June 23, 2018

Les Lester is Running as a Write-in Candidate for the Minn. 5th Congressional District

Photo: Mall of America, Mpls. Les Lester speaking at a Black Lives Matter rally.

There are some things that are simply too important to sweep under the rug. That’s why when I saw U.S. Representative Keith Ellison on the final day of filing for election switch to run for Attorney General, rather than his current seat, I was at once taken aback and intrigued. I admit it looked like a backroom deal between him and Ilhan Omar—one Muslim saving the seat for another Muslim. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Somali community. And Ellison once spoke when I was director of the Youth Development League to the participants at no charge. I appreciated that. And his politics mirror mine. But the way he handled the filing on June 5th—on the last day of filing—was unfair to the people of the 5th Congressional District.

The 5th District deserves the best candidate possible for the job, and right now I don’t see where Omar, Jamal Abdulahi, Margaret Kelliher, or Patricia Torres Ray are the best options. Omar, for one, has been invisible as a State Representative. Let her first show her mettle in the job she was elected to in 2016. The first Muslim issue played well in the media a couple of years ago, but now Minnesotans have clearly shown they’re fair in that respect. Let's move on to other concerns. None of the candidates, meanwhile, have shown any groundbreaking initiatives in their political careers. They’ve basically done business as usual, in this state.

Here's a little about my background. I worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily Defender newspaper and in radio news, before accepting a MacArthur Fellowship in international studies to the University of Minnesota in 1997, where I graduated from the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. Although I worked for a short time for Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH, in Chicago, I feel a strong kindred spirit to the Martin L. King movement and realize there’s some unfinished business our elected officials have overlooked, in this new era.

To say black kids today are being shortchanged in the educational system is an understatement. And I’ve dug-up some primary source investigative reporting information that genuine news people can have a field day with. One, there’s been a cover-up of epic proportions concerning black history that needs to be addressed by the Department of Education, and I feel I’m the right candidate to go to Washington and deal with this encompassing blemish on the American character. Black youth are being inundated with popular culture, but lied to about their classical story.

I’ve worked on this issue for some time. And believe me, the quality of life for everyone in Minnesota, and the world, will be enhanced when the unfinished business of merging black people into their rightful place in world history is accomplished. What will emerge is a more sophisticated and confident African-American populace, released from the confining constraints of European whitewashing.

Back in 2011, when the Egyptian Pharaoh King Tut exhibit came to the Science Museum of Minnesota, I was the communication chair of the local NAACP. I spearheaded a campaign to get the museum to depict the black boy king in his likeness on its billboard displays. Instead, they continued with sterile displays of Ancient Egyptian jewelry and a deafening silence on the reality that King Tut was a black man.

Telling the truth about black history will step on the toes of the status quo, but when it’s all said and done, we can move forward on a firm foundation as a nation, and as a legitimate leader in democracy and freedom.

Like Jesse Ventura’s Reform Party win, I believe the good people of the North Star State, when they see the substance of my campaign, will rally behind me and “shock the world," again.

Les Lester is a journalist and author of the novel The Awakening of Khufu. The information, herein, is available for use by the press.