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A Renaissance Black Man in a White Man's World

A Beacon for Freedom in the City

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COLUMN SIDE
Ron's media message platforms:

(1) Column (since 2003), weekly, in MN Spokesman-Recorder)
(2) "Tracking the Gaps" Blog (since 2003).
(3) Archives
(4) TV: Host, Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(5) Blog Talk radio:
“ON POINT!",Wednesdays, 8:30 pm,CST
(6) Book: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002);
(7) Book: A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide That Explores A Vision for America (2008);
(8) Solution Papers: for community social and economic development, extending the Minneapolis Story by promoting practical plans and strategies to enhance neighborhoods in their efforts regarding developing and achieving goals in the areas of education, jobs, housing,and public safety, while developing strong foundations for appropriate community based planning and economic development leading to families with graduations, jobs, housings. See especially #s 18 – 19, 22 – 23, 29 – 47.

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books at BeaconOnTheHill
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All Column Archives & Column Archives by Year:
2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003
Blog Archives | Solution Papers | Order the Books


Following the latest column below: 2 LISTs:
1. Columns on the Jamar Clark case and aftermath since.

2. Selected columns of 2015 and 2016 On Key Theme Of Failed & And Collapsing Leadership (Black & White), with suggestions for going forward resolve community iissues.


Karl-Anthony Towns: NBA Rookie of the Year
Sam Mitchell: we thank you for a job well done

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

May 26, 2016

We are elated that Timberwolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns was voted 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year (the second year in a row for a Timberwolves’ player: Andrew Wiggins was 2015 Rookie of the year). But don’t forget the key role Sam Mitchell played in developing these outstanding future Hall of Famers.

So why was the architect of these MVPs, Sam Mitchell, fired and not moved to head coach from interim coach after Flip Saunders’ death? Flip Saunders brought Sam Mitchell to the Timberwolves (and was influential in bringing Milt Newton to Minnesota as GM, another African American). So with a record like theirs, and the blessing of Flip Saunders, why did Glenn Taylor utter “you’re fired” — and by phone, no less?

The White 4th estate began its sniping attacks on Mitchell after Flip Saunders’ death, which is especially troubling, as Timberwolves owner, the billionaire Glenn Taylor, owns the major 4th estate paper in Minnesota, the Star Tribune.

The unfairness of racism continues to permeate Minnesota sports and other relationships, the downside of majority rule when checks and balances are not implemented (a recent documentary on PBS declared Minneapolis as one of the most racist cities in America). It is what majorities without checks and balances do (Japanese in Japan, Asians in Asia, Spanish and Latins in Mexico and South America, Russians in Russia, Blacks in Africa).

We stand with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s principles of nonviolence, judging others by the content of their character and not the color of their skin, and standing together as citizens of the nation first and then members of smaller “tribes” and membership groups however defined (race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, social movements, high school and/or college alma mater, social clubs, sports team fanatics, and the vast range of voluntary membership organizations.)

King believed in the call of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence for a seat at the table for everyone (despite slowness in implementation, with slavery and later Jim Crow the most egregious stalls. As President Obama noted in a commencement addresses this month, we have gotten much better, with gaps yet to fill. White Minnesota talks the good talk but does not walk the talk, as documented in our columns, books, blog and solution papers.

We ask our perennial question: win with the best or only with the best Whites?

Minnesota’s 4th estate has never been comfortable with non-Whites as team owners, head coaches, or general managers. It is the ultimate downside of negative diversity, profiling acceptance based on color, creed, country of origin, neighborhood, sexual orientation, etc., and not by character, talent, or being “American.”
The headline and pictures in the May 16 Star Tribune featured four White coaches, headlined “In Good Hands.” To be accurate: “In Good White Hands from a White Talent Pool.”

Leslie Frazer should be praised for developing and cultivating the current winning culture of the Vikings before he was drummed out of Minnesota. But the most vicious and underserving attacks were the media lynching of Adrian Peterson, led by Minnesota’s white 4th estate.

The manner in which Sam Mitchell was dismissed reflects the level of disrespect for African Americans in leadership positions (come on Glenn: firing Mitchell by phone?). Those who thought the next UM Athletic Department head would be African American were wrong again.

Instead it seems that the only thing African Americans are considered good for, male or female, is to perform and entertain White ticket holders and make money for White owners (think Kirby Puckett, Carl Eller, Sandy Stephens, Denny Green, Dante Culpepper, Randy Moss, etc). Few are allowed positions of authority and responsibility.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, May 16, 2016
Published, MSR, Thursday, May 19, 2016
Posted TMS, Friday, May 27, 2016, 2:22 p.m.


The Continued Betrayal of African American Youth by Black Leadership

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
May 19, 2016

Black leadership is trying to get additional funding for their organizations inside the racial spoils industry, by talking about violence instead of education, training, and jobs needed by young people to qualify for jobs that will enable supporting families and contribute to reducing violence.

Since the Minnesota legislature convened their short session March 8th, there has been little news coverage regarding legislation targeted for working out formulas of peace to deal with the escalation of violence in Minneapolis (between January 1 and May 9, 2016, there have been 121 individuals shot).

Despite attempts by Twin City Black youth and their organizations to discuss and propose solutions, Black Leadership dismisses efforts of some of the longest standing gang organizations to work together to begin reducing the ongoing violence.

One organization developed a plan that recognized the problems and offered workable solutions to which other organizations agreed. But they were purposefully shoved aside and told that representatives of traditionalyl “less threatening” organizations present their recommendations and proposals (still without credit).

This sends the wrong message. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported earlier this month, in Trends in the Joblessness and Incarceration of Young Men that “out of the 38 million young men in the U.S. in 2014, 5 million or 13 percent were jobless and 1 million or 3 percent were incarcerated,” that “economics, policy, and skill-set changes contributed to the large increase in joblessness and incarceration from 1980 to 2014.”

How is trust to be developed if the solution suggestions of these young people are pirated by Black leaders of churches, community organizations, and legislative committees that present them as their own, despite their having little relationship and familiarity with the issues that are contributing to the violence gripping this city?

In his recent commencement address at Howard University, President Obama said that despite progress, “gaps” still exist, that “anger at injustice [is] not enough,” that besides passion “you need a strategy.” These gang members provided strategies, yet were dismissed. They need to be included and given credit for their ideas. Betrayal will once again make it difficult to secure peace.

The good news: they have not withdrawn their proposals. They still seek to work with larger organizations. The latter are attempting to keep hidden that these young men are equally concerned and want to work to establish and maintain peace. Why shut the door in the face of those prepared to come to the table of mediation and negotiation, denying what I titled my second book, “A Seat for Everyone”?

Those undermining the negotiations care only for themselves and their “do good” organizations, as they accept damage to those they are supposed to serve as a “fee” they are willing to pay to get funding. In light of the death of a young man a week ago in an alley in North Minneapolis, whose family and organization is one of the most influential and effective in the city, it is becoming more difficult to identify solutions and corrective action reflective of how dangerous the city was in the early 1990s.

Black leaders who say these gangs cannot understand the governance and the doctrines of politics (as in Blacks can’t be quarterbacks), are repeating what whites told us before and after the Civil War, during and after jim crow. Extreme care is needed to give credit to where credit is due when presenting to the MN legislature and to big MN corporations.

Significant damage has been done that needs to be undone. It can be repaired, but not by denial. If they are kept at a distance, both sides will cry out, for different reasons, “God help us all.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, May 9, 2016
Published, MSR, Thursday, May 19, 2016
Posted TMS, Sunday, May 19, 2016, 12:55 p.m.


SELECTED LIST OF COLUMNS, 2015 and 2016, ON A KEY THEME OF FAILED AND COLLAPSING LEADERSHIP (BLACK and WHITE, both separately and collaboratively) REGARDING CONNECTING THE DOTS TO ACHIEVE NEIGHBORHOOD PEACE AND PROSPERITY, THROUGH EDUCATION, JOBS, HOUSING, PUBILC SAFETY, AND LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (PUBLIC, PRIVATE, NON-PROFIT,both separately and collaboratively).

2016

May 19, 2016: The Continued Betrayal of African American Youth                by Black Leadership.
January 13, 2016: Terrorists in Oregon: yes or no?
               Pull quote: Hypocrisy regarding justice and fairness in Black                inner cities has now leapt to communities, large and small,                run by Whites.

2015
January 1, 2015: 2014: Looking bad: Year-end reflections of 2014: a year of confusion and expectations.
January 8, 2015: 2015: Looking Ahead: A Year of Preparation.
January 15, 3015: Black leadership: What’s the plan?
February 19 2015: Leader's Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer.
March 5 2015: Police and Community Work to Hold Down TensionMarch 12, 2015: Council on Black Minnesotans ..... The Liberals’
               instrument of destruction.
March 19, 2015: Stadium Pattern & Practice with employment #s
April 2, 2010, Dangerous signs of trouble. ...disturbances.
April 16, 2015, Crises in Black leadership: MUL & NAACP changes.
April 23, 2015, Minneapolis Urban League in Trouble. Successes?April 30, 2015, Terrorism in the Homeland...danger to Twin Cities.
May 7, 2015, Where is the Stadium employment equity audit?
May 14, 2015,Marilyn Mosby Does Her Job. Other States'                            Attorneys across the country need to catch up.
August 13, 2015, Remember The Boys of Summer:  The 1960s                      Twins:  A Period of Sports and Civil Rights Success
September 10, 2015, Will the stadium come in on time?
               Accidents, mistrust, and internal fighting
.
September 24, 2015, Violence in downtown continues unabated.
October 1, 2015, Strange sounds from city hall . Test of                                leadership.
October 8, 2015, Mayor Makes Right Decision in Reappointing MPD                Chief. Now work to Restore MPD to handling Viking                    Stadium security.
October 22, 2015, Violence in Minneapolis high schools
               Are there any answers?"

October 29, 2015, Silence breeds violence. A dangerous pattern                in public safety.
November 12, 2015, When will diversity numbers for Vikings                        stadium construction be available?
November 26, 2015, Listen and Understand. City Tense After                        African American Youth Shot and Killed in Police                        Involved Shooting. Anger builds after shooting.
December 10, 2015, An open letter: To Black Lives Matter, NAACP,                and out of town demonstrators.
December 17, 2015, Whose voice will be heard? And when?
               The struggle for control.
December 24, 2015, Breaking the heart of a community.  
               BLM & NAACP  Protestors Attack Black fire fighters and                police officers.
December 30, 2015, 2015: A Year Of Terror And Indecision
                              2016: A Year Of…?

Complete list of all 2015 columns is here.
Complete list of all 2015 columns is here.


SELECTED LIST OF COLUMNS, 2015 and 2016, ON A KEY THEME OF FAILED AND COLLAPSING LEADERSHIP (BLACK and WHITE, both separately and collaboratively) REGARDING CONNECTING THE DOTS TO ACHIEVE NEIGHBORHOOD PEACE AND PROSPERITY, THROUGH EDUCATION, JOBS, HOUSING, PUBILC SAFETY, AND LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (PUBLIC, PRIVATE, NON-PROFIT,both separately and collaboratively).

2016
May 19, 2016: The Continued Betrayal of African American Youth                by Black Leadership.
January 13, 2016: Terrorists in Oregon: yes or no?
               Pull quote: Hypocrisy regarding justice and fairness in Black                inner cities has now leapt to communities, large and small,                run by Whites.
2015
January 1, 2015: 2014: Looking bad: Year-end reflections of 2014: a year of confusion and expectations.
January 8, 2015: 2015: Looking Ahead: A Year of Preparation.
January 15, 3015: Black leadership: What’s the plan?
February 19 2015: Leader's Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer.
March 5 2015: Police and Community Work to Hold Down TensionMarch 12, 2015: Council on Black Minnesotans ..... The Liberals’
               instrument of destruction.
March 19, 2015: Stadium Pattern & Practice with employment #s
April 2, 2010, Dangerous signs of trouble. ...disturbances.
April 16, 2015, Crises in Black leadership: MUL & NAACP changes.
April 23, 2015, Minneapolis Urban League in Trouble. Successes?April 30, 2015, Terrorism in the Homeland...danger to Twin Cities.
May 7, 2015, Where is the Stadium employment equity audit?
May 14, 2015,Marilyn Mosby Does Her Job. Other States'                            Attorneys across the country need to catch up.
August 13, 2015, Remember The Boys of Summer:  The 1960s                      Twins:  A Period of Sports and Civil Rights Success
September 10, 2015, Will the stadium come in on time?
               Accidents, mistrust, and internal fighting
.
September 24, 2015, Violence in downtown continues unabated.
October 1, 2015, Strange sounds from city hall . Test of                                leadership.
October 8, 2015, Mayor Makes Right Decision in Reappointing MPD                Chief. Now work to Restore MPD to handling Viking                    Stadium security.
October 22, 2015, Violence in Minneapolis high schools
               Are there any answers?"

October 29, 2015, Silence breeds violence. A dangerous pattern                in public safety.
November 12, 2015, When will diversity numbers for Vikings                        stadium construction be available?
November 26, 2015, Listen and Understand. City Tense After                        African American Youth Shot and Killed in Police                        Involved Shooting. Anger builds after shooting.
December 10, 2015, An open letter: To Black Lives Matter, NAACP,                and out of town demonstrators.
December 17, 2015, Whose voice will be heard? And when?
               The struggle for control.
December 24, 2015, Breaking the heart of a community.  
               BLM & NAACP  Protestors Attack Black fire fighters and                police officers.
December 30, 2015, 2015: A Year Of Terror And Indecision
                              2016: A Year Of…?

Complete list of all 2015 columns is here.
Complete list of all 2015 columns is here.


List of Columns on the Jamar Clark case and aftermath since.

Questionable conduct by county attorney in prosecution of Jerome Copeland
April 20, 2016

Federal Grand Jury begins to prepare for Clark Case
Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. will call the shots.
April 13, 2016

In the matter of Jamar Clark and Jerome C. Copeland.
Jerome Copeland, an eyewitness to the death of Jamar Clark.

April 6, 2016

In the matter of Jamar Clarks’ death.
Has the integrity of the investigation been compromised?

March 23, 2016

In the matter of Jamar Clark. Preparing for the Grand JuriesMarch 2, 2016

2015: A Year Of Terror And Indecision.
2016: A Year Of…?

December, 31, 2015

Breaking the heart of a community in response to the death of Jumar Clark: Bogth BLM & NAACP Protestors Attack Black fire fighters and police officers.
December, 24, 2015

Whose voice will be heard? And when?
The struggle for control.

December 17, 2016

An open letter: To Black Lives Matter, NAACP, and out of town demonstration
December 10, 2015

White supremacists shoot and wound protestors in North Minneapolis.
December 3, 2016

Listen and Understand. City Tense After African American Youth, Jamar Clar, Shot and Killed in Police Involved Shooting. Anger builds after shooting.
November 26, 2015


EDITOR's note: on, Sunday, March 29, 2016. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published today these 3 summaries of the Jamar Clark case so far:

1. What we know about the death of Jamar Clark: 29 point Star Tribune list.
2. Full Coverage: list of 31 Star Tribune Stories on the Jamar Clarkcase.
3. Time Line of the Jamar Clark shooting: 12 point Star Tribune list from November 15, 2015 (the day of the shooting) to February 10, 2016 (when the findings of the BCA -- Bureau of Criminal Apprehension -- were turned over to the Hennepin County attorney's office.


Shooting war rages on streets of Minneapolis
Political dangers for Minneapolis officials

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
May 12, 2016

Pull quote: Is there a plan for dealing with North Minneapolis residents and young people under a near state of siege, where gun battles and injuries are commonplace?

An eerie silence has settled over our Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, a silence shattered only by all too often incidents of gunfire and general mayhem. January through April: over 100 people have been shot, wounded and/or killed, with 40 in April.

My annual question: What will be done to ward off a hot summer?

The future seems needlessly bleak for families attempting to raise children with a sense of comfort and safety. Grievances, whether real or perceived, become real with violence met with violence. Violence becomes the model for our young who then grow up to be violent, as too many see community violence and shootings as normal.

Over two weeks ago, six people were gunned down in North Minneapolis in a 10-hour period, three blocks from the Fourth Precinct. There is enough blame to go around for everyone — White and Black, private and government sectors, churches and nonprofits, parents and neighbors, activists and the inactive. Organizations and leaders of our neighborhoods and city must go beyond recording acts of violence and put in place meaningful operational plans for increasing the safety of our community.

We have had discussions during this legislative session about surpluses of money and jobs and yet silence about the growing number of people shot and unemployed. If not for the ability to rush victims to medical center triages, the number of DOAs (dead on arrival) would be 50 percent greater.

Why do we let our streets become scary and dangerous? In the 1990s we were “Murderopolis.” Today we are “Dodge City,” with North Minneapolis becoming the Minnesota version of “someplace” in the Middle East. With the exception of this column and this paper, the 4th estate remains frighteningly silent about this violence, practicing unacceptable journalism.

For 10 years I’ve asked for a plan in writing for protecting and securing safety for the streets of North Minneapolis. Was one developed after the occupation siege of the Fourth Precinct? Is there a plan for dealing with North Minneapolis residents and young people under a near state of siege, where gun battles and injuries are commonplace?

We have much to be proud of: the opening of a new Vikings stadium, hosting Super Bowl 2018, hosting Final Fours, contributing to the economic growth of our cities and the new jobs that come with it. When do we develop pride in our neighborhoods by developing plans to deal with the silence about the hopelessness and despair expressed by our young people?

Will we be proud of enacting successful plans or watching our bad chickens come home to roost?

Our young “hear” the  silence about their lack of hope and change and wonder why there are no plans regarding education, training, jobs and a business environment to help make them happen? Will plans be for leaders (their next election/appointment/promotion) or citizens (schools, including student graduation, roads and rails and the economic development and jobs they create, housing, medical care for young and old, and public safety)?

We can do this. Let us do this. Let us stop acting like a third-world country, banana republic or city that has abandoned governance and instead serve the present and protects the future.

Without such plans put into action, our young will deliver the political dangers.

Without putting plans in action, we invite the erosion of our civilized aspects that we claim are so dear and precious to us.

There is a war on the streets of our city. It is time for real plans, real action. If not, God help us as a people

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, May 1, 2016
Published, MSR, Thursday, May 12, 2016
Posted TMS, Sunday, May 15, 2016, 11:55 p.m.


Prince: America’s musical genius
Rest in Peace!

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
May 5, 2016

Pull quote:  His four-decade career, as all the greats, leaves a great legacy that will long be remembered.

Millions around the world were in a state of shock to learn of the passing of Prince at 57. History will record and identify Prince Rodgers Nelson as one of the greatest musical geniuses of this nation. Minnesota and Minnesotans should feel proud of this native son, acknowledged as a “prodigious talent and relentless innovator” who rose “from humble origins to mega-stardom.”

I remember this young Black activist who used to come to our civil rights meeting as a young man, who was a life-long soldier of the “Revolution,” the name he chose for one of his musical groups, part of his “protean career.”

Prince accepted with great passion the forces that drove him and provided him with the genius and the command of music’s creative usess of instruments, composition, and performance. He has served well the history and the image of Minnesota as a place of innovative change agents.

He could have located anywhere on this planet — Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, London, Paris. He chose to stay home in Minnesota. He has been called by national writers as "perhaps the greatest living performer in the pop tradition," the “creator of a hybrid of rock and funk,” “a musician, songwriter, producer and actor… widely considered the single greatest live performer in rock.”

As another wrote, he overcame what many youth in our community have not overcome, as he  “bounced from relative to relative and home to home — changing address over 30 times, with music as his path out of struggle and isolation.” This reminds us of the paths we need to provide and help our young people find today.

Prince was a private person. He was not flamboyant, disrespectful or disruptive. He respected his profession and those he worked with. He handled accordingly the success and failure of his legacy. He had a spiritual side, and became a devoted Jehovah's Witness in 2001, joining congregants in door-to-door proselytizing.

He provided Minnesota with an industry that thrives even today, as his “Minneapolis Sound” became a legacy both locally and world-wide. He made Paisley Park his musical and recording capital. Some would call it his Taj Mahal. His respect for Minnesota and his respect for its citizens will always be remembered, and we would hope that his legacy would always be appreciated and respected.

He left this life too early. There are decisions that are made which we do not always understand. He had physical issues from his marathon performances — some up to five hours, creating hip and knee problems that came from years of jumping off risers and stage speakers in heels.

His four-decade career, as with all the greats, leaves a great legacy that will long be remembered. He was a man of drive and discipline.

As Duke Ellington, “the piano prince,” used to say, “Self-discipline, as a virtue or an acquired asset, can be invaluable to anyone.” May more of our young people emulate that about Prince. For Prince, as for Louis Armstrong, his “life has always been his music, it always came first.”

It is said that we only pass this way once. We all need to leave a positive legacy, to create a sense of purpose, to bring joy into the life of society, as did Prince. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

Prince was a gift to us. May his success be remembered. May he rest in peace as one of God’ treasures gifted to us to continually value.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, April 25, 2016
Published, MSR, Thursday, May 5, 2016
Posted TMS, Friday, May 6, 2016, 1:40 p.m.


Prince: America’s musical genius
Rest in Peace!

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
May 5, 2016

 


Dusty Baker: Last Black MLB Manager Standing

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
April 28, 2016

Dusty Baker, second most winning active manager in Major League Baseball, as of the writing of this column, is the only African American manager in Major League Baseball (of 30 Major League Baseball mangers, 29 are White). Obviously there is still a color line that baseball doesn’t want to talk about, let alone act upon. The one being the only before Dusty was Lloyd McClendon.

Major League Baseball (MLB) recently held its traditional, annual honoring of #42, Jackie Robinson. African Americans have played professional baseball for as long as White Americans, ever since it became an organized sport in the second half of the 19th century. Then the door was slammed shut at the turn of the 20th century, not to be opened again until Jackie Robinson was allowed to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers at the old Ebbets Field, April 15, 1947.  How serious are they in the honoring, when, sadly, the Jackie Robinson school on the old Ebbets Field site in Brooklyn, fails its Black children?

MLB’s Selig Rule and NFL’s Rooney Rule urging professional teams to “consider” Black managers and coaches, confirms the door is not wide open, for if teams were seeking the best managers and coaches, not just the best White managers and coaches, there would be no need for separate rules when Blacks are already among the best managers and coaches.

Baseball’s second period of purposeful integration began after its initial period of purposeful segregation, when a man named Branch Rickey took the bold step of signing Jackie Robinson to a major league contract. History was not as kind to a Black ball player named Willard Brown, who was signed at the same time by the St. Louis Browns of the then American League. That is how people use history selectively for their own purposes.

Even before Branch Rickey, there was Rueben Foster, a very respected and effective African American who owned a team in the old Negro League, proving Blacks could successfully own and operate a franchise. And yet, Blacks are still not “allowed” in the owners suites. There is only one majority owner among the MLB, NFL, and NBA: three leagues, 92 teams and only one Black principal/majority owner.

As one who has enjoyed many an hour in the Negro Baseball Hall of Fame in Kansas, Missouri, I urge all who can to visit the Hall to get reacquainted with past successes of the Negro in America and use it to inspire decisions for the future. As a Black historian, I again extend my appreciation to a man named John “Buck” O’Neil, and his role in preserving that history. Buck passed from this life in October of 2006.

There were many heroes who made it possible to allow reestablishing Negroes in America’s “great past time.” We personally question baseball as America’s great past time when it excludes certain Americans, a sport still trying to be a part of White privilege.

That brings us back to Dusty Baker, the last African American standing, the only one, tgoday, allowed to manage a 25-player team roster.

It seems we pursue our level of perfection and knowledge in and about the game of baseball. Not meaning any disrespect for our dark-skinned Latin brothers, but it is quite clear that some people in Major League Baseball, White owners among them, have begun to make the decision again that there is no longer a place in White major league baseball for Black Americans, despite the many who have fought and died for this country in many conflicts.

I believe that those good enough to die for their country are also good enough to benefit from this “great” American pastime.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, April 18, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, April 28, 2016
Posted TMS, Thursday, April 29, 2016, 7:52 p.m.


Questionable conduct by county attorney in prosecution of Jerome Copeland.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
April 21, 2016

The name of Jerome Copeland was first made known to the public two weeks ago in this column with his permission. It has been greeted with silence in all quarters of the so-called institutions for justice. I am not surprised.

When Mr. Copeland was incarcerated for three weeks in the Hennepin County Workhouse, the county attorney’s office knew that he was possibly the most significant witness in the officer-involved shooting death of Jamar Clark. I would invite all to review the transcript of his questions and answers session with the investigators of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the FBI on November 18, 2015.

I hear a lot of discussion about the great commitment to liberal thinking about types of justice in Minnesota. Which type favors you: the one seemingly for Whites or the seemingly different one for African Americans?

If not for the passionate defense of Mr. Copeland’s constitutional and equal protection rights under the law by his Hennepin County public defender, Ms. Bovee, who still believes in constitutional protection for all clients, the Hennepin County prosecutors would have made Mr. Copeland disappear on a trumped up charge for a significant period of time as the latest African American denied equal protection under the law.

It was no coincidence that after our column of January 28, 2016, in which we referred to Mr. Copeland but not by name, that some within our own community claimed incorrectly to know who the key witness was, even though they were not present on the morning of November 15, 2016. Various individuals of our community have joined forces with special agent Chris Olson of the BCA and the prosecutor of the county attorney’s office to destroy the credibility of Mr. Copeland and to quash his eyewitness account by claiming it was someone else.

If it were not for a Hennepin County district judge who was clearly persuaded by the arguments and evidence presented by County public Defender Ms. Bovee, the result could have been Mr. Copeland becoming a non-person in the tradition of South Africa. This pattern and practice of justice is far too common in this country of ours.

We have reason to believe that Mr. Copeland’s Q&A did not “appear” as a transcript until the investigative report was sent back on a second occasion by the BCA. Too often in our justice system eager officials either use fear and intimidation to “help” witness memory and testimony to reflect official biases, or they knowingly accept false “evidence” that fits their bias. Their bias feeds on its own ideology that leads them to believe that their bias is actually factual (which is why questioning and interrogations should be videotaped for later review and confirmation).

In an early April local radio interview, Hennepin County AttorneyMr. Freeman finally confirmed the unasked question the white 4th estate should have raised: that he was uncomfortable about his statement and that he did not have all of the testimony of all of the witnesses. He should have been asked which witnesses he was talking about.

Under the state constitution, only the MN State Supreme Court can be petitioned to order the opening into the investigation of the death of Jamar Clark. I assume all associated with calling for no grand jury reviewed that constitutional option and decided they didn’t have energy, commitment, or witnesses to raise that constitutional question before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

I await the decision of the Department of Justice in setting the time and date for a review by a federal grand jury.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, April 11, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, April 21, 2016
Posted TMS, Thursday, April 21, 2016, 12:36 p.m.

===================


November 26, 2015


Federal Grand Jury begins to prepare for Clark Case
Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. will call the shots.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
April 14, 201

MSR PULLQUOTE: Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. will call the shots

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis (BLM) and the Minneapolis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), on April 4, 2016, called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to reconsider his decision not to convene a grand jury in the police involved killing of Jamar Clark, an interesting about face as the demonstrations and occupations earlier by the MLM and NAACP were in opposition to convening a Grand Jury. 

Freeman carried out his state constitutional responsibilities.  But there is also federal law, opening an opportunity to include those who want to be a part.  The FBI investigation continues, making contacts and notifying persons of interest.

Which is why we have been puzzled by the “no Grand Jury” statements when the federal government can empanel one on its own and take over the Grand Jury Agenda.

Those who complained that they were not contacted for the investigation of Jamar Clark’s death will now have an opportunity to step up and testify, under oath, in their quest for justice.  According to the BLM and NAACP, depending on which published story you read, they have 20-40 witnesses not interviewed nor contacted, names we are sure they are turning over to the FBI so these 20-40 individuals can finally testify as the NAACP has long requested. 

We are puzzled about how one of their key witnesses, RayAnn Hayes, will testify.  She spoke at the April 4, 2016 press conference.  Authorities say she gave statements that misrepresented the truth regarding what happened November 15 and 16, 2015.  She can clear everything up when she testifies.  She first said she was with Mr. Clark when he was shot (then said she was not), that she was his girl friend (then said she was not), and that he had physically beat her (then said he did not).

Thus, for her and for all witnesses, this will be an opportunity, under oath, to provide absolute clarity to what they saw, said, and did when Jamar Clark was killed.

The FBI forensic laboratory in Quantico, VA, will coordinate and review forensic evidence, including the many videos the NAACP says they have of the shooting that, they say, proves their contentions.  Upon completion of the review of statements and videos, the FBI will make a determination deduced from those statements and videos regarding the shooting.

On February 2, 2016, in a letter to the Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), I asked for a special prosecutor and for a Grand Jury to be empaneled (the letter is posted on my website:  www.theminneapolisstory.com). 

The Federal Grand Jury Process will take at least three weeks to take testimony under oath, after which a legal assessment will be made by the DOJ experts. This should please all who say they were witnesses to the killing of Jamar Clark and who can give first hand knowledge of the circumstances around Mr. Clark’s death.

In addition, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) will conduct an internal affairs investigation.  And of course, it is anticipated that there will be civil action taken by Jamar Clark’s heirs. This should be completed by the first week of November, 2016.

We await testimony regarding Mr. Clark’s death from the many witnesses, names of which are being given to state and federal authorities.  The Federal Grand Jury and testimony about the truth and ensuing Federal prosecution will be a good thing that will be followed in various media nation wide.  What a remembrance in honor of Mr. Clark, as, together, we pursue the quest for community peace, fairness and justice.  

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, April 4, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, April 14, 2016
Posted TMS, Monday, April 18, 2016, 1:38 a.m.


In the matter of Jamar Clark and Jerome C. Copeland.
Jerome Copeland, an eyewitness to the death of Jamar Clark.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online
 
April 6, 2016

 Pull quote: His phone records will show that [Mr. Copeland] first reached out to the president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP. Neither the NAACP nor the BCA sought him out again.

Jamar Clark is now well known nation-wide, due to his tragic death at the hands of police, November 15, 2015. It has now been announced that the county attorney will not charge the two White police officers involved in his death.

Unlike Jamar Clark, Jerome Copeland is not publically well known except to the agencies investigating the shooting. On the week of November 15, 2015, Mr. Copeland came forward with testimony on what he witnessed in the death of Mr. Clark. Mr. Copeland provided one hour of recorded testimony to two agents of the investigative agencies, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). My column on January 28, 2016, detailed Mr. Copeland’s statements to the investigative agents.

My letter, dated February 2, 2016 to the U.S. Department of Justice, highlighted the retaliatory action taken by the BCA against Mr. Copeland when they jailed him for three weeks in the Hennepin County Workhouse. He was wrongfully jailed, and only released because of a decision by a Hennepin County District Court judge, who ordered Mr. Copeland released from imprisonment.

Mr. Copeland represents the kind of citizen law enforcement claims it wants, citizens who will stand up for justice and come forward with testimony, delivering information seen first hand. Given how Mr. Copeland was treated, is it any wonder people hesitate or refuse to come forward?

In late February of 2016, Mr. Copeland and I did a reenactment of the shooting circumstances that took place November 15, 2015. That reenactment included Mr. Copeland’s presence and his firsthand knowledge of the final moments of Mr. Clark’s life.

On Friday, March 25, this columnist revealed, with Mr. Copeland’s permission, his name to the County Attorney’s office. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Public Information Officer told me Mr. Copeland’s name was already known to them.

As I pointed out to the U.S. Department of Justice, in my correspondence of Feb 2, 2016, Mr. Copeland had had no contact with the investigative team since the week of November 15, 2015. Yet Mr. Copeland had been imprisoned for over three weeks. Adding insult to injury, his reputation as a witness was attacked by the BCA agent, Chris Olson, who, in early December, approached Mr. Copeland’s Public Defender attorney of record. That move by the state of Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was bold and decisive, yet inappropriate and inexcusable. I am not surprised, as it is similar to investigative misdeeds in places like Ferguson, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Jerome Copeland did what any committed, conscientious and honest citizen would do; he stepped forward after witnessing a tragedy take place. His phone records will show that he first reached out to the president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP. Neither the NAACP nor the BCA sought him out again.

In return for his commitment to pursue justice, as noted above, and to the DOJ, the justice system wrongfully placed him in jail for over three weeks. As of the writing of this column, Mr. Copeland has never been shown his statement, and thus has not read it nor been given a chance to correct it if need be, nor has he been allowed to initial or sign it as is required by BCA.

I have covered this case in eight columns since Nov. 26, 2015: (2015: Nov 26, Dec 3, 10, 17, 24.
2016: Jan 28, Feb 10 March 2 and 23 )

I was told March 25, 2016, that the county attorney had a transcript of Mr. Copeland’s testimony of those things that he saw. I am disappointed by how this entire episode has been handled, but then we must remember the White institutions involved have seemingly reverted to business as usual with a Black victim.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, March 21, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, April 7, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday , April 6, 2016, 12:38 a.m.


Trump’s anger and statement on rioting is troubling

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 31, 2016

Donald Trump is an excellent salesman and showman who mimics the anger voters have at the failed promises of the Washington, D.C. establishment, as he plays to the “we aren’t going to take it any more” voters. He frightens the Republican-Democrat theme of don’t-change-the-status-quo.

Trump is perceived as a man of action, not just words, and voters want action whereas the establishment does not. The Donald knows how to threaten a temper tantrum and mayhem as part of his pitch that scares or excites, drawing many to his crowds, from first-time voters to long-term supremacists.

When you see Trump’s statement that if there are any backroom deals or any attempts to stop his candidacy his people will riot, that is not that much different from Bernie Sanders call for “revolution,” or before that Barack Obama’s call for “transformation” of the United States.

When you see Trump’s statement that if there are any backroom deals or any attempts to stop his candidacy his people will riot, does he mean with marches and protests or with violence?  Does he mean “punch in the face” llterally, or not.  As these are his words, he owes  voters his explanation.  Voters are similarly confused by Bernie Sanders call for “revolution,” or before that Barack Obama’s call for “transformation” of the United States, and Hillary’s claim to want to continue what the President started.  What does she mean?

Showman and entertainer Trump wields his words with shrewd calculation, as did eager leaders of the past, from Caesar and Hannibal to Napoleon, and the legion of 19th Century industrialist barons, and the 20th Century’s eager beavers: Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, Tojo, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, and the array of Vietnamese leaders from Ho Chi Minh in the North to Diem, Ky, and Thieu in the South, up to today’s wannabes in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Donald has shrewdly watched the shift in standards that now accept things from one group of people and reject the same when done by others. If President Barack Obama, in 2008 and 2012, said his followers would riot if their standard of fairness was not met, they would have said he was not qualified to seeking the presidency. All of Black America would have been indicted.

Donald the showman understands the angry mindset of his audience. The analogy of Hitler storming protesters out of Munich beer halls has intriguing similarities, as he did what many in America now do, both Republicans and Democrats: author a book about his political ideology and future plans and then run for office.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf , which means My Struggle. He too understood how to play psychological frustration and anger towards politicians who failed to keep their promises. His original title is telling: Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.

Trump has tapped into that anger of today. Many have followed that formula: write a book of political philosophy and goals and then run for office, as did Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, Apartheid proponents and opponents in South Africa, as well as those seeking to be Republican and Democratic candidates for U.S. president.

I have a nominee for an Oscar for best actor in a political campaign for victory in 2016. And if it wasn’t so serious, I’d also nominate him for a political comedian of the year Oscar.

To bring his script to life, Trump has mastered all the skills of an executive producer, director and leading actor, and calls out, “Elect me president of the United States.” He has done very well in marketing himself and building his Trump Political brand.

We, as Americans, need to look inward and ask how is it people accept the expectation he presents with his PT Barnum type campaign (instead of Jumbo the elephant, he has his big airplane).

This presidential election is a serious test of our ability to select a worthy leader for our nation, one who will follow the Constitution, protect the Bill of Rights, and never play us for fools or suckers, working to unite all Americans. Which way will whoever is elected go: follow our constitution and Bill of Rights or follow the traditions of Mein Kamph and Mao’s Little Red Book, which would be bad for all of us and the future of America.

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, March 21, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, March 31, 2016
Posted TMS, Monday , April 4, 2016, 10:25 p.m


In the matter of Jamar Clarks’ death.
Has the integrity of the investigation been compromised?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 23, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE:  This column was written March 14, 2016, two days before the announcement that Hennepin County would no longer use grand juries in police involved shootings, starting with the Jamar Clark case, as reported in the Star Tribune of March 16, 2016 (“Hennepin Co. will stop using grand juries in police shooting cases”) the announcement of which was postponed when Jamar Clark was killed. This original column has been adjusted accordingly.

The consequences of the musical chairs by the county and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) into the death of Jamar Clark continues.  Our community’s concern should be to repair and rebuild institutional relations with integrity in order that the goal of justice is not missed, regardless of how investigation takes place.

A key question for the County Attorney and BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension):  what happens when the record of an eye witness interviewed in mid-November cannot be found, a witness who provided accurate information regarding the events of that early November 15, 2015 morning?  The witness to the death of Jamar Clark actually saw Mr. Clark’s struggle with two police officers that led to his death.  The witness spoke with great detail and specificity. He became the subject of a vendetta by the BCA in order to destroy his integrity and, by extension, to undermine the investigation so the focus would be on Jamar Clark and not the officers.  Both sides, BCA on one side, NAACP/BLM (Black Lives Matter) on the other, have a lot to answer for as we addressed in our January 28, 2016 column.

This was followed by the concerns expressed in our March 2, 2016 column.  Those concerns have not been heeded. As a result, the Minneapolis NAACP and BLM/Minneapolis have allowed their impatience to risk discrediting their integrity and reputations by announcing to the world they were not only there at the very moment of Jamar Clark’s death but had videos of it.  Their credibility relies on producing these videos and witnesses, without which they risk not being taken seriously in the future.

Although two County Assistant District Attorneys have been assigned to begin preparing the Clark case, we now know a grand jury will not be one of their options.  Exercising patience with a non-violent response model and letting the law take its course first to determine if other means of protest are felt necessary to remedy the situation would have prevented the NAACP and BLM from putting their integrity and ability to influence in jeopardy. 
 
The NAACP and BLM losing credibility would be a disaster for Minnesota’s institutions of justice, as they would no longer be counter weights to those standing in the way of inner city justice regarding education, job development and housing progress.  

