are attached to death threats being sent to you online and on social media. Continued on Page 4