The Twin Cities Marathon is a spectacular event. It is scheduled in early fall, soon enough to catch the trees changing colors. The course is spectacular (map here), taking runners from downtown Minneapolis around Minneapolis’s lakes, down the Mississippi river, across the river into St. Paul, down St. Paul’s most beautiful street, ending at St. Paul’s Capitol Grounds. The Marathon promoters brag that it is “the most beautiful urban marathon in America.”
Now for some cryptic reason the Black Lives Matter crowd threatens to disrupt the event at the finish. The Twin Cities are one-party towns. We badly need to enlist the assistance of our old Soviet sister cities to set up a multiparty system.
How will the authorities in St. Paul react to the threat posed by the Black Lives Matter crowd. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is no fool. (He has a fool for a brother, but that’s another story.) Mayor Coleman has issued a statement quoted in today’s Star Tribune story:
These threatened actions pose an unacceptable risk to runners, spectators and protesters themselves,” Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement released by his office.
That’s why, the mayor said, he had asked Chief Thomas Smith “to keep all options on the table to prevent disruption of the race or prevent runners from finishing the marathon.
Coleman wants to let them down easy:
Coleman’s office confirmed Wednesday that the mayor will meet privately Thursday morning at City Hall with Rashad Turner, the leader of the St. Paul Black Lives Matter group. Coleman had asked for a meeting with the group’s leaders before the race.
Turner, responding to a text message Wednesday, said he would comment after meeting with the mayor.
The marathon also passes by the Governor’s Mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, and Governor Dayton wants to get in on the action:
Gov. Mark Dayton also waded into the racially charged debate Wednesday, saying he hoped that disruption of the race could be avoided. The governor angered the group’s leaders a few weeks ago by calling their State Fair protest “inappropriate.”
“I would ask Black Lives Matter to consider meeting with the mayor, meeting with myself, if that’s desired,” Dayton said, “as an alternative to disrupting people who have trained for a long time, and who are participating in a marathon, that in my judgment has no connection to the grievances that they want to put forward.”
The Star Tribune has more on Dayton’s response here.
The Black Lives Matter Crowd is looking for a fight, but they have now threatened to pick one in which their allies number precisely zero. One has to think that they will seize the opportunity presented by the powers that be to let them save face and pick that fight another day.