Regardless of the reviews and reports by the Star Tribune and other white newspapers, there continues to be no update on the status of the Federal investigation into the death of Mr. Clark.  Does this mean, as some suggest, that they are not seeking answers?  If so, that too would be very troubling.  It would be best if the NAACP and BLM would seek to partner with the County Attorney in insisting on a joint submission of the results of the investigation by the several investigative agencies.

The witness in question, in his statement and testimony, was so concise that a political decision was made to avoid the quandary in the justice system caused by the demonstrations.  We know there are those circulating names, including of themselves, as having been live witnesses to the death of Mr. Clark.  They need to step forward.  The BLM and the NAACP receive significant financial support to hold what may be inaccurate positions regarding what happened.  Ironically, Mr. Freeman concluded, before Mr. Clark’s death, that the grand jury will no longer serve in police involved deaths:  “Secrecy, lack of transparency and no direct accountability strikes us as problematic in a democratic society.” 

This problem of transparency and accountability can be resolved if those making claims of being witness to Mr. Clark’s death come forward, as the County Attorney has requested, to give their statements.  Who are on the lists of those claiming to be witnesses? Who is really prepared to testify under oath?  Testifying will clear the air and demonstrate transparency and accountability.

One of the things you learn in the arena of law is that when you are telling the truth you don’t have to be nervous.  In order to more solidly pursue the quest of justice, the spirit of Jamar Clark hovers among us waiting for the testimony of those who actually saw him die.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, March 14, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, March 24, 2016
Posted TMS, Friday, March 25, 2016, 3:17 p.m


University of MN Basketball a Disaster.
No tournament invitations again this year.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 16, 2016

        "For when the One Great Scorer comes To mark against your
        name, He writes – not that you won or lost –But how you played
        the Game."
                       --- Grantland Rice, white, Dean of American Sports                             Writers, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s

        "Tubby Smith's knack for rebuilding earns him Sporting News         Coach of the Year headline three years after being fired as the
        University of Minnesota’s Head Basketbal Coach,

We are ready once again for excuses prepared to explain another bad University of Minnesota (UM) basketball season, especially the men’s program under Coach Richard Pitino, which continues its free fall. 

This year we purposely remained silent.  We wanted to catalogue the excuses by Minnesota‘s white fourth estate.  We were given many fairy tales from former Athletic Director, the disgraced Norwood Teague. He fired Tubby Smith, a very successful coach every place he has been (including at Minnesota:  averaging 21 wins per season;  five postseason appearances, including three in the NCAA Tournament). 

We wrote of Tubby’ success in four previous columns, success not recognized by the Star Tribune nor the UM, due to the still in vogue practice at the “U” of preferring not to hire African American coaches. See our columns of March, 26, 2015; March, 27, 2014; April 10, 2013;  April 03, 2013.  

Our April 10, 2013 column lists 20 positive Tubby news stories from across the country.  As the 2016 season came to an end, Coach Pitino made the traditional MN move:  blamed the season’s failure on Black players, hence his effort to gain public sympathy for himself by dismissing four African American players within two weeks. 

It is quite clear that Coach Pitino was over matched when he was hired as Head Basketball Coach at the UM, regardless of his mythical “Pitino DNA”.  The reluctance to showcase Black athletes is also seen in MN women’s basketball, where, despite being the most productive player in program history, Black Rachel Banha'sm talents were not exploited as they should have been, nor was she showered with the attention given white Lindsey Whalen. 

If not for Rachel Banham’s outstanding season, including tying the record for the most points in a single game – 60 – the women’s basketball team would have only had ten pure victories.  Banham is from Minneapolis.  The excuse of the women’s Head Basketball Coach (brought in by the disgraced Norwood Teague):  she couldn’t find excellent local basketball talent.

Black athletes are being stripped of scholarships in the men’s program.  It appears there will be a new approach over the next couple of years, and that would be to whiten up the men’s basketball program.  

Facts are facts.  The UM men’s basketball program is in disarray.  Its coach is in over his head.  A new direction is the order of the day.  We know that there are some who will not be happy with this column.  But these facts are real and not myth.  Truth must prevail.

It will be interesting; given the decline in attendance, of how much longer the University can accept the long term failures within its basketball programs.  As we saw and warned of this (as seen in columns listed above), why didn’t the brilliant minds the white 4th estate?  They continue a long standing tradition favoring whiting MN sports teams, pretending when failure occurs in football and basketball, that the blame falls on young, black men and women.

Thank God for the MN Linx, the most significant Level I sports program in Minnesota.  The MN Timberwolves have a bright future, as long as no one screws up by having losing programs due to not developing young players.
 
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, March 7, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, March16, 2016
Posted TMS, Friday, March 18, 2016, 2:37 p.m.

--------------

EARLIER COLUMNS and related articles:

March, 26, 2015: Its Tubby Smith’s fault, or is it? Gopher season is over.

March, 27, 2014: Was it Tubby Smith’s Fault? Gophers miss NCAA Basketball Tournament.

April 10, 2013 Column #15:: Congratulations, Tubby! Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

April 03, 2013 Column #14: Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity.

Tubby Smith's knack for rebuilding earns him Sporting News Coach of the Year
Sporting News, March 8, 2016‎

Earmuffs, Gophers fans: Tubby is coach of the year
Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 8, 2016
From "Fired" to "Coach of the year" in three years -- that's a pretty impressive recovery by Tubby Smith.

At the UM, “his teams averaged 21 victories per year, made five postseason appearances and three in the NCAA Tournament, www.deadspin.com, June 8, 2011 …..  Often one gets a pay raise in such a circumstance. Smith got … “We’ve got to go in another direction.” [Ed nnote: Thus:  You’re fired].


The Donald is not a historian.
He doesn’t know what a White supremacist is?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 9, 2016

Pull quote: Both parties are imploding, with Republicans seemingly doing it faster

Donald Trump, leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, is a lighting rod across the country. Trump plays both sides against the middle in his search for a wider net of voters, pretending ignorance of White supremacists, like Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

That he could lead shows how frustrated Republican voters are by their sense of being abandoned and lied to by the Republican Party establishment regarding such key concerns as the economy, jobs, immigration, and foreign adventurism. Trump is as supported by Whites that feel abandoned by the Republican Party establishment as Democrats who feel abandoned by the Democratic Party establishment.

Regardless of who wins the nominations, old guard party establishments are now on life support, near political death, and open to “revolution” from their members. Question: How come only Republicans have a Black candidate running for president?

Trump, with a straight face, is claiming he is neither a politician nor a historian and therefore doesn’t know about David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, as if he also doesn’t know about slavery, segregation, racial prejudice and discrimination, not to mention any of the references of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards Sunday night, February 28. In politics and history Trump is a true gamer.

So how do we judge this man who claims not to know history or foreign policy yet seeks to have his finger on the red button and have the phone for 3 am phone calls next to his bed? Is this an example of the scary people running in both parties who want to be the next president of the United States who wields their red pens, red phones, and red buttons?

It is hard to tell. Woodrow Wilson, Democrat, president from 1913-1921, a leader of the progressive movement, used his pen and phone to segregate Washington, D.C. for the first time in its history. It was the last big city segregated in America. He asked Congress to declare war in order to make “the world safe for democracy.” He also advocated a world body for peace, the “League of Nations.” Wilson was another gamer with politics and history.

Times have changed. Both parties are imploding, with Republicans seemingly doing it faster. Both sides are trying to empower the bigs (big business, big unions, big government) but not us littles, “we the people” in our neighborhoods.

In fact, it appears the Republican Party is about to implode and dust off the ghost of the Whig party that dissolved in 1844, and was replaced by the Republicans, with Lincoln its first sitting president. The resulting Democratic Party included Whig break-always who supported slavery and Indian removal policies. Is Donald Trump about to be the cause of Republicans changing their identity once again?

What can we trust about a man claiming to know so little? How can the bliss of his ignorance be blissful to those of us whose heritage includes crossing in slave murder ships, the horrors of Deep South segregation, Jim Crow, and the denial of our identity?

What does Donald Trump gain pretending ignorance about one of the most dangerous and tragic movements in American history, when Blacks were served up to White supremacy, slavery and segregation?

Donald Trump and the republican White right wing have pushed President Obama off the front page, as they continue their petty, mean-spirited and hateful campaign of 2016. We repeat again that Donald Trump is indeed a politician and a historian who indeed knows about White supremacy. Too much is at stake in the world for this to continue by either party.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, February 29, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 11:57 p.m.


In the matter of Jamar Clark. Preparing for the Grand Juries

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 2, 2016

         [The question is] “whether or not the wishes of these         
         [segregationist] states shall prevail or whether our
         Constitution shall prevail.”

                  ---Thurgood Marshall, summation  of Brown vs. Board of                       Education, December 8, 1953

 We support Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr’s approach of transparency, truthfulness, non-violence, civility, and the Golden Rule. carry

As a minority, our credibility is our last line of defense in the remaining civil rights battles to close the gaps and beat the still existing obstacles regarding education, jobs, economic development, and housing.

When the Minneapolis NAACP and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis announced to the world they were not only there at the very moment of Jamar Clark’s death but had videos of it, we wondered.   

Grand Jury testimony will determine whether or not a trial is justified.  Will their story match that of the Hennepin County prosecutor, the State Attorney General and the FBI?

 The US Attorney, the Department of Justice and Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) are continuing their investigations into the November 15, 2015 shooting death of Jamar Clark by police.  This raises the question:  how has the Minneapolis NAACP and BLM handled and protected the significant amount of evidence they claim to have in their possession as they proclaimed in their public statements.
 
Who had custodial control of their evidence?  Who had access to it during the two months of investigations by Minnesota’s BCA and the federal government?  Will their testimony result in Grand Jury determination of “justified” and no trial or “unjustified” and recommend a trial?

How well schooled in testifying for such appearances are NAACP and BLM witnesses?  Do they know what will be expected of them when they testify, especially if what they say is declared bearing false witness?

This case of Jamar Clark is very important.  Without the claimed evidence our community will not just be embarrassed. The credibility of the NAACP’s nearly 100 years of experience in cases before Grand Juries, whether federal, state or both, now and in the future, is at stake.  We agree with Thurgood Marshall:  fight within the law for “Justice for All,” and do so at "all deliberate speed," credibly and honestly.

Has the NAACP prepared its witnesses for how to testify about what they claimed to see on that November 15, 2015 morning?  Do they know what is expected when they raise their right hands and pledge they will tell the truth and nothing but the truth?
  
This is not about loose talk on a street corner, or bragging in a bar or expressing feelings in an intimate meeting of an organization.  We are talking about meeting the demands of due process under color of law, which can be a life changing experience.

Do they understand the protocols and the demands of a Grand Jury setting?  Are they prepared to be with strangers? Are thy ready to be without an attorney or counsel as they are asked questions by both the prosecutor and members of a grand Jury that will be mostly white citizens?

How will witnesses of the NAACP and BLM hold up psychologically in giving testimony, answering with facts and not feelings?  Their testimony will determine if a trial is in order.  The NAACP and MLM have a responsibility to emsure witnesses are prepared to engage well in an activity that is not an every day occurrence.  We saw this in St. Louis, when far too many citizens of Ferguson did not hold up well bearing testimony about the circumstances of Michael Brown’s death.

Jamar Clark deserves the best game plan NAACP and BLM can deliver.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, February 22, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 7:10 p.m.


Loretta Lynch For U.S. Supreme Court
Its President Obama’s Call

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 24, 2016

There are those in the conservative wings of America’s political institutions that feel President Obama owes them a favor regarding nominating a successor to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  I disagree.  Justice Scalia died suddenly, unexpectedly and mysteriously, Saturday, February 13, 2016, on a quail hunting vacation in West Texas, 15 miles from Mexico. 

 Through two national elections, 2008 and 2012, President Obama demonstrated earning America’s respect and trust, despite  those who are uncooperative with him and treat him with disrespect.  There is no reason to doubt his leadership despite the delays and those trying to obstruct his task of filling this sudden vacancy on the Supreme Court.

In terms of judgeships, the majority of Obama’s appointments are women and nonwhite males:  42% women (22% for W. Bush and 29% Clinton), and 36% minorities (18% W Bush, 24% Clinton), hence I understand the antagonism against the president because of race. 

I urge the President to nominate Attorney General Loretta Lynch to fill the new vacancy on the Supreme Court.  She is among the best in the country. I am a realist and understand American politics.  Nonetheless, he should not, as some urge, delay and create the longest vacancy of a Supreme Court position because they claim he is a lame duck.

He has not wavered in his strength of purpose nor wavered in supporting that purpose. He will continue to out his presidential and constitutional duties.   He will again make history with another first, this time regarding the Supreme Court of the United States.  We are all watching the political landscape change before our very eyes.  This nomination process will affect elections nation wide, from the office of the President to all offices of the House of Representatives to the 24 Republicans and 10 Democrats running for the Senate.   

Those demanding a delay reveal their shallow thinking and strategic error.  To continue their obstructive strategies, wrapped in the flag of American fairness and equality, will backfire with voters seeking an end to Capital obstructions.

Nominating Attorney General Lynch will honor the history of the painful struggles of Black women in the building of America and recognize the painful struggles felt by African Americans in general, as they continue to bear witness to the price they have paid to overcome.   Delay no longer:  it is time for an African American woman to be appointed and confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

This is a “now” moment:  fill this position now and don’t leave it vacant. End the lining up on both sides to delay and obstruct.

Will America demonstrate its commitment to opportunity for all, or will America’s “leaders” offer up yet another unwarranted demonstration of the ugly side of the seemingly new standard for 21st century:  American politics of “the mean”?  Recognizing the dues paid in service to America by Black women, we clearly state:  we can wait no longer.

Some say the vacancy on the Supreme Court is reserved for conservatives in American politics, just as there are those who claim reservations for liberals.  We disagree.  That is unconstitutional.  The constitution calls for the President nominating qualified persons. The Senate then offers its advice and consent.  The Supreme Court is to serve the people by upholding the Constitution’s freedoms and rights for all, not the dogmas of any political party.

African Americans have earned the trust of this nation to serve in any position.  Attorney General Lynch is well qualified as one of the best for serving the best interests of our nation and its future.  She should be nominated.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, February15 , 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, February24, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, February24, 2016, 2:10 a.m.


Your vote is not guaranteed in 2016
A lot of red flags and voter suppression

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 17, 2016

The election 2016 is heating up.  Key issues for Election 2016:  voter suppression and immigration.

Our concern is those states that add additional unwarranted requirements suppressing blacks from voting but not whites, with some using the question of undocumented immigrants as a smoke screen to cause suppression of black votes, not to mention within-party voting as seen in reports from Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s precincts.

Presidential candidate Rubio was the first to be bold and honest enough to begin to peel the covers off of the political onion of immigration, exposing challenges to immigration.  We find that his findings mirror, in some cases, attempts to suppress black voting: 
        
(1) nullification and reversal leading to variable voter ID                        requirements and other voting blocks,
         (2) old and new immigrants (often non-white),
        
(3) the question of which path: to citizenship or to                               deportation,        
        
(4) regarding old and new black voters.

Voting in America is both a legal right and personal privilege. In terms of immigration, key issues include identity differences and voting eligibility applied in some states to blacks as well.

Everyone assumes that on national election day in November (always the first Tuesday after the first Monday, so anywhere between the 2nd and the 8th), every citizen, regardless of color, will be able to exercise their right of voter participation.  Depending on which state one resides, this can be a dangerous assumption for people of color, especially in states once a stronghold for jim crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan (the Twin Cities were once a major center of Ku Klux Klan activity in America).

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s parents were immigrants to the U.S. from Cuba,  He understands.  He is attempting to smoothly change America to accept and enable old and new non-white immigrants, which in some places interferes with long-time non-white citizens’ voting.

Citizenship in our founding documents is not based on color or country of origin but on the principles of freedom through integration and assimilation (although many assumed white). Our concern is for those still turned away from the polls.

Remember:  the winner is the one with the most votes in the Electoral College, not general election votes. Thus, when the five or six most highly populated states are in any candidate’s column, they win.  Court appeals after elections regarding voter exclusion or suppression are difficult to adjudicate.

We haven’t forgotten Election 2000, when a troubling number of African American voters were turned away from the polls, as reported by analyses of voting data by federal and academic studies.  Data shows any number of voters of color, especially Hispanic, African American, and undocumented immigrants, experienced similar problems in being turned away from the voting booth, due to different criteria applied to identification, interaction with election judges, and other legal “issues” that can cause a voter to lose their voting rights, either at the November’s national elections or on the way to the polls.  

So we ask:  how many provisional ballots in Minnesota will never be counted, qualified ballots supposedly set aside in case there is a challenge to the vote?  Hey Minnesota:  What are the specific guarantees for provisional challenges to ballots of voters of color?

And what kind of voter education is going on which could have serious election consequences regarding eligibility for immigrants and people of color?  We know that small amounts of funds are set aide for voter education and protection in late summer or early fall.  We need to be ready to protect those in danger of losing their constitutionally protected right. to participate. 

We still need to be prepared.

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday,February 8, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Posted TMS, Thursday, February 18, 2016, 11:31 p.m.


The importance of respect and dignity during a crises.
A community divided.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 10, 2016

Pull quote: It is disrespecting for civil rights organizations to refer to Black ministers as worthless as poverty pimps, and to declare reconciliation is not the action and order of the day

February 1, 2016, is another day that will live in infamy for our Minneapolis community, due to the disgraceful and disrespectful confrontational name-calling witnessed by both Black and White Minneapolis leaders at an event in South Minneapolis. The Black leader of the local branch of one of our most respected civil rights organizations referred to two other Black leaders using a name suggesting they are offspring of a mother who is like a dog in active heat.

We need healing, not hurting. We need “quality of character” not nasty characters. We need respect, not displays of pettiness, rancor, and disrespect.

In presidential years, wanna-be leaders, nationally and locally, fight among themselves over who is “the greatest.” It is not them. It is the “people in community” who are the greatest. So attacking loved ones of those with whom one disagrees is a sure way to lose community support. Traveling the high road of respect and dignity helps create a formula for community conflict resolution and peace.

Too many block peace by blocking community conflict resolution, proudly holding self over community, saying they are summoned by a greater power that only they can identify, attacking traditional Black churches, claiming they alone speak truth and wisdom. Too many say, quite literally, that community elders should just go away and die, instead of calling for a “family meeting,” with all at the table to discuss common goals and how to meet them, especially in the too-often ignored areas of education, jobs and housing.

It is disrespecting for civil rights organizations to refer to Black ministers as worthless as poverty pimps, and to declare reconciliation is not the action and order of the day.

As we pointed out in our 2015 year-end column, reconciliation is always the action and order of the day.

The name calling uttered loudly on February 1, so mean, so full of venom and disrespect, reflects not “civil rights” for all but “my rights” for me. In my younger days of the 1960s and 1970s, such disrespect would have been unacceptable; such a leader would receive calls from both membership and broader community leaders to resign.

Why do such perpetrators and their supporters believe apologies will be enough while the rest us realize they are sorry only for being caught. Why express anger to someone by calling their 79-year-old mother, and minister, a dog in active heat? What deeper, underlying attitudes are being masked?

For other examples of disrespect, see our December 24, 2015 column about African American fire fighters and police officers at the BLM-NAACP occupations, and then see our our November 26, 2014 column for examples of other Black-on-Black disrespect. These are not good patterns and practices.

Most “dissed” have family, friends, and admirers. Most religions and secular ideologies claim a version of the “Golden Rule,” advocating treating others the way one wants to be treated. Not doing so betrays one’s religion and/or secular ideology, and leads both sides to becoming what they hate. There is no “civil right” to bully those not agreed with. Such behavior is self-defeating.

We are a better people. We purposefully have reasonable great expectations. Leaders must focus on keeping our collective eye on the prize. Community leaders, teachers, scholars at local colleges and think tanks, elected officials, and agency administrators work best with those who respect rather than disrespect.

All moments demand leadership with civility and character. Will the legacy of the Minneapolis NAACP and Black Lives Matter/Minneapolis be one of success through respect for what matters to all or fail through showing disrespect, and focusing only on matters that matter to them?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday,February 1, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, February 10, 2016,8:44 p.m.


Goar is out. What next?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 3, 2016

Pull quote: Weak boards give in to unwarranted pressure groups:

       “Without education, no jobs, no housing, no prosperity.”
       “…the need to read and write and be trained.”
                     — Nellie Stone Johnson, African American co-founder,
                         with white Hubert Hymphrey of the DFL (Democrat
                         Farmer Labor Party), both for non-violence

When it was announced that interim Superintendent Michael Goar withdrew his name for consideration for permanent superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), it exposed two weaknesses of the MPS and its adults in whose hands and care we have placed the children:

       1. Not taking action to repell "pirates" trying to scuttle their ship,
           due to fear of being accused of being politically incorrect.
       2. Letting “pirates” take over their ship of education and
sink their
           meeting.

All kinds of questions are now fair game. Our children’s future is at stake.

When MPS board rejected Sergio Páez as superintendent two weeks ago, and were then going to consider interim Superintendent Michael Goar, the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter conducted a disruptive demonstration, causing the meeting to end. They later went public in their declaration that they stopped the vote for Michael Goar.

Weak boards give in to unwarranted pressure by groups. Goar obviously decided to act to end the charade that is the search for superintendent by withdrawing his name. The third candidate is an African American from Houston, Texas.

The Board should not have allowed themselves to be intimidated. They should have recessed, cleared the room, reassembled, reconvened, and taken their vote. There is also an uneasy feeling that a political decision has been made that an African American shall not become superintendent of schools in a school district in which 65 percent are students of color, with half of the students African American. The Board seems unclear regarding diversity in the next selection round.

The question, as of the writing of this column, is why the gentleman from Houston was not offered the opportunity to be superintendent. And, despite the story in the Star Tribune about the NAACP president stating she sent a letter to the MPS board calling for Michael Goar not to be considered for superintendent, I have not been able to find any member of the NAACP branch who participated in such a vote to authorize sending that letter to the Minneapolis Board of Education. If there is none, that means one person is holding up the progress of the district. That demonstrates that once again it appears that the rules and constitution that govern the long-standing organization were dismissed as insignificant.

I would hope no one takes great satisfaction in having aided and abetted the continued chaos and delay of the implementation needed to guarantee quality education for the students of this district. We said in an earlier column that the adults should place significant demands on the importance of excellent education for the students, to demonstrate that adults know how to get the job done.

Instead, the adults are showing to those in power that despite the responsibility for education, others and their notion of political correctness rule the day, demonstrating they don’t have a clue regarding how to solve this disaster. That is unacceptable.

At the legislative session starting on March 8, 2016, the Minneapolis School District should seriously be considered as a candidate to be placed in administrative receivership by the state of Minnesota.

The Republican majority in both houses of the legislature have to be licking their chops like barracuda in the water for this golden opportunity to embarrass a DFL strong hold, the city of Minneapolis and its school district, who just cannot seem to get it right. Our children and our citizen deserve better.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, January 25, 2015
Published, MSR, Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Posted TMS, Saturday, February 6, 201 , 3:42 a.m.


Jamar Clark Investigation Compromised
Investigator sabotages Integrity of Witness
 

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 27, 2016

Pull quote: Tampering with the investigation will make it difficult to provide the affirmative findings sought by Jamar Clark’s supporters.

       “I heard law books were to dig in, so I dug, way deep.”
                     — Thurgood Marshall (explaining his success)

       “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that        matter.”
                     — Martin Luther King Jr.

Expectations were high that the investigation into the circumstances of Jamar Clark’s shooting death on November 15, 2015, would be handled with integrity and honesty. Many words have been written, many reflections have been made, but the integrity of the investigation has been compromised and ruptured.

I knew the investigation was falling apart when we learned two weeks ago that an attempt was carried out to destroy the character of a key witness to the shooting of Jamar Clark. The violations within the investigative process included misrepresentation of a key witness to this tragedy that has gripped our state and nation.

A member of the judiciary of the State of Minnesota was sought out to help conspire to destroy the integrity of one of the witnesses and his information in order to derail the investigation.  He refused.

This raises serious questions in regard to the integrity of the investigation. Investigative agencies will have to look seriously at a legal breach of investigative integrity.  This column stands totally and absolutely behind this serious allegation. This is not hearsay, as I was there when the witness talked to the investigators. Tampering with the investigation will make it difficult to provide the affirmative findings sought by Jamar Clark’s supporters.

Some White Americans feel that when a victim is an African American, liberties can be taken with the doctrines of due process, fairness and the integrity of an investigation in order to initiate a conspiracy against the African American. Unknown to these conspirators, the reputation of and information supplied by this key witness has been verified and thus supported by information received after the witness gave his statement to the investigators.

Thus it became quite clear that at least one of the investigators taking the statement of the witness was already hostile to that witness. That became an even greater concern when it was learned that the investigators never provided the witness with a copy of his statement/testimony, as required by law. They obviously went to great lengths to impugn the character of this witness and to discuss information and testimony relevant to the circumstances surrounding the death of Jamar Clark on a street in North Minneapolis.

We are faced with being at the mercy of others’ choices of behavior that support credibility or that wrecks credibilty. This goes for any side of those engaged in any discussion.

Those who speak up with integrity about issues that matter in their patterns and practices, help our cause. Those who feel not speaking with integrity in order to secure a specific short term “end” for “the greater good,” do our shared civil rights cause long-term harm.  It is a credibility killer, as those doing it cause the questions to be raised of how many other investigations and witnesses have been tarnished.

How many others are exercising false testimony for the “greater good” that comes back to cause greater harm, whether such patterns and practices are done by Whites or Blacks?

              “We must dissent from a government that has left its young               without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the               poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We               must dissent because America can do better, because America               has no choice but to do better.”
                                         — Thurgood Marshall

              "Nonviolence is the sword that heals.”
                                          — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, January18, 2015
Published, MSR, Wednesday, January 27, 2015
Posted TMS, Wednesday, January 27 , 2015, 5:32 a.m.


The NFL’s Race Quota:  Nothing has Changed

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 20, 2016

As I stated in my January 8, 2014 column, “The Rooney Rule is dead:”

This is not about Affirmative Action; this is about affirmative discrimination. With 65 percent of players being African American and most coaches being former players, statistically, all things being equal, to get the best of the best you would have at least 20 Black head coaches.” 

Statistically the NFL numbers reflect discrimination. The real number that counts is how few entry-level Black coaches are hired who can then compete for moving up. Closing the beginning of the coaching pipeline guarantees fewer qualified for the coordinator to head co ach move.

The spiteful myth continues:  “Blacks can play and entertain us, but they are not smart enough to provide leadership and inspiration,”  just as they used to say why they didn’t put Blacks at Quarterback. The well intended “Rooney Rule” (named after the late owner of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers) of the National Football League (“wherever there is a head coaching or general manager vacancy, at least one of those interviewed must be an African American”) provides the “truth” of saying “we tried” that in turn provides cover for the lie that Black candidates are not hired because they “proved” in the interviews they were not good enough. 

The Rooney Rule was inspired by the 2002 firings of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Tony Dungy and Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Dennis Green.  A subsequent study showed that “black head coaches, despite winning a higher percentage of games, were less likely to be hired and more likely to be fired than their white counterparts.”

When Pittsburgh and Cincinnati played January 9, 2016, half of the four current NFL Black coaches were facing off against each other:  Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin vs. Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis.  The other two NFL Black Head Coaches, not in the playaoffs, are the Detroit Lions’ Jim Caldwell and the New York Jets’ Todd Bowles.

Since then, Hugh Jackson, former African American Head Coach of the NFL Raiders has been hired as Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns. That makes 5 Black Head Coaches.  We’ll see if that number rises or falls after all the vacancies are filled.

And yet across the many news outlets and sports networks, there have been few if any discussions about the shrinking number of Black Head Coaches in the NFL, most of whom are former players in a league that is at least 65% African American.

The Rooney Rule is an insult to African Americans.  The NFL’s Gentlemen’s Agreement to retool and recycle white coaches combined with purposely hiring few blacks to be either Offensive or Defensive Coordinators, the  major candidate pool for new Head Coaches, purposefully reduces Africa Americans a fair opportunity to be a head coach.  Similar obstacles  have so far purposefully stalled Black ownership.

The White Gentlemen’s Rooney Rule Club views African Americans as field hand jokes, not House Managers, which makes  the NFL home to the most lucrative plantations in the country, condescendingly telling African Americans they should be appreciative that they are paid so well to work in the NFL plantations. 

Major League Baseball hires light skinned Latin players, while the NBA hires Europeans to play.  But it is the NFL, the most lucrative of all of the plantations that is so openly disrespectful of African American players.

I recall discussions in the 1950s regarding breaking color barriers that were subtly reimposed later.  Unless the Rooney Rule becomes more than a Public Relations ploy, we are on course to return to when there were no African American NFL Head Ccaches. 

Well paid, black players wanting to stay in football, especially as coaches, too often stifle their tenaciousness and their consciences and remain quiet about this discrimination.  As often happens, potential leaders for ending this discrimination are pressured to not do so, comforting themselves with “at least they got theirs.”

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, January11, 2015
Published, MSR, Wednesday, January 20, 2015
Posted TMS, Wednesday, January 20, 2015, 3:33 a.m.


Terrorists in Oregon: yes or no?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 13, 2016

Pull quote: Hypocrisy regarding justice and fairness in Black inner cities has now leapt to communities, large and small, run by Whites.

       “It has seemed that true democracy has been lost, that we have        become a nation whose people have been forgotten amidst the vast        institutions of power that govern our lives.”
                     — Senator Mark O. Hatfield, July 28, 1975,
                     Congressional Record, Senate: pages 25387

       Since when do we have to back our president…..when the        president is proposing an unconstitutional act?
                     — Senator Wayne Morse regarding the
                         Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 1964

Headlines from around the country reveal the double standards and inconsistencies in news coverage reports of those who engage in “occupations,” protests and protest movements, such as in the “occupations” of Minneapolis and the Mall of America and the current one in a small federal building in Burns, Oregon (population 2,806, the largest town of Harney County, Oregon’s largest county by size):

  • “The Oregon standoff exposes America's double standards”
  • “Calling the Oregon protesters ‘occupiers’ instead of ‘terrorists’”
  • “Small Oregon town supports ranchers, not occupation”
  • “Militant occupation continues in Oregon; sheriff says 'go home'”
  • The protest in Oregon is part of a decades old debate regarding ownership and management of U.S. public lands:  by locals or by Washington, D.C.?  The same as in America’s inner cities.

The protest in Oregon is part of a decades-old debate regarding ownership and management of U.S. public lands by locals versus Washington, D.C. The same as in America’s inner cities. White journalism in White towns tries to stay away from the issue and the label of “terrorism.” Before 1680 when the French arrived, the Dakota Sioux were the region's sole residents. Today, not a word about or from the Sioux Indians, the first occupiers.

We see different standards at work in America today for reporting movements by Whites and those by people of color. Can you imaging the discussion if the Burns occupation were about Red Americans, Black Americans or Brown-skinned brothers of the Middle East and Latin America?

White ranchers see the judge’s judicial bypass of prosecutors to add additional sentencing to already freed White ranchers as an unconstitutional act, putting the ranchers in double jeopardy. The federal government wants the land of the ranchers (it already owns 53 percent of Oregon, with the feds owning 75 percent of Harney County). The locals say the government is leaving millions of trees to rot rather than allow logging and the jobs of economic development.

Hypocrisy regarding justice and fairness in Black inner cities has now leapt to communities, large and small, run by Whites. If 25-35 gun toting Blacks had come over from Portland or up from Los Angeles and disrupted the routines of Burns, everyone from Donald Trump to White militia groups across America would have called for federal military intervention.

This little town of Burns, Oregon, at the junction of State Highway 20 and Federal Interstate 395, is located in as White an area of America as can be. As many in inner cities, they too are raising constitutional questions about the rights of U.S. citizens. The citizens of Burns, Oregon don’t want outside Whites to get in the way of their own protests.

This seizure in Burns, Oregon is by White militia who have challenged the power and authority of the American government before. In fact, Mr. Bundy, the leading outsider, from Nevada, was involved with a standoff with the federal government in 2014 at his ranch in Nevada, carrying out what he called their constitutional right of self-protection. How far would a Black guy from Portland or Los Angeles get using Burns protesters’ arguments to justify the violation and disruption of any beautiful little White town?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, January 4, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 3:33 a.m.


Sergio Paez is not a good fit for MPS
Disastrous MPS leadership process led to his selection

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 6, 2016

The December 7, 2015 announcement by the Minneapolis Public School (MPS) Board of their intention to hire Sergio Paez as superintendent of MPS is now more and more recognized as a bad decision, making it one of those days that will live in Minneapolis Education Infamy (not to be confused with December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor. The good news today:  unlike Pearl Harbor, the potential damage of December 7, 2015 can be avoided).

The Star Tribune reported that the district attorney in Massachusetts launched a criminal investigation into situations on Sergio Paez’ watch. And yet he told the board there are “no issues here to discuss.” 

The Star Tribune also reported how Paez was clearly unprepared and unseasoned when he became superintendent of the Holyoke School District in June of 2013, a school district about the size of our Robbinsdale, MN, and he clearly has not progressed to qualify for Minneapolis. The district decreased in scores and was put into receivership on his watch. 

The Star Tribune and others, including many parents, see that Paez is not the man to lead the MPS. The board needs to work on this until they get it right. 

Will the MPS Board now understand what this newspaper meant in its editorial two weeks ago by its call for “new leadership” in various Minneapolis communities and institutions? Who will explain the empirical reality that the Civil Rights Movement in Minneapolis has far too long, as this paper pointed out, delivered only “empty diversity talk and growing achievement gaps,” along with rhetoric and meetings on one side and rhetoric and demonstrations on the other?

Who will lead the way to seek equality of opportunity and fairness in developing true diversity and significant and steady closing of achievement gaps?  Who will explain to the MPS Board that the investigation regarding flawed superintendent candidates seems to have been done with malfeasance and fraud in their contractual relationships with the MPS Board. What will the board do to fix this flaw in its search and leadership process?
 
Who will tell the Minneapolis School District‘s mix of both experienced incumbents and those newly arrived that they must deliver common sense and disciplined and empirical examination of the facts for the classroom and for maximum and meaningful examination of individuals to be considered to be leaders to guide the education and in evaluation of the learning of the children of the district?

The Civil Rights Movement today (especially the NAACP and BLM versions) have forgotten the heart of what brought civil rights success: L&Ls (nonviolent Litigation and Legislation), not through M&Ms (continuous meetings and marches devoid of the L&L twins and their formula for peace and progress for any issue). The movement must gather data, marshal arguments, develop briefs and go to court to advance. 

Needed is new leadership, Black and White, to lead down this L&L path. Marches and demonstrations should be partnered with briefs presented in court. Why aren’t attorneys involved in the movement today doing so?

Nellie Stone Johnson’s mantra holds true:  “no education, no jobs, no housing.” Education is not a color nor a culture. It is the foundation for integration’s progress to jobs and housing. It also provides us with opportunity for liberty as citizens with civil rights for all, as we are the only nation in the world to define itself by laws and not by blood or land or color or gender. This is why the only successful formula for integrated civil rights has been not race, not ideology, but L&L:  Litigation and Legislation.  Little is achieved by endless M&Ms — meetings and marches — unless briefs in court accompany them.

We owe it to the children.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, January 4, 2016
Published, MSR, Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Posted TMS, Wednesday, January 13 , 2016, 6:18 a.m.


2015:  A Year Of Terror And Indecision
2016:  A Year Of…?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

December 30, 2015

2015:  San Bernadino, Chattanooga, Charleston, SC, etc,, reveal how much the boogey man of terrorism is entrenched into the fiber of domestic America.

2015:  terror examples: in super markets, movie theaters, Army recruitment centers, schools, and, most frightening, churches and places of worship.  When the forces of evil descended on Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, that should have been a wake up call that a dangerous atmosphere exists in America.

2015:  an angry America, driven by a great divide between the ideologies of left and right bore witness to terror and terrorism from both sides of the aisle, right here in Minneapolis, MN.

2015, December: The "occupation" siege of the 4th Precinct, which became extremely dangerous.  It reminds us of the days of sectarian uprisings, when both the left and the right came together only to deliver their hatreds and make their calls for the destruction of each other. 

2015 does not bode well for 2016, as Trump and Cruz seemingly become the voice of the evil apostle and as the left talks as if the days of the 1960s were reawakened.  We have a freight train thundering down the tracks of confusion and hatred.  Will we work together to stop it?

2015 witnessed internal fighting in the Twin Cities, as some Black leaders encouraged African American demonstrators to attack African American police and fire fighters, and to attempt to publically humiliate them.

2015 plans.  Plans?  I didn’t see any.

2016 plans and formulas of peace.  We have models (approaches)to follow as we’ve discussed before: 

      ---Martin Luther King, Jr.: use a non-violent approach.                     Don't become what you hate.

      ---Nellie Stone Johnson. See her 2000 book, Nellie Stone                 Johnson:  The Life of an Activist, and her "no education, no            jobs, no housing."

      ---My 2002 book The Minneapolis Story, through my Eyes, (see           especially Interlude 3 and Chapters 7, 12-14, 17).

      ---My 2008 book, A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide                that Explores A vision for America.

      ---Solutions (models / approache)s, as outlined in the 47 (so                  far) solution papers of the Solutions section of our web                site, The Minneapolis Story, through my Eyes.

      ---The Many Altars of Modernity, Peter L. Berger, 2014, a                   discussion of historic  “formulas of peace,” some that worked,                some that did not.              

2016:  do we work to find a workable formula of peace or not, or just stumble into 2016?  For eight years we have seen Barack Obama as the poster child for fumbling hatred and violence in America.  By the time he leaves office in January 2017, we may be a nation that is in shreds, tearing ourselves apart over such issues as environmental protection, educational opportunities, jobs and employment, shelter and housing, and diversity and justice, all because those opposed to each other refuse to cooperate with each other, refuse to respect one another and refuse to work together to get the best out of each other.

1944, April 15.  Nellie Stone Johnson and Hubert H. Humphrey co-founded the DFL.  She brought the language of tolerance and diversity, pluralism and anti-racism to the forefront of political dialogue in Minnesota and nationwide.  We need to bring that back.  Nellie was betrayed by Liberals who saw the vehicle of deliverance not Nellie’s “community oriented” approach but their centralized state control approach.  They did not follow the golden Rule. Nellie always followed the Golden Rule.  Will today's social movements do so in 2016?

2015 had great thinkers and prognosticators. 

2016: Will they look back in December to find that, again, far too many were silent instead of speaking out about the dangerous signs?  Let us hope for the sake of the preservation of the nation that we get it together and that we move toward reconciliation.  If we do not, we an risk an apocalypse that we never dreamt of. 

Thus, apocalypses aren’t just in movies.  This will not be a horror movie made in Hollywood.  It will reflect the failure of a nation to act on the signs:

      ---people refusing to follow the Golden Rule, and
      ---people reusing to work together to calm the vibrations                that could tear America apart at the seams. 

Have a nice year.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, Decemer 21, 2015
Published, MSR, Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Posted TMS, Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 5:47 a.m.


Breaking the heart of a community.  
BLM & NAACP  Protestors Attack Black fire fighters and police officers.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

December 24, 2015

In the November 27, 2015 edition of the Kansas City Call, the major African American newspaper in the State of Missouri, there is a picture on the front page with this headline “Protest continues in Minneapolis. Feds head to city to begin investigation.”

That picture on the front page broke my heart: a young African American Minneapolis police officer berated and threatened by African American protestors. Being that the photograph was taken by Reuters, means it was sent to papers and news outlets worldwide, showing African American policemen being savagely disrespected by the occupiers of the Fourth Precinct.

It caused me to reflect deeply about the disrespect and threats I saw directed against African American police officers and fire fighters at the occupation.

We saw African American police officers and African American fire fighters berated, spit upon, and threatened. Rocks and bottles were thrown at them. There were attempts to physically attack them. I wondered, during the 18 days of occupation, why we as a community did not speak up in defense of these courageous public servants.

The police officer on the front page of the Kansas City Call was born and raised in North Minneapolis. Indeed, the highest ranking African American police officer was the well-known Medaria Arradondo, deputy chief, chief of staff. The highest ranking African American fire fighter, Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner, is a 21-year veteran and past president of Black Fire Fighters Association (from 2001-2013). Both were born and raised in North Minneapolis. With venom and hate, they were called every name one could imagine that could be spewed at them.

These were not White Ku Klux Klan or White Supremacists threatening Black police and fire fighters; these were African Americans, some from Minneapolis, some from out of town, who turned back the clock and paid no attention and had no respect for the long and courageous battle fought in this city to integrate our fire and police departments. There was a 50-year period without one Black fire fighter, and a 100-year period when the number of Black policemen never exceeded three.

I thought of great Minneapolis police inspectors like Raymond Pressly, and great African American fire fighters, such as John Griffin. These men are important symbols of the battle waged for over half a century to integrate the protective services, fire and police.

I still cannot understand the disrespect shown these African American men and women who lay their lives on the line each and every day. They make up the thin blue line of African Americans who, if not for them, circumstances and conditions would have been much more volatile and with greater violations of the Constitutional Rights of African Americans during the siege of the Fourth Precinct.

And so that picture by Reuters, on the front page of African American newspapers across America, broke my heart. I have long known what the battle has been like to bring representation of African Americans to the protective services. These young African American men and women — and those who came before them — have earned respect and thus deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

And yet, as this column is submitted, no one has reached out to those who are Black members of the protective services, fire and police, to express regret and to apologize for the disrespect and disdain that was heaped upon those who have sworn to protect and serve.

I know of no situation in the history of these men and women in which they ever turned their backs on the community of which they are a part.

Shame on us for our disrespect for these brave men and women.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, Decemer 14, 2015
Published, MSR, Thursday, December 24, 2015
Posted TMS, Saturday, December 26, 2015, 7:32 p.m.


Whose voice will be heard? And when?
The struggle for control.   

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

December 17, 2015

Pull quote: Nonviolence is essential to achieve our shared goals.

Last week we wrote about concerns regarding the 18 days of demonstration by Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, and others, including the laying of siege to the Fourth Precinct in North Minneapolis.

Residents recognized the historic injustices behind the demonstrations, but having their own lives to live, they complained of how some behaved and how it disrupted their daily lives.

Our concern is that demonstrators in Minneapolis (and other cities) not lose support of those who agree with them because of objectionable methods. This is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would not let people march unless they signed the pledge to do so nonviolently. He knew success would come by making friends, not enemies, if they were to be influential.

Blacks did the same in South Africa. Nellie Stone Johnson and I worked with Bishop Tutu, who in turn, of course, worked with Nelson Mandela and F.W. De Klerk to end South Africa’s Apartheid, using nonviolence to peaceably achieve success through their Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

They dismantled apartheid with love and forgiveness (“Ubuntu”), just as the relatives and friends did of the shooting of 9 Blacks in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Wednesday, June 17, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Gandhi did the same thing in India. Thurgood Marshall led the team that argued successfully before the Supreme Court to make discrimination unlawful.

Love, not hate, sounds trite, but there is a “Golden Rule” in every major religion on the planet (listed on p. 62 of my book).

Education is key, from Martin Luther’s 16th century catechism for use in homes, to the Pilgrims at Jamestown, to hidden signs and secret meetings for slaves to learn to read, to American frontier McGuffey’s Reader, to Mao’s Little Red Book, to Martin Luther King’s Why We Can’t Wait and Letter from a Birmingham Jail, among others.

Of greatest concern is how the ill-treating of police will be effective in influencing changes in police behavior. Demonstrating is fine. One of our freedoms. Our concern is that it be done in such a way that friends can be made with those one is trying to influence. University administrators may be weak-kneed, but elected officials and police are not.

The Civil Rights Movement collapses when the Bill of Rights, due process, and the rights of others are not supported. We urge all interested in our communities to develop action plans and then act on those plans to improve education so that jobs and housing can be made possible.

We need to be united as a community to achieve shared goals. Damaging credibility of key organizations then damages opportunities for Minnesota’s African Americans.

Unwanted negative commentary about the NAACP and its military wing, Black Lives Matter, blocks dealing with the issues of the day, as does berating and insulting African American police officers. And yet, so far, no organization has stepped up to ask about reconciliation. Time to do so.

We hear rumors that National NAACP in Baltimore is not happy with leaders of the Minneapolis branch. If so, there may yet be hope for the national NAACP.

We know the National NAACP expects a meeting of the branch leadership and membership before Christmas to assess
(1) strengths,
(2) weaknesses,
(3) the damage to the Minneapolis NAACP in light of the occupation, and (4) to assess other relationships of the NAACP branch with the Department of Justice, the offices of Governor Mark Dayton, and with other organizations, Black and White.

We urge attention be paid to developing real plans (and we offer the 47 “solution papers” archived on our “The Minneapolis Story” website as available resources).

We fully recognize the Black police officers whose thin blue line is desperately attempting to improve police-community relations. For our own sakes, we as a community need to rise above all the noise and anger and work out our own formula of peace.

Stay tune

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, Decemer 7, 2015
Revised Friday, Decemer 11, 2015
Published, MSR, Thursday, December 17, 2015
Posted TMS, Friday, December 18, 2015, 6:36 a.m.


An open letter:  To Black Lives Matter, NAACP, and out of town demonstrators:

December 10, 2015

Subject:  Devisive tension runs high within our Black Community. Question:  Whose community?  Ours or out of towners?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Onlin

Pull quote: Saying “to hell with due process” strips the protection it gives you, which is why your law school teachers’ unconcern with due process is scary.

We know protesters mean well.  But continued protest outside the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis raises serious questions about your true goals as you cause divisions within leaders of our community, not only in North Minneapolis, but across the metropolitan area.

We all, black and white, sympathize with your cause, but not your methods.  When you push people away and won’t wait for all the evidence (preferring to “shoot first and ask questions later”), you hinder civil rights struggles, causing people who want to help and invest in our communities to shy away from doing so.

This is OUR community, OUR city, not yours.  Disrespecting us, trashing and blocking our streets, blocking access to public transportation, creating problems for our elderly and those travelling to work by bus, won’t help the cause of civil rights as you disrespect and undermine it.

When the Mayor and key Black leaders and Jamar Clark’s family asked you to stop your demonstrations and violence, you said no. As Minnesota US Representative Keith Ellison said about the result of your efforts:  “The unintended effect is domestic terrorists are coming to the protest to start trouble."  Hopefully, when this column is published in ten days, you will have come to your senses and dispersed.

Honor the statements of the state of Minnesota and the Federal Government that they will release the video that shows the conflict that cost 24 year old Jamar Clark his life.  That it may not prove your case is another reason why it is important to wait for the completion of the investigation.

We live in a nation of laws established to protect both majority and minority.  We do it better than any other country.  We, including many of our Black communities, are the envy of the world.  Your ability to demonstrate and say what you will is because you are protected by the Constitution’s  5th, and 14th amendments regarding “due process” (the state must respect all legal rights of individuals, protecting them from excess use of the law).

There are Black attorneys on both sides of this conflict.  What startles us are the law school professors leading you to betray our laws, especially the very parts they learned that were established to protect your due process.

Why doesn’t your concern for justice take you to demonstrate before the front doors of the Office of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI?   Saying “to hell with due process”  strips the protection it gives you, which is why your law school teachers unconcern with due process is scary. 

You have inspired silent white clergy to openly criticize our Black clergy and Congressman Keith Ellison, accusing them of being out of step.  You undermine civil rights struggles by casting aside due process and equal protection under the color of law, enabling chaos and anarchy.

Your saying that it is time for old leadership to move on and that we should then, as a community, accept this new guard is common, misplaced youthful exuberance.  It has been a common complaint since ancient Greece 2,500 years ago. 

Your premise that due process and constitutional guarantees may be dismissed and abandoned because you don’t like something is an invitation to anarchy at the expense of freedom and liberty.

It is not the tradition and history of the African American to embrace anarchy and dismiss the rights of others nor is it what allowed us to gain the attention of America over the past 100 years in our struggle for equality of opportunity, for not only the sons and daughters of the African but for the sons and daughters of all citizens, all protected by the doctrine of equal protection under the law.
 
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, November 30, 2015
Published, MSR, Thursday, December 10, 2015
Posted TMS, Friday, December 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m.


White supremacists shoot and wound protestors in North Minneapolis

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

December 3, 2015

       Pull quote:  We are faced, in our city of Minneapolis, with a
                        severe and dangerous racial backlash, backed by
                        well-planned, military-style terrorist acts against the                         African American community.

This right to receive information and ideas, regardless of their social worth, is fundamental to our free society. — Thurgood Marshall

Speech that is dangerous and false is not protected, as opposed to speech that is truthful but also dangerous (you can’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater). — Oliver Wendell Holmes

In our various media platforms, we have warned that a White supremacist terrorist plot, detected November 18, could be activated against the African American community. This column is being written three hours after White supremacist terrorists, wearing body armor and carrying heavy weapons, opened fire on at least 100 demonstrating African Americans at 10:45 pm, Monday, November 23, 2015, on Morgan Avenue N., about a block north of the Fourth Precinct station. Five were wounded. Future columns will provide updates.

The supremacist shooting was in response to protestors tying up Highway 94 and demonstrating outside the Fourth Precinct, led by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis and the NAACP Minneapolis brach, which in turn was in response to another young Black man killed by police. Both sides are angry. Both sides are “shooting first, asking questions later.” Both sides are escalating.

Neither side wishes to wait to see what the investigations reveal. Let’s not show the world and ourselves that our freedom of speech is made in exchanges of bullets, but instead demonstrate we exchange using words and corrective action.

On my weekly TV program, Sunday, November 22, I warned that a dangerous and volatile conspiracy was at play. We were aware that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and federal authorities were attempting to track down conspirators, after intercepting a video transmission of terrorists discussing and planning their action.

In a City Hall press conference on the 19th of November, at the MPD’s North Minneapolis training facility, I publicly stated for the record that Black anarchists on one side and White supremacist terrorists on the other were each planning action, each driven by vastly different philosophies and hatreds. The White supremacist terrorists’ plans included using bullets. The Black anarchists’ plans included protest marches, protest signs, and throwing stones. The media took no note of my warning nor the warning from the MPD.

We are faced, in our city of Minneapolis, with a severe and dangerous racial backlash, backed by well-planned, military-style terrorist acts against the African American community. These are not to be taken lightly. They have recruited bomb makers to escalate terrorist activities and actions, especially actions against African Americans.

We have threats to our democracy with both sides urging our young people to burn down their own communities. It is just a matter of time before weak but dangerous minds in different ideological camps willmove to implement plans of terror on the streets of Minneapolis, unless we can figure out a formula of peace that will enable all to coexist, the challenge of our modern era and its different “altars.”

Let’s support “let my people go” for all people, and not “back to the plantation” to unacceptable “others.” God help us as a community, as a city, and as a state to bring these White terrorists to justice. Let’s support all affected neighborhoods and downtown, and especially our African American neighborhoods.

In closing we would expect elected and appointed officials as well as White and Black clergy to act responsibly, and to denounce any act of terror, regardless of by whom, against communities that merely wanted their voices heard. Instead of letting this be a great day for neo Nazi activists in America, let us make it a great day for peaceful freedom of expression.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, November 23, 2015
Published, MSR, Thursday, December 3, 2015
Posted TMS, Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:56 p.m.


Listen and Understand. City Tense After African American Youth, Jamar Clar, Shot and Killed in Police Involved Shooting. Anger builds after shooting.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

November 26, 2015

[We] need "to unify our strength and achieve a result that has been too long in coming."    
---  French President Francois Hollande, November 16, 2015

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
               ---Martin Luther King, Jr.

Police shot 24 year old African American Jamar Clark, early Sunday morning, November 16th in North Minneapolis.   Mr. Clark was taken off of life support early Monday morning.  Tensions remain extremely high, given the controversy surrounding the shooting.  Two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, with pay.

In a first for the Minneapolis Police Department regarding an officer involved shooting, the federal Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has taken over the investigation.  Early Monday, November 16, 2015, the Mayor announced that the U.S. Department of Justice was asked to conduct an investigation into the Mr. Clark’s death.  As the Star Tribune reported, the mayor and the chief have “utmost faith” in the state of Minnesota investigation, but believe a federal probe will assist “the interests of transparency and community confidence.”  The Baptist State Convention and Council Member Blong Yang, who represents part of the North Side and oversees the council’s Public Safety Committee, and others, including the Minneapolis NAACP, support the request.  When announced, the crowd demonstrating outside the Fourth Precinct applauded.

Monday, November 16, almost 100 law enforcement automobiles were employed along Highway 94, going through the Northern part of Minneapolis, over 100 protestors blocked Interstate 94 for two hours by linking arms together across the freeway.

In our next column, we will have more detailed information on the shutdown of Highway 94 and the siege of the 4th Precinct Station on Plymouth Avenue.  Meetings were held November 14, 15, and 16 at New Salem Church.   More are planned.  Press conferences were held at City Hall, and statements were issued by various organizations, Black and White. 

What is important now is to allow the investigation to go forward before unsubstantiated incriminations and allegations become the order of the day.  Some maintain that Mr. Clark was handcuffed at the time he was shot in the head by one of the two police officers.  Black Lives Matter and the NAACP claim to have witnesses to what they  are calling an execution style murder of Mr. Clark.

As of the writing of this story, no video has been released for review.  The leadership of the Minneapolis branch of the Urban League has offered to provide a stenographer and legal advisors to witnesses.  In a very contentious Urban League meeting of over 100 citizens, organizational leadership of different groups pleaded with Black Lives Matter and others to allow the investigative process to go forward, to not rush to judgment and to not obstruct the investigation, to withhold judgment until the investigation is completed.

These tragedies are not new, nor are tactical and strategic mistakes that can result in no indictments and no consequences for the police actions.  Thus, in light of such tensions causing the city to become polarized and divided, we call for calm and responsible action, in order to give the investigation process a chance.

Mean spirited reflections and comments directed against the African American community are appearing on social media as well as extremely dangerous threats being posted against law enforcement.  This results in no winners, only losers.  It is important that we all understand and allow the process to work, and not tear each other apart out of hatred, fear, or any other emotion, even though some like the American tradition of violence against the Black community.

We need to establish purpose and goals for going forward.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Written Monday, November 16-17, 2015
Published, MSR, Thursday, November 26, 2015
Posted TMS, Thursday, November 26, 2015, 3:35 a.m.


Race, Money and the University of Missouri
Black students figure it out.  Good for them.

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

November 19, 2015

I take "full responsibility for the frustration" students expressed; their complaints were "clear" and "real.”  “Change is needed.”
                                Tim Wolf, when he resigned as President of the University of Missouri-Columbia

"Not in our modern history have we seen black [football] students collectively flex their muscle in this way."
                        Shaun Harper, NCAA Division I Sports.

“I’m proud of what the students have accomplished and happy the protests remained peaceful.”
                        Mary Ratliff, President of both Missouri NAACP and                                           Columbia NAACP branch

"I understand that you all would not be here today if our student athletes didn't get involved."
                        Mack Rhoades, MU athletic director

As a long time Civil Rights activist and advocate of non-violence, I’m proud of  the strategy and tactics of the African American football players at the University of Missouri to exercise their newly understood power in presenting their list of demands

The decision by the University of Missouri system President and University Chancellor to relinquish their positions had less to do with the hunger striking graduate student Jonathon Butler, and all to do with many other campus issues, especially the potential financial repercussions, all reflectimg the significant erosion and widespread non-support for the President and Chancellor.

If Missou didn’t play on Saturday, November 14, the school would have had to pay $1,000,000 to Brigham Young University for not playing.  Also at risk was the forfeiture of the season’s last two games and the collapse of the football program and the loss of its $83 million/year revenue.  It was all about race, money and the University of Missouri’s financial future.  The football playing students became the teachers.

The African American student leadership called themselves the “1950 group”  after the year the University of Missouri desegregated and admitted Negroes.   A turning point was November 8th,  when students and athletes together confronted President Wolf and a large group of university donors at the Kaufman Fine Arts Center in Kansas City, MO.

In a personal conversation with Mary Ratliff, President of both the Columbia, Missouri NAACP branch, and of the Missouri State Conference of the NAACP the evening of November 8th, Ms. Radcliff shared with this columnist the discussion she and others were having in meetings with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and law enforcement officers regarding concern about potentially dangerous escalation.  The football players, both black and white, and supported by their coach, created a significant change of leadership at the University in a 48 hour period, without violence.  By 7 am, November 9th, President Wolfe submitted his resignation to the governing body of the Missouri Higher Education, the Board of Curators.  Hours later the Chancellor resigned.

The strategy and tenaciousness of the university’s African American football players reminded me of Black players in the 1960s, at the University of Wyoming and at the University of Iowa.  A leader at Iowa was former Vikings Head Coach, Dennis Green.  Those two groups of athletes understood the power of messing with “The Man’s” money.   

People at the University of Missouri may like or dislike Black students but they all like football and making money.  This time it was not racism that prevailed, but the threat of losing $84 million.

In remembering hard won Civil Rights freedoms, we remember when the struggle began with university Black athletes standing up against racism.  It began with All American football player Paul Robeson, valedictorian of his Rutgers University class of 1919, who later played in the NFL and who became a world reknown singer.  Robeson was followed in our time by such stand up athletes as Bill Russell, Jim Brown, and Karem Abdul Jabbar.

May God continue to give Black players strength, and continue to protect them and in this spirit of new awakening in the continued struggle by Black Americans of all persuasions to work together toward ending racism anywhere.

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, November 19, 2015


When will diversity numbers for Vikings stadium construction be available?

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

November 12, 2015

Our “Minneapolis Story” has pulled the covers back on Minneapolis for 14 years, in order to expose the systematic walls purposefully built to hold back Black Americans. In this first of two columns, we feature 10 of the 17 columns published since the US Bank Vikings Stadium was approved on December 20, 2012, in an effort to seek honesty in stadium construction minority hiring.

Three key points highlight why this matters:

1. Nellie Stone Johnson said it best: No education, no job, no housing, which leads to no family and poor public safety. We seek the nonviolence solutions of Martin Luther King, Jr to also fight our self-inflicted problems. For example, 93 percent of Blacks killed in America are killed by Blacks.

2. Government and social science empirical research illustrates the best path to take to rise out of poverty — whether Black or White — is to first graduate from school, whether high school, trade school, college or a university. Then get a job, then get married, then have children, raising boys and girls in families with two parents, however defined.

3. Black progress is blocked with “good intentions” of The Big Five partnerships, which deliver unintended “breaking bad” consequences:

    (1) Governors and their partners: legislatures and state agencies
    (2)   Mayors and their partners: city councils and city agencies
    (3)   Courts and their partners: state and county attorney’s offices
    (4)   Nonprofits and for-profits and their partners: Black and White, churches, charities, corporations, foundations, large and small businesses, local, national and international, that too often serve themselves at the expense of those needing assistance.
    (5)   Knowledge industries (K-12, colleges and universities), and their partners, print, broadcast, digital, and social media.

The Star Tribune (Sept. 17, 2015) reported the U.S. Federal Government Census Bureau’s recent statistics: Black poverty rate rose 33 percent while African American earning power decreased 14 percent. Minnesota is ranked 45th — after Mississippi. This report’s empirical evidence lays out in painful detail the truth about big lies regarding education, jobs, housing, families and public safety. When will Black and White leadership stop talking and take positive action?

There is a wall separating the US Bank Vikings Stadium and work opportunities for Blacks. There is a door in the wall for Whites but no door for Blacks, revealing the shame regarding African American survival and employment in the Minnesota economy.

Our goal should be best practices. In Minnesota we have worst practices. Our follow-up column will be on the four dozen columns before legislative passage that urged preparation for stadium construction job training and hiring.

Ten of the 17 columns, by date and title, about minority hiring after the legislative passage of December 20, 2012, are archived by year at www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocarchives.htm. They are as follows:

---June 18, 2015:  The U. S. Commission on Civil Rights’ benign neglect of Black communities ---May 7, 2015:  Where is the legislatively required minority hiring equity audit?
---March 19, 2015: Pattern and Practice with false Stadium Numbers.   ---August 13, 2014:  Is the reported 34% minority participation goal actually being met?
---February 12, 2014:  Hiring numbers of Blacks reported by the Sports Authority:  real or false?
---January 15, 2014: Promises: What good is an Equity Plan with no follow-through?
---December 4, 2013: Steel purchases outside the Iron Range:  “To the extent practical” escape language.
---March 13, 2013: When will Minnesita’s “no Black workers need apply” policy end?
---February 6, 2013: Why no 32 percent Black participation in stadium construction.
---January 2, 2013: Where is Ted Mondale’s promised  Vikings stadium diversity plan reflecting 32% diversity hiring?

For a complete list of columns going back to 2005 regarding Minneapolis non-compliance, go to our Solution Paper #46, Minneapolis disparity is purposefully and actively avoided with purposeful non-compliance.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, November 11, 2015
Posted TMS, Saturday, November 14, 2015, 11:59 p.m.


IN MEMORIUM
Philip “Flip” Saunders, 1955-2015

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

November 5, 2015

Saddened to hear of Flip Saunders passing, Sunday, October 25, 2015, our most heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his team and to Glen Taylor and the whole Timberwolves organization.

I first saw Flip Saunders as a University of Minnesota freshman. He remains the best point guard in Gopher history. I watched many of his games. From the very beginning, from when he first came to Minnesota from Ohio, he became a Minnesota man. Throughout his career he always maintained a home in Minnesota.

He earned his nickname from his mother who heard it used when they were at a barber shop.

Winner of over 1,000 games (654 in the NBA), his coaching career started at Golden Valley Lutheran College, where he never lost a home game, and ended as the winningest coach in Timberwolves history.

In each of his tours (3 Championships in the Continental Basketball League; the only coach to take the Timberwolves to the NBA playoffs), he leaves with legendary respect among his NBA peers, professionally and personally, the foundation of true legacies.

He was Head Coach of the Detroit Pistons, the Washington Wizards,  and twice with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  It is a testament to the character of the man and the Timberwolves owner and managers to recognize the error in firing him after his first tour and bring him back for a second.   It is a measure of the character of Flip Saunders that he had the patience to wait for them to catch up with him.

Unlike with many, it is not cliché to talk about the positive manner he chose to his life.  He is one of the greatest gentlemen that the game has ever known, which is why those he met were so deeply touched in a very positive manner, and why so many had such high respect for him. In a word, he always took the high road.

I met Coach Saunders a couple of times in different settings, and have written positively about him in this column before. He was one of those whose career I enjoyed following.  I always found him to be a very decent and committed person. Those I knew who also knew Flip always spoke highly of him.

Wherever he went to coach and live, he was a winner, on and off the court. Part of his legacy is how he led and inspired, bringing flare and charisma to every game.   

He was a terrific coach, known for having one of the best offensive minds ever. He always had his thick playbook. He always had plans. My continued hope and prayer is that state and local leaders in government and community work will also develop a playbooks with workable plans.

He must have had a “just in case” plan, given the caliber of personnel and assistants he brought in for the 2015-2016 season, using his three hats: President of Basketball Operations, Head Coach, and part owner.

Flip Saunders’ legacy will continue to lead and inspire. May he be remembered by naming the Target Center basketball court, "The Flip Saunders Court."

Known as a terrific person always willing to help others in need of support, he leaves many positive memories that will comfort his family as well as the Timberwolves, as all face a future without his physical presence. He was a great family man. I wish his family all the support and love needed, as it is harder on them than on his players, coaches, friends, and fans.

Thank you Flip for all that you have given us. Our prayers are for you and your family.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, November 5, 2015
Posted TMS, Friday, November 6, 2015, 6:06.m.

Also see our Blog post of October 25, 2015.


Silence breeds violence
A dangerous pattern in public safety

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

October 29, 2015

“Gun violence is taking over the streets ..... The community needs peace. We need people to put the guns down.”
                                  — Janeé Harteau, Minneapolis Police Chief

The “Don’t Snitch!” theme that arose five years ago in the Eastern United States (Baltimore, Philadelphia, and other large eastern cities) showed up in Los Angeles, and is now in the Twin Cities, creating a devastating effect on our communities’ ability to deal with crime, murder and mayhem, and creating a devastating effect on solving homicides and other crimes and assaults in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In a one-week period two weeks ago, seven people of color and one White were murdered, five in Minneapolis, three in St. Paul (nine during the same week in Chicago). Their ethnicity, in order by the level of violence: African American, Latino, Somali, and White. In seven of the murders, people told police, “We know nothing. We’re not talking. I don’t want to be a snitch.” This anti-snitch “philosophy” prevents justice for loved ones, past, present and future, as withholding information regarding acts of violence creates cold cases, increasing the heartbreak.

As police talked to witnesses, they were confronted with the “no snitch” theme. A 17-year-old African American was shot outside a Northside church and then followed into the church and shot again, left to die. A young man sitting in a car waiting for his father to come back is shot through the head. The shootings continued as Hispanics were shot to death and left to die in an alley in South Minneapolis and two young African Americans were shot to death in St. Paul.

This dangerous “no snitch” pattern has severe consequences to all who live in communities of color. Again, we ask, where’s the plan? How can we confront massive numbers of guns on the street, although some violent acts have been carried out with knives, hammers, and other instruments of violence, adding to the communities’ heartbreak?

The doctrine of silence really hits home when it is one’s own loved one or friend who becomes victim of the carnage that is in lock step with the silence. This is a frightening fact: far too many are either comfortable with acts of violence and death or are too scared to speak up, causing our communities to suffer.

It is not acceptable! It cannot be acceptable! It should not be tolerated!
The “I’m watching out for me and mine,” and “I’m not going to get involved” attitudes must change. A violent outcome came to a minister whose church had been violated with a murder, causing him to suffer the pain of shattering his confidence that humanity is still important, that concerns, values, and righteousness are still a part of the religious doctrine of courage and justice.

We have become a society blind to values so many were taught, and were raised to respect and to practice. But there is a problem tonight in the Twin Cities that must be addressed with a sense of urgency or we will continue to suffer the casualties of the silence of indifference and fear.

We must review “Formulas of Peace” of non-violence to deal with the elephant in the room that liberals want to ignore that make it harder for Blacks to succeed: many government policies hurt Black Americans. Before minimum wage began, Black unemployment rate was lower than Whites. Before the War on Poverty, Black advancement was far greater. U.S. murder rates before 1960 were significantly lower (today, 93% of Blacks killed are killed by other Blacks), causing us to ask: why are so many Black problems self-inflicted.

What joint community — police group will develop and act on a plan to address this elephant?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, October 29, 2015
Posted TMS, Thursday, October 29, 2015, 11:58 p.m.


Violence in Minneapolis high schools
Are there any answers?"

Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

October 22, 2015

“Give me liberty or give me death.”
--- Patrick Henry, a leader of the American Revolution.

Pull quote: The report of over 36 fights in one week at Patrick Henry High School, is frightening and disturbing, especially as we learn of individuals stopped, some who attempted to enter Patrick Henry High School armed.

In a peaceful corner in NW Minneapolis, is Patrick Henry High School, named after the man Patrick Henry, who stood for liberty and self-government. And yet we have abandoned these values in cities run by Democrats, as we accept the death of our communities rather than stand for liberty, as Democrats know they’ll have our vote.

Since the beginning of the school year, Patrick Henry and other Twin Cities’ high schools have seen a rise in dangerous and escalating conflicts. So we ask, “Where is the plan for how to deal with unsafe environments inside of our high schools?” This has caught the attention first and foremost of the residents in the community and of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). We hope community leadership steps up as well.

Too many in city and community leadership positions have turned their backs on educating our youth on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lifesaving and empowering nonviolence philosophy (see his book, Stride for Freedom). All the great religions have a version of the Golden Rule: “do unto others as we want them to do unto us.” The Civil Rights movement truly ended when violence became “the way” after King’s death, as too many wanted to change places with those oppressing them and then act like them on whites.

It is being alleged that because of the reduction in personnel, including key personnel, the district is not on top of its game of security as it should be. The MPD wants to heighten school security, but there are rumors and allegations that the district is not prepared to spend more dollars to reinforce needed school security.

The report of over 36 fights in one week at Patrick Henry is frightening and disturbing, especially as we learn of individuals who were stopped as they attempted to enter Patrick Henry armed. Isn’t that proof of the need for a plan and personnel to provide a safe environment for students, teachers, administrators and the surrounding community?

If the claim that the district doesn’t have funding to increase school security are true, then the school district must reach out to the State of Minnesota, the commissioner of education, corporations and charitable foundations, for immediate relief as needed. There are too many guns on the street, too many shootings, and too many injured by other methods of violent acts.

Every shooting and assault not reported does not mean they did not happen, nor does it mean the threat has gone away. The threat remains real. In some cases, knives have become the weapons of choice. Thus it is insane and contrary to the doctrine of public safety that the public is not being made aware of these dangers and incidents.

We are not picking on Patrick Henry, merely reporting on egregious acts causing more fear as more violence is glorified. Our schools deserve a guarantee that everything is being done to ensure safety.

We know and understand we are not a perfect society. But aren’t we required, as members of the human race, to do everything that we can to protect all of our citizens, no matter age or social standing or color of skin? And doesn’t that start with a commitment to promote nonviolence?

Sending swat teams into our high schools is a sign of how much we have failed our young people and neighborhoods, as we stand by as violence and never-ending revenge renders sections of communities uninhabitable, scaring away investors for development.
Where is the plan to not only end the violence but to promote nonviolence?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, October 22, 2015
Posted TMS, Saturday, October24, 2015, 5:20 p.m.


U.S. miscalculates about Russia and Syria.
Who is next?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

October 15, 2015

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill

From the birth of the Kievan state (9th Century forerunner of modern Russia) to the murder of Tsar Nicholas II, 1918, Russians have gloried in the history of their Tsars. Yet Western intelligence services have been unable to correctly analyze and understand the one some call Russia’s 21s t Century Tsar, President Vladimir Putin, former colonel, USSR secret police, the feared KGB, and who is now a man who is a self-declared Christian and capitalist. Whatever he is, he has the courage to stand up for his convictions and act upon them.

So why do we lack courage in reporting serious errors in policy judgment, creating serious fractures in our ability to stand up to Russia, not to mention a lack of courage to stand up to crime in urban America? This is important to the Black community. Policy makers (whether Congress or the White House) have been afraid to admit errors in analysis regarding foreign and local communities. We are frustrated by suggestions dismissed regarding issues important to Black Americans: education, jobs, housing, public safety, governing, and the war on young Black men (including Black gang wars against each other).

Russian military presence in Syria includes advisors, air power, and combat boots on the ground. Russia strongly supports what it considers assets of Russia: Syria and the Ukraine. Why doesn’t the U.S. consider USA inner cities as assets and support them?

By any objective measure, ignored major events have taken place in the Middle East that have impacted our communities as well. This includes Russian occupation of Ukraine, the rise of ISIS, the Russian deal with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, challenging America for dominance by expanding its military power and influence in the Middle East, all of which means we have wasted billions of dollars that could have been used to develop infrastructure and economic development in our inner cities.

We wrote a year ago that Putin is a man well trained to look into the mind and the soul of his opposition. So why does the United States continue to miss opportunity after opportunity to look into his?

The Russians are not blind to the West leading the charge to seek energy independence by driving down the price of oil. We applaud that. But we still need a clear understanding of the global implications of the significant political and military missteps and miscalculations that the world cannot afford in a nuclear age. When the U.S. economy is hurt, African American communities are hurt even more.

The Russian presence in Syria is changing the balance of political power, becoming more volatile than the Korean peninsula. When Putin sees the U.S. not taking action, continuing to ignore the Russian-led pincer movement, he sees the dismissal of the Middle East as a non-threat and as racist. Missed calculations created conflicts like the first and second world wars, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Middle East, and, in our country, slave and Jim Crow conflicts, today’s inner cities and along our border with Mexico.

There is no excuse for the United States not to have a solution for what is happening, especially in light of the recently formed and very dangerous coalition of Russia, Iran, Iraq, and the militarily rejuvenated Syria, about which we passively stand by and do nothing. Why give Putin 16 months to carry out his plan to put the USSR back together? And why do we continue to wait to put our urban neighborhoods back together?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, October 15, 2015
Posted TMS, Saturday, October24, 2015, 5:12 p.m.


"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

October 8, 2015

Mayor Betsy Hodges announced September 23rd reappointing incumbent MPD (Minneapolis Police Department) Chief of Police Janeé Harteau, to another three year term.  Supporters of both women agreed it was the right decision.

The reappointment comes at a challenging time for the city, especially in terms of  public safety related to (1) the streets, (2) the new Viking stadium, and (3) the encroachment on the MPD by the Hennepen County Sheriff’s department and backed by the MSFA (Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority).  The MSFA is pulling another “Lucy:”  the comic strip bully who promised to hold the ball in place only to pull it away at the last minute in an act of bullying.

MSFA Chair Michele “Lucy” Kelm-Helgen and MSFA Executive Director, Ted “Lucy” Mondale, are again trying to pull the football on their public promises about supporting hiring African Americans.  This time:   take the Viking stadium MPD security detail and give it to the Hennepin County Sherriff’s office.  The MPD has diversity.  The Hennepin County Sheriff’s department is nearly all white.

This secretive back room attempt came to light after Sherriff’s department called the NFL seeking three free suites at the upcoming Super Bowls so it can learn for the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis, claiming to be the security detail, even though no contract has been signed.  Shocked at this unprecedented out of protocol act, the NFL called the MPD to ask what’s going on, unknowingly letting the cat out of the bag. 

 Consider:

  • The MSFA announced two years ago that (1) the Vikings would play the 2014 and 2015 seasons at UM TCF stadium, (2) campus police would handle security for the UM TCF  stadium, and (3) MPD would again have the security detail at the new Vikings Stadium when it opens in 2016.
  • According to those involved in formal discussions, the Sherriff’s department is to be selected by the MSFA as the new vendor in charge of the Vikings stadium security detail.
  • When  questioned, MSFA, Sheriff’s office and hired Chicago security firm, all claimed the new stadium is a private project and not subject to bids.  
  • The legislation authorizing the stadium defined it as public, as does the over $500 million to be paid by tax payers.
  • This power grab of the Sheriff’s department to reign over the MPD could last 20 years or longer.
  • How many other no-bid deals will increase cost overruns?
  • What other deals are being cut by the MSFA and who all will benefit from these deals?
  • What was the leverage or inducement enabling the Chicago firm to get the MSFA Executive Director and Chair to turn their backs on Minneapolis and the MPD, when the legislation calls for Minnesota firms first? 

We  write from a two part understanding of stadium security: 
(1) the overall electronic and security technology (software, hardware, fire walls and anti-hacking/intrusion, security cameras, sensors of all kinds, alarms, etc.), awarded to the Chicago security company,  
(2) non-electronic security:  the men and women providing live security details, that should be done by the MPD.

We call on the Minneapolis Legislative Delegation and other Minnesota Legislators to work closely with the Chief and the Mayor to reestablish and carry out the promise made to the MPD, and to demand an explanation from both the MSFA and the Governor for this raid on the City’s MPD, and demand ending considering such a decision.

We don’t believe this decision will stand the scrutiny of the legislature or the courts.

We urge the Mayor, Chief, and MPD Federation to work together in common cause to re-secure the security contract for the MPD.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published, MSR, Thursday, October 8, 2015
Posted TMS, Friday, October 9, 2015, 2:20 a.m.


Strange sounds from city hall
Test of leadership

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

October 1, 2015

Pull quote: In hindsight will we see that the mayor introduced a new chief that destabilized the police department, or that she reappointed our current chief and kept stability?

As of the writing of this column, September 22, 2015, there are, as always, many rumors floating about. It is as if we are on a yellow brick road of Alice in Wonderland. But can that be in this day of our need for serious leadership? What and who will be on the road to our city’s future?

On the one hand we see a city economically flourishing — downtown east, the Nicollet Mall, three new stadiums, great shopping malls — all signs of prosperity pointing to a great future.

On the other hand, we see corners of our city that are not economically flourishing, especially North and South Minneapolis. When will the city’s leaderships deal with action on real plans for the corners left behind?

Not all who walk our Minneapolis wonderland roads like each other, and yet good relationships are key. So some act as children rather than as adults, cutting off workable relationships, sacrificing their duties such that the people of our Minneapolis wonderland pay the price, a price that includes:

  • breakdowns in public safety
  • cartel mayhem, intrigue and conspiracies pitting gangs against each other
  • continued decline in education
  • continued decline in economic development and jobs
  • continued failure to solve the the housing problems
  • other threats to our stability, safety, and survival
Many today feel as if we are riding out the control roller coaster of Minneapolis City Hall politics, which includes treachery and betrayal, pettiness and meanness, and even pillow talk and other whisperings that drive the wrong agenda for the wrong reasons for the wrong people.

The city is for citizens, not selfie-taking office holders. We have leaders, Black as well as White, in turmoil, seeking quick fixes that wind up sabotaging the long term due to their failure of nerve.
At this writing, before September 24, the date when the decision had to be made to determine if there would be a new chief of police in Sherwood Forest, we hope to be able to look back and see no negatives of any kind in any way, shape, or fashion that sets up destroying and rupturing our city’s public safety.

May we look back and, in the tradition of Robin Hood, see merry men and merry women celebrate stability that comes from keeping our police chief and not creating needless disruption in public safety? In hindsight will we see that the mayor introduced a new chief that destabilized the police department, or that she reappointed our current chief and kept stability?

As in the old True Detective magazine, we are attempting to solve the mysteries of leadership failures.

It has been stunning to see and analyze the intrigue and treachery of city government. Will it play out like a “road not taken” novel, or like a true crime story, or be driven by the narrative of the old fashioned dirty politics riddle, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all?”

You would think that politicians would not be driven by the children’s game of “Mirror, Mirror,” but sometimes politicians, whether mayors, city council members, other elected officials, or their various appointees, are driven by their own personal perceptions of their sadly false self-perceived greatness and behavior.

Leaders don’t always take action we can be proud of. No wonder they have difficulty explaining to citizens why they are acting like children and not adults. In these challenging times, Minneapolis cannot survive such leadership, nor can these leaders get re-elected.

Let’s pray for our leaders and us.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives,
go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com
.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR, Thursday, October 1, 2015,
Posted TMS, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 1:50 a.m.


Violence in downtown continues unabated

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

September 24, 2015

Pull quote:
The indictment of Phil Davis and his son, a Minneapolis police officer, regarding the disappearance of millions of dollars from a federally funded program called “Community Action,” underscores that this is a failure of both Black and White leadership.

Ten people shot, one killed in the heart of downtown and on the near north side of the city on September 12, all in 90 minutes.

Downtown Minneapolis gunfire is unnerving for businesses,” headlines the StarTribune, September 14, 2015. Included: not-so-subtle dangerous racial inferences, as if downtown would be safer with a border wall built to keep out North Minneapolis.

Instead, how about a bridge to freedom: reduce violence by establishing and instituting an economic agenda that includes training and education that leads to jobs and decent housing protected by public safety officers.

The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts wants protection when shows are over. The StarTribune admits it is a known fact that “The gunfire fits a pattern of violence when bars close and large crowds spill into the streets of downtown.” With such knowledge, why no planning to deal with it?

The executive director of the Warehouse District Business Association admonished the mayor and city council about violence: “Let’s stop this before that happens.” Again, that would require a plan. For a dozen years we’ve predicted the carnage of summers of violence. Most recently, on April 2 and 30, and July 16 and 23, 2015, and last year on July 16 and 23, 2014. And still no plan.

My July 23, 2015 column discussed the presentation of Sheriff Rich Stanek at the Shiloh Temple International Ministries Church regarding increased violence and the lack of a plan to address the violence.

A sense of hopelessness and rage is brewing among African and Native Americans in general and, in particular, their youth. Is this violence and economic loss the price White and Black leadership are willing to pay to maintain the status quo of not allowing access for every Minnesotan to fairness and the right to work all job sites, which would enable them to gain access to a future of prosperity, equality and liberty?

Since that Shiloh Temple meeting, there have been over 40 people shot and wounded. At least eight have died. Proportionately, this ranks with Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and yet still no plan. We were once “Murderopolis,” Will we be again?

This price that Black and White Minneapolis leaders are willing to pay to keep their status quo is a clear sense of disrespect for our community and our youth, as if our survival is less important than their privileged status quo.

The indictment of Phil Davis and his son, a Minneapolis police officer, regarding the disappearance of millions of dollars from a federally funded program called “Community Action,” underscores that this is a failure of both Black and White leadership. The dike of tolerance of this is at last breaking. Who can we trust to lead so that our rights are not violated and our future is no longer threatened and compromised?

As Thurgood Marshall said, “There's no difference between a black snake and a white snake. They both bite.”

How much longer do our Black and White “leaders” expect African Americans to continue to be flogged, marginalized, and disrespected, and thus continue to suffer the casualties and the pain of a people being pushed over the edge? Will Dr. King’s nonviolence strategy be adopted or the nihilism of violence?

People do not like the word genocide, but we see a genocide against African and Native Americans in Minnesota, as our doors of opportunity and our dreams of equality and survival are trampled. Let’s build and not tear down. Let’s work together to avoid becoming the European scene of roundups and interior fences.

Stay tuned"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

Published September 24, 2015
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 1:50 a.m.


Assassin of nine faces the Charlotte SC court
Prosecutor and solicitor general seeks death penalty

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

September 17, 2015

Pull quote: Mr. Roof was off the radar for 14 hours between the time he shot and killed the nine African Americans and when he was apprehended outside Shelby, NC.  How?
My July 2 column (“Well-planned execution in Charleston, South Carolina: Was one of America’s most respected Black leaders the target?”), raised the question of whether the killing of one of the most powerful and respected pastors and politicians in South Carolina, State Senator/Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was a targeted assassination.
My July 9 column (“Unanswered questions in Charleston, SC: Dylan Roof: the disappearing person of interest”), raised questions about Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old White murderer-executioner terrorist who slaughtered the nine during their prayer and Bible study led by Pastor Pinckney, at Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

In this column, we explore the manhunt and surprising announcement last week by Scarlett Wilson, chief prosecutor and solicitor in Charleston county, that she seeks the death penalty for Dylann Roof, who is an embarrassing albatross around the necks of city officials charged with public safety. Roof’s evil, horrible crime was driven by hatred-fueled racism. We need to learn more about whether he was a lone wolf or, as I suspect, working with friends and co-conspirators.
Mr. Roof was off the radar for 14 hours between the time he shot and killed the nine African Americans and when he was apprehended outside Shelby, NC.  As we continue to follow this story, we pose the following questions:

  • Who was Dylann Roof meeting with in York, SC, a small town, just south of Charleston, NC, on Route 321?
  • Who were the individuals he was going to meet with in Marshall, NC, on Route 213, just north of Ashville, NC?
  • Is there a connection with the survivalist White supremacist training facility in Mars Hill, NC, that we first asked about over a month ago?
  • Fourteen hours is a long time to travel only 250 miles. What really happened during this period?

We are also puzzled about the shooting of two White journalists in Roanoke, VA, where highway patrol was quickly on the alleged shooter, Mr. Williams, an African American, by using a very sophisticated scanning system that could read license plates and identify the driver in seconds. Why did this not happen with Mr. Roof in his flight from Charleston, SC, driving on a major interstate highway and secondary state highways? Thus we continue to ask: what other assistance did Dylan Roof have?

If it was not for a very vigilant White florist outside of Shelby, NC, Mr. Roof would have disappeared into the mountains of western North Carolina. He would have been close to one the most renowned White supremacist training camps along Tennessee State Route 321, just outside of Greenville, Tennessee.

Let us not be fooled, Dylan Roof was known to law enforcement officers in at least four different states — Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. In York, SC, prior to the massacre in Charleston, he had been seen in the company of well-known and extremely dangerous White supremacists. The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN, are not giving us the full history of this young 21-year-old White terrorist, who carried out this well-planned assassination and execution.

These kinds of planning exercises take place all across America. The African American community needs to ask the hard questions about a possible race war in America. Whether the warning comes from the Rev. Louis Farakahn, evangelical pastors, or the pope himself, their warnings about being prepared, are not to be taken lightly.   We acknowledge, as they do, the very real threats in the corridors of racial hatred and animus.
So we will continue to raise the questions during the course of the ongoing investigations into the massacre in Charleston, SC.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published Thursday, September 17, 2015
Posted TMS, Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 1:50 a.m.


Will the stadium come in on time?
Accidents, mistrust, and internal fighting

September 10, 2015

 "Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

Thursday, Sept 10, 2015

Will the Vikings stadium be ready by July 1, 2016? We wonder, given the internal strife at the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) and its deep wounds of accusations and mistrust that have surfaced about mismanagement and miscalculations. And what other potential delays from major accidents, acts of nature, or shipping of materials?

The stadium needs a competent and exacting Sports Authority to deal with the turmoil around former State Senator and MSFA Treasurer Duane Benson’s resignation from the MSFA, and his accusations of mismanagement and mishandling of funds leading to cost overruns.

In our book, The Minneapolis Story (Chapter 15, p. 132), we reported findings of the July 2000 Journal of The American Planning Association Cost overruns were the norm, averaging 28 percent for the 258 large construction projects sampled between 1910-1998, on a billion-dollar stadium that means $280 million.

Our book was handed personally to, among others, the Minneapolis mayor, Minneapolis city council (all but two council members returned it, unwrapped, unread), the governor’s office, the University of Minnesota, the Humphrey Center, the Vikings, the Star Tribune, the NAACP, and the Minneapolis Urban League (the latter two urging folks not to buy or read the book). So this is not new.

Who will pay for cost overruns? The legislation says the contractor, but contractor Mortensen says no.

Mortonsen is suing the MSFA, the Minnesota Sports Facilitie, demanding arbitration and mediation in the hopes of being relieved from any obligation to cover change orders, a form of cost overruns. In the meantime, the Star Tribune and others have not reported a firm number regarding cost overruns to date.

Are recent accidents due to the desperation to meet the July 1, 2016 deadline? Mortenson, who has quite a sweetheart deal, is not making payroll; it’s been shifted to the tax payer. Just what is the sweetheart deal with Mortenson?

We wonder whether Sports Facility’s $30 million slush fund will be deflated before April 2016, as is now being rumored. Departed MSFA Board Treasurer Duane Benson, who was berated as untrustworthy and a liar, is now clearly seen as having told the truth about the construction lies and deceptions.

A delay of 10 days of the 2016 opening, let alone 25-30 days or more, would be disastrous. The legislative oversight committee and the Star Tribune have been extremely quiet.

What are the contingency plans, if any, if the stadium is not ready for the first pre-season game in August 2016? We know what happens to Mortenson: pay $5 million for the delay as well as almost $5 million per game not played in the new stadium.

Decades long background clues are provided in Stadium Games: Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles, by Star Tribune reporter Jay Weiner (The University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Also see my comments on Stadium Games, The Minneapolis Story, pp. 258-261.
Weiner made clear the villains were not the NFL and Vikings team owners, but Minnesota officials and legislators and the Minneapolis officials and city council. Vikings current ownership is why the team is still in Minnesota, bucking what key “leaders” wanted over a decade ago:  for the Vikings to leave town.

Ted Mondale admitted in open session that few Blacks were hired in the construction of the Gophers’ and Twins’ stadiums, but that it would be different with the Vikings Stadium. He lied. The numbers reported of Blacks hired have been false. [Ed. see our October 17, 2012 column, 5th paragraph. See also 30 columns listed in my solution paper #46, going back to 2005, recording one of the greatest ongoing betrayals in the history of perceived Minnesota participation.]

So much time and effort has been put into avoiding highly skilled laborers and managers who are Black, that the eyes of oversight have been distracted, taking their eyes off of the prize of completing the Vikings stadium on time and within budget.

Stay tuned

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, September 10, 2015
Posted here September 10, 2015, 11:55 pm


North and South Korea not being paid attention to!

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

Thursday, Sept 3, 2015

Pull quote: To test each other is dangerous under any circumstances, but especially when only one side, North Korea, has a nuclear bomb.

ED NOTE: See rest of column in the 2015 Archive.


ow our marines, sailors, army and air force personnel will soon be at pre-World War II levels.

This affects our security and our economy as well. The military has been a great place for job training, with 23 percent of the military African American and others of color. The pending 40,000 troops to be cut means over 9,000 military of color and over 6,000 women will be without jobs and training.

With world turbulence such as terrorism, approval of state and non-state armed military forces, and the unknowns about the proposed Iran treaty, we need to act carefully so as to avoid the kind of diplomacy/negotiation failures that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Many lives were lost in the next four years of intense combat to restore world order. If we are going to play world policeman, we need to do it from a well-designed doctrine that will keep us out of harm’s way.
Stay tuned.
=====================
http://www.startribune.com/frustration-mounts-as-talks-between-the-rival-koreas-drag-on/322652501/
South Korea turns off propaganda as Koreas reach deal
12:03AM
After marathon talks, rival Koreas reach deal over mine blast and propaganda broadcasts
By HYUNG-JIN KIM and FOSTER KLUG Associated Press AUGUST 25, 2015 — 12:03AM

=====================

http://www.startribune.com/rival-koreas-masters-at-pulling-back-from-the-brink/322664811/
Here's a look at how the rival Koreas have, for decades, mastered pulling back from the brink
By FOSTER KLUG and HYUNG-JIN KIM Associated Press AUGUST 24, 2015 — 6:20PM
SEOUL, South Korea — The Koreas on Tuesday once again proved their mastery at pulling back from the brink — this time with an accord forged in two marathon negotiating sessions over three days.


Hey Tubby, Norwood is gone!
Hey Amelia, why Now? Why so much left out?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

August 20, 2015

 Pull quote: Teague is now another poster child for the old saying, loose lips sink ships.

The most recent University of Minnesota racism agenda began April 23, 2012, with the arrival of the notorious Norwood Teague as University athletic director, on a five-year contract. It ended when he was forced to resign, August 7, for sexual harassment charges. In between, on March 25, 2013, he fired Basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith, even though UM reached the NCAA tournament’s 2nd round. Missing in the story: the well known but covered up virulent racism of Teague that the University knew about but did not stop.

His racism was well known by the current president who hired him, to the school he was hired from and in the UM community during his tenure here. The university is trying to cover that up by distracting with the sexual harassment story, but the real story is the racism.

Under the Tarnished Dome: How Notre Dame Betrayed Its Ideals for Football Glory, 1993, covers racism at Notre Dame and the University of Minnesota in the 1980s (see pp. 174-192). See also The Minneapolis Story, chapter 10, “The University of Minnesota: Burying the Truth Losing its Soul: The Case of Luther Darville: Scapegoat” (pp. 159-172).

The negative campaign started when he was 15-1 (recall that Tubby Smith, a hall of fame coach and player, also won a national championship). The Star Tribune reporter, Amelia Rayno, in her stories, helped Teague carry out his Teague Doctrine to get rid of Black coaches and quarterbacks. For more details on Tubby and the UM, and on Teague and Rayno, see my columns discussing the known Teague doctrine of racism and nullification at UM:

April 03, 2013: Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity.

April 10, 2013: Congratulations, Tubby! Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking. [Includes list of 15 articles on this Tubby "situtation"] .

March, 27, 2014: Was it Tubby Smith’s Fault? Gophers miss NCAA Basketball Tournament.

March, 26, 2015: Its Tubby Smith’s fault, or is it? Gopher season is over.

As the University and Star Tribune still play these racist game, I still sometimes refer to the paper as the Johannesburg Times.

In her cover-up story about Teague in the Star Tribune, August 10, 2015, Rayno admits she spent time with Teague at bars, parties, cars, clubs, his office, his house, etc. Rayno leaves out the substance of conversations, which we know had to include discussions of Norwood Teague’s absolute disdain for African Americans in positions of responsibility and trust, whether Black coaches or Black quarterbacks. He hurt his own case when his liquored loose lips were heard talking. Teague is now another poster child for the old saying, loose lips sink ships. Loose lips also sink programs.

The University of Minnesota and the Star Tribune choose to suppress facts and truth. Working hand in hand, Norwood Teague and Amelia Rayno made it appear that a successful African American coach was under consideration for the UM when all knew that that Black coach loathed the racism of Teague and would never work for him again. The strategy was used to disarm influential University Black alumni, to keep them quiet.

In those conversations over drinks, at cocktail parties, gatherings in Norwood’s home, etc., there was often much discussion of the Negro problem within the UM athletic program. At some point people will ask UM football coach Jerry Kill about the overt racism of Norwood Teague.
Teague acted as a Caesar, ruling through deceit, pettiness, carelessness, and disrespect, details Ms. Rayno left out of her reporting. The Star Tribune and the university should be ashamed for suppressing the truth by saying “we had no idea this was happening.”

We are not concerned about the consensual rendezvous of the AD and reporter. But we are concerned about their attempt to destroy a coach, to destroy a cordial work environment, and to trash the legacy of the many great Black athletes who have served the University for well over a century.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, August 20, 2015
Posted here September 4, 2015, 2:18 am

Justice Alan Page: a man of vision and success
Associate Supreme Court justice retires August 7

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

August 6, 2015

Justice Alan Page has been a life-long success model (high school star athlete, university all star defensive end and consensus All-America at Notre Dame, NFL first-round draft pick, Vikings All Pro defensive tackle, MVP, NFL Hall of Fame).

Nonetheless, as a young man, Alan Page wanted to be an attorney and be on the state Supreme Court. He earned his law degree while playing for the Vikings.

As he stated in 2005, "The lessons that I learned from professional football were many: hard work, discipline, focus, the ability to analyze a problem and work through it. To accept that you don't always win and when you do win that doesn't change who you are."

Throughout his life, Justice Page has served as a role model for young men and women, demonstrating that education matters, as it leads to jobs and careers for those who follow that path. I still remember a wonderful luncheon meeting at the Riverview Supper Club with then-Governor Rudy Perpich, Nellie Stone Johnson (DFL co-founder), Elmer Childress (master electrician, labor leader, and the only African American to serve as commissioner of MN Veterans Affairs), and Leon Rankin (master electrician, contractor, community advocate, most effective labor movement organizer, and devoted family man).

The purpose of the luncheon was to recommend four African American attorneys to be considered for appointment to Minnesota courts. The four outstanding African Americans we recommended to Governor Perpich all went on to make their mark as judges: Michael Davis, Pam Alexander, Lejune Lang, and Alan Page. Three were later appointed to the Hennepin County District court bench. Alan Page later joined the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

As Insight News wrote, February 19, 2015we formed “a highly effective advocacy and civic change movement,” being “civil rights freedom fighters [who] formed the core leadership group of the legendary Minneapolis Urban League Board of Directors” that “in the mid-1970s, gave rise to the MUL national reputation as audacious, relentless, progressive and effective.” When will we get a group like that in Minneapolis for the 21st century?

Alan Page translated the intelligence, hard work, speed and quickness with which he played football to the law. When Alan Page let it be known in 1992 that he sought a seat on the MN Supreme Court, new Govenor Arne Carlson tried to block him, even though he had the support of former Governor Perpich and a significant segment of the African American and White communities. Alan Page challenged the block tried by Governor Carlson, taking on the established order just as he did with so many running backs and quarterbacks. And, in Thurgood Marshall style, he tackled the block.

He won. History was made. He became the first and, so far, only African American to sit on Minnesota’s high court.

We now take the opportunity to thank Justice Alan Page for his humanity, for his commitment to law and justice, and to thank those four African Americans and the governor of the state of Minnesota who saw the value and importance of recommending and supporting Judges Davis, Alexander, Lang, and Page.

This column’s goal and commitment is to make sure history is preserved as is the success of the African American community in championing those who clearly have made a difference while also showing that not just Whites can make it to high positions. Justice Page will continue in retirement to pursue making Minnesota a better place to live and matter.
Thanks Judge Page for a job well done, enabling us to pursue focus, dignity, integrity and humanity.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, August 6, 2015
Posted here August 6, 2015, 9:55 am


Shootings in Charleston, South Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee. 
What was the difference?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 30, 2015

Two more tragic shooting events have rocked the United States.  One was on June 17, in Charleston, South Carolina, where 9 Blacks were shot and killed in an AME church, by a young white man. The second, July 16,  was in  Chattanooga, Tennessee, where 5 whites were shot and killed by a young Muslim man, at two military recruiting stations.  This column will review the eerily and significantly different ways the shooting of whites was handled contrasted to how the shooting of blacks was handled.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the 21 year old killer, Dylan Roof, survived,.  He is a self-described white supremacist.  As Black Americans, we have difficulty accepting this white supremacist not being labeled a domestic terrorist, regardless of whether he was a lone wolf or with others.  It wasn’t until President Obama delivered his eulogy for Rev Pickney, that commentators began to talk about race and domestic terror.

In Chatanooga, Tennessee, the  killer of 5 whites, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, is a naturalized citizen.  The young man, a 24 year old Muslim, was was killed at the scene. Lead headlines in newspapers across America were about Federal Investigators digging deeply into the travel, internet presence and family history of Abdulazeez.   They even took a handcuffed woman out of the Abdulazeez home.  She was not identified, leaving the inference that she was a co-conspirator. 

We still want to know why the same scrutiny wasn’t given to the background and associates of the white shooter of whites in Charleston?  Why weren’t Root’s parents put on public display in Charleston?  Why wasn’t any of Root’s associates taken in handcuffs? Little has been heard about them and their affiliations and relationships. 

A great deal of information has been reported about the time Abdulazeez spent in Jordan over the last year.  His father was a person of interest in the 1990s, who gave money to Muslim charities overseas.  Regardless of the media, the script for international terror with international connections is now in place.

Clearly:  a double standard.

Mr. Root has been presented as an American born terrorist who, other than plagiarizing a Manifesto taken off the web site of one of the most dangerous neo-nazi white supremacist groups in the United States, has been identified as a man with no history with extremist groups in the United States.

Mr. Abdulazeez, who, for a period of ten days in the month prior to his attacks on the military recruitment centers, found employment in a nuclear facility.  That’s kind of scary.   The federal agencies investigating the deaths in Chatanooga, Tennessee have left no rock unturned nor left any doors unopened.  Their investigation has been thorough and intense, as it should be.  But in South Carolina, by contrast, my sense, as a Black American, is that the authorities are just going through the motions, less thorough, less intense. 

Our perception of their behavior, whether correct or not, influences our subsequent interpretations.   The difference in handling these cases has created the sense and feeling in the Black community that there is an imbalance in the perceived importance of Black Americans on one hand and white Americans on the other.   Of course, all are equally important to their families and loved ones, yet seemingly not as important beyond our communities.

In a couple of months, there will be a very detailed report on the investigation that took place regarding the carnage in Chatanooga, Tennessee.

In the case of Charleston, South Carolina, there will be no such due diligence, as it appears that book has been closed.  So, once again, it will be business as usual.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, July 30, 2015
Posted here July 31, 2015, 9:37 am


Sheriff and Black clergy come together
2015: Already a bloody, heartbreaking year of shootings in Minneapolis

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 23, 2015

Hennepin County Sheriff Richard W. Stanek has continually expressed his concern about the violence besieging the African American community. Bishop Richard D. Howell, Jr.. is recognized for his dedication and leadership in service to justice in Hennepin County.

Bishop Howell opened his sanctuary, Shiloh Temple International Ministries church, on July 13th for a crucial 90-minute community meeting attended by senior members of Black clergy, civil rights advocates, and members of Sheriff Stanek’s Community Engagement Committee. A very deep and productive dialogue emerged that will be ongoing.

Thus, Sheriff Stanek and Bishop Howell do more than just give lip service. Bishop Howell’s Shiloh sanctuary is a very valuable resource for humanitarian commitment to the preservation of life to benefit all communities.

The violence driven by guns in pursuit of drugs involves us all, and has pushed many to the brink of absolute fear. In the July 13 meeting, strong Black ecumenical voices, old and new, stood up to say they were prepared to take up the challenge, including clergy who have not sought publicity before.

Although MPD was not present officially, it is not because of any riff; it is because the sheriff is extremely concerned about the intelligence information he is receiving.

Enough is enough. Black clergy at the meeting were clear. Now is the time to absolutely declare that Black lives matter at every level of a functioning society/ We should start by reflecting on how to end shooting each other, for, as Andy Young reminds us, 93 percent of Blacks killed are killed by other Blacks.

Not everyone is going to be satisfied or happy that Sheriff Stanek and Chief Harteau are asking for assistance, including ideas and solutions from the community, not just established career organizations (we have 47 Solution Papers on our website). The chief will be back in the country by the time this column is printed. The Sheriff has made a commitment, working closely with Bishop Howell, to approach the governor, the state’s attorney, and the head of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and others, in a committed action to create solutions.

The insights brought to the discussion were crucial to the message that there is a real willingness to put into effect a plan that will significantly reduce violence in the city and the county. We need to enable young people to see more than hopelessness. We are proportionately at the level of Chicago.

The African American ministers who met with Sheriff Stanek, through the encouragement of Bishop Howell, agreed that enough is enough, and that all lives must matter in all circumstances and conditions, Black and White. These men and women are of good intentions. They have knowledge of the devastation suffocating the African American community. They have indicated their readiness to work tirelessly to address issues of employment, housing and education.

Can they succeed in the task? Yes, if we all work together to make it happen.

At the July 13 meeting at Shiloh church the signal was sent that all who were there are prepared to do all that is humanly possible to protect the future of the Black and White communities, and particularly those who are our future, the young people of our communities. May God give us the strength to turn back the tide that threatens our future and the future of our youth.

We must not fail again. Failure will have severe consequences on us and our future. Pray for strength to turn hope into success for this newly forming alliance.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, July 23, 2015
Posted here July 23, 2015, 6:18 pm


When is enough enough?
Eight shot within one hour on 4th of July


"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 16, 2015

Pull quote: We need to do everything possible to save the future of our children and ourselves.

When is enough enough?

Are we to be like Chicago, with 10 homicides over the Fourth? And what about the 11-year-old African American shot to death on his grandmother’s porch in El Dorado, Arkansas, or the seven-year-old African American child shot and killed walking with his father in Chicago, IL, or the eight African Americans gunned down in a span of one hour and 15 minutes in the heart of downtown Minneapolis? Are we to be a self-besieged community?

Across the country, people are asking Black and White leaders why more reports and slogans without plans that are then put into action? Nellie Stone Johnson gave us the plan: education and training, then jobs, then housing, and then marriage and kids. We have listed 47 solution papers on our website that often also refer to others. Clearly Black and White leaders know what to do. Instead they keep the status quo to keep their jobs.

Pain and heartache is what comes to a community determined to bring about its own demise. In a word: genocide. All we know is that leaders paid to come up with “solutions” are well compensated and rewarded as long as solutions are not enacted and the status quo is kept, whether government, nonprofit, or corporate.

Much of our pain, despair and hopelessness we impose upon ourselves. Too many of our young men in America are in prisons or are dying on the streets or are being pushed away from responsibility. Too many of our young women feel the pain observing our fall from grace. Both our young men and women are asking “Do I have a future?”

Too many give into a feeling that there are no answers. Too many have a clouded vision of our future and our dreams of existence. Why? Where is the pride of the 1960s, the pride of Martin Luther King, Jr.? We are an inventive people. We are a people with a great spirit, a great humanity, a great compassion. But when the casualty figures come in, be they from Chicago, El Dorado, AK, Los Angeles or Minneapolis, it causes doubt in the minds of Black America, especially in regards to Black youth.

Leading the doubt: Black leaders.

History shows that expecting others to devise survival plans means waiting forever.

We need to do our part in taking responsibility for our behavior and neighborhoods.

We can start by establishing working relations and partnerships with policy makers, educators and employers.

We must do it with a sense of urgency, for the longer we wait the harder it will be. Not doing so is crazy, senseless, and shows a lack of purpose.

Without purpose there can be no positive future.

Not to do so is a form of cultural and racial suicide.

We need to exert our strength and exercise our responsibilities and obligations to our sons and daughters. We need to do everything possible to save the future of our children and ourselves.
As Andrew Young pointed out two weeks ago in regards to Black homicides, “93 percent [of] Black people are killed by other Black people.” Young said, “Black lives matter. Let us start believing that we matter.”

Minneapolis leaders and readers: when will Black lives matter to you? Young called for “Unity and healing,” as embraced by the Charleston community in the aftermath of the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME church (see last week’s column). When will you call for unity and healing?
The great leaders of our past knew this. Leaders and led need to step up. Will leaders and led exercise courage, vision, and foresight? God help us as a people if we do nothing. Let’s not let doing nothing be the final report of contemporary Black America and its leaders.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, July 16, 2015,
Posted here Friday, July 17, 2015, at 9:25 a.m.


Unanswered questions in Charleston, SC
Dylan Roof: the disappearing person of interest

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 9, 2015

    “… “…to serve. It is at times a hard choice to make but those hard choices yield great rewards.”
    “… “…— Slain Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney

Pull quote: Targeting Pastor Pinckney was part of a well-planned conspiracy.

Last week I promised to continue to dig into what has seemingly become a universal attempt to make Dylan Roof a “lone wolf” assassin, shooting and killing nine people June 17, 2015, at the Mother Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, SC, in his attempt to create racial mayhem all by himself. Notice the silence about the fact that this was not Mr. Roof’s first time at the church. Roof had been conducting a very sophisticated surveillance of the pastor and the church, Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney.

Young Roof knew both the inside and outside of the church’s layout. Roof also followed Rev. Pinckney from the State Capital in Columbia, SC to his home and church in Charleston, SC, a drive that takes a little over two hours.

We reported in last week’s column that the Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham, Alabama had reviewed Roof’s manifesto and determined — using plagiarism detection software — he copied a lot from a White supremacy web site. In other words, there were co-conspirators assisting him in this heinous act of assassinating one of the most beloved political and religious leaders in South Carolina and eight of his parishioners during their Bible study.

We also learned much by tracing Roof’s escape attempt from Charleston SC into North Carolina. Fleeing on Interstate Highway 26 towards Columbia, SC, and then heading north on Interstate 77, toward Charlotte, NC. Then west on to State Highway 74, which took him towards Shelby, NC, where he was apprehended.

What was it in that direction that he felt would provide him with sanctuary and shelter? Was it to continue along State Highways 74 and 64, and then turn north onto Routes 25 and 70, going through Ashville, NC, towards a White supremacy camp located between the small towns of Marshall and Mars Hill, North Carolina?

The camp, between Interstate 26 and North Carolina State Highways 25, 70 and Route 213, is in a region that is a hot bed of White extremist terrorist activity in that part of North Carolina. We know the problem is not over because of six Black Churches being burned in the South since the Charleston Massacre.

But it was the mistake 14 hours before his apprehension that supports our claim:  officials and media already talking about his upcoming 21st birthday.  Targeting Pastor Pinckney was part of a well-planned conspiracy.

The system must now make disappear the fact that there was a conspiracy to assassinate a leading Black political leader in South Carolina. Hence the insistence by state and federal authority that Mr. Roof acted alone and without assistance.

This assassination is a reminder of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Tennessee, and the similarities with the escape and apprehension of King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, as he attempted to board a flight to South Africa from London’s Heathrow International Airport.

It’s almost as if the same individuals or agencies planned both of these actions, almost 50 years apart. Is that a coincidence? There is betting in some quarters that Mr. Roof, in the tradition of Jack Ruby, will not survive to stand trial.

I hope that that is not true, because justice must still be served, and the racial stability of our nation depends upon all the facts being known. Justice will not be served if those who planned the carnage of racial hatred are allowed to go unidentified.
God bless America.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, July 9, 2015,
Posted here Friday, July 10, 2015, at 1:25 a.m. of the 11th.


Well Planned Execution in Charleston, South Carolina
One of America’s Most Respected Black Leaders:  target?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 2, 201

The shooting of 9 Blacks in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), Wednesday, June 17, in Charleston, South Carolina, was horrific.  The 21 year-old mentally disturbed white man, terrorist Dylann Roof, identifies himself as one who hates and fears Blacks.  Blacks responded with the politics of love, signaling a great unintended consequence that few like Roof expected:  the  beginning of the end of love for the Old Confederacy.

The cold, calculating execution of the nine victims, between the ages of 26 and 87, caught America’s and the world’s attention.  Conservative and liberal politicians alike are finally taking a close look at the negative consequences of negative views on race relations, attitudes, and policies. 

Charleston, famous for its helpful citizens, learned from Ferguson and Baltimore.  Families / friends of the victims led the nation with the first step to bridge the understanding gap between blacks and whites, being heroes responding with Martin Luther King, Jr’s non-violence peace and forgiveness strategy.  Who knows more about the “masters” and “their plantations?” 

Reflecting their church’s teaching, they disavowed violence, and offered forgiveness and reconciliation.  In the 1860s, whites fought.  Today, Blacks are offering love, forgiveness and reconciliation.  This model of love and forgiveness spread:  the Republican governor of South Carolina proposed furling the Confederate Battle Flag at the state capital.  Wal-Mart and Boeing offered immediate support, as did an array of profit and non-profit organizations.

Both Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., in their own time, said economics would end “the issue” in the South.  That has also been our theme since this column started in 2003 (see our first solution paper, The Negative Economics of Racism), which is why we continually repeat Nellie Stone Johnson’s key to reconciliation, her mantra of “no education, no jobs, no housing.”

This reminds us of South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Ubuntu Theology of Reconciliation (our Solution Paper #18), as well as the title of a book that influenced South Africa to end Apartheid:  The Passing Summer:  A South African's Response to White Fear, Black Anger, and the Politics of Love. 

That still leaves those few who think like Mr. Roof and those who get out of thinking by saying he acted as a “lone wolf.”  Both are unhealthy and naïve views. 

A question so far not asked by others:   was the 41 year-old pastor of the church, State Senator Clementa Pinckney, the intended target?  We think so.  Roof waited an hour for Pastor Pinckney to join the group, which is when Roof then opened fire.  This very real question of co-conspirators must be examined. 

The white hero is the tenacious female florist outside of Shelby, North Carolina, who’s actions enabled police to apprehend Mr. Roof.

It has already been reported, using plagiarism detection software, that much of his 2,000 word Manifesto and many of its philosophical points, were copied from a neo-Nazi web site.  Again:  who helped this ninth grade dropout put together his manifesto? 

A majority of White and Black citizens joined to call for an end to displaying the symbols and substance of the Old Confederacy and its prejudice, discrimination, and historic treason, symbols that have supported Black churches being bombed, burned and shot into by hateful white terrorist individuals and groups rallying under these symbols. 

Let’s pray for the nine souls lost.  Let’s not forget the hundreds of thousands lost since the time we were first brought to these shores.  Let’s pray for the future of the sons and daughters of the African.   Let’s pray for the violated sanctuaries turned into killing fields, and stop taking them for granted.

Stay tuned. 

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, July 2, 2015
Posted here Sunday, July 5, 2015, 11:59 p.m.


Did they get it right in Spokane regarding Rachel Dolezal?
The questionable and jaundiced role of CNN

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

June 25, 2015

“One ever feels his twoness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”
      — W.E.B. Du BoisThe Souls of Black Folk

“I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.”
      — W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois, along with White civil rights activists, founded the Niagra Movement in 1905. Five years later, the Niagra Movement became the NAACP. It has always been led by both Black and White leaders, as it is a unity movement, not a separatist one. Its history in Spokane (1.9 percent Black), of both Black and White NAACP presidents, reflects the Niagra Movement.

This is the background of the controversy leading to the June 15, 2015 resignation of Rachel Dolezal as president of the Spokane NAACP, a White woman raised in a biracial home (four Black step brothers) who says she has had the sense of being Black since she was five. Her Black stepbrother says she is “racially human” but “culturally Black.” Spokane has had no problem with this, but some have called her “deranged,” with “mental problems,” the opposite of the spirit the W.E. Du Bois and the Niagra Movement. Shame.

The NAACP betrays itself when casting itself as a Black organization rather than a civil rights organization. Why was Rachel Dolezal’s self-identity so offensive to her parents and others?

CNN started this with their yellow journalism. Black Sammy Davis, Jr., proclaimed, “I am a Jew.” Former Olympic decathlon Gold Metal winner Bruce Jenner has proclaimed, “I am a woman,” Caitlin Jenner. Are we to be known by our civil rights seeking or blood drop seeking?

Rachel Dolezal is a college professor, an academic expert on African American culture, and is the mayor’s appointed chairwoman of a police oversight committee to keep an eye on fairness in police work. Key documents providing insight into this controversy include her resignation letter of June 15, 2015, as well as the court documents in the emancipation hearings of her Black stepbrother, in 2010, who wanted to live with her and not with their abusive parents. She was later appointed legal guardian of her brother.

Rachel Dolezal’s complex, challenging and comprehensive civil rights story deserves honest and complete reporting, an obligation and requirement CNN and too many print journalists and broadcast commentators have failed to meet.

Her June 15, 2015 letter of resignation provides insight into her commitment to the philosophy and the doctrine of the Niagra Movement and the NAACP. She is a sister committed to our national quest for equality of opportunity for all. Let’s embrace the dream of unity of Martin Luther King, Jr., not separatism.

Clearly, Rachel Dolezal is a person well versed in the history of the African slaves descendants’ experience in America. She has a sense of mission and purpose in life too many neither understand nor support. Shame. She understands studies of anthropologists and historians regarding history’s raids and migrations mixing blood drops across racial lines.

The issue should be keeping our eyes on the prize of civil rights. Rachael Dolezal reflects the rich legacy and history that has evolved from that first gathering in Niagra Falls, NY, 110 years ago. It is our duty to continue the fight for unity of Black inclusion in society, in education, jobs and housing.

Spokane got it right. CNN and Minneapolis got it all wrong. God bless Black America and God bless those who have joined in the struggle for the survival of Black America, irrespective of skin color.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, June 25, 2015,
Posted here Sunday, July 5, 2015, 11:59 p.m.


Did they get it right in Spokane regarding Rachel Dolezal?
The questionable and jaundiced role of CNN

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

June 18, 2015

“One ever feels his twoness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” — W.E.B. Du BoisThe Souls of Black Folk

“I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.”
— W.E.B. Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois, along with White civil rights activists, founded the Niagra Movement in 1905. Five years later, the Niagra Movement became the NAACP. It has always been led by both Black and White leaders, as it is a unity movement, not a separatist one. Its history in Spokane (1.9 percent Black), of both Black and White NAACP presidents, reflects the Niagra Movement.

This is the background of the controversy leading to the June 15, 2015 resignation of Rachel Dolezal as president of the Spokane NAACP, a White woman raised in a biracial home (four Black step brothers) who says she has had the sense of being Black since she was five. Her Black stepbrother says she is “racially human” but “culturally Black.” Spokane has had no problem with this, but some have called her “deranged,” with “mental problems,” the opposite of the spirit the W.E. Du Bois and the Niagra Movement. Shame.

The NAACP betrays itself when casting itself as a Black organization rather than a civil rights organization. Why was Rachel Dolezal’s self-identity so offensive to her parents and others?

CNN started this with their yellow journalism. Black Sammy Davis, Jr., proclaimed, “I am a Jew.” Former Olympic decathlon Gold Metal winner Bruce Jenner has proclaimed, “I am a woman,” Caitlin Jenner. Are we to be known by our civil rights seeking or blood drop seeking?

Rachel Dolezal is a college professor, an academic expert on African American culture, and is the mayor’s appointed chairwoman of a police oversight committee to keep an eye on fairness in police work. Key documents providing insight into this controversy include her resignation letter of June 15, 2015, as well as the court documents in the emancipation hearings of her Black stepbrother, in 2010, who wanted to live with her and not with their abusive parents. She was later appointed legal guardian of her brother.

Rachel Dolezal’s complex, challenging and comprehensive civil rights story deserves honest and complete reporting, an obligation and requirement CNN and too many print journalists and broadcast commentators have failed to meet.

Her June 15, 2015 letter of resignation provides insight into her commitment to the philosophy and the doctrine of the Niagra Movement and the NAACP. She is a sister committed to our national quest for equality of opportunity for all. Let’s embrace the dream of unity of Martin Luther King, Jr., not separatism.

Clearly, Rachel Dolezal is a person well versed in the history of the African slaves descendants’ experience in America. She has a sense of mission and purpose in life too many neither understand nor support. Shame. She understands studies of anthropologists and historians regarding history’s raids and migrations mixing blood drops across racial lines.

The issue should be keeping our eyes on the prize of civil rights. Rachael Dolezal reflects the rich legacy and history that has evolved from that first gathering in Niagra Falls, NY, 110 years ago. It is our duty to continue the fight for unity of Black inclusion in society, in education, jobs and housing.

Spokane got it right. CNN and Minneapolis got it all wrong. God bless Black America and God bless those who have joined in the struggle for the survival of Black America, irrespective of skin color.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, June 25, 2015,
Posted here Thursday, June 25, 11:54 p.m.


The U. S. Commission on Civil Rights’ benign neglect of Black communities continues

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the print weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and online weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

June 18, 2015

As a result of the September 15, 2011 meeting in Minneapolis of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, led by Commission Chairman Martin R. Castro, I predicted in my September 21, 2011 column (United States Commission on Civil Rights Was in Town To Examine Racial Disparity in Unemployment in the Twin Cities) that the US COMMISION and its 52 state ADVISORY COMMITTEES would continue their troubling pattern of benign neglect of the racial disparities across America in general, and in the Twin Cities in particular.

The COMMISSION and its 52 ADVISORY COMMITTEES continues to practice benign neglect across the country, as seen in Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Watts, and other cities at the center of riots in the ’60s and ’70s, despite its to do otherwise.

We thought the Commission’s Minnesota Advisory Committee would assist the public examination of issues confronting African American communities and report. I sat in on the extraordinary six-and-a-half-hour meeting. We were wrong. The information gained from the public — sworn testimony from a variety of experts on various civil rights issues — was kept quiet, as the Commission, City and local Black leaders didn’t want the people to know the awful truth.

The most dramatic and intense testimony that September 21, 2011 came from Mr. Robby Norman, Chief Operating Officer of Thor Construction, who blistered and challenged all companies, governments and agencies involved, the construction industry, the City of Minneapolis, and the Civil Rights Department under Velma Korbel, who also sat as a member of the Minnesota civil rights advisory committee. No wonder they didn’t want the information released. No wonder they didn’t want the community to provide oral or written testimony.

It became common knowledge that the administration of Mayor Rybak, including Velma Korbel and her Civil Rights Department, did not want the Commission information made common knowledge. Understandable. A nationally recognized consulting firm in Austin, Texas, examined the Minneapolis compliance data 11 months earlier, which reported the failure of contract compliance and enforcement of the Minneapolis civil rights ordinance.

Velma Korbel and the chair of the advisory committee made certain that the Rybak administration would not be embarrassed or scrutinized. The audio and video of that six-and-a-half-hour hearing at St. Thomas University Minneapolis campus has “disappeared.” Black lives didn’t matter then to the Commission or Ryback administration. “Doesn’t matter” holds for today as well.

We must stay vigilant to prevent the demise of the African American community and its dreams. Shredding of documents, “disappearing” audio and video tapes, falsifying numbers, are now seen as standard practices. That must stop. It has caused more than just despair and frustration. It has created dangerous anger within the African American community.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission is accepting applications for the Minnesota advisory committee for replacements for those whose terms end in July 2015.

What we are looking for is a demonstration of Commission concern for such issues as:

• Expulsion & suspension of African American children from grades K-12.

• Poor education.

• Lack of economic opportunities and jobs.

• Limited housing options for African Americans throughout the state of    Minnesota.

• Lost representation and voice in the political future of African    Americans, especially at city council level.

• Stopping random and purposeful violence.

Too many “leaders” spend their time at DFL dinner parties, cheesing, bucking and winging and giving lip service to concern. If the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and its representatives in Minnesota will not review and take seriously their statutory responsibilities, they should be laid to rest and go the way of the American buffalo — extinction, now and forever.

It is important that we be concerned for the future of civil rights and for the future and safety of our children. This is not the time to play the fool in White Minnesota.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Wednesday, June 17, 2015,
Posted here Sunday, June 21, 11:55 p.m.

====================
====================

US COMMISSION on Civil Rights mission includes (with emphasis added): “….. independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency… to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws … by studying alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice.

Mission of the 52 State Advisory COMMITTEES (emphasis added): …..to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws … by studying alleged ….. discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice.

FROM 9-21-11 COLUMN, United States Commission on Civil Rights Was in Town. The Commission is obviously attempting to sanitize and protect the reputation of liberals, both Black and white. The statements made before the Commission September 15, 2011, at the University of St. Thomas, do not match in purpose what the Commission says on its own web site: “To investigate complaints alleging … fraudulent practices, … . discrimination or a denial of equal protection of the laws because of race, color” nor “in the administration of justice. Minneapolis has committed all of these fraudulent practices. If the Commission is not here to verify that it con only be here to cover it up.
All of these actions begin to add up to three days of infamy.

If the Commission is serious about Truth, it will read my February 10, 2010 column that answers, with facts and figures, the question, Where did it all go wrong? and it will read my March 31, 2011 Solution paper, Planning For The Positive Future …..of the African American community, which lists the links to the facts and figures in over 5 dozen columns printed in this paper that the Commission should read, if it is serious.


Suspensions by race on the increase in the MPS

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

June 11, 2015

Former Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Superintendent Dr. Bernadeia Johnson and former Green Central Principal Lorraine Cruz were oftentimes misunderstood in regards to their vision for the education of all children, K-12.

Our February 5, 2015 column (“Chaos once again at Green Central”) reported how leadership did not support their vision to find other ways to deal with youngsters other than the easy bureaucratic way of suspensions, especially K-3, even knowing such suspensions have extremely adverse effects on K-12 students, especially K-3.

Four months ago, I raised two questions (still awaiting answers) about Minneapolis’ high comfort level destroying those fighting for equal education: “Who will stop the violating of education opportunities for children of color? Who will see that their parents receive a fair and adequate seat at the school’s decision table?”

Despite the Federal Department of Education’s urging of finding positive ways to decrease disproportionate suspensions, so-called liberal Minneapolis leadership, Black and White, remains tragically silent.

Rather than keep civil rights’ eye on the prize, leadership has attacked Dr. Johnson’s suspension policy decision, leading MPS back to harmful bureaucratic business as usual — not education, but increasing African American suspensions and expulsions, reviving “separate but equal.”

These acts of exclusion by White and Black leaders allows commitments to diversity, fairness and equal opportunity for all students in our schools to be ignored, depriving students of equal protection guaranteed by the 14th amendment. We must not forget the peril of turning our backs on these prophetic words from the 1940s and 1950s:

  • Nellie Stone Johnson: Without education, no jobs; without jobs no housing (think Vikings stadium).
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.: We are unqualified but qualifyable (think qualify through education and training).
  • Kenneth Clark doll studies: Segregated Blacks in south but not integrated Blacks in north internalized being
  • Thurgood Marshall: Separate but equal in public education…[has a] detrimental effect on Negro children (think of how the profound insensitivity to injustice is the crucible if racial discrimination: separate as unequal).
  • Words:  “Inferior,” “bad,” and “ugly” (think how “separate but equal” is “brutal and absurd”).
  • Chief Justice Warren: Only reason [for] segregation…is inferiority of Negroes (think: thus no segregation as Negroes are not inferior).

One of the most successful approaches to obstructing Black education and thwarting a community’s acquisition of a place at the table of equality of opportunity is to cut off their children from education and discourage their learning in order to prevent enhancing their skills and prevent developing an ambition to succeed.

Worldwide those fostering exclusion commit a form of racial genocide, tremendously helped by institutional education homicide made to look like individual education suicide.

Increasing suspensions and accelerating expulsions attacks opportunities of African American children. Shame on Whites, but even more shame on us for allowing our kids’ exclusion. Shame on leadership’s silence and cowardliness in the face of the obstructed education journey for our K-12 students.

We, the sons and daughters of immigrant African slaves, continue our 400 year long attempt to integrate into this exceptional country, to advance beyond new attempts to preserve plantations, cotton fields and Jim Crow. When we repeat devastating patterns of educational segregation, despite our self-description of being a liberal enclave, we in Minneapolis allow the African American child to be an intentional target of racism and nullification in the name of public order and safety.

Black leadership today has slipped away from not only our heritage but our wisdom, as Black leadership joins the problems they used to fight, masquerading as clergy, nonprofits, government agencies, charities, in order to achieve elite status and elite pay for leadership at the cost of betraying our students’ present and their future.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, June 11, 2015, 2015
Posted here Sunnday, June 14, 2015, 3:33 p.m.


A violent Memorial Day in Minneapolis
Gunfire echoes across the city

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

June 4, 2015

The warning signs for the current violence have been present for at least six days. We are not surprised, as we predicted a violent summer months ago and asked what the plan for it would be. We still wait.

The echoes of gunfire in Minneapolis, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend signals how real our concerns are about pending danger lurking on Minneapolis streets. What a sad irony of street casualties on a weekend to honor heroes, not disrespect them or the communities and freedom they fought for.

Memorial Day weekend experienced six shooting scenes.

One was along the 2700 block of 3rd street North. Gunmen opened fire, and when the smoke cleared, three young men had been shot. One was dead at the scene, two others were rushed to hospitals by friends.

According to the Star Tribune story of this shooting (“1 dead in north Minneapolis shooting after neighborhood dispute), the police said that the shooting was a “neighborhood dispute that erupted in gunfire,” that it “is not considered random,” and that it “did not appear to involve gangs.” I disagree. It was gang related.

The reporter then compared the shooting to a neighborhood dispute a year ago when one neighbor fatally shot another in a feud over feeding deer. Comparing shootings in a gang feud to a feud over feeding deer?

A second shooting occurred an hour later in the vicinity of the 3000 block of 3rd Street North, as gunmen brandished their guns.

A third scene: gunfire along the 3700 block of Lyndale Avenue North. Reinforcements had to be called in.

A fourth shooting occurred around 5:30 pm along 26th Avenue North. In a very short period of time, both sheriff and Minneapolis police were seen moving along 26th Ave North between Penn and Fremont, almost like a convoy.

A fifth shooting, Sunday morning: shots fired and two people wounded in the vicinity of Phyllis Wheatley, along 11th Avenue and Humboldt Avenue.

A sixth: gunfire in South Minneapolis. Casualty specifics at the time of the writing of this column Monday night, May 25, were yet to be verified.
These “incidents” make quite clear that there are serious and dangerous problems. The shootings on Memorial Day in North Minneapolis are said by reliable sources to be in retaliation for the death of a young African American gang member outside the Fourth Street Saloon, at 4th and Broadway two weeks ago.

How long and how often will shots continue to reverberate in both North and South Minneapolis? Most troubling about this Memorial Day weekend violence is the absence of African American leadership on the streets to help bring calm to a community under siege. Our warning two months ago to have a plan to prepare for a long, hot summer has come true, threatening the very fiber of peace and tranquility that citizens have a right to expect.

We are not casting blame; there is plenty to go around. Rather, we are calling attention to how a lack of planning results in reducing the safety of the residents of the African American community.

Some people feel that the Black community has been marginalized to the extent that Black lives are not of value, that Black lives do not matter, and by the silence of those who should be saying that all Black lives matter, a dangerous element in this city exposes that Black lives cannot or will not be protected. Let us pray that that assumption is incorrect and that there are plans for safety for the African American community in Minneapolis.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, June 4, 2015
Posted here Monday, June 1, 2015, 3:33 p.m.


The Lynx have earned world respect!
Most successful MN sports franchise in last 10 years!

May 28, 2015

Minnesota’s “culture of winning” team, the WNBA Minnesota Lynx, opened their 2015 training camp May 17 in their new downtown facility. They start their new season June 5. 

The Lynx are led by their unselfish “Big Three” “engines of excellence,” who helped lead the USA National Basketball team to the 2014 FIBA world championship gold medal:

  • Maya Moore, 2014 USA Basketball female athlete of the year, MVP of 2014 FIBA world championships
  • Seimone Augustus, A five-time WNBA all-star, MVP of the Lynx 2011 WNBA championship team
  • Lindsay Whelan, World and Olympic titles with U.S. Woman’s National Team, two WNBA titles with the Lynx

The Lynx team is Minnesota’s most successful sports team, pro or collegiate, winning WNBA titles in 2011 and 2013, qualifying for WNBA Playoffs six of their 16 years. Their goal this year: win third league title in five years. No other team in Minnesota comes close. This is the most successful part of Glenn Taylor’s sports empire, well managed and much loved by their fans.

And yet this franchise is not treated with the respect they have earned, having done so game after game, year after year. Shame on the two major newspapers of Minneapolis and St. Paul, who report on the other teams as if they are contenders.

We wonder why Sid Hartman, dean of Minnesota sports writers, continues his attitude expressed years ago that he didn’t see any reason to say anything about women playing basketball. Sid: Fans have a reason. Check out the Lynx and find out why. 

The Lynx play great, exciting and entertaining basketball. They demonstrate by their play how much they love the game. Our other teams seem to “win” only at making excuses for why they don’t win. 

  • The Twins: have lost over 100 games for three consecutive years
  • The Timberwolves: a dream waiting to come true.
  • The Vikings: only four playoff appearances in the past 14 years
  • The Wild: qualified for playoffs only six of 15 years; never made it to a league championship series.
  • The Gophers basketball team: could not even procure an invitation to the NIT; football team: although seven players were drafted by the NFL for the 2015 season, their W-L record left them with only a midlevel bowl game.

The Lynx win championships. Their fan base has grown in spite of Twin Cities media. It is a pleasure to watch young ladies from pre-school through retirement age to have such pride and love for their Lynx team.

The Lynx is comprised of great young women athletes with a demonstrated desire to win. They have a tremendous commitment to their fans on and off the court. They have earned the right to be the lead story on nightly sports shows and on page one of sports sections.

We need reporters who acknowledge the success of the winningest franchise on the Minnesota sports scene, whether pro or college. The only reporter who has done right by the Lynx is the MSR’s own Charles Hallman.

The Lynx have earned respect for being the sports royalty they are. Let’s show our appreciation for a franchise that has established a culture of winning, a culture of acquiring championships, and a culture of being loved by their fans. I attend games. I urge all my readers to do so. You will have a joyful time.

It takes more than new stadiums or media propaganda to win, although they play their role, and more than big contracts for players that don’t deliver, as with the Twins. The Lynx win with players who love the game, who know how to win and want to express their appreciation for their fan base by doing so.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published MSR Thursday, May 28, 2015
Posted here Monday, June 1, 2015, 11:10 p.m.


Keefe case thrown out by 8th Circuit eight years after filed

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

May 21, 2015

Eight years is a long time for a federal court to delay a decision (see Minneapolis Star Tribune headline, May 11, 2015: “Eighth circuit tosses out case alleging police corruption”). Why did it take them so long to get it so wrong, using strange claims, such as saying there was no “inhumane abuse of official power?” So what is “humane abuse of power?” Isn’t abuse abuse?
As we have documented for over a decade, there is still unsettled what Keefe calls “a massive case of corruption.” Thus we are stunned that Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal still says that her office is “without any evidence” regarding Keefe’s claims.
In 2007, Lt. Michael Keefe was selected to command the Violent Offenders Task Force (VOTF) funded by federal and state funds. Keefe, a White man, discovered corruption in the VOTF Unit (such as overtime abuse ranging from $50-109 thousand of some officers, a statistically improbable arrest rate of 98 percent African Americans, etc.). Keefe was relieved of his VOTF command, despite high-command and high-performance ratings.  He was demoted to sergeant.

Evidence: see the Star Tribune stories of February 2, 2008, April 6, 2011, September 2011, and its four-part 2009 series `The Informant' reporting on police department corruption, particularly part three, May 11, 2009, regarding informant Taylor Trump. Check out the April 22, 2009 front page massive headline, “The Police vs. the Police.” That four-part series raised a lot of questions that still await answers.

Evidence: see our columns of August 29, 2007,  November 26, 2008, and May 18, 2011. See also our extensive blog entry of December 14, 2007, about the five Black “Mill City 5” officers, who, with information provided by Michael Keefe, led the city to avoid a trial by offering a settlement of $750,000 for the five, which they accepted. All are still members of the MPD (two sergeants, two lieutenants, and one deputy chief).

Evidence: the FBI reported the egregious resistance from White officers to work with Black officers, using the “N” word and other racially charged and derogatory terms about Black police officers, as well as confirming the significant overtime abuse and the 98 percent African American arrest number.

Evidence: the five Black “Mill City” police officers made similar charges, including evidence supplied by Keefe. Rather than risk a trial, the city offered to settle for $750,000 settlement with those five officers.

Evidence: Michael Keefe has put his job, his health, and his life on the line for justice.

And so we again ask: Why was Keefe’s case tossed out? Lt. Michael Keefe was not a man who was lying or making up issues when talking about racism and corruption in the city of Minneapolis and its police dept. Powerful forces can’t stand anyone fighting or exposing racism and corruption.

Some people say we need to move on, leave old problems behind and move on with the new ones. But aren’t these old ones the new ones of today as well, as we see in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, our own Minneapolis, etc.? Shouldn’t officers like Michael Keefe be encouraged to stay and continue to serve rather than be pushed into retirement?

The May 11, 2015 Star Tribune story (“Eighth circuit tosses out case alleging police corruption”) gives the impression the claims Keefe brought are new, not eight years ago and still waiting answers. Instead his case is tossed aside in a most cavalier manner. We encourage readers to review the four-part series and other statements and documentation referenced. How nervous does it leave you about tomorrow?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted here Thursday, May 21, 2015, 1:05 p.m.

See these related, past colums and blogs:

--- November, 05, 2014: Poor timing, dishonest reporting. Demoted MPD Captains in Star Tribune story of October 28, 2014
--- August, 27, 2014: 6% Blacks in MPD. When will we get the numbers right?
--- June, 18, 2014: The Keefe Report has been released into the open. Yet “they” continue to try to bury what can no longer be buried
---
June, 4, 2014: Keefe file now open to the public. Sgt. Michael Keefe waits his day in court
---
April, 24, 2014: The continuing battle of Sgt. Michael Keefe, and the disappearance of Black police officers from the MPD
--- December 14, 2007, 12-14-07, Blog:
The Twin Towers of Minneapolis' Nullification and Reversal Begin to Finally Crumble as 5 Black Officers Sue the City for discrimination.
--- September 9, 2007, Blog: Mayor, Police Chief and Democrats out of control (or a stealth plan?)

--- January 17, 2007,: The End Of Diversity In The MPD: Another example of "The Forces of Nullification and Reversal"


Mariln Mosby Does Her Job
Other States's Attorneys across the country need to catch up.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

May 14, 2015

Pull quote: Ms. Mosby restored hope to African Americans all across the United States.

On May 1, 2015, the elected Maryland State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, African American Marilyn Mosby, carried out her responsibility and duties without needless delay. She “announced charges against six Baltimore City police officers for their alleged role in the death of Freddie Gray.” Three Black, three White (five are men; one woman).

What the ultimate verdict will be on the 3-5 counts on each will be determined in court regarding the cause(s) Freddie Gray’s death and the causes of the ensuing riots.  Only time will tell. The case has garnered much worldwide attention.

The key: Ms. Mosby began her office’s “independent investigation…upon receiving notice of the incident,” without delay. The young Ms. Mosby (“the youngest chief prosecutor of any major city in America”) is already serving as an example for state’s attorneys, county attorneys and city attorneys across the United States.

It will be more difficult to delay action and announcements for future investigations. It is painful to say that the mayor’s police department and investigators had neither the tenaciousness nor the aggressiveness to move as quickly.

Contrary to liberal critics, this was not a rush to judgment. Ms. Mosby showed that commitment resulting in the pursuit of justice could be achieved without delay, as she demonstrates: April 12, Freddy Grey arrested.  April 13: began investigating the circumstances involving the arrest and, when hearing of his death on April 19th, was already deep into her investigation, of which the results and arrest counts were announced on May 1st. 
 
At the time of Gray’s death, Mosby was already six days into that investigation. The coroner’s office ruled Freddie Gray’s death a homicide (human killed by human(s)), raising all the obvious questions: Was the double-broken vertebra an accident? Involuntary? Negligence? Incompetence? Premeditated? Role of shackles? Why no use of seat belt?

Each officer is charged with three-to-six counts. Among the counts, depending on the officer, misconduct in office, second-degree assault, involuntary manslaughter, depraved heart murder.

She kept the investigation quiet and stayed away from leaks, unlike the Baltimore Police Department and Mayor Rawlings Blake.

In moving as quickly as possible, Ms. Mosby restored hope to African Americans all across the United States, as she models what too many Black leaders lack: quickly taking nonviolent action to change the city by showing all lives matter, doing so under the color of law.
She comes from a law enforcement family (grandfather, father and three uncles). She has been recognized by both the voters and her peers (“50 Women to Watch,” “Leading Women,” “Top 40 under 40”).

Mosby is a public official elected by the citizens of Baltimore City, who takes seriously her job to prosecute those who violate the law and take a human being’s life. I would think that all true constitutionalists would be proud of how Ms. Mosby cut through the bureaucratic red tape that strangles justice for those who for far too long have been denied a seat at the table of justice.

In the law schools of the future, Marilyn Mosby will be remembered as a prosecutor who took great pride in her oath of office and her commitment to the residents and voters of Baltimore City. I have a great appreciation and respect for public officials who do their jobs without excuses.

In Fergusson and St. Louis, MO, they did the wrong things in the wrong ways with the wrong results. Officer Darren Wilson of St. Louis should be happy he wasn’t on patrol in Baltimore, MD in the summer of 2014 with Ms. Mosby as chief prosecutor. God bless Ms. Mosby as she moves forward toward the jury results of weighing the charges.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Published in Minneaplis Spokesman-Recorder, May 14, 2015
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2015, 1:05 a.m.


Where is the equity audit?
Legislative auditor fails to file equity part of Stadium Equity report.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

May 7, 2015

Pull quote:  Denying young people opportunity in education and jobs can lead to frustration and riots….  

What will result from prevented opportunities in Minneapolis? We ask the legislative auditor to determine the authenticity and integrity of the contractor reports on hiring hours by equity category.

On May 14, 2012, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed Vikings Stadium bill, House File 2958. It was touted as a Mona
Lisa
, a perfect creation, bringing a windfall of prosperity for Minnesota businesses and workers alike.

Unlike the Twins and Gophers stadiums that had few minority workers, it was promised that this time there would be significant hiring of Twin Cities African Americans and the legislature would audit it, providing an annual review, audit, and certification that the accuracy and authenticity of all matters of business transactions and employment (including equity employment) affiliated with this billion dollar public project would be audited (see Stadium bill Section 11.4, sub-paragraph 7, entitled “Audit”).

Instead, the Legislative auditor is not doing the equity category employment audits, as the newly created Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) is having the employers keep track (easier to falsify their own books when doing the equity auditing themselves, as they did with the earlier Twins and Gophers stadiums).

The legislative auditor is only auditing the financial side, leaving the reporting of how many workers by equity categories (minorities, African Americans, women, veterans, etc.), to the contractors. The contractors-foxes are again falsifying the hen house-stadium equity hiring numbers (See 2014 and 2015)

Three years ago we wrote that we trusted the Minnesota Legislative Auditor’s office to fulfill its responsibilities and obligations. We still do. What we didn’t figure is that the audit of hiring categories would be defined away to the contractors, not the Legislative Auditor. That leaves us with questions and concerns.

The latest report, January 15, 2015, entitled “Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Legislative Report,” does not meet the statute that entrusts the final examination of the accounts, the numbers, the books, the distribution and the certification by the legislative auditor, as equity hiring numbers are not included.

Reports indicate that the minority community hires (Blacks, separate from women and veterans), have absorbed 317,347,000 hours. But has it? In the area of targeted business inclusion, the MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises) have been awarded $2,852,690. Did they? These numbers are from the firm HKS. Mortensen and its companion partner, Thor, have received $69,037,137 in salaries and compensation for minorities. This suggests a tremendous economic surge for the African Americans. But did it?

Stadium Bill, House File 2958, includes a specific provision in Section 17, Line 18.32, regarding employment and those organizations that would be given priority in the area of recruitment, training, and job development (one of the areas, Section 17, line 19.12, at least benefits one of the legislative authors).

The legislation encompasses the opportunity to concentrate heavily in the areas of zip codes centralized in North Minneapolis
.

The legislation states: “establish workforce utilization goals equal to at least current city goals, including workers from city zip codes that have high rates of poverty and unemployment.” And yet the document submitted by EAF (Employment Assistance Firm) reports only 129 hours out of those zip code areas, out of a total work force utilization of 317,142 hours.   129 hours. This is very troubling.
What is the explanation? January and February were very productive months for construction on the stadium. Yet submitted documents for 2014 were the same as those submitted for 2013 by the same 12 organizations that were paid $315,000 for recruiting and hiring in a variety of apprenticeship positions. Where are they?  Where did the money go?

Denying young people opportunity in education and jobs can lead to frustration and riots, whether in towns that have mostly White officials and police, as in Ferguson, or mostly Black officials (mayor, police chief, council, etc.) and police, as in Baltimore. What will result from prevented opportunities in Minneapolis?

We ask the legislative auditor to determine the authenticity and integrity of the contractor reports on hiring hours by equity category. The legislative auditor has the authority and the power to recommend the appropriate action, as his office will, in the case of the investigation of the Minneapolis Urban League. We expect a fair and equal distribution of required sanctions.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, May 7, 2014, 2:37 a.m.


Terrorism in the Homeland
US Attorney says danger is present in the Twin Cities

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

April 30, 2015

US Attorney Andrew Lugar sounded a warning on Tuesday, April 21, 2015: that terrorism recruitment had penetrated the liberal comfort of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.

Lugar’s office announced the arrest of six young Minneapolis Somalis, four arrested in the Twin Cities, two arrested in San Diego, aged 19-21, the result of the federal task force that has long been probing activities of terrorist groups operating in the Twin Cities.

It is easy to radicalize young men when all they think they are offered are fear, poverty, humiliation and no positive future. The question is not that it is taking place but why it didn’t happen sooner, given how Minnesota fosters status quo in the Black community, not prosperity through education and jobs.

Black leadership in the Twin City community has rarely talked about the radicalization of our young African Americans. Did not both white and blacks do so in the 60s and 70s with the counter culture and Vietnam war protests, until whites again left them behind? To not talk about this kind of radicalization is to close an already blind eye to the reality of this struggle by young people world-wide.

The danger of recruitment and planning for home grown terrorist activity was seen a year ago, on January 1, 2014, when a building exploded along Cedar Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. There was little discussion about that incident nor about those who died nor about the Federal government intercepting messages from the Twin Cities to terrorist operatives in Nairobi, Kenya and Mogadishu, Somalia.

There have already been deaths in the combat zones of Syria of young men born and raised in Minnesota.

The government’s anti-terrorism task force is quite aware of the associations and the activities of radicalizing young African American men inside and outside the United States. Black leadership in the Twin Cities has shown no appetite to address this threat nor take steps to combat it. One must take note that no elected politicians, including our 5th District Congressman, have provided us with a sense of concern nor recommendations for facing the radicalization of our young African Americans, a clear threat to our state, as its not only young Somalis who feel left out of society and the economy.

We have the responsibility to be vigilant and pro-active before announcements that our own indigenous community are persons of interest to be dealt with in the global conflict with America on the front lines, contrary to what is being said in mainstream media.

We must not fail to take note of the increased tension between the United States and both her allies and Iran, especially in regards to the conflict in Yemen. The continued hostility between Christians and Muslims is one of the greatest threats that the world knows today.

Why are so many surprised? I have fought for young Black youth for over 50 years. Since 2002, I have published over 100 columns, blog entries, and book chapters on the emergency regarding the ongoing war on young Black men, and warning how it could lead to their rebellion, even before this new terrorism wrinkle. The Star Tribune and do-gooder organizations keep their heads in the sand. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder has long sounded the alarm about the ongoing betrayals that our young have experienced or heard about (starting in Africa when betrayed to slavers, betrayed after Emancipation to Jim Crow, betrayed after World War II manufacturing job prosperity to jobs taken away, to the most long lasting and continuing betrayal, denial of good education and jobs, especially now when so many new occupations require university training and degrees.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, May 2, 2015, 1:05 a.m.


The Minneapolis Urban League in Trouble.
Where are the Successes of its rich History?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

April 23, 2015

Pull quote: A “State of the Minneapolis Urban League” is 25 years overdue.

Two weeks ago we wrote about the confusion regarding those who say the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) is now close to death’s door (see our blog entries of April 1 and April 6), just as the St. Paul Urban League died three years ago, and current leadership who say all is well, and will get even better with more government and nonprofit funding. What do we make of the April 13, 2015 Star Tribune headline: Minneapolis Urban League accused of potential double billing,” and the April 16, 2015 headline: Legislative auditor to investigate Minneapolis Urban League.”  See also April 17, 2015 Star Tribune Actions of state Sens. Hayden, Champion raise conflict-of-interest questions

Even more troubling, is that the concern seems to be the “double billing” (some call it “double dipping,” not the fact that the programs are not working. Had they not been caught doing “double billed” would they have gone on, business as usual, receiving money for programs that didn’t work?
The hard work of the MUL was once identified by Vernon Jordan as one of the most respected affiliate stars in the Urban League movement in meeting the challenges of the 1920s and on through the 80s. The decline began in 1990, right after the last “State of the Minneapolis Urban League in 1989” (see Chapter 14 of The Minneapolis Story, The Role of Minneapolis BLACK ORGANIZATIONS in the Minneapolis Story).
Clearly, a “State of the Minneapolis Urban League” is 25 years overdue.
[Ed note:  the full title of  the Solutions Paper of August 4, 2009:  The Role of Minneapolis BLACK ORGANIZATIONS in the Minneapolis Story: Civil Rights Commission, Urban League, NAACP, Churches/Synagogues/Mosques — Being Part of the Problem Rather than the Solution, as they Move Toward White-Like Black-Elite Rule, for Spoils Not Principles and Sell Out Inner city Black Community Interests: Education, Housing, and Jobs, Dignity and Recognition.]
Great civil rights activist leaders of their time who served on the Urban League board in the 60s-80s, were Nellie Stone Johnson, Cecil Newman (MSR founder), Frank Alsop, Dr. Thomas Johnson, and others.

By 1989, the MUL had grown to 114 employees, was 90 percent Black, owned and controlled four pieces of property, and had a $2.5 million budget, as well as numerous programs, including those in the areas of job training, community economic development, support of education, etc. Since then the MUL has lost over 100 employees, three-fourths of its programs, and is using its revenue to double dip, but not to contribute to the growth and vitality of the African American community, revealing the danger for the future of the African American community. Comments in the Star Tribune about the article reveal the smile of Whites at the MUL demise.

Things changed in 1990, when forces foreign to the MUL and the Civil Rights Movement, in concert with organizations in the progressive White community (their councils of churches, foundations, charitable organizations, government entities, colleges and universities, policy institutes), made it clear that changes would have to be made if funding were to continue. Those changes equaled demise.

The White community that caused it now blames the Black community, as problems are now being begrudgingly admitted and identified, including by the Commission of Education, the Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, and local major foundation heads, now “concerned” with the relevance of the MUL that they helped make irrelevant. We have long reported on how the issues and problems below the tip of the iceberg have been swept under the rug. Will they now be dealt with or again swept under the rug?

As we wrote April 1 and 6 in our blog entries, it is important for the leadership of the  MUL (as well as the NAACP), to report what their actual success has been and how it was created and applied, using numbers, not adjectives. MUL used to regularly report on their decisions and success, and then moved on to the next. They made sure that the community knew the things that had been accomplished, the growth of the MUL and, thus, growth in the community as well, as a result of their efforts.

As noted, we have not had a State of Minneapolis Urban League” message since 1989. We need a MUL that again helps to overcome White civil rights blocks and reports real contributions and success in the community.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Monday, May 1, 2015, 1:05 a.m.


Crises in Black leadership
Changes in the Minneapolis Urban League and local NAACP

April 16, 2015

Pull quote: When will clear explanations and exit interviews be provided by these supposedly two powerful civil rights and social service agencies in the Black community?

The rumors circulating that two of the oldest and most prestigious civil rights organizations are going through a crisis of leadership have not yet been explained as of the writing of this column. We lost the St. Paul Urban League three years ago. Now Scott Gray has abruptly left the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL). Why?

The national NAACP announced on April 6 that they had ordered a special election for their Minneapolis branch on May 2, 2015, at the NorthPoint Health Center. Why? Why this fragileness in these long-term civil rights organizations? Irrelevance? Lack of credibility? Secrecy? Focus on Black elites rather than Black communities?

How do we interpret the many rumors that indicate there are investigations by the Council on Black Minnesotans and others regarding shortages of funds? How do we interpret these events while some African American leaders, in a letter to the Star Tribune editorial page, indicated that these are the best of times for the African American community? Why do Black leaders claim all is well while meeting behind closed doors, making decisions for themselves and then pleading ignorance?

Never before, in the history of civil rights organizations and social service organizations, has there been such a sudden change of leadership. Minneapolis Black leaders, who claim to speak with full knowledge and wisdom about what is taking place within the African American community, owe us a more detailed explanation that we then must examine.

What is the signal we are getting from increased violence on our streets as young African Americans fight among themselves in groups as large as 300 combatants? Is this not a signal to both Black and White leadership that there is something different about how these young people are regarding promises about the future? There are promises that won’t be kept.

With so much money poured into the African American community, how is it that we are still faced with poverty, fear and apprehension, causing some to look favorably on joining terrorist groups?

What happened to the $1 million Summit OIC and NorthPoint allegedly received for development and planning? What will the Urban League do with the $1.8 million the legislature is providing them for further educational development and the $3 million the legislature is awarding African American nonprofit agencies for continued job development and employment, as well as money from foundations and charitable giving?

We await the report of the numbers that reflect inclusion of African Americans in constructing the Vikings Stadium. How many Minnesota Blacks have been employed (and not just “minorities”)? How many trained by Summit OIC were actually qualified and hired? We have heard of one African American contract in excess of $25 million. We have also heard that African Americans have been paid in excess of $240 million in wages.

We want to see proof of the hundreds of thousands of hours claimed that have already been worked by African American workers (again, Blacks, not just minorities). If true, these staggering numbers represent an economic harvest for the African American community.

We want MUL and NAACP to explain how they did it, to leave us the formula for future leaders’ success as current leaders depart. When will clear explanations and exit interviews be provided by these supposedly powerful civil rights and social service agencies in the Black community?
We don’t want them to walk away from this prosperity without providing a clear explanation in exit interviews of how they achieved it, so the “how” can be passed on to the next generation for their pursuit and enjoyment of this great economic uplifting.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted April 18, 2015, 10:55 a.m


Twin City Media Destroys Barway Collins' Father’s Reputation.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,

featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

April 9, 2015
   
Pull quote: Why is it that as of the writing of this column Minneapolis Black leaders have not spoken up?

Barway Collins, ten years old, went missing in Crystal, MN on March 18, 2015.  For 12 days since then, as of the writing of this column on March 30, media reports have gripped our communities with allegations and suspicions towards Barway’s father Pierre Collins, without presenting a reasonable burden of proof for doing so.

The rush to judgment of Barway’s father is not, so far, supported by facts. First, the protocol for dropping off youngsters and waiting for the driver to observe them entering their home before driving on was not done. The bus video shows that Barway walked away as the driver drove on. Secondly, even though the first 24-48 hours are the most crucial, the police department ignored another protocol by still not issuing an Amber Alert.

Third, they waited five days before asking assistance from the FBI, the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s department. Fourth, they did not immediately interview the bus driver. The comparisons to responses when the missing child is White are telling.

Pierre Collins has been tenacious in his interaction with the police department regarding finding his son. He has questioned its lackadaisical attitude, especially in not issuing an Amber Alert. This has caused Pierre Collins to be seen as an “enemy of the state” for the audacity of being “uppity” in raising questions about the department’s lack of action. White parents would instead receive empathy for their distress.

The reporting from some in the White media can only be called jaundiced at best, racist at worst. The cloak of protection thrown around the Crystal Police Department is not surprising. So far, White media won’t report on the department’s seeming lack of concern and enthusiasm.  For examples see Star Tribune articles, here, here, here and hear, and KMSP reports here and here.  List of KMSP reports by Iris Perez is here.

Even as late as day three, the Crystal Police Department held that the child was in “no danger” and was probably at a friend’s home (which they would not say on day three if the missing child was White), as if Barway was a truant and his parents irresponsible. The department has not met its burden of proof responsibility, and instead, with so many pieces missing, is itself acting irresponsibly.

A Black person, whether born in this country or arrived recently to these shores, understands the master and his system become angry when their sincerity and compassion are questioned. It is obvious that Pierre Collins also became an enemy of the state when members of the Liberian Muslim community stepped forward to advocate for their fellow countryman.

The Crystal Police Department became agitated that foreign-born Muslims would criticize their manner of law enforcement. The police department’s response to a peace gathering that Saturday afternoon in Crystal to express and demonstrate concern for the missing 10-year-old child is disturbing, as they were instructed to interrupt it.

Another question: Why is it that as of the writing of this column Minneapolis Black leaders have not spoken up?

The reporting of Iris Perez of KMSP-TV is illustrative of the yellow journalism in support of suggesting the father is an “enemy of the state.” Prior to her interview of the Collins family, Ms. Perez pretended to be a friend and a person who could be trusted and then proved otherwise in her reporting. Her statement to the crowd gathered Saturday that she had been told by police officers that Mr. Collins had taken out a life insurance policy of $30K on the life of his son was false.

After this column is published 10 days from now, we hope that KMSP will be using only evidence to support any allegations. That is the right thing to do.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted April 9, 2015, 9:18 a.m


Dangerous signs of trouble
St. Patrick’s Day disturbances create concerns

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Onlin

April 2, 2010

Pull quote: Almost $2 billion in construction and new development is taking place within downtown Minneapolis, and yet the African American community…is still being left out.

“Banish bias, but keep downtown livable,” blared the Star Tribune editorial of Monday, March 23, 2015, warning about unacceptable public behavior threatening urban revival while avoiding discussing the the frustrations of exclusion felt by African Americans.

Since 2006, I have written over 100 column, blog entries and solution papers about the need for plans to deal with exclusion, which have gone unheeded (they are listed in our “Solution Paper #47). The Star Tribune is belatedly reinforcing what this column and newspaper have reported (see column of January 14, 2015: “Promises, Promises, Promises…with no follow through.” We need to signal young African Americans that the broader community is listening to their expressions of frustration, concern and anger.

The solution is not to continue touting prosperity for one segment of the population while carrying out calculated bias against another segment, hindering their prosperity. Backlash will dramatically drop if paths to prosperity are open through education and jobs to blacks as well as whites.

The St. Patrick Day flash-mob “fun entertainment” disruption (over 300 young people enjoyed fighting with each other for over two-and-a-half hours on the streets of downtown Minneapolis), also caused injuries, including the shooting of two individuals, one in front of Target Field, the other one on West Broadway. This disproportionate application of wealth and opportunity needs to be more balanced through the enforcement of the justice system for all of our different communities, Black, Brown, Yellow and White.

This column has long predicted “a long hot summer.” Authorities handled the flash-mob disruption with good tactical management. Clearly many Whites don’t understand the level of frustration and anger seething in the African American community.

The mayor of Minneapolis seems to think this was an event that “just happened,” a fatal analysis that doesn’t bode well for adequate, serious planning and responses of the frustrations and anger expressed. Plans need information. I alerted the head of the public safety committee that information was being withheld from his committee. As I wrote in August about the data gathered between 2004-2008 by the Police Community Relations Council on which I served: “Unless the MPD’s Comprehensive Diversity Plan of June 2008 [is] followed and vigorously pursued…Minneapolis would slip into dark days.”

On May 29, 2014, I wrote, “Meetings and mission statements not addressing Nellie Stone Johnson’s “Big 3” (education, jobs, housing), won’t enable young people to “become qualified, independent, and active partners with employers, investors, planners, and money dispensers of government and nonprofit programs.

Unlike the Star Tribune, this column talks of the danger signs regarding the future of African American communities not supported by planning. Almost $2 billion in construction and new development is taking place within downtown Minneapolis, and yet the African American community, irrespective of the city’s false numbers and leadership’s false bravado, is still being left out.

African Americans understand they were not included as an integral part of projects like the Gophers stadium, Twin’s ball park, and now the Vikings stadium and the $2 billion economic infusion from construction in downtown. Young African Americans wish to sit at the table of economic opportunity that leads to prosperous future lives.

Where is the functional plan that includes the African American communities in the future growth of the City of Minneapolis
, the city of Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy, balanced with the voices of Cecil Newman and Nellie Stone Johnson, a foursome standing together in the forefront for justice in education, jobs and housing. This is a dangerous time for a city that says it has a vision for its future that excludes the African American community from that vision.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted April 5, 2015 11:59 p.m.


Its Tubby Smith’s fault, or is it?
Gopher season is over.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 26, 2015

“Gopher’s basketball season over. No NCAA. No NIT.” Headline, Star Tribune, March 16, 2015.

This came as no surprise to readers of our columns that exposed the destructive race card played by the UM:
April 3, 2013: “Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity.”
April 10, 2013 “Congratulations, Tubby! Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking.”

As Sid Hartman has pointed out, “removing Smith will turn out to be a bad move.” Norwood Teague, the UM Athletic Director, together with some UM Alumni, destroyed the future of Gopher basketball by playing the politics of Minnesota race cards, leading to two non-successful seasons for Coach Richard Patino, Smith’s successor. Even given a powder puff pre-conference schedule (going 12-3), Coach Patino was unable to prepare and raise the competitive fires in his players for our Big 10 games, going 6-12 in conference play.

Clearly Coach Patino hasn’t the experience nor vision of a wining Big Time Coach. That’s also the case with the UM’s wannabe big time basketball program. In our April 2013 columns, I laid out the major, fatal mistakes of the racists crawling out from under the rocks and dark caves where they kept their hearts. I will always be appreciative of the support and light shown by fellow Spokesman-Recorder columnist, Charles Hallman, as he offered analysis supported by facts.

If schools from so-called lesser programs can find their way to the NCAA tournament, there is no reason why high powered programs like the UM cannot find the talent and wherewithal to join the programs that do, as his father’s Louisville team does.

UM is surrounded by colleges and universities that annually play in NCAA or NIT tournaments. Tubby Smith (who won an NCAA tournament) was the last to take the UM to these tournaments. His “reward” included being lied to about the construction of a new practice facility (hurting recruitment), and being prevented from hiring one of the best recruiters in college basketball, Jimmy Williams (UM self sabotage of recruitment).

And even though Tubby was given a three year extension, Norwood Teague and some UM alumni turned on Tubby. They were also content to have black athletes make money for the UM but not reward a coach achieving success and revenue for UM (the Athletic Department runs a $12.5 million dollar surplus). Those that supported the treachery initiated by Norwood Teague and UM alumni are paying the price for the program’s continued racism.

Sid Hartman and I were correct in our March and April columns of 2013. It was a mistake then and now for the UM to let this program continue to decline into mediocrity and failure.

Say it ain’t so, Norwood.

This pre-dominately white institution in a pre-dominately white state, is eager to preserve and encourage as predominant, white privilege, as promoting equal opportunity is discouraged. Who is there for a Black coach to trust, whether male or female, as trust is needed to develop a winning program?

The choice is not to win white, but to win welcoming the best athletes, regardless of color, so that local top basketball players like Tyus Jones of Duke, former all state at Apple Valley, will want to play at UM, and be involved in the success of their state’s university. One way to do so: join a league comprised of teams from Montana and Wyoming. This would help Richard Patino gain experience that will allow him to someday, maybe a decade from now, emulate his father, who is Head Coach at the University of Louisville.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Saturday, March 28, 2015, 5:12 a.m.


Pattern and Practice with Numbers.
Stadium Update.  What are the true numbers?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards,
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 19, 2015

It has been a while since we have talked about what is supposed to be the greatest employment story in the history of Minnesota:  the new Vikings stadium, with its price tag of over a billion dollars and thousands of jobs.  In terms of dollars added to the local economy, it is a success.   In terms of jobs for whites, it is a success.  But in terms of jobs for blacks, it is a disaster.  Worse:  it is another scam of our black leadership pulled on our own black community.  Black leaders are as corrupt as white leaders.  Not the kind of integration and equality we were looking for.

There is no training / employment  miracle for African AmericansNo statistical data to support it. It is a lie.  Are you as troubled as I am that neither Commissioner Kevin Lindsay nor Diversity Director Alex Tittle can produce any real numbers to support the success story narrative of people of color employed on the Vikings Stadium? 

Remember the Target Field hiring disaster?  Remember the April 17, 2009, Minnesota Ball Park Authority report that admitted what we had reported throughout 2007, 2008, and 2009:  very few African Americans employed, as admitted by chairman, Steve Cramer?  Remember Sports Authority President Ted Mondale admitting it also, then, in open meeting, asking me “to give us a chance” on the Vikings stadium?   The chance? For whites.   See our column archives, http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocarchives.htm, to read of the bogus, cooked numbers of this continuing travesty.

Sources within organized labor confirm the Vikings stadium employment fraud being perpetrated on communities of color.  The person inside the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department responsible for cooking the numbers is part of the team of 3 individuals who provided the same type of bogus information and documentation to the Public Safety Committee of the Minneapolis City Council, two weeks ago.

In the case of Twins ball park, it was a $300K rip off, money that did not lead to trained African American hires. In the case of the Vikings Stadium it will be in excess of that number, as, once again, the African American community will be short changed jobs from training by their leaders and lack of legislature oversight.

Why won’t the Human Rights Director, the Director of the Council on Black Minnesota, and the two co-chairs of the legislative committee overseeing compliance regarding stadium legislation regarding African American employment fight providing false information in bogus documents containing bogus numbers?   Why does this remain the modus operandi of “liberal” Minnesota?

Why the continued uncontested confirmation of corruption and mismanagement, as reported in the April 17, 2009, “Community Participation Program Update?”

As a black newspaper, we understand that too often, unless a white newspaper says it is factual, Black people and Black columnists have no standing in the matter, a terrible truth to have to tell about this supposedly great liberal enclave of Minnesota.  But it has been a fact for all of our life times that as long as its only black people being hurt, Minnesota liberals are OK with it.

Ongoing training / hiring number corruption ensures black people will continually be asked “to wait” for seats at the table of opportunity, as black and white leaders scramble to cook books, report false information, and deny Blacks stadium employment.

Out of over 1,200 people that worked in the construction of the Twin’s stadium, the African American community was allowed less than 40 African Americanm workers.  That’s a sad and frightening commentary.  Being marginalized and dismissed as a race on the Vikings stadium as well continues this as business as usual.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, March 19, 2015, 7:24 p.m.


Council on Black Minnesotans being weakened
House File 1353: The Liberals’ instrument of destruction

March 12, 2015

Pull quote:  Is not H.F. 1353 and COBM’s refusal to file suit nothing more than an attempt to escape accountability regarding the lack of employment of Blacks on the stadium?

In the new movie Selma, Martin Luther King, Jr. works tirelessly to integrate Black Americans socially (education, opportunity), economically (jobs, housing), and politically (voting, holding office). He understood “American” refers not to race, religion or country of origin, but to the ideal of “truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…with certain unalienable rights.”

Our leaders have taken their eyes off this prize, turning the Civil Rights Movement into a rewards program for Black “leaders,” not Black communities. On March 8, 2015, this genie of truth was exposed when an “alert” message was sent by Council on Black Minnesotans (COBM) Executive Director Ed McDonald, identifying House and Senate bills calling for gutting the COBM’s power to look into the issues of diversity, affirmative action, or complaints of violations of the rights of Black Americans in Minnesota.

Mr. McDonald identified the legislation and the sponsors and asked his board to authorize him to file suit in the federal district court in St. Paul. The COBM Board, with the exception of two members, refuses to endorse this legal action.

Do not these actions reflect how Black American leaders and White Liberal leaders (Democrat Farm Labor/DFL Party) contributed to our Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, and how The Dream [became] the Nightmare, as they try to shift blame in their finger-pointing at White Republicans?

For a decade I have written on the failure to integrate Black Americans with White Americans in stadium and arena construction (Twins, Gophers and Vikings). Is not H.F. 1353 and COBM’s refusal to file suit nothing more than an attempt to escape accountability regarding the lack of employment of Blacks on the stadium? Next week we will show in this column that a total commitment has been made by State officials to provide false information regarding the 32 percent participation doctrine. The Human Rights Commission of Kevin Lindsay supports this and is “coincidentally” being rewarded with $2 million in additional dollars for the Commission.
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House File 1353 will block COBM’s right to review or retrieve all statistical data and other documentation pertaining to both the construction and procurement of services, goods and supplies, relevant to the construction of the Vikings stadium, whose cost has risen from its original projection of under a billion to $1.4 billion. (How much more and who pays?).

This comes three weeks after I asked COBM Chairman Laurence, on my radio program, to provide the actual figures by April 1, 2015. We heard rumors of retaliation against Chairman Laurence and Executive Director McDonald for stating they would retrieve the true numbers.

This comes on the heels of the Minneapolis Star Tribune retrieving documents and information from a civil rights violation complaint filed by this columnist in 2007 exposing the gross misdemeanor committed by State and City officials. (As of this writing, its findings have not been reported.)

As we have written since 2007, the investigative report is in the archives of the Minneapolis City Attorney. We encourage those interested in justice and fairness to request copies of the complaint and the executive summary issued in early 2008 and referred to in this column on a number of occasions since then.

H.F. 1353, if passed, will bring to an end the investigative powers of COBM as a functioning body within state government. It reminds us of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., as this legislation, if passed, will dismantle the ability to account for promised labor inclusion of Black Americans.

I will continue my efforts to get accurate and correct information released, so help me God.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, March 13, 2015, 7:15 p.m.


Police Officer Shot in North Minneapolis
Police and Community Work to Hold Down Tension

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 5, 2015

Pull quote: …The person who violated the safety of others by breaking into a home at 5:30 am is Andrew Neal, the one who threatened residents in that home.

The ambush style shooting and wounding of African American police officer Jordan Davis, at 5:30 am, Saturday, February 21, 2015, had all the possibilities of creating significant tension and conflict.   Arrested suspect Andrew Neal, also African American, is in custody and charged in the shooting.  Here’s the twist:  Neal was a paid informant for the MPD (Minneapolis Police Department) in the 90s.

The shooting took place on the 2400 block of Fremont Avenue North. Officer Davis, a nine-year veteran with a family, was wounded. Police swarmed into the area on that dark, cold early morning. Fortunately, all of the bad possibilities of Ferguson, Cleveland, NY, and L.A. that were possible did not take place.

A search began. A suspect was identified as an outgrowth of his forced entry into a home along East 24th. By 1:30 pm on Saturday afternoon, Andrew Neal had been taken into custody along the 1100 block of Logan Avenue North, only one-and-a-half blocks away from the Northside Fourth Precinct in which Officer Davis had been assigned for the past year.

It was interesting and refreshing to observe the very professional manner of both investigators and beat officers in their search for their suspect under the Command Leadership of Assistant Chief Matt Clark, along with Lt. Rick Zimmerman (head of the homicide unit), and with Sergeants Adams and Thompson.

It was quite obvious that a very well-coordinated plan of action was in place. Things could have exploded. Mistakes could have been made. Lives could have been lost. These outcomes did not happen because of how these officers coordinated every step of the way, beginning at 5:30 am Saturday when the shot was fired, up to 1:30 pm Saturday along Logan and 11th.

If not for the coordinated effort of these officers and investigators, we could have had serious problems. For example, when the shot was fired that hit officer Davis, there could have been return fire towards the area from which the shot had come. If not for intense intelligence gathering, including the identification of the apartment in which the suspect was holding up, there could have been casualties.

Some have criticized the police department dragnet as too broad. It was clear that the police on the scene understood this, and first intensified their intelligence gathering. The intense command supervision by Assistant Chief Clark, Lt. Zimmerman and the preparation by the entrance teams of at least 30 armed police officers could have had serious repercussions, presenting danger to the citizens within the targeted area.

To be fair and objective in reporting, the person who violated the safety of others by breaking into a home at 5:30 am is Andrew Neal, the one who threatened residents in that home. Now it’s time for healing.

Much discussion over the past year, and longer, centered on the need for an intense effort to bring about better relationships between police and communities of color, especially as the world’s attention has been turned toward Minneapolis as a citadel for Muslim terrorist activities. Everyone’s work has been cut out for them.

The MPD and its crack command team did their jobs. Now it’s time to take advantage of this success and work toward healing the wounds that have strained relationships between our institutions on the one hand and our racial communities on the other hand, especially the African American community.

Our prayers continue to be with Officer Davis and his family. We salute the job well done by Sergeants Adams and Thompson. We continue to pray for the successful resolution of our racial, religious, political, and economic divisions.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, March 6, 2015, 3:12 p.m.


Alonzo L. Lucas, III, 1954 — 2015
A Minnesota icon and a man who will be missed

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 26, 2015

Pull quote: He now walks with the bowling greats that preceded him, such as George Manning, Cliff Burns Sr., Larry Walton, Art Moore, Sr., and Ron Woods.

Alonzo L. Lucas, III passed from this life on February 2, 2015. Services were held for him Saturday, February 14, 2015, at the Cremation Society of Minnesota, with over 225 in attendance to pay their respects to this revered man of our community.

Mr. Lucas was born, raised and went to school in St. Paul where he raised his own family and contributed to the success of his community in many ways. He was active in the civil rights struggle. He was a master plumber. He coached youth in several sports, and at the time of his death he was the president of three of the oldest African American bowling leagues in Minnesota.

He was the assistant director of Oxford Community Center where he started his work with young people while building his plumbing business at the same time, which he ran for many years, servicing cities all over the state.

He retired in 2014 to a leisure life of traveling, bowling and golf tournaments. As an excellent, competitive bowler in the 220-plus range, he was an inspiration to many as he competed and won in many local and national tournaments.

Alonzo was serious about everything he attempted, be it the success of his company, the success of the young players he coached in various sports, or the success of his leadership of the bowling leagues of which he was president. He was a fierce yet civil bowling competitor. He shared his bowling enthusiasm, reaching out to others to provide advice and coaching.

He joins the legendary Black bowling greats in Minnesota’s history. He was truly a Minnesota icon. He now walks with the bowling greats who preceded him, such as George Manning, Cliff Burns, Sr., Larry Walton, Art Moore, Sr., and Ron Woods, all men who carried on their shoulders the mantel of Black excellence in the field of bowling in Minnesota.

All of them represent why we should have a Minnesota Black Bowlers Hall of Fame to recognize the great ones going back all the way to the legendary players in the 1930s and George Manning.

And in remembering them along with Alonzo L. Lucas, III, we reflect on the battles fought against segregation and racism in the bowling centers of Minnesota and across the country and the inspiration Mr. Lucas and other gained from Mr. Manning, Mr. Burns, Sr., and Mr. Walton.

They helped break down the “No Negroes” barriers and covenants so they could bowl in Minnesota tournaments, as they successfully carried out with their presence the integration of bowling in Minnesota. Mr. Lucas and other improved their game on and off the field, especially in the civil rights battles begun years earlier, again following the inspiration of Mr. Manning, Mr. Burns, Sr. and Mr. Walton. They made sure that opportunity, and respect that goes along with that opportunity, was accorded to every African American bowler who took to the lanes.

We were privileged to watch Mr. Lucas develop and participate in the leagues of which he was the president and which he loved so much. We are privileged to have been present during his success.

He was taken too young, but in his journey he made many friends. He rolled a lot of good games and he left this place a little bit better than how he found it. He will truly be missed for he was one of the great warriors who instilled pride and demanded excellence in all the fields of endeavor in which he participated.

Our blessing and condolences go out to his wife Kathleen and to his children.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Friday, March 6, 2015, 3:25 p.m.


Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer. Black ‘leaders’ work on a plan to reduce crime. Will the community be left out again?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 19, 2015

Pull quote: The DOJ wants to know how the African American organizations spent the millions of dollars poured into their organizations.

“Leadership’s” annual empty rite for summer begins: “planning” for community summer safety, with the opposite of “community” in play, claiming the solution demands more money for planning and planners, leaving little for community people and streets, betraying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of involved community.

Why is leadership concerned now when earlier they would not sit down with Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Chief Janeé Harteau to discuss her goals? Almost two years ago, Chief Harteau asked the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to examine the MPD’s oversight, discipline and preventing of misconduct, resulting in two reports. Dr. Ellen Scrivner, Ph.D., ABPP, was on the core team of both:

·     2014: The DOJ Diagnostic Center presented assessment findings to MPD and the broader Minneapolis community in October 2014.
·     2015: The current report, Diagnostic Analysis of Minneapolis Police Department, was released January 28, 2015.

“Leadership,” fearing diagnostic analysis, asked Governor Mark Dayton five months ago for significant funding for themselves, claiming that more funding would guarantee success in the war on violence. Some of the ecumenical leadership also wanted the MPD placed in Federal Receivership. Why? Is there something “leadership” isn’t doing for community that they don’t want exposed?

They need to pay attention to the recommendations in the January 28, 2015, diagnostic analysis report. Chief Harteau has embraced all of its recommendations. Why can’t they? Its steering committee has five subcommittees reporting to it:

·        Communications
·        Conduct and oversight
·        Community relations
·        Early Intervention System (EIS)
·        Coaching

The MPD has received praise for its positive response to the recommendations. So why does “leadership” remain so negative and cynical?

“Leadership” too often misses that “community” means engaging those living in the community. Instead, “leadership” asks for more funding for themselves to do planning but little for the community.

The DOJ Office of Justice Programs has reviewed volumes of data, information, recommendations, and conclusions. The MPD will be doing everything asked for.

One of the areas of concern is analysis of where the millions of dollars went that were awarded, granted or paid to African American organizations and individuals to plan for the safety of the African American community. The DOJ wants to know how the African American organizations spent the millions of dollars poured into their organizations.

When Chief Harteau asked for assistance, she indicated she expected African Americans would be in the forefront of critiquing and evaluating how the millions of dollars were spent. Now they will get their chance.

There is displeasure in some African American organizations. They don’t want to be audited, reviewed and critiqued. They reflect what African American Professor John McWhorter calls in the subtitle of his book Losing the Race, “Self-Sabotage in Black America. For 15 years, some of these organizations and individuals have claimed their leadership would make the community safe. Ask yourselves this: Have they?

The yearly empty summer rite discussing how to keep the African American community safe is reflected in “leadership’s” claim that they can reduce violence in the spring of 2015. All involved regarding the summer planning would do well to review the five years of reports by the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC). Newcomers to the public safety scene in the Twin Cities are especially urged to familiarize themselves with the PCRC work so they can bring themselves up to speed with factual information consistent with the factual events in the Twin Cities and throughout the State of Minnesota.

The subcommittees are already at work on phase one, which will end making recommendations for phase two. We look forward to successful implementation of recommended actions.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 6:55 p.m.


2015: A Year of Preparation

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 8, 2015

Pull quote: Who will win claim to “the best one suitable” to take on the right wing juggernaut as it storms towards control of the White House?

The word “preparation” is a sophisticated word. It means to prepare, develop, and analyze to get the best change plan to implement.

The year 2015 will be an extremely interesting year as preparations begin for the return of the conservative right to control the White House just as the liberal left works to retain the White House. Which plan will resonate with people to get their vote?

Will Democrats be ready? What will Republicans do? For now, I’m agnostic about which candidates for 2016. I will be for whoever really understands that we need to stand for positive changes in education, jobs and housing, and proposed plans to implement real change, not just slogans and meetings to schedule more meetings to make more empty promises.

My concern is which candidate will do what is necessary to utilize the powerful platforms of America’s democratic institutions, federal, state and local, to foster meeting basic needs of inner city and rural Blacks for real change regarding education, jobs and housing.

The Obama administration needs to prepare for how to work with a Republican Congress to avoid two years of non-functional government on President Obama’s watch. As a Black American, I’m saddened, troubled and fearful if Black leadership doesn’t stop aping White leadership and lean toward what’s best for their organizations but not for our people. What will be the plan to do battle with any right-wing master plans?

President Obama shows no signs of pulling back just because the first six years were tough. Good. He won’t be a lame duck. Let us hope that he will have a strong attorney general his last two years in order to promote providing justice and protection for America’s populations of color.

2015 and 2016 will be interesting because of:

•  A hostile Congress.
•  A hostile Supreme Court.
•  A hamstrung executive branch.
•  Hostile state houses.
•  Government at all levels deeply divided on implementing due process for people of color and poor people in general.

Domestic and international agendas will cause extreme burdens for the Obama administration, including deteriorating relations with Russia, continued expansion of ISIS in the Middle East, and continued disruptions in Latin America and Africa.

By mid-2015, liberals will begin to fight over who will be their standard bearer for the 2016 presidential campaign. The 2015 Congress will make sure there are enough problems in the areas of social justice and economic parity to make it difficult for the liberal left to put a plan in place.

Anger on one hand and despair on the other will increase during 2015 (and spill over into 2016), and will be a serious political deterrent in the 2016 presidential campaign, a campaign that began in 2012, within hours of the re-election of President Barack Obama.

The key question remains: Where is the plan? Will it be from the forces of Hilary Clinton or from the forces of Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, or someone else? Who will win claim to “the best one suitable” to take on the right wing juggernaut as it storms towards control of the White House?

An example of the extreme right’s distain for understanding America’s problems is Republicans raising Steve Scalise to the third-highest rank in the U.S. House of Representatives. Scalise addressed an international White supremacist and neo-Nazi group in 2002, in New Orleans, and now claims he had no idea he was talking to and courting followers of Adolph Hitler. He is a lousy liar, woefully incompetent, and an embarrassment who emphasizes White skin color over content of character. What other Republicans do so also?  For more observations about the event, go here and here.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Year-end reflections of 2014: a year of confusion and expectations.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 1, 2014

Pull quote: We applaud President Obama taking the long overdue bold step to finally work to normalize relations with Cuba after 54 years.

Success or failure is in the eye of the beholder. The year 2014 has been a clear example of confusing differences of opinion and expectations. As we said in last week’s column, discussions of race are affected by the eyes of the beholders.

We offer three criteria:
(1)
the different versions of the golden rule of all the great religions (see p. 62 ofThe Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, 2002
(2) theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights that is incorporated into the constitutions of most of the 148 nations in the U.N., and
(3)
as we wrote last week (5th paragraph), Martin Luther King, Jr.’s double concern of nonviolence as the method and non-waiting as the practice for advancing human rights in the Civil Rights Movement. Not adhering to these principles hinders successful interpretation of issues of race.

The tragic assassination of two New York police officers of color has heightened tensions in New York City and around the country. Shifting emphasis to minimize or marginalize discussions of race hinders movements for civil and human rights. The key is teaching people how to fish (Nellie Stone Johnson’s “no education, no jobs, no housing”) and not preventing them from learning to fish, making them dependent on government and nonprofit organizations that, in reality, hold them back.

The year 2014 is bringing other concerns to 2015. Will Republicans who will now control both houses of Congress work with the current president, or will they become more driven to obstruct and undermine, further weakening our democratic institutions as our strength comes from unity, not division? Our democratic institutions will be thoroughly tested. How will the beholding eyes of the future interpret the strides we make in 2015?

Will those strides include democracy and freedm of speech that allows us to debate civil and human rights for all, not just for a small controlling group? Who will fight to maintain history’s human right to witness interpretations of history that feature fairness, opportunity, and justice for all?

Will the eyes of the beholders see our leaders providing assistance to those who truly need education, jobs and housing or not?

Two new threats to our domestic tranquility: a new cold war with Russia, North Korea, China, and Iran, displaying hostility and mistrust toward us and our allies, now able to reach us through cyber warfare or missile warfare, as we each let ours eyes that behold interpret the other?

The West maintains it is Russians, Chinese and North Koreans who are the bad people, whereas they maintain Americans and Europeans are the bad people, each with a similar eye of beholding when it comes to one of the most dangerous new movements each sees together for 2015: ISIS, seeking to become a sovereign state by any means necessary, with the goal to impose a single way to behold the political and religious face of the Middle East, Europe and America.

We applaud President Obama taking the long overdue bold step to finally work to normalize relations with Cuba after 54 years. In their eye of beholding, let it be us that they see with whom they can cooperate.

And so, as we enter a new year, we reflect on how to behold 2015. Let’s not wait for time and history to determine correct and wrong. Let’s behold and act on it. Certainly the strength and the fiber of America’s people and the strides of her democratic institutions will be thoroughly tested.

Will the eyes of the beholders see our leaders providing assistance to those who truly need education, jobs and housing or continue to see that most welfare assistance continues to go to the upper-middle-class leadership classes? See also here.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books, go to www.BeaconOnTheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2015, 7:48 a.m.


Ferguson, MO:  An American Race Tragedy.  Again.
Conflicting versions with parallels to Minneapolis

August 20, 2014

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

Editor’s Note:  this column was written August 12, 2014, 3 days after the shooting in order to meet submission deadline of August 13, for release later by publishing and posting August 20, 2014. 

Pull quote:  Ferguson: 67percent African American, six of percent of 53 member police department are Black.

Unarmed Michael Brown, August 9, 2014.  18 years old, to start college in two days.  Instead:   stopped by police while walking on a street of Ferguson, MO, suburb of St. Louis; shot and killed.  Rioting, burning, and looting followed.  20 police cars burned.   “…like a war zone.” 

The police version so far differs greatly from community eye witnesses, suggesting blinded justice promising but unable to see how to delivering a police investigation with truth and transparency.   Will the FBI and Federal Department of Justice be the same way?

Community of Ferguson, MO eye witness accounts vs. Police version:

  • Michael Brown attempted to cooperate when stopped vs. assaulted officer.
  • First shot while Brown 35 feet away vs. in car struggle for the weapon.
  • Social media pictures of bruises and injuries vs. denial of bruises and injuries.

Parallels between Minneapolis, Ferguson and other cities

  • Ferguson, August 9:  Michael Brown shot dead, white on black.
  • Minneapolis:  August 9:  9 citizens of color gunned down in a nightclub, black on black (all expected to survive). 
  • Ferguson:  67% African American.   6% of 53 member Police Department are Black
  • Minneapolis:  5.2% African American.   9% of 770 members of MPD are Black
  • Tension between police and African American communities continues, as young Black males become an endangered species due to incarceration.
  • Lots of false concern from Ferguson’s white mayor, white police chief, 4 of the 5 white city council members.
  • Media focuses on violence while ignoring causes of violence.
  • Sense of hopelessness heightens sense that no one cares, leading to more Fergusons:  think Watts in Los Angeles 49 years ago:  5 days of rioting, martial law, 34 deaths, and over 1,500 injured and wounded.
  • Will the grand jury indict?  Will police be automatically exoneration?   Will the FBI find evidence of civil rights violations?

Thoughts regarding next steps:

  • Needed:  Martin Luther King, Jr. level of moral leadership in governments, churches, businesses, and communities.
  • Promote “Community development” not “community containment.”
  • Change default response of police away from  “reasonable fear” and “self-defense.”
  • Change default response of black gangs from  “territory” and “retaliation” to chamber of commerce types of economic development enterprises for young men.

Hope is seen in those of Ferguson attempting to follow a non-violent model:

  • White and black citizens marching side by side in collective protest.
  • White and black citizens attempting to integrate significant changes in attitudes, policies and actions.

What’s at stake:  either more or less Ferguson style violence, here and abroad. 

  • Arab Spring of late 2010 led to today’s violence in Ukraine-Crimea-Russia; Gaza-Israel; Africa. 
  • American urban gangs and US – Mexican border violence slows adoption of democracy and liberty concepts.
  • 50 years ago:  working to end “unequivocally immoral laws aimed at America's black population.”
  • Today:  need to reawaken do-gooder governments, churches and private do-gooder groups so they serve their communities, not containment bureaucracies, as seen in this pathetic quote about Ferguson and race:  “has wrestled with the issue for decades.” 
  • Avoid Fergusons by standing against injustice and for equal opportunity.

Why are so many citizens and office holders comfortable with violence? There is no “safety” in not respecting all life, regardless of color, a pre-requisite for a civilized society.   Most disappointing: first Black president urging us to remember Michael Brown “through reflection and understanding” rather than through education, jobs, economic development, and rethinking police actions. 

We pray again for a black family whose child has been gunned down by police.  Our prayers continue for the opening of the eyes of Black and White leadership world wide to see and work toward peace and prosperity for all, to end violence and establish stability in what should be the safest nation on the face of the earth.

Stay tuned.    

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solutions papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To Order his books go to www.BeaconOntheHillPress.com.

To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted August 23, 2014, 5:12 a.m.


Stadium Update
Is 34% minority participation goal being met?

August 14, 2014

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

Pull Quote: Is 34 percent minority participation goal being met?

As Vikings fly up and down the field in training camp, our City Council is concerned about birds flying into the Viking Stadium glass walls.  Why?  They were unconcerned about letting stadium tax dollars fly into the stadium walls without taxpayer required approval.  They seem unconcerned about birds flying into blades of giant renewable energy wind mills.  And they seem unconcerned as construction jobs, hours, and pay of minorities fly into the stadium glass wall of broken promises and statutes, just as done with new stadiums for the Gophers, Twins, and Wild.

As the city and state chose the architect and the contractor, isn’t this their problem?  Why are they not using the contingency – emergency funds of this $2 billion stadium?  Why now the million dollar bird fix demand? What other non-agreement “fixes” await in the wings that the Vikings will be called on to pay if this precedent setting extortion works?

Is this about birds or about those who are anti-stadium, anti-growth, anti-rich corporations, anti any change to the environment, or anti something else?   Anyone see a stadium environmental study?  

And now that the Minneapolis Park Board refuses to bail out the People’s Park to be out front of the stadium, who will be asked to pay for that?  What else is being hidden from the public by the Sports Authority, ready to surface, expecting the Vikings and/or tax payers to pay?  What other “cooking of the books” is going on?

The Star Tribune recently reported Polar Explorer Will Steger hired two Summit OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center) graduates, a white female and a Black male.   Steger’s 25 year project in the North woods around Ely, MN, to create a conference center far from everyone, where the “thinkers” of the world can gather to think about how those not there should live, exposes the level of training of Summit OIC graduates.  The article clearly suggests they aren’t qualified for stadium construction work.  How many Summit graduates are?

Do they have licenses as Journeymen or Apprentices?  What do their certificates of completion mean?  Summit OIC claims they can “take a person earning an average of $5,500 a year and after just 20 weeks of training start them at a job that will earn an average of $26,000 annually.”  How many Summit OIC graduates have actually done so?  With 12% of whites and 26% of Blacks living in poverty in America today, how come Summit OIC grads are not being lifted out of poverty?

The Vikings stadium construction appears to be bypassing African Americans as was done Gophers, Twins, and WildWhere is the report on the numbers of hours worked by women and minorities on the Vikings stadium so far?  The Sports Facility Authority indicated December 3rd, 2013, that, to meet its commitment, 32% of the hours worked on the stadium would indeed be by women and people of color (we asked that figures be broken down by women and people of color, and not be combined).

32% of hours for women and people of color translates into close to a million and a half hours. Where is the report attesting to that?  We are asking for verification. 

32% of hours, at an average salary of $27/hr, means an economic surge in the African American community. Where’s that surge?  Where’s the signed report?  How many Summit graduates are employed at the stadium?

This column asks for the release of the certification of hours employed by the African American community and others of color on this stadium project.  In what way is prosperity here again for the African American community? 

Stay tuned. 

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
.
To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Thursday, August 25, 2014, 5:38 a.m.
Due to difficulties, now fixed, posted August 26, 2014, 3:44 p.m.


The real immigration story

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

August 7, 2014

Pullquote: How many seeking America’s charter of liberty can get into “lifeboat America” before America sinks?

For nearly 400 years, since 1620, the dark secret of American immigration has been its policies detrimental to Blacks (Black Africans, Black Cubans, Black Caribbeans). Most slaves to North America arrived through the Caribbean.

We see this dark secret replayed given the contrasting treatment of Black children to that of the thousands of Latin children coming from Central American and Mexico, crossing the Rio Grande into America, with help from their countries and ours, leaving most things unchanged for immigrants from Black Africa, Black Cuba, and Black Caribbean. Thus, America has been confronted with the problem of immigration and race since its inception.

Today’s reactions to the voluntary child immigrants ranges from embarrassed and angry, to happy celebration, from seal the border, to take down the walls and fences and let in any who wants to come (Jimmy Carter urged the latter when he was president). The continuity is that again, others are leap frogged over Blacks.

Central American countries and Mexico have offices established to provide papers for people to cross the Rio Grande to offices in the USA ready to receive them, as our federal government assigns them to different cities as they come in. Also taking advantage are Al-Queda members from the Middle East. How many seeking America’s charter of liberty can get into “lifeboat America” before America sinks?

The Black immigrant experience was involuntary: slavery, Jim Crow, and now continued discrimination under continued quota systems that discriminate by sawing off the rungs of the ladder of mobility and by installing a ceiling. Ask Black Haitians. Ask Black Cubans. Ask Black Africans.

William Kunstler, the brilliant and sometimes radical civil rights attorney (mid 60s – mid 90s), stated that “My purpose is to keep the state from becoming all-domineering, all powerful," especially over minorities. William Kuntsler, of a different mind, worked to end blocking those seeking an opportunity for a better life for American Blacks and for immigrants.

In the mid-1960s, Harlem’s Congressman Adam Clayton Powell exposed the secret quota system being run by the Immigration Service, blocking the entry of Blacks from around the world from entering the United States of America. Ebony magazine ran its landmark exposure article in 1971. There was no liberal outcry other than from a small group of Black Americans and an even smaller group of White liberals. Many Black Haitian and Black Cuban “boat people” drowned in the Caribbean as a result of America turning them away from America’s borders.

Read the speeches printed into the Congressional Record by Harlem’s Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., by Illinois Congressman William Dawson, by New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, by Michigan Congressman John Conyers, and as continued by the Congressional Black Caucus today, as these issues remain unresolved. Black America has stood mostly alone in exposing this ongoing racially charged immigration policy.

I remember the riots in the 1980s at the Atlanta federal penitentiary in Atlanta, GA, by Black Haitians and Black Cubans, some who had been held for over five years in federal detention with no charges made against them. It was that policy of holding people indefinitely without charge that evolved into the policies at our military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

White immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe, seen as kinsmen, are protected as Whites with White privilege. How different has been the experience of immigrants from Africa, from the very beginnings in America. They could not/can’t invoke White privilege. America’s purposeful race amnesia continues.

America’s dark history regarding Black immigration – pun intended – continues, as America continues to balk at discussing the issue of race with truthfulness and integrity.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
.
To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted August 9, 2014, 6:36 p.m.


MPD and MFD in trouble
(
Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments)
Racial balance is being lost

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 31, 2014

Pullquote: Liberals for the African American are, quite simply stated, “regressive,” using the twisted guise of “fairness” to continually make it difficult for African Americans and people of color to be treated fairly and equitably.

The facts of the last 40 years reveal Minnesota is not, when it comes to African Americans, liberal and progressive. It is illiberal and regressive, openly and defiantly not complying with federal or local civil rights laws and rules, adopting purposeful amnesia to counter such inconvenient memories.

1972: the federal court in the State of Minnesota, imposed sanctions on the Minneapolis Fire Department and the City of Minneapolis for such violations.

1979: a request sent by this columnist, as chairman of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission, to the federal court for a review of its 1972 decree. The court did so and imposed sanctions on the City of Minneapolis and its fire department, appointing a special federal oversight committee.

