Unite Cloud Executive Director Natalie Ringsmuth joined me on WJON for a 2-segment conversation about their organization, their relationship with local police, their mission and what involvement they had in the unrest that happened in St. Cloud earlier this month.  Please listen below.



Natalie says Unite Cloud is a non-violent organization seeking equal rights for people of all races and backgrounds in the St. Cloud area.  The board, which she says is her boss, is made up of 8 individuals largely of color.  She says the group loves St. Cloud and they don't want to damage it.  I asked whether they trust the St. Cloud police department and she said she'd rather not answer that question at the moment.  Natalie says Unite Cloud has been in talks with the St. Cloud police department to establish trust.

We addressed "white privilege" or "white advantage".  She says many white people struggle with this.  She explained that our current system that we live in has been setup by white people and advantages are in place because of it.

Black Lives Matter is another group that has garnered a fair amount of attention in recent weeks and years.  Natalie says Black Lives Matter doesn't mean white lives don't matter it means black lives need to matter just as much as white lives do.  She says that applies to all situations including interactions with police.

Many people on social media have attacked Natalie in comment sections and other places online.  I asked her why she is hated.  She said change can be hard for people and her organization is an example of how the demographics in the city have changed in the last 20 to 30 years.  She says change can be hard and some have struggled with this wanting to return to a St. Cloud of the past that will not return.

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