As both parties implode amid charges of sexual harassment and assault, Minnesota may provide a ray of hope for people of color, who have been under attack by the Trump administration.
Keith Ellison, 53, the first Muslim American elected to the U.S. Congress and the first African-American to represent The North Star State, is said to be under consideration to replace outgoing Sen. Al Franken. Franken resigned this week in the midst of allegations of sexual harassment, according to media outlets.
But for those of you who do not know, Ellison is a real one.
He was first elected as a U.S. Representative in 2007, and his name was recently floated to be chair of the Democratic National Committee, but he was named deputy to Tom Perez.
“Since coming to Congress, he’s been a reliably liberal Democratic vote — he’s campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq War and his support for universal health care, and he’s been a vocal opponent of voter ID laws,” wrote The Washington Post.
Before becoming an elected official, he worked as a lawyer with the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum, specializing in civil rights, employment, and criminal defense law. He then went on to work as executive director of the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, a non-profit organization that specialized in representing clients living in poverty.
He also supported H.R. 40, a measure to Study Reparation Proposals for the African-Americans Act, that has been introduced since 1989 by Rep. John Conyers, who recently retired in the widening sexual assault scandal. Under the proposal, Congress examined slavery, its lasting effects, ramifications on future generations, and how the United States should address the issue.
He also warned a panel on ABC’s This Week about President Donald Trump, when few people saw it coming.
Indeed, Ellison seems poised to take up the mantle of the civil rights movement where Conyers left off.