1989: based on the investigation by the court’s oversight committee of continued violations, serious sanctions of $1 million were imposed on the City and its fire department and, thus, its tax payers.

1989: the City of Minneapolis said it had learned its lesson and would comply and honor the requirements of the law -- another lie. The City, comfortable in its violations of federal requirements for integrating its fire and police departments, despite occasional sanctions, has not employed any significant number of African Americans in the last two employment hires.

2000: the city agreed that the Civil Rights Department would monitor and undertake due diligence regarding compliance, and report and update the racial composition of the fire and police services. The Civil Rights Department has not made a report on this in 10 years, enabling continued undermining of African Americans in the fire and police services.

2014: two weeks ago, the fire department quietly hired 19 new fire fighters; only one was a person of color.

2014: Three days ago, as of this July 22 column submission, the City of Minneapolis and its Human Resources Department, over the objections of the Police Federation under Lt. John Delmonico, finalized the next class of officers to be hired, bragging of hiring 30 percent people of color when, in reality, they again short changed people of color:

      1                                        2             3
Category of Hires              # Tested              #  Passed

Black males                           34                        4
Black females                          9                        3    
Hispanic males                       10                        3           
Hispanic females                      0                        0
Asian males                           24                        2
Asian females                          1                        0
Native American males             3                         1
Native American females          0                         0
White males                          49                        29 *           
White females                       20                        28 **  
Totals:                                150                        60

    * after adjusting by adding 10 more, assumed, given lack of clarity in        city numbers
  ** after adjusting by adding 8 more, assumed, given lack of clarity in        city numbers.

While city government talks about equity, diversity, affirmative action and all of the other glossy liberal terms that are as meaningless as the vows by liberals that they will open the doors of opportunity, they used a new formula to enable Whites to pass over African Americans, moving African Americans toward becoming endangered species in the police and fire departments.

Liberals, for fellow Whites, are “progressive.” Liberals, for the African American are, quite simply stated, “regressive,” using the twisted guise of “fairness” to continually make it difficult for African Americans and people of color to be treated fairly and equitably.

Velma Korbel, director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, was notified that due diligence was needed. She declined to be diligent and declined to conduct the due diligence needed to offer protection and opportunity for the African American community and other people of color.

Therefore, my conclusion is this: it is time that the fire and police services again be placed under federal administration, and that the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, another purposefully failing bureaucracy, be unceremoniously disbanded.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
.
To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted July 31, 2014, 11:58 p.m.


The violence just won’t go away
Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago at the Crossroads

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online.

July 25, 2014.

PULL QUOTE: The [civil rights] department has been a disaster through two directors and two mayors.

“Murderopolis continues to flourish” was our column headline, September 26, 2011. We in Minneapolis, as Chicago, Indianapolis, and other cities, are at a crossroads: Choose between the protection and prosperity for the “helping” bureaucracies or protection and prosperity for those they were established to help?

More trillions for bureaus or for those the bureaus were created to help? “Murderopolis?” Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis and other cities, or not Murderopolis?

As the nation’s attention turns to violence involving guns in Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis, among other cities, proportionality is seen: Each city is on par with the level of gun violence per capita. Why won’t the violence go away?

Common threads:

(1) illegal drugs, especially heroin, an evil driving terrorism in cities like Minneapolis;

(2) a disturbing number of African American males confined to wheelchairs due to shootings and assaults;

(3) attacks on police officers (Indianapolis police officers have been shot at 18 times this year by gunmen firing from ambush;

(4) a reduction in the number of police officers and sheriffs needed;

(5) continue spending of trillions to support the bureaucracies established to help people rather than spending it on helping people excel in education, jobs, and housing; and

(6) all contributing to what seem like policies reflecting a calculated and intentional genocide.

Murders are taking place by any means necessary, especially with guns and knives. Who gets protected? How about baseball? Minneapolis created “clean zones” (clean of Blacks) to protect the city’s $145 million windfall from hosting Major League Baseball’s All Star Game July 15, demonstrating that communities considered valuable receive protection.

One hundred police officers were borrowed from other jurisdictions to keep these zones “clean.” Communities not considered “valuable” do not receive such protection. This emerging debate in Chicago and Indianapolis has made their mayors extremely unpopular with the affected Black and Brown communities.

We hear discussions about getting guns off the street but few about how guns got on the street. It was little discussed at the recent so-called law enforcement summit at the school district HQ in North Minneapolis.

For over 30 years we’ve asked: Are gun manufacturing plants located within affected communities? We know there are no Black people manufacturing weapons. There are no Black people with access to the materials needed to manufacture and market high-powered assault weapons and handguns.

The African American community doesn’t even have a business that manufactures knives. The economic surge in the area of weapons is for Whites. The violence surge in caused by weapons is for Blacks.

This cycle of violence has a “weapons highway” between big Chicago and the little Chicagos like Minneapolis and Indianapolis. These modern trails of broken tears are from communities seeing their future destroyed.

Minneapolis and Indianapolis have not yet reached the point of needing to deploy the National Guard. The African American community needs to be convinced that the system cares and that it has a solution for the preservation of African American lives, now and in the future. We do not enjoy being a doomsday predictor, but one homicide a week and numerous assaults is why we are.

Dreams are dying and fears are rising in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Indianapolis because of these patterns of violence, at the center of which are guns and drugs brought into our communities. We recall the 1985 speech by now-U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters. As a member of the California Assembly, she warned that this problem was rapidly approaching.

People didn’t listen. People didn’t believe. And now we see the consequences of a very calculated plan that threatens the very future of Blacks in America.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
.
To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Thursday, July 31, 2014, 11:41 p.m.


We have not waved a white flag!

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the weekly Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

July 17, 2014

Pull quote: Our children are being mis-educated, under educated, or not educated at all, as they are dismissed, betrayed and violated.

Why do White and Black leaders assume the Black community has waved a white flag of submission? However, we do raise questions about what is being planned for us as if we had, as seen during the various “summit” decision meetings (see my columns of:

May 1, 2014 (Safe streets promoted for White baseball. Selective reporting keeps the true level of violence concealed), and
May, 15, 2014 #20 (Gang summit in Minneapolis. Preparing for summer 2014).

We are a community under siege: inadequate education, few jobs, no meaningful plans for the future beyond endless planning meetings of Black and White do-gooder talk leaders on how to continue obstructing our access to equality and opportunity, on how to set us aside to make room for others, of how to plan the kind of genocide/extinction “round ups” discussed at decision “summits.

We celebrated our nation’s independence July 4th. Frederick Douglass, arguably the most famous fugitive slave of his day, asked in a historic speech, July 5, 1852: What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

Douglass gave a ringing affirmation of America’s ideals of freedom and liberty, left stalled and unfinished while slavery and racial discrimination existed. Being neither despairing (he was hopeful, due to the principles laid out by the founders in the Declaration and the Constitution that he saw as affirming the truth of liberty and equality) nor was he unduly negative (slavery was a fact and the slow pace of abolishing slavery was maddening).

The Minneapolis weekend of the July 4-6, certainty sent a chill through the very fiber of Minneapolis (nine shot, two killed, all within a period of 12 hours, Star Tribune, July 7, 2014 (Aggravated assaults rise in Minneapolis). Our columns referenced, of May 1 and 15, 2014, reported aboveon planning “summits,” which viewed only a small number of African Americans acceptable to the White and Black leadership. That was a shot across the bow of the Black community, exploding especially before our young and elderly, viewed as expendable.

Why did the mayor and police chief think their July 9, 2014 walk on our streets would give our community under siege a sense of protection and leave behind equal opportunity? They came. They walked and talked. They left. Status quo neglect of community remained.

Black Americans did not slip into this country in the dead of night, or behind dark clouds of benign neglect, or by climbing over or crawling under fences. We have served this nation in war and peace, in growth and prosperity. We have shed our blood in the defense of our nation. And yet, today, in this city, we have the impression that Whites assume we are waving the white flag of surrender, that they can, unopposed, adopt policies of nullification and reversal as the appropriate order of the day. But we will be damned if we are to turn our backs and leave the struggle only half completed.

Our obligation is to protect our freedom, our franchise, our future. Our children are being mis-educated, under educated, or not educated at all, as they are dismissed, betrayed and violated.

Submission is not within our community and civil rights DNA. We sill continue to dream of being treated with respect and afforded equal opportunity based on the content of our character, not denied due to the color of our skin.

We, the sons and daughters of the African, understand when there is a plan and mission afoot to marginalize us and remove us from the American scene, and, in this case, from the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We who believe we are equal to all will not let attempts at genocide and extinction happen on our watch.

May God save and protect our future and help prevent the flag of surrender from being forced upon us.
Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. To date: 47 Solution Papers.
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3:55 p.m.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
.
To date: 47 Solution Papers.

Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014, 4:12 p.m.


 


A Silent Campaign For The Mineapolis Board Of Education Election

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

April 3, 2014

Pull quote: Despite Mayor Rybak’s new position and meetings about new directions in education, we hear little about the three Rs: reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic…

Let life be breathed into the education debate. At stake are not only the lives of our children but also the prosperity and happiness killed by the poverty in our urban neighborhoods.

I recommend that the following organizations hold at least three major Minneapolis School Board candidate forums, in May, July, and late September, 2014: The NAACP, the Minneapolis Urban League and the Leadership Alliance. They should commit themselves to an active and shared leadership role and no longer stand in the shadow of silence.

With all of the pretense that goes on in the City of Minneapolis regarding education, you would think that three months into 2014, an election year, we would already be listening to and weighing passionate thoughts and policy recommendations to deal with the continued mis-education of children of color in Minneapolis public schools.

Nellie Stone Johnson’s mantra remains relevant regardless of race or color: “No education, no job, no housing.” (and thus, in a word, no family, no childhood stability).

In 1965, before Watts, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat and a sociologist (and later a U.S. Senator from New York), predicted today’s state of our Black urban neighborhoods if we didn’t pay attention to education (to prepare for jobs), economic development (jobs, for prosperity and happiness), housing (where families live), marriage and family (community and consistent child rearing), and health (reduce smoking, drinking, drugs), and how not doing so would lead to poverty for many. The big difference: it’s now with Whites too. It’s no long just “a Black thing.”

Just eight months ago, we were hearing about pitched battles between education reformers and their opponents. The reformers seem to have been a group of African American leaders led by Gary Cunningham and the Leadership Alliance, with significant support from outgoing Mayor R.T. Rybak. Yet they blame lack of money or misbehaving students rather than a “cultural” or “community attitude,” and thus dismissed the work ethic of education and training needed to avoid a downward spiral, not to mention that they deny the role of government policies contributing to these negative results.

Needed: forceful, resilient, and constructive debate on real-world solutions, not just words that sound good. Our children are in danger of educational extinction in the current education “culture/climate.”

Where is the real outcry? Reformers only seem to want to contain the wreckage rather than actually fix the fact that Black students drop out, are untrained for work/jobs, have babies out of wedlock, and perpetuate the poverty cycle? You would think this would be high on the agendas of government, public schools, foundations, and churches instead of just more meetings on the wreckage and their reports about how good they are to be thinking about it.

When Mayor Rybak was hired to take on the challenge of educating children of color, reformers sounded like a good ol’ Baptist choir as they sang Halleluiah!, as if talk and bank checks would guarantee a new education initiative. The Minneapolis Board of Education needs to determine real reform, not recycled meetings and recycled reports.

Despite Mayor Rybak’s new position and meetings about new directions in education, we hear little about the three Rs: reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic, which is why some maintain Minneapolis public education has died. There have been occasions when it has been difficult to determine whether the Superintendent of Education still believed in public education.

What happened to the anticipated, intense education debate?

Unmarried women with children in poverty are no longer just a “Black problem,” it is spreading to all the races. In 1965, 23.6 percent of Black children and 3.07 percent of White children had unwed mothers. Today, almost half of all first births (Back, White, Brown, Yellow) are from unmarried women: 30 percent White, 54 percent Hispanic and 72 percent Black.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014, 7:46 p.m.


Was it Tubby Smith’s Fault?
Gophers miss NCAA Basketball Tournament.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 27, 2014

A year ago this month, the Minnesota Gophers Men’s Basketball team played in the NCAA Basketball tournament. The African America Head Coach, Tubby Smith, had retooled the team. It was on the move again. But even when 15-1, Star Tribune started a series of negative, anti-Tubby columns. To his credit, Sid Hartman didn’t agree (writing the day before Smith was fired that it would be a “mistake by the Gophers). Coach Smith went deep into the tournament last year, losing only in the 3rd round, the “Sweet 16”, three games from the championship. Next day: fired.

The century long peculiar smell in the UM athletic culture raised the bar so high so that if he didn’t win the National Championship he would no longer be UM Men’s Head Basketball Coach.

For those who know the University of Minnesota history with Black coaches, this was not surprising. In 1951, Head Basketball Coach Ozzie Cowles said no African American would ever step on his court of competition. His teams played slow, “control basketball.” There are still those slow at acknowledging either civil rights or Blacks as Minnesota teams head coaches.

When the great All American Quarterback, Sandy Stephens arrived in 1959 as a UM Freshman, and was designated by Mississippi born Head Foot Ball coach Murray Warmath, as the next QB, replacing Smokin’ Joe Salem, white alumni and the white media in MN put up a howl. They hadn’t won a championship in nearly 30 years. Sandy Stephens, along with fellow Black All Americans, Bobby Bell, Carl Eller, Bill Munsey, and Judge Dixon, put up with the hatred and venom directed towards them. They led the U to a Rose Bowl win and its last national football championship. None,, now, for over 50 years.

Four years later, the greatest trio of Basketball Players ever to select UM basketball, all African Americans, Lou Hudson, Archie Clark, and Don Yates, led the Gophers to three successive winning seasons. The constant besides winning: criticizing and attacking Black players.

The culture: there were too many “shadows” on the court. Five year later, Brewer, Turner, Young, and Taylor came to the Gopher Basketball program. The white media in this city said there was too much racial imbalance on the basketball court. How to balance? White coach.

And then there was Clem Haskins, brought here to rejuvenate and breath life back into UM men’s basketball. Also forced out. When Lou Holtz left he told Clem that these folks don’t want a winning program, football or basketball, if Blacks are given starting and star roles. And soon, Clem Haskins was sent on his way. Little has changed. A decade later, when Tubby Smith came here from Kentucky, and turned around a Basketball program that had fallen on hard times, he too, despite winning, was told to move on (in one of the most cowardly displays in big time sports).

Tubby’s replacement was not negatively critiqued by the white media, so, in the final analysis, the dark shadow of Raymond “Red” Presley, a friend of mine who was the legendary UM 3 sport athlete not always allowed to play, continues to speak volumes about a culture that really doesn’t want too many blacks, and certainly doesn’t want them in positions of power and leadership, and that never wants to refer to them as heroes. Its why, other than hockey, the U of Mn will have a hard time winning championships. The late, great Bobby Marshall, stated in 1903, about how difficult it was to be a Negro in the culture of Golden Gopher Sports. It still is.

Stay tuned.
============================
============================

Sid Hartman, Star Tribune, March 25, 2013: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers

My columns of a year ago:
March 28, 2013:  “Tubby Smith Says, “I’ll gong to coach Again.”
April 3, 2014, Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity.
April 10, 2013: Congratulations, Tubby! Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

About Tubby on UM Athletic Dept web site, 2013: Smith came to Minnesota with a reputation for winning at the highest level not matched by many coaches in the country. In his 20-year career, he has claimed a National Title (Kentucky in 1997-98), made four "Elite Eight" appearances, nine "Sweet Sixteen" appearances and has posted 17 straight 20-win seasons. His 407 wins entering the 2008-09 season was the sixth-best record of any head coach in their first 17 years in NCAA Division I basketball, joining such names as Roy Williams, Denny Crum, Jim Boeheim, Nolan Richardson and Jerry Tarkanian.

On five different occasions, Smith has been named a conference coach of the year (1994 & 95 in the Missouri Valley Conference and 1998, 2003 & 2005 in the SEC). He has also collected national coach of the year honors on three different occasions (1998, 2003 & 2005).

UM, 03/25/2013: Tubby Smith Relieved of Coaching Duties [Fired day after losing Sweet 16 game to Florida]
Director of Athletics Norwood Teague made the announcement today.
UM 03/24/2013: Florida Too Much for Gophers, 78-64
Minnesota falls in the third round of the NCAA Tournament [ “sweet 16” round]

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Thursday, March 27, 2014, 11:26 a.m.


Nine hundred complaints disappear.
Only 16 cases under investigation.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 20, 2014

Pull quote: It would be more accurate to change the name to the Office of Civil Rights Misconduct, as that is too often the prevailing action within the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.

The Police Misconduct Board operates under the custody and control of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department. The Police Misconduct Board has hired a significant number of attorneys over the last year. They receive a nice stipend to review and make determinations regarding allegations of police misconduct.

Observers as well as workers in City Hall want to know why, under Michael Brown, 900 police complaints, going back several years, have now been jettisoned with no more than 16 active investigations. Police officers call this “bait and switch” and unidentified “Xs and Os.”

Nine hundred complaints have been passed through a shredder. This is not public service; it is sabotage of public service.

The tax payers of Minneapolis are being assessed a significant dollar amount to hire more case reviewers even as the number of cases is reduced. It is clear that, once again, City Hall has adopted its own version of “have a pen and phone” to bypass its own laws, using a shredder and a dumpster for cases, rather than properly reviewing them so that determinations can be made relevant to the statutory importance of these cases to be reviewed.

I am reminded of the cases that came out of the Civil Rights Department itself due to its patterns and practices of dumping cases, as I have reported in this column about how the department sent letters to citizens about their complaints, indicating that their cases had been investigated when they had not been investigated.

Nine hundred complaints represent a lot of citizen expectation that concerns would be taken seriously by government officials, and that the integrity of investigations would be maintained and honored. This is clearly not the case with the Department of Civil Right’s Office of Police Misconduct.

Given the failure of the Department of Civil Rights to stand up for civil rights and to honor and investigate complaints of violation of civil rights, it would be more accurate to change the name to the Office of Civil Right Misconduct, as that is too often the prevailing action within the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, which has made its business not the investigation of civil rights complaints but dismissing the complaints without review or investigation.

How far is too far? An indicator of the answer is when even police officers, who are members of the tribunal, shake their heads in disbelief at such patterns and practices in the City of Minneapolis. These are signs that the tax-paying citizens of our city are in big trouble, and should feel very concerned regarding the application of good government.

We are not watching the breakdown of our government system. “Breakdown” implies natural degrading, as with an old car, an old roof, an old furnace, etc. Rather it is deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful.

Different leadership groups are given to “getting theirs” at the expense of others who do not get theirs. Remember how the newly elected council person of the b, came to her office only to find most of the files missing? This paper included a picture on its front page. The Star Tribune tried to avoid the story.

There are enough laws and statutes on the books. What we have is system sabotage — unnatural, on purpose. Too many Black officials no longer mimic the great civil rights leaders of the first half of the 20th century. They now, as Whites, mimic the sabotage of the Black community in order to better facilitate their being able to say, “we got ours.”

In other words, self-sabotage of today and, thus, sabotage of the education and jobs of future generations.

Stay tuned.

Editors note: this column fits into what a book sub-title calls "Self-Sabotage in Black America."

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2014, 1:00 a.m.


What happened to the receipts?
Re
visiting the Tornado Relief Funds.

March 7, 2014

As submitted to Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, March 6, 2014
for their March 13, 2014 edition,
for the column "Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

A shock wave rolled like a tornado through the March 3, 2014 meeting quietly held in an out of the way University of Minnesota location, as the representatives of the State of Minnesota, Hennepin County, City of Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota, gathered to consider questions raised regarding how tornado relief money following the May 22, 2011 tornado was spent.

Though quietly held, the meeting was not one of secrecy. It was one of quiet inquiry. These oversight agencies finally realized they had incomplete accounting for tornado relief funds spent. Their reputations were at risk. They were caught napping in our age of “forensic accounting” (doing financial autopsies on what some hoped were dead accounting records). This is why they confronted relief distribution organizations and their leaders with specific questions regarding tornado relief funds distribution, as sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars are unaccountable. How much was actually used to help tornado victims and how much was diverted from such help? Incompetence? Embezzlement? Both?

Recall questions raised in late 2011 and early 2012, because of the Status Update Report of June 3, 2011, of the Minneapolis Foundation’s Minnesota Help North Minneapolis Recovery Fund, a fund set up to accelerate distribution funded by tremendous donations from corporate Minnesota.

On July 6, 2011, the Minneapolis Foundation and the Greater Twin Cities United Way announced they had raised $513,258 for the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT) relief effort. Elim Transitionary Housing, Inc. had receipts for every penny received and distributed.

This column reported and raised questions about the distribution of relief money (see our columns of 2011):
Disaster accelerates gentrification of North Minneapolis. Reconstruction proceeds without Black workers, June 01, 2011.

When experience and knowledge truly mean something. Real vs. Fake Ministry Responses to the North Minneapolis Tornado, June 8, 2011.

For two and a half years the general public has been told all is in order. No longer. How was over $700,000 marked for tornado relief actually spent? Far less than what the minutes of the Northside Community Response Team of June 10, 2011, at 2 pm, suggest, falsely suggesting happy days were here again. Were over 5,000 families/people really accommodated with these relief funds?

Documents awaiting examination by investigators show tremendous amounts of cash money paid to tornado victims, 80% of whom were African American, out of the benevolence and compassion of organizations who proclaimed membership on the Northside Community Response Team. Was it so?

Why was it that the very respected and beloved African American woman who had worked for 23 years for the Minneapolis Foundation, and who had receipts for every dollar of relief paid out or items bought, lost her position, while others who were unable to produce a record of receipts for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they said they had provided to residents of North Minneapolis did not lose their positions?

Overseers at the March 3rd meeting want to know accounting documents are accurate, authentic and complete. We know there will be estimation. We await an explanation of the accounting details and why receipts cannot be found.

Given the status update of the June 3, 2011 report and the impressive response to the call to arms to help and provide for citizens who had been battered by the May 22, 2011 tornado, one wonders why blue tarps are still up and why not all people claimed didn't receive any of the close to $1M in direct contributions, as well as the millions of dollars in federal funds poured into North Minneapolis, in the ensuing months and years after the tornado, as discoered. May those identified June 3 2011, have the opportunity to retrieve their lives and look forward to a more steady future. Anything less is unacceptable.

Stay tuned.

Editors note: this column fits into what a book sub-title calls "Self-Sabotage in Black America."

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2014, 3:10 p.m.
Originally submitted to Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, March 6, 2014, for their March 14, 2014 edition.


M.A. Mortenson not up to the task for an NFL stadium
Construction manager track record in construction: Junior Varsity.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

March 5, 2014

Pull quote: The “accident” a couple of weeks ago of the massive beam falling during demolition, out of sequence (resulting in a change to dynamiting the rest), shows they were unprepared…

In these columns a year ago, I called attention to the concerns making the Minnesota Vikings uncomfortable with the selection of M.A. Mortenson as construction manager for the now over $1 billion Vikings "multi purpose" stadium, concerns shared also with the NFL. Nothing against Mortenson. It’s a really nice square peg, but they are trying to fit it into a round hole and it doesn’t fit.

Mortenson, great at smaller venues (see below), is out of its league with the Vikings, lacking the expertise, experience, and success history with projects of this size and magnitude. Contrast this with those the Star Tribune reported as rejected (January 21, 2013): Hunt Construction, of Scottsdale, AZ, builder of nearly 50 professional sports venues, including NFL stadiums (two with retractable roofs), and Skanska, the international firm that has also built NFL stadiums. Mortenson has built none.

But Minnesota politics dictated Mortenson receive the project. It is becoming clear each day that the Vikings were correct in their suspicions that M.A. Mortenson was junior varsity and not first-string senior varsity as Hunt and Skanska.

The “accident” a couple of weeks ago of the massive beam falling during demolition, out of sequence (resulting in a change to dynamiting the rest), shows they were unprepared, couldn’t fix their plan, and thus resorted to dynamite. They currently lack an integrated plan.

The conclusion is clear: M.A. Mortenson has never undertaken a project of this size and magnitude (see list below), raising serious questions about the investment and trust made on behalf of Mortenson by the elected representatives of the tax payers of Minnesota that was forced onto the Vikings and the NFL.

The decision to change — in mid-stream — the method of demolition of the Metro Dome should worry investors, bond holders, and others who have a stake in this stadium and now worry about the consequences if these and future delays prevent on-schedule completion.

The fact that Mortenson now talks about a second plan, one that is not as of the writing of this column in place, is troublesome to bondholders and other investors, now having to wonder what additional costs will be incurred and additional moneys needed. At no point in time during the legislative and planning process was there ever a discussion involving a second plan protocol.

July 2016 is the stated date of completion. I continue to maintain that just as in the case of delays with the specialty steel now being prepared in Luxemburg, certain political powers knew that this stadium would not be ready until the year 2017 or 2018. That’s the reason there was discussion to avoid a four-year operational contract, as with TCF stadium. Here are the “largest” of Mortenson contracts. Size (or lack of size) matters (the Mortenson portfolio is here:

2013: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, NB, $161 million, 15,147 seats
• 2012: St. Paul, Union Depot restoration: $243 million.
• 2011: Mortenson to build largest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant in the world (solar arrays are very different from stadiums)
• 2010: Target Field, $412 million, 40,000 seats, open air
• 2009: Third largest sports arena in China, $220 million; will seat 18,000.
• 2009: Gophers’ TCF Stadium, $288 million, 50,000 seats, open air
• 2008: the $139 million IBCT Company Operations Facilities project at Ft. Bliss, TX, “one of the company’s largest design-build projects,” consisting of 12 separate buildings, with operational support space for more than 7,000 soldiers.

Mortenson’s Vikings stadium claim: “7,500 construction-related jobs and…substantial business opportunity for hundreds of local subcontractors and suppliers.” We still await diversity numbers.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Wednesday, March 4, 2014, 12:40 a.m


When bribery and corruption causes death!
In the deaths of five children in North Minneapolis

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 26, 2014

Pull quote: Saying the tenant is at fault for faulty setting of the controls passes the buck to sidestep poor wiring and unsafe space heaters.

On Saturday, February 15, 2014, Minneapolis Fire Department units rushed to a blazing and fatal fire at 2818 Colfax Avenue, North. Five beautiful, precious and innocent children lost their lives. The father, who lost his wife to heart disease a couple of months ago, now loses five of his children.

He tried to rescue them. Three were burnt beyond recognition. The father, suffering burns and smoke inhalation, is still in the hospital.

This tragedy will forever have an enormous impact on the father, Troy Lewis, and his surviving daughters, as well as on the many friends, family and loved ones. This tragedy raises two major question: (1) why the continued lack of good affordable housing in Minneapolis, and (2) why does the pattern and practice continue in the City of Minneapolis inspections that allow slum land lords and city inspectors to prey upon the poor, specifically people of color?

The Fire Department did everything that could be done professionally and humanly for this fire that should never have happened. This father and his children had only been in the house a couple of months. Yet the house passed city inspection. How, when they were forced to use space heaters for heat, one in the middle of the apartment? This calls for an examination of the inspection reports.

Rules and procedures, codes and statutes governing government protocols for inspections and examinations and clearances for houses to be occupied are too often ignored. It’s a win win for slum landlords and inspectors but not for those in danger due to inspection deals. It has long been felt — and many know stories about —that too many envelopes are passed back and forth under the table that allow inspectors to look the other way.

Any damn fool would have recognized the red flag: space heaters situated throughout the apartment, and a neglecting land lord, Paul Bertelson. Why did the Star Tribune intentionally spell his name with an “o” instead of an “e”? Could it be because another member of the family, Philip, was involved in the death of two African Americans on November 3, 2013, in North Minneapolis on Olson Highway?

In fact, the company that is used by these landlords, Mission Inn Minnesota, Inc., has a history defined by inspectors ignoring what they find and the White media not investigating. The number of properties that they control and their ability to get them to pass inspection, particularly in North Minneapolis, again raises serious questions about bribes and kickbacks.

It is bad enough that the November third vehicular homicide has yet to receive a complete a reconstruction. Why does the Star Tribune make no effort to report this drunken murderer?

Yes, it is murder, vehicular homicide. We know that if it was an intoxicated Black driver killing two Whites, he would be under the jail as we speak.

Will statements made by Bertleson that the walls and ceilings were insulated when they were not be investigated? Saying the tenant is at fault for faulty setting of the controls passes the buck to sidestep poor wiring and unsafe heat. The Star Tribune has a responsibility to the public to use the Freedom of Information Act, to pull inspection reports.

Blaming the victims is the sad default of too many dealing with tragedy in the Black community. We can only offer prayers for those that have survived and for the five beautiful African American children who perished, whose deaths again remind us that there are serious questions of the culture of corruption at work in the city of Minneapolis.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press
Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2014, 5:20 p.m


A reappointment that is a mistake.
Velma Korbel to again head the Department of Civil Rights

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 19, 2014

Pull quote: Ted Mondale admitted the lack of diversity for the Twins stadium. He pledged it wouldn’t happen with the Vikings stadium.

Velma Korbel’s reappointment by newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges to continue as Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) director is a huge mistake that nonetheless exposes the city culture we have long reported: that city government, regardless of who is in charge, is a culture opposed to diversity (the silence on this by the DFL, churches, foundations, and Black nonprofits places them in the same culture). Shamefully, leading Black organizations participate in this culture as they compete for their share of the spoils at the expense of those they are supposed to serve and represent.

Velma Korbel’s reappointment continues a departmental disaster going back through two permanent directors and one interim director. The African American community will continue to be ill served as seen by the 99 percent White work force of the Vikings stadium.

Last week the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an investigative report on former regulatory services director Rocco Forte, former Chief of the Fire Department. Reporting that he served with distinction and effectiveness, it then incorrectly reported that he was a bully and disgrace to his position of authority.
For the Star Tribune to be accurate, it must report the biggest bully and the department producing the most law suits costing tax payers money: Velma Korbel and her Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). A local weekly paper, City Pages, last November, reported on the bullying and discrimination within the MDCR.

Although ineffective in fighting for diversity, she is highly effective in fighting against diversity, hence her reappointment. She will gladly massage stadium work force numbers (people working categorized by race and gender). The MDCR expects a significant payday from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for assisting in developing bogus numbers.

The MDCR demonstrated for the Twins Ball Park Authority that they could help further Chicago-style corruption in Minneapolis. Consequently, with the exception of two contracts awarded to African American firms, the kickbacks went to majority firms as part of their “arrangement” from which the African American community was excluded.

The same is true regarding the construction of the University of Minnesota’s TCF Gopher’s stadium: African Americans excluded. Ted Mondale admitted the lack of diversity for the Twins stadium. He pledged it wouldn’t happen with the Vikings stadium.

Yet he continues it. A former African American MDCR director bragged Minneapolis could meet minority hiring requirements without having to hire a single Black person. The laws suits settled or currently in litigation involving the MDCR under Velma Korbel are smoking guns, including the cases of the late Marvin Taylor, the late Lauren Marker, and former compliance director, Ronald Brandon.

Diversity is a sham in the MDCR, as it shreds evidence and documentation, especially regarding the Twins Stadium. This is a disturbing pattern and practice of corruption that continues the falsification of information pertaining to compliance on the Twins stadium, which has strategically positioned Mr. Tittle to help facilitate a second round of falsified numbers about the Vikings stadium. Watch for falsified existence of personnel and falsified compliance of the goals set by Kevin Lindsay, Minnesota Commissioner of Human Rights.

Mayor Hodges and her new administration know of the MDCR musical chairs and obviously believe they can continue this practice with impunity. Looking back: for two years many scoffed at my reporting that Star Tribune land was all part of the Grand Stadium Deal, and that it, too would also exclude Black Americans.

Deny no longer: Star Tribune headline, Feb. 11, 2014: “Star Tribune land sold to Ryan [AND] stadium authority.” Why? For their “proposed $400 million project next to the new Vikings stadium.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6:47 a.m


Significant economic surge for the Black community by Sports Authority? Or manipulation of numbers to conceal few Black workers?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 12, 2014

Pull quote: The 34 percent workforce suggests significant economic uplift, not unlike that occurring in the energy fields of North Dakota. But is it?

A week ago, at the meeting of the Stadium Equity Committee, created by the stadium authorizing legislation, Alex Tittle, director of equity for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) reported that “hours” — not persons — in the workforce would be how the 34 percent minority workers on the stadium doctrine would be counted. Thirty-four percent was advanced almost two years ago by State Human Rights Commissioner, Kevin Lindsay and put into the legislation. The euphoria was understandable. The disappointment and disillusion today is just as understandable.

The 2009 joint study by Mortenson Construction and Conventions, Sports & Leisure, International (CSL) reported: “construction of a new stadium will support approximately 13,000 jobs, including 7,500 construction and trades workers who will be employed during the three-year building process.” Also: “Nearly 4.3 million work hours with almost $300 million in wages for construction workers will be required for this project.” The 34 percent workforce suggests significant economic uplift, not unlike that occurring in the energy fields of North Dakota. But is it?

Here is how the Mortenson/CSL figures pencil out when tallied over three years:
• 34 percent 13,000 total jobs equal 4,420 jobs for minorities.
• 34 percent 7,500 construction jobs equal 2,550 jobs for minorities.
• 34 percent of 4.3 million hours equal ,462,000 hours of work for minorities.
• 34 percent of $300 million in wages equal $102 million in wages for minorities in salaries, wages, bonuses, subcontract profits and other compensation.

Key question as always: how many African Americans will be included in “minorities”?

The January 15, 2014, report delivered to the legislative commission overseeing the stadium reflected the potentially significant economic benefit for communities of color if the state follows through on its commitment as expressed in stadium legislation Section 17, Article 473j.12, “Employment,” line 19.12: the percentage applies to current city goals: workers from zip codes with high rates of poverty and unemployment. Is the change of 34 percent minority persons to hours to again manipulate the numbers and exclude African Americans, as with the Gophers and Twins stadiums?

This is historically significant as it is the same formula used on the construction of the Minneapolis School District Headquarters, at 1250 West Broadway, which resulted in few actual African American workers. When asked, the district could not produce for this paper the actual dollar amount, although they showed each day on a bill board situated at the site the posting the hours worked by minorities. But few actual African Americans.

Why did Commissioner Lindsay decide this was the clever protocol to adopt, which they announced at the equity committee meeting on January 31, 2014? Will the accounting in three years show few actual African American workers on the Vikings stadium just as with the Gopher and Twins stadiums?

What clever manipulation will be used to make it appear they met Section 13 of the stadium authorizing legislation, 473j.09, entitled “Powers and duties of the authority”? Sub paragraph nine of Section 13 authorizes the MSFA to conduct research, collect and analyze data, and hold hearings to inform decision making.

What study/analysis led them to make the change from number of “persons” to “hours,” and how will it possibly enable ensuring the full inclusion of people of color, especially African Americans, in this stadium project? How were the details of this change expressed in the 2nd Annual Legislative Report presented to the legislature on January 15, 2014?

It is important that the real economic infusion, or lack thereof, into the African American community be made on an annual basis so the enthusiasm and bright future expected for and on behalf of the African American community is realized.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 4:05 a.m


State of Emergency in Minnesota:
When corporate and government greed take over America

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

February 5, 2014

Pull quote: We need to be more sensitive to the importance and safety of all of our citizens, not just the top five percent.
“State of Emergency!” declared Governor Mark Dayton, January 27, 2014. "Minnesota is cancelled due to the cold," said Star Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas, tongue in cheek. But it’s no joke.

Governor Dayton activated Minnesota’s National Guard to help with safety and rescue situations, opened Minnesota National Guard armories as shelter for people without heat, and called for a meeting with propane sellers and distributors to discuss price gouging.

The Governor pushed to the sidelines issues not of life and death, lesser issues like the Vikings stadium and the Minnesota bid for Super Bowl 2018, as he spoke to the hardship suffered by Minnesotans and others in the upper Midwest due to the dangerous shortage of propane gas to combat the cold in a nation of abundant energy.

Why a shortage? Because of two dangerous ideas: (1) place profit over compassion, denying propane to those without heat who can’t afford the price gouging, and (2) a shortage of propane due to the change from 1968’s discussion of the need for fuel for warmth in a new ice age to claiming there will be no more polar ice caps and no more extreme cold due to global warming. We see the protection of profit, price gouging, and fees (whether both “green/sustainable” and “regular”), as seen in the Minnesota State Supreme Court’s ruling on Viking Stadium law suits, in the extra fees for delivery charged by propane distributors, and in the governor’s statement that additional costs have to be passed on to the consumer, even though the shortage and higher costs were created by planners ignoring (due to “warming”) the Farmer’s Almanac warning of this cold.

Over abundance of potential energy for heat has been crippled by over abundance of regulations and “warming planners” ignoring the over use of propane last fall to dry out water-soaked corn crops, making our beloved Minnesota sound like an underdeveloped nation. Some Minnesotans are being asked to pay five dollars per gallon for propane gas that last year was going for $1.59. Some are told they must pay $1,000 for 150 gallons of propane. To regulators, sellers and propane distributors alike: Shame! Shame! Shame!

I shudder thinking of families with babies, children and elderly without propane, facing plunging temperatures and wind-chill readings of minus-55 degrees below zero, as wind-driven blizzards sweep across the state, freezing solid everything in its path, with their primal fear and survival anxiety made worse by federal planning interfering with where such planning should occur (denying state and local levels: Minnesota knows cold).

We have been locked in a block of ice for over a month. I commend Governor Dayton for recognizing the desperate situation facing Minnesotans. Although we hope that by July 4th we’ll be laughing when we speak of The Great Winter of 2013-14, this is not the time for levity when facing the uncompassionate greed of big corporate or the lack of cold planning by global warming bureaucrats. We need to be more sensitive to the importance and safety of all of our citizens, not just the top five percent.

Those seeking excuses for not being compassionate ignore the moral framework of Adam Smith, who wrote of the need for “compassion” in the marketplace of the “invisible hand” in pursuit of economic benefit: “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” For Smith, society survives when there are rules for not harming each other.

This senselessness must be explained. Those responsible must be held accountable.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 1:22 a.m


NAACP activates legal strategy
Local branch joins Doug Mann in Sports Authority law suit

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 29, 2014

Pull quote: The financial settlement should be significant for the economic future of African Americans in Minneapolis and throughout the state.

One of the traditional strengths of the NAACP movement has been its shrewd planning for taking legal action against those violating rights of African Americans. When you think of the successes of NAACP legal redress committees, you think of such leaders as Walter White, Roy Wilkens and Thurgood Marshall, as well as such historic actions and legal milestones as the 1954 decision of Brown vs. Board of Education and Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor Peoples March.

The legal redress committee, a historic pillar of strength of NAACP branches across America fighting for African American civil rights, is seen once again in the local NAACP branch’s crafty move on the legal front to join the suit of long time NAACP member Doug Mann against the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for its failure to meet its diversity pledge.

With the appointment of long time local branch NAACP supporter Louis King to its executive committee, the trap door has been slammed shut on the MSFA. It is clear that Louis King and others would be the chief negotiators in a significant financial settlement involving the NAACP groups organized to carry this out.

The MSFA failure to create a diverse work force is clear. Its time of stalling by again saying “wait” has run out (see Martin Luther King, Jr.’s seminal 1963 book regarding this, Why We Can’t Wait.  Hint: injustice and unfairness).

We understand the historic and brilliant legal redress strategy to support the action initiated by NAACP member Doug Mann. The MSFA shell game has been exposed. After all of the chest-thumping bragging, we see the MSFA cannot show an equity or affirmative action plan on either the front end or back end of whatever plan the MSFA has talked about (hence Louis King’s statement that only 100 workers are on board stadium construction now with the majority not until mid-2015). No wonder the NAACP is officially joining with Mr. Mann.

Now it will be even tougher for the State Supreme Court to reject the NAACP legal brief to be heard on this matter of a continued violation of the civil rights of Black Americans and others of color. This column will be watching closely as announcements are made of pending legal actions against the MSFA’s misrepresented commitment to equity and inclusion of African Americans in jobs at and contracts for stadium construction by the MSFA.

The sleeping giant of the NAACP, re-awakened, marches with its time-honored NAACP legal redress committee strategy. It is a bright day, a triumphant day. The local NAACP branch joins a long line of legal redress committees in the forefront of successful challenges and strategies as used by Thurgood Marshall, Nellie Stone Johnson, and Cecil Newman, etc., who would be proud of this very clever plan being activated.

The financial settlement should be significant for the economic future of African Americans in Minneapolis and throughout the state. Of those involved, we know “the color of their skin.” Now we’ll learn about “the content of their character.”

To the graduating class of Morehead college in 1959, Martin Luther King, Jr said, "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

In his 1963, “Letter from a Birmingham jail,” Dr. King wrote: "The question is not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?"

Stay tuned.

Ed. Note:  Columns are submitted 8 days prior to publication.  Following submission of this column, the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the suit, “stating in a five-page order handed down Tuesday [Jan 22, 2014], the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled it does not have jurisdiction over the matter.”  This is a troubling decision, as it not only leaves unresolved the question of the City ignoring its own charter but also turns a blind eye on the fact that the stadium enabling legislation gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction over the issuance of bonds.  It is one thing to go through the process of changing the Charter.  It is quite another to ignore it when it is felt to be inconvenient.  The precedents this set will come back to haunt.  The same is true of the Supreme Court finding a narrow way to side step its legislatively determined bond sale jurisdiction.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 12:38 a.m


Financial disaster for Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 22, 2014

Pull quote:

Pull quote: The MN Supreme Court has to decide whether they will protect the rule of law or continue to break the law in the name of favoritism, cronyism, and rich privilege.

When Douglass Mann filed his motion with the Minnesota Supreme Court, early Friday morning, January 10, 2014, no one knew his motion was being sent to the State Supreme Court, raising serious constitutional issues with regard to the funding of the $1 billion “people’s stadium.”

As of the writing of this column, three days after the filing, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) did one of the most peculiar things in the modern legal history of Minnesota: asked to be a defendant in this landmark constitutional case, peculiar because one thing that never happens in America is for people to rush into court to be a defendant, especially when there are allegations of constitutional violations.

Besides obviously believing they can’t/won’t lose, the MSFA is employing a shrewd strategy: requesting that the Minnesota Supreme Court impose a $50 million bond upon the Mann group to stop their pursuit seeking justice and fairness for the taxpayers of the City of Minneapolis, and, by extension, the taxpayers of Minnesota, The MSFA, in about 16 months or less, has gone through $74 million, including the $50 million in cash provided by Ziggy Wilf and the Minnesota Vikings.

Before the Supreme Court does anything, it should require a forensic audit as to how the MFSA conducted its business from July of 2012 through December of 2013, and how it has spent its money ($74 million) and doesn’t have money to pay the bills due ($28 million) later this month (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board says one in three company audits have “high levels of deficiencies.” How high for government agencies like MFSA?).

The MSFA is paying more for the foreign steel they purchased than they are confirming, and have apparently consummated contracts that are $50 million beyond what they have ever had in their bank accounts. And Thursday evening, Jan 9, MSFA Equity Director Alex Tittle not only pointed out that 46 percent of current stadium work force were women and minorities (hard to believe), but that “to date more than $120 million have been awarded in contracts.” Really? With what money?

I’m not sure who is doing the math for the MFSA or the state, but this offers a better understanding of how $50 million was on the MFSA radar scope (if the MFSA loses and the deal falls through, MSFA would have to pay the Wilfs back their $50 million), when they asked the MN Supreme Court to impose those conditions on Mr. Mann and his group (or any other MN citizen who challenges the breaking of the rule of law by officials embracing the doctrine that it is okay to break the law as long as it is the rich and privileged taking care of the rich and privileged just as bank robbers rob to take care of bank robbers).

The MN Supreme Court has to decide whether they will protect the rule of law or continue to break law in the name of favoritism, cronyism, and rich privilege. This is a historic test for the state that produced Floyd B Olson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Nellie Stone Johnson, Cecil Newman, and other great Minnesota initiators of principle.

Many great legal scholars who have sat upon the bench of the Supreme Court of Minnesota will be looking down from afar to see if the rule of law is still in place. We know the MN Sports Facilities Authority is broke, but woe to us if breaking the rule of law is authorized by the state Supreme Court. Will the Court establish a dangerous precedent or take the constitutional and moral high ground?

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 1:48 a.m


Promises, Promises, Promises.
What good is an Equity Plan with no follow through?    

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 15, 2014

Pull quote:

The current mayor and six members of the city council did nothing to address the inequities that were pointed out in the $500,000 taxpayer study on the lack of equity access and opportunity in the city of Minneapolis.

Liberals have become extremely proficient at making promises to the constituent base of people of color. The theme song is “come vote for me so that me and my people get paid to distribute a few tax dollars to you,” not “come fly with me to prosperity.”

Betsy Hodges, our incoming mayor [Mayor Hodges, city council off to a raucous start in Minneapolis, January 6, 2014], made the traditional liberal promises last Monday, January 6, 2014, in her inaugural. Under the guise of equity, the constituent base, people of color were told to wait on another five-year plan. The Soviet Union communist five- and 10-year plans were not funny. With the African American community no longer having access to City Hall, it’s still not funny: plans as promises made with no intention of being kept.

Someone pointed out the other day that the Bush Foundation gave a $100,000 grant to a member of city council to develop an equity plan. As we can’t get an equity plan implemented for the Viking stadium, how for the entire city?

The Somali community announced (January 5, 2014, Star Tribune) that it has been rewarded with a special Somali Advisory Committee attached to the mayor’s office. And yet, despite all the pain and broken promises that slave-descended African American communities endured over the decades, no previous mayor — liberal or conservative — created a Native American or African American Special Advisory Group to the mayor of the city of Minneapolis.

The City Council could not muster enough votes last Monday to allow 100 citizens to have input on a proposed equity plan. The suggestion made: “You people” do it through the committee structure, not public testimonies. So, even the council rule of only two minutes per person never happened.

This is how the least of our citizens (in this case a powerless Black community) is left dangling, despite the funding and expectation of the Bush Foundation that the City Council will begin to craft an equity plan. The waiting for a stadium equity plan now shifts to waiting for an equity plan for the building of a light-rail system (that represents 100s if not 1,000s of jobs in North Minneapolis that. at best, cannot begin until 2017), and then shifts to wait for the next big or small projects.

The equity plan/promise also talks about housing and education. Nellie Stone Johnson always said “no education, no jobs, no housing.” And yet, after the equity study report of October 2010, the current mayor and six members of the city council did nothing to address the inequities that were pointed out in the $500,000 taxpayer study on the lack of equity access and opportunity in the city of Minneapolis. So why should we think they will now?

The observation from people aware of what did and didn’t happen have every right to say, in a public manner, that we can expect nothing but broken promises in a broken city with broken morals that goes to great lengths to pretend they care for the least of our citizens and children of color.

Clearly, their pretense is as false as their mission. No promises kept. No expectant future. That is the sad, immoral, and corrupt Minneapolis Equity Plan. The failed $10 Trillion War on Poverty begun 50 years to beat poverty which is now at a 50-year record high. President Lyndon B. Johnson, January 8, 1968: “unconditional war on poverty in America to attack causes not just symptoms of poverty;…a fair chance to develop their own capacities;…an investment…[that will]…return its cost manifold to the entire economy;…to replace their despair with opportunity.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 5:50 a.m


The Rooney Rule is dead.
Next Vikings coach “must” be White

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 8, 2014

Pull quote:

The Vikings will go through the motions, bring a Black guy in for an interview, and then say to the world they have satisfied the Rooney Rule requirement.

With the firing of Leslie Frazier December 30, the NFL is down to two African Americans head coaches out of the 32 teams that make up the National Football League (none were hired in the 2013 hiring cycle; Big Ten: none in the last 10 years).

This is not about Affirmative Action; this is about affirmative discrimination. With 65 percent of players being African American and most coaches being former players, statistically, all things being equal, to get the best of the best you would have at least 20 Black head coaches. I’d settle now for 10.

Statistically the NFL numbers reflect discrimination. The real number that counts is how few entry-level Black coaches are hired who can then compete for moving up. Closing the beginning of the coaching pipeline guarantees fewer qualified for the coordinator to head coach move.

Not since the mid-1970s has there been so few African Americans as NFL head coaches. To head off comments, NFL propagandists, late Monday afternoon, December 30th, started to feed information to the sports media that former Chicago head coach, Lovie Smith, was the leading candidate for the Tampa Bay job.

How ironic that the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers is owned by the Rooney family, the same people who crafted the Rooney Rule, which says that wherever there is a head coaching vacancy, at least one of those interviewed must be an African American, or a candidate of color. It will be interesting to see who the Minnesota Vikings will interview and pass over in an effort to “abide” by the Rooney “rule.”

Let’s be realistic, my friends. The Vikings need to sell a lot of seat licenses in order to sell season tickets. The false liberal philosophy of equity will show its ugly side. Likewise, the false NFL belief that they need White head coaches to get viewers or sell tickets. The Vikings will go through the motions, bring a Black guy in for an interview, and then say to the world they have satisfied the Rooney Rule requirement. Did you find it as telling as I did that in all the White sports media in this city the commentary about replacing Frasier did not include a single African American candidate.

This helps heighten the significance of the miracle hiring of Denny Green as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings over a decade ago in the late 1990s. Have no doubt: Leslie Frazier was the type of human being, coach, father figure and mentor that the NFL pretends that they support, but in reality they do not, as seen by the fact that the NFL is now down to two African Americans in a head coaching position as of this writing on December 30, 2013. That speaks volumes to the return of overt racism regarding the coaching ranks of America’s biggest sport.
If you tie this into the almost non-existent African Americans as head coaches at prestigious White colleges, you understand the doctrine whispered about, that Blacks can play and entertain us, but they are not smart enough to lead or provide inspiration for young men and women, Black or White. Even greater irony is the National Football League having fewer African American head coaches during the administration of a Black president. There is something very symbolic about that and it has a lot to do with the games people play and the lack of a sincere commitment to the Rooney rule by the NFL.

We conclude that Leslie Frazier was in the wrong city with the wrong team at the wrong time in history.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 11:50 p.m


Looking at 2013 Through Real Eyes

"Through My Eyes,” by Ron Edwards
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
and Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder News Online

January 1, 2014

We wish to convey to all of our readers and the staff at the Spokesman Recorder, all the best for a bright future.

Our last column of 2013 ended with “We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites.” 

In this first column of 2014, we celebrate another Black man, Barack Obama, who has moved beyond proving that a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites:  he proves that a Black man can be President of the most powerful country in history.

Although some say President Barack Obama is a lame duck president, a failure with no legacy, we disagree.  “Lame duck” is short hand by ivory tower public policy academics who don’t get out from behind their lecterns but still think they should be in charge.  President Obama has succeeded with health care where all, from Teddy Roosevelt forward, have failed (Ted Kenney and Jimmy Carter each wrote, in their last books that Ted purposefully killed health care under Nixon and again under Carter).  We don’t know what the final shape of health care will be but it will be, and it will be part of his legacy.

The President shares everyone’s dream:  a free, democratic, prosperous society for all.  Disagreements are over how to achieve this shared dream, whether through centralized or "localized" influence, or federalist as Congress/White House or federalist/constitutional as states/cities/neighborhoods.  Required is compromising forward, engaging “the politics of moderation,” making haste slowly to allow for the peaceful inclusion of diversity.  Those opposed to real diversity are tyrants.  

Nelson Mandella fought for a South Africa constitution modeled on ours.  Too many in the world today, left and right, want to dispense with constitutions.  If we spent more time ensuring the survival of our institutions of democracy, the greatness of our First Amendment’s protections of minorities of religion, speech, press, gathering, and redress of grievance, we would not have to worry.  That is the true sense of compassion and caring that is needed by our democratic institutions that President Obama brings to the conversation.

Too many of both party’s self defined “betters” are committed to the failure and nullification of those they define as “lessers”. This column continues to subscribe to the doctrine that there are more of us who believe in what is right, who believe in compassion, who believe in humility, who believe in opportunity, than those who are opposed to those doctrines because of ugly visions and devious motivations (such as racism and opposition to diversity).

The elections of 2014 will reflect voters rolling up their sleeves to support our institutions of democracy and democratic dreams of people.  We are a good nation with great institutions of freedom and liberty (history reflects this).  We have good people with achievable dreams.  President Obama is committed to this.  It is in that spirit that this column encourages all Americans to work to achieve fairness, justice and inclusion that will allow the least, the youngest, and the most compassionate to see success on the horizon.

We live in a city of Scandinavians who brought the spirit of Martin Luther and the Reformation’s sense of renewal, new beginnings, and second chances.  When will the Lutherans of this city stand up for their consciences and Luther’s “no ruler” (secular or religions) perspective to aid our new Mayor and new City Council to finally achieve the reform needed to enable true diversity and inclusion?

I stand with President Barack Obama as he declares at each speech’s end:  God bless the United States of America.

Stay tuned.

For Ron’s hosted radio and TV show’s broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press

Posted Thursday, January 2, 2013, 3:13 a.m.


Minneapolis NAACP on the move?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

December 25, 2013

Pull quote:

Without change, projections indicate that by 2025, there will be no African Americans in either the police or fire departments.

Congratulations to the Rev. Jerry McAfee, newly elected president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP, and to the new board members. This is an auspicious time.

We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites. Along with Archbishop Tutu’s “ubuntu,” he demonstrated that “truth” and “reconciliation” are more than slogans: they are action paths to unity.

Minneapolis needs unity and reconciliation within the Black community and between White and Black people and institutions. Eyes are to be kept on the prize of equitable education, jobs, and housing.

Our hope and prayer is that the branch will move to carry out the NAACP mission: “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination,” helping to reverse the shattering of the African American political juggernaut from the outside and its implosion from the inside.

We look to Rev. McAfee and the local branch to make this New Years’ resolution: provide the spark needed by a beleaguered and under siege African American community enduring well-calculated outrageous and dangerous attacks that are forces of nullification and reversal of the African American community, in:

• Education: reactionary forces, left and right, saying mis-education of African Americans is a mental health problem.

• Jobs in the police and fire departments diminishing: lowest number of African American applicants for police officers (first class in 25 years without an African American) and fire fighters (the lowest recruiting class number in 40 years).

• Jobs in general: diversity in hiring purposefully denied. Examples: transportation (road and light rail), Vikings Stadium (the largest public works project in Minnesota history, etc.).

• Justice: white washing police action. Example: T.T. Franklin.

• Housing. Example: substandard government housing, the American Heritage/Hollman project.

• Politics: no Black representation in City Hall and only two Black state senators.

Without change, projections indicate that by 2025, there will be no African Americans in either the police or fire departments.

In the city of Minneapolis, as in Detroit and Baltimore, liberals and Democrats have used their majorities to turn back the clock, while Republicans and conservatives approvingly watch.

That is the wrong kind of unity. Our great need is to reconcile and unite within our community and, as in South Africa, with Whites. African American school youth, especially Black males, are being suspended in record numbers, with “mental health” being used as a procedural justification.

We also need New Year’s resolutions from the incoming mayor and other liberals on the city council (who claim once again that they are working on a racial equity plan): to provide equity action results, not more plans. The African American community is not a part of the planning: “plantation” all over again.

Circumstances are further complicated by the absence of an African American presence in City Hall. These are desperate times, and desperate circumstances calling for precise plans and precise strategies. Abundant outlines for finding answers exist (UM, HHH School of Public Affairs, archives of NAACP, Urban League, past Civil Rights commissions, my web site, etc.).

The re-emergence of NAACP branch to move with dispatch and effectiveness to recapture lost opportunities and prevent future losses would be a godsend to help reverse the demise of the African American community as a viable group of citizens. We urge the branch to hold hearings on issues that foster a house divided (see list above), and add hearings about the purposeful reversal of historic achievements of success in government and private sectors.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted radio and TV shows’ broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. For 47 “solution” papers, go www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocsolutions.htm.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. For 47 “solution” papers, go www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocsolutions.htm

Posted Wedneday, December 25, 2013, 3:07 p.m.
Column submitted Dec. 18, 2013.

From the Archives:
--- 10 Suggestions/themes for the [national] NAACP Board to consider for its next annual convention if it is to again obtain relevance and significance…, Based on "Tracking the Gaps" blog entry of June 8, 2007
--- Diversity and Compliance Studies regarding Job Hiring and Contracting with African American: Minneapolis has practiced disparity and purposefully and actively avoids compliance , Solution Paper #46, posted November 22, 2011,
Future updates as of top entry posted.
--- "PLANNING": UPDATED/EXPANDED: For The Positive Future Possibilities Of Minnesota, for Minneapolis in General and the African American community in Minneapolis in particular, May 25, 2011.
--- "Ubuntu" Reconciliation of Communities and Races, November 11, 2003.
--- State of Emergency For Black Youth, posted August 16, 2003, from Chapter 9 of “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” by Ron Edwards as told to Peter Jessen. The page heading is “Jobs, Not Drugs and Jail: The White Man’s War on Young Black Men.”


A great injustice: the death of T.T. Franklin.
Why another farce of a police report?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

December 18, 2014

Pull quote:

The family and the African American community are owed more than the sham that was the Grand Jury investigation under the current county attorney, Mike Freeman.

When the police version of the circumstances surrounding their May 10, 2013 basement shooting death of Terrance Terrill Franklin was published September 26, 2013, so-called leaders, Black and White, seemed to finally breathe a sigh of relief. Since writing four 2013 columns on Mr. Franklin’s death (May 22 and 29, June 12 and June 19), I have waited to see how protesters and defenders alike would express their opinions. Were opinions expressed truly passionate or just merit badges of protest or defense to wear in public and do nothing else?

These protest and defense rituals have been too long the routines in this city and cities across the country. Rallies and statements of either outrage or reports white washing the suspicious death of yet another African American, are followed by the silence of protestors and defenders alike. Why do print, broadcast and digital media continue to avoid relevant questions about that May 10th police shooting death of Terrance Franklin?

The 228-page police report of September 26, 2013, is a cover up, pure and simple. It became more ridiculous and suspicious the longer it took to be released, reinforced by the so-called Grand Jury “findings.” It is rumored that the family is considering filing a civil law suit in January, in state or federal court. We would hope so. In the spirit of the pursuit of justice, Terrance Franklin’s family and the Black community is owed that examination, an examination that should include:

That officers involved in Franklin’s death be required to testify under oath in open court about the circumstances and conditions of police actions on the afternoon of his death.
• That forensic evidence be examined under oath.
• That Mr. Franklin’s side of the aisle be allowed to cross-examine those testifying.
• That Mr. Frankliin’s side be allowed to put their own experts on the stand.
• That investigators of those three days, May 10-12, be required to testify under oath and be examined by Mr. Franklin’s attorneys.
• That those who prepared the police version of Mr. Franklin’s basement death be required to give testimony under oath.

The family and the African American community are owed more than the sham that was the Grand Jury investigation under the current county attorney, Mike Freeman. Justice calls out that this clear and concise examination process be initiated and made the order of the day within the public arena of the court system. From discussions and conversations in our community, I know our community has not accepted as credible the sham report of the so-called circumstances that led to the death of T.T. Franklin on May 10, 2012.

It is only fitting that as we reach the close of 2013 and as we witness the crushing of the African American community’s political base, that we at least attempt to have one last great hurrah in 2013, in the search for justice in the name of justice.

Reflection
This is written on December 10, the day of Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service broadcast around the world. We pause to say prayers for his family and for his nation of South Africa. We remember him by the words used to describe him and wonder when Minneapolis leaders, Black and White, will earn these words also: truth and reconciliation, forgiveness and compromise, Constitution and Bill of Rights, comfort and consolation, freedom and justice, liberty and democracy. A humanitarian supporter of human rights, Nelson Mandela had the same dignity, grace and humility of such great warriors for peace and justice as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Mother Teresa. Farewell and God bless you.

Merry Christmas.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. Column submitted Dec. 10, 2013.

Posted Wedneday, December 18, 2013, 4:08 a.m.


Hallelujah: the project begins
Constructing the new Peoples’ Stadium

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

December 11, 2013

Pull quote:

Giant trucks with White workers rolled onto Metrodome property celebration morning, December 2nd.
No people of color.

Hallelujah! The great occasion of the beginning of construction preparedness and building of the Peoples’ Stadium arrived: December 2, 2013. “Mission accomplished” or another December day in infamy?

“Success” is to be measured by the language of promises and guarantees in the stadium legislation and by the pronouncements of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). Promised: full participation of all Minnesota’s citizens:

• Nothing but Minnesota workers on the stadium

• All steel produced in the United States, preferably from Northern MN’s Iron Range

• No cost overruns

• Equity Plan and Diversity Plan for Minnesota’s minorities and communities of color.

• MSFA Construction Services Agreement Equity Plan: targeted business goal; 20 percent (11 percent women-owned businesses; nine percent minority-owned businesses) and targeted workforce goal (32 percent minorities and six percent women) in all hours worked.

• At the October 12, 2012, MSFA meeting, I asked Ted Mondale, MSFA CEO/Executive Director about those numbers. He said, “This is not like the Target Field project. They had no numbers for compliance, nor was there a plan. You need to give us a chance, Ron.” OK, Ted, 400-plus days have passed. Where’s the promised plan?

• February 8, 2013: MSFA Chairwoman, Michele Kelm-Helgen, said that serious questions had been raised about the equity plan implementation passed by the MSFA that same day. Hey, Ted, that was 296 days ago. When will we be able to shout out a halleluiah for an equity plan?

EDITOR’s NOTE: See column of October 17, 2013: Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring! But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan:

Eventually Ted Mondale stepped up to help reverse decades of public and private lying: “This is not like the Target Field project. They had no numbers for compliance, nor was there a plan.” He then stated the heartening, “You need to give us a chance.” Both Mondale and Kelm-Helgen, during and after the meeting, said they hoped I would work with them, help them, and advise them.”

They never asked.

Are choirs of angels singing “Hallelujah,” as we echo “We have overcome,” and sing “Free at last, free at last, God Almighty, free at last,” or are those shouts of lamentation and the shedding of tears?

Giant trucks with White workers rolled onto Metrodome property celebration morning, December 2nd. No people of color. Excluding people of color from this great historic event must not be allowed to stand.

Hey, Ted Mondale, recall stadium legislative language, Section 17, Subdivision 473J.12, “Employment,” lines 18.33 through 19.7. Why are you again allowing the shattering of opportunity dreams of enjoying economic benefits of the Peoples’ Stadium for people of color?

How many of both stadium law suits for failure to comply with diversity and equity legislation and for environmental concerns will have to be filed to get your attention, and at the cost of much delay costing many more millions?

Minnesota can’t be “whole” when people of color are again betrayed. Using designated programs as equity, diversity, affirmative action, minority business operations will no longer work as smokescreens hiding false promises.

Do the sports authority and our own Black leadership, making out together in the back seat of the stadium convertible, think no one is watching in this day of iPhones that record audio and video?

Do Black and White “leaders” not know that not all of our dreams can be bought off and corrupted? Do they not understand that with Martin Luther King, Jr. we too “have a dream?” Ask quickly and with dispatch: was there ever any intention to allow African Americans to participate in and enjoy working on this one billion-dollar project?

The chilling absence of African Americans on site December 2nd bears frightening witness to the absence of a plan (or a refusal to follow one). We will remain positive and upbeat until we see the intent of the “powers” clearly, to be revealed by the first legislative directed report and evaluation of the overall stadium work and statistical data on minority participation.

The report must be submitted annually on January 15 (per stadium legislation section 14.16 under sec 13, 743J.09, “Powers and Duties of the Authority,” lines 14.16). Not so ironically, January 15th is Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. Column submitted Dec. 3, 2013.

Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 1:46 a.m.


“To the extent practical” escape language in legislation allows steel purchase outside Iron Range.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

December 4, 2013

Pull quote: No outrage when Blacks are left out of diversity hiring, but there is outrage in this lack of White diversity in distribution of tax payer dollars.

The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority met November 22, 2013, to sign the contract to put the final stadium construction process and procedures into place. The local daily newspaper’s picture of John Wood of M.A. Mortenson, shaking hands with a colleague, with a large group of people smiling and applauding in the background, shows how well steel facts were withheld as happy faces turned unhappy within 24 hours of the signing, as people realized not all the steel would come from Minnesota, as “promised.”

The legislative language: “to the extent practical…MN steel” (see Stadium legislation, Section 11, lines 2423-2424) is the escape hatch from “all Minnesota” steel. This is how the State and City continually get away with not hiring Black Americans on construction projects, using equivalencies of “good-faith” effort, as we’ve long reported. Now its the Iron Range White man’s turn, as 20 percent of stadium steel will come from steel mines of ArcelorMittal (in the Duchy of Luxembourg, Ruhr Valley, near Germany). After Mittal bought Arcelor in 2006, the Mittal family of India has owned 40 percent of ArcelorMittal.

The issue is not where the steel comes from (you want the best so the stadium doesn’t collapse). The issue is a few legislators deliberately misleading the rest to get their vote, needlessly creating controversy and rage when Iron Range voters learned of the 20 percent coming from the Duchy of Luxembourg only after the contract was signed. Minnesota stadium dollars will now go overseas, to Luxembourg and India (this also reduces credibility for future discussions and negotiations).

Key politicians would have taxpayers believe that in early 2012, while finalizing the legislative language, they didn’t know that the best quality steel for part of the stadium would be found outside Minnesota (but they did, hence the escape language: “to the extent practical.” This column (2012, 2013) has consistently raised questions about the steel needed to erect this mammoth “people’s” “multi-use” stadium. Their silence got the legislation passed. How many other “surprises” are waiting?

See October 17, 2012, column: Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring! But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan, and December 5, 2012, column: Still waiting for the Equity Plan for the new Vikings’ and Minnesota’s People’s Stadium. See also the November 22, 2011 aggregate of columns and solution papers at DISPARITY/COMPLIANCE STUDIES: Minneapolis Practices Disparity And Purposefully And Actively Avoids Compliance (list of columns going back to 2005).


The anger, outrage, and sense of betrayal in the Iron Range is understandable, as they had been led to believe that all steel preparation would come out of Northern Minnesota. Now if this Black journalist understands that the steel would have to come from other global locations, the legislators, key Iron Range movers and shakers, and Star Tribune knew also. They just chose to be silent until the contract was signed.

As ArcelorMittal has two subsidiaries in the Iron Range, Essar Steel Minnesota LLC and ArcelorMittal Minorca Mine in Virginia, MN, ArcelorMittal will double dip as Minnesota tax payer money goes to Luxembourg and India.

No outrage when Blacks are left out of diversity hiring, but there is outrage in this lack of White diversity in distribution of tax payer dollars. Even though the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says high quality out of state steel will only cost $5 million, it is clear a forensic auditor is needed to make sure the integrity of Minnesota taxpayers is protected. That would include an examination of the production of the steel made by the ArcelorMittal company in Luxembourg and the work of their Essar and Minorca subsidiaries in the Iron Range.

There is no mystery. The discipline to withhold information until after the contracts were signed is impressive. Again: what else has been withheld?

Business interests with relationships with the European subsidiaries in Northern Minnesota knew about this 20 months ago, and so too did those behind the scenes working for “escape” language in the legislation. So, Minnesota taxpayers, dig deeper while thinking of the wonderful stadium that is supposed to be under your Christmas tree by 2016. By 2016? Really?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. Column submitted Nov. 26, 2013.

Posted December 4, 2013, 8:20 a.m.


Is President Obama a ‘lame duck’?
You be the judge
.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

November 27, 2013

In the last 20 days, discussion on both the left and the right has been about the failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the real name of what both sides call “Obamacare,” long a term of pride for Democrats and one of derision for Republicans, and now one of confusion for both.
With the elections of 2014 and 2016 looming, both parties are nervous, with the most scared trying to summarize it all in the term “lame duck.” This is another way for both sides to not address the problems they fear: health care, education, housing, immigration, foreign affairs, entitlement programs, etc.

“Lame duck” won’t work. Obama has the courage and determination to persevere.

One of two things will happen to the ACA: (1) repealed and replaced, or (2) kept but greatly modified. Regardless of which, it will be resolved and be part of Obama’s lasting and positive legacy, regardless of the election results of 2014 and 2016.

Those complaining about how the president is being treated didn’t say a word when people ripped into “W”, including calling for his assassination. And the conservative complaint that Obama is trying to get the government to be in charge of everything also won’t wash as a left-only goal, given what Reagan and “W” did, and given that the first to propose it was a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt.

So both sides, not the “other” side, are to blame. How to return power to the people is a needed debate.

On this 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, let’s live by his rejuvenating words: “All men are created equal…unfinished business…a new birth of freedom…government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Lincoln recognized the need to provide freedom and full citizenship to all, especially African Americans. We must persevere until we can stop obstacles being created, even now, 50 years after the civil rights legislation.

Calling the president a “lame duck” is wishful thinking, showing how silly and lazy even some serious people can be. This president will persevere. History will mark his accomplishments, including those yet to come during the remaining three years of his term as he addresses how to stabilize quality of life, security, and the economy.

The president won’t fold. As he said in an address to the nation, none of us is perfect. But neither were the Founding Fathers perfect, and neither was the implementation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights perfect (slavery being the most serious imperfection).

One of the problems in the discussion of President Obama’s performance is the inability for some and outright refusal by others to discuss racism. No race, no people, and no nation are perfect. But we can step aside from what is clearly imperfect and take corrective action that brings respect, protects the rights of others in shared community, and rises above the difficulties of racist biases and prejudices, individually and as a society.

As “utopia” is literally impossible, so let’s concentrate on the possible: the promises of opportunity and hope for all in education, jobs, housing and public safety. President Obama will not believe the “lame duck” propaganda. He will continue his commitment, love and respect for the nation he leads.

Let us not think “lame duck” but instead think about our future, our children and our children’s children, because that is what is at stake. We need the kind of leadership that made Barack Obama so attractive to the American voters, not once but twice. We pray that, with God’s help, he will continue to persevere in serving the people of this nation, and do so successfully.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. Column submitted to MS-R on November 20, 2013.


Chief Janeé Harteau is doing a good job.
No need to replace her.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

November 27, 2013

Pull quote: For the first time in three decades there is no African American on the City Council.

Minneapolis celebrates the election of its second female in the history of City Government, Betsy Hodges, bringing discussion about her representing diversity balance. Really? How, when for the next four years there will neither be an African American nor Native American on the City Council (and not in St. Paul either)?

This is another reason why it is surprising that less than a week after her announced victory the first rumors about change to emerge from City Hall was consideration being given to replacing Police Chief Janeé Harteau with an assistant police chief from Seattle, Washington. Why are she and her advisors so politically tone deaf?

This is not good stewardship of our politics. Chief Harteau has been on the job barely a year. After some missteps (typical of all new chiefs of anything, just as it is for any new mayor and will be for our new mayor), Chief Harteau has begun to work herself into the job and into her responsibility. She has been building bridges both within the department and between the department and the community.

In light of that, I do not understand the thinking of the mayor-elect and her advisors to create friction between Native American and other communities, even in light of the fact that the rumored desired replacement in Seattle is an African American. Why would mayor-elect Hodges want to drive a wedge between Native Americans and others, especially African Americans, when such a change has no discernible merit?

For the first time in three decades there is no African American on the City Council. So let us repeat: for the next four years we will have a Council with no African American and no Native American. The rumored “safe” way to make the change — pay the chief a one-year severance in January and demote her back into the ranks — is any thing but, especially in light of the center-stage, high-profile, police-misconduct cases in Apple Valley and, specifically, Green Bay.

This does not bode well for the future given the delicate circumstances requiring delicate resolution by both the mayor and the chief. The chief has been working tirelessly to make sure everything is done to properly resolve these cases.

If the decision of the mayor to remove Chief Janeé Harteau is simply because she can, then the Hodges administration would be getting off on the wrong foot, causing injury in this city across the board (racially, politically, socially). Chief Harteau has done nothing to cause consideration of being removed and be so greatly disrespected.

The new incoming mayor has said she is sensitive to the concerns and thinking of all communities of this city. Really? We call upon her to show needed sensitivity, due diligence and, dare we say, wisdom, by maintaining the tenure of Chief Janeé Harteau.

How did this issue top the list when so many other important development and service issues need to be dealt with to get the city back on track?

Development issues: Vikings stadium, peoples plaza, light rail, Nicollet Mall, rehabilitation of Target Center, rehabilitation of E block, etc.

City services issues: improving education, job growth, housing policies, interacting with other government agencies and bodies (federal, state, county, other cities), diversity in hiring with the Vikings stadium, and reducing law suits against the city.

These issues place a tremendous weight on the new administration. The idea of starting out with steps whose goal seems to be pitting one community against another will not bring stability in race relations nor harmony in general to the city, regardless of such demographic distinctions.

This is unacceptable. Tell us it isn’t so, Madam Mayor.

Chief Janeé Harteau must stay.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press. Column submitted to MS-R on November 20, 2013.

Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 2:30 a.m.


Violence grips downtown
One dead, three wounded, in night of terror.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

November 13, 2013

When shots rang out around 11:53 pm, Saturday night, November 2, 2013, at the Epic nightclub in downtown Minneapolis (or 1 am; reports vary as this is written just two days after the shooting) the crowd of over 2,500 partygoers disbursed in panic. See Star Tribune, Epic nightclub faces pressure after fatal shooting at rap concert, November 3, 2013).

The concert featured Yo Gotti, a prominent and legendary rapper. Because of violence associated with his concertgoers, the Minneapolis Police Department prepared for violence outside Epic with pepper spray and riot equipment, but not inside, where there were 40 well-trained security personnel along with six off-duty Minneapolis police officers.

The assassin was able to approach the VIP section, gun down and kill 27-year-old Tyrone Washington with precision and dispatch, and then leave, unnoticed and unapprehended. Clearly this was not a shooting of random victims (as at schools, theaters and workplaces). This was a well-planned, well-coordinated, purposeful murder by assassination of a gang world individual. The precision suggests this had nothing to do with the concert or African Americans, just the victim.

A chilling question: Why was Mr. Washington picked up and removed to the sidewalk outside the club, where he expired, instead of being given first aid medical attention? The attacker’s precision raises questions about complicity and conspiracy.

How the city will address this is not yet clear. Politically, since Mr. Washington’s death, the question has been raised whether Black entertainment groups should be allowed to perform in the City of Minneapolis (See Star Tribune, November 3, 2013, Epic nightclub faces pressure after fatal shooting at rap concert. Too many of these statements are painting the entire Black community with a broad brush of recrimination and lawlessness. Why aren’t Whites painted the same way for their behavior at heavy metal concerts?

The city goes to great lengths to maintain that when a peace officer is out of control — be it Apple Valley or Green Bay or in the death of TT Franklin — that the department should not be painted with a similar broad brush. It is vastly unfair to incriminate many for the actions of a single individual. I’m told the downtown Council and others in the business leadership are pressuring the city to stop allowing entertainment engagements that will attract large numbers of African Americans. Shame on Don Samuels for saying the same thing, sacrificing our community in an attempt to obtain White votes.

The lack of leadership in the White and Black communities and the lack of adequate debate about the issue of racial, economic, and entertainment profiling, is drawing attention away from all events that took place prior to and leading up to the death, as this death is not considered relevant to the bigger picture: a safe downtown for White citizens.

Needed is a commitment to end racial, economic and entertainment apartheid by Whites. Needed is the admitting of the fact that there are a lot of problems brought to town by White, heavy metal and other kinds of entertainment groups. The popular and effective attack on the character of our Black community and fear of a Black presence in downtown and the city as a whole must stop.

It would be unfair for the new mayor and new council to strip the license of the club and close the property down. As it is a very economically attractive property across from the Twins ball park, whites will be able to do all kinds of things with it once it is racially cleansed.

It is unfortunate that this agenda continues. Sadly, it is questionable whether the assassin of the African American will be apprehended. We can only hope that racial, economic, and entertainment profiling will be ended.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Wednesday, November 13, 201, 2:50 a.m.


Mr. Bellecourt is right!
“Redskins” Controversy Heats Up Again.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

November 6, 2013

This column identifies with, respects and supports Clyde Bellecourt’s request to NFL, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, don’t use “Redskins,” even if the NFL does. We stand in unity against racism, for far too long a part of the American and Minnesota landscapes.

The Jewish owner of the Washington Redskins NFL team, Dan Snyder, is doing one of three things: (1) carrying on the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall’s ghost, (2) being tone deaf to fans who understand how racist it is, or (3) at first didn’t know but now knows and doesn’t care, an example of both #1 and #2. This is a wake up call to racism deniers: foul racism still exists.

George Preston Marshall, the owner who gave the team its name in 1932,was a leader in the NFL movement that officially banned Blacks