MATTHEWS: Media’s overemphasis on ‘firsts’ should be revisited 

FILE – Cars drive past Minneapolis City Hall, June 28, 2023, in Minnesota. (AP Photo/Trisha Ahmed, File)

Back in November, St. Paul, Minnesota elected an all-female city council, which experts say was a “first” for St. Paul and likely a “first” for the nation in terms of all-female leadership in cities with populations of 300,000 or more. 

 There wasn’t much national media hubbub about it at the time, but last week all seven women were sworn into office and, predictably, the media swooning commenced accordingly. 

 “HER-story was made,” according to CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell, who informed viewers at the outset that she believed they would “like this story.” 

 After noting the election of the women, O’Donnell then giddily pointed out that six of the seven women elected by the residents of St. Paul “are women of color, and they are all under the age of 40.” 

 “Congratulations to them and the people of St. Paul,” she said at the end of the segment, then bizarrely adding, “I am bettin’ that they get some stuff done.” 

 Left out of O’Donnell’s report was something the Associated Press had in theirs, which the AP clearly considered a positive development. 

 “The council is a nonpartisan office, but all seven members are Democrats.” 

 Also, per City Council President Mitra Jalali, she and her fellow council members will “lift up the progressive values of our community more than ever and [are] committed to doing that difficult work together — not just in a performative way, but in a way that is sustainable and will really make lasting change,” the AP also reported. 

 Oh. So it’s all women, all progressive Democrats who think and look a lot alike. 

 So where is the “diversity” we keep getting told by Democrats and the media is so important when it comes to representation? 

 Think about it from this perspective for a moment. 

When we have elected bodies that are majority older white men with conservative leanings, we’re treated to endless lectures about how the lack of diversity on those councils or in those state houses, etc. does a disservice to the community because certain minority groups are supposedly underrepresented or not at all.  

 So with the media’s/left’s logic on diversity in mind, I fail to understand why I should be excited by a “historic” first all-female city council who all have similar mindsets and who only represent just a little over 50% of St. Paul (just under 50% of St. Paul is white). 

 I mean isn’t this just the same “problem,” except instead of it being a majority of white conservative men it’s a super-majority of woke progressive women of color? 

 As you might expect, I don’t get excited over such “firsts” and “milestones,” especially when I don’t consider the women in question as particularly representative of most women. 

 Case in point, here’s council Vice President Hwa Jeong Kim informing St. Paul that “trans women,” men who now identify as women, will be a focal point for the council going forward. 

 “I feel like women and women of color and queer and trans women have been grieving for a long time — not for things that they’ve lost, but for things that they’ve never had,” she said according to the AP. 

 If you’re a woman in a position of power and you are equating “trans women” to women who have actually gone through most if not all of the experiences that are unique to women, then you are not the type of woman who deserves a leadership position in government. 

Further, the media’s emphasis on people who are elected to higher office should not be on their gender or color but on where they stand on the issues. 

 It should go without saying that their policy positions should be the most important thing here, above all else, but apparently it needs saying again. 

 North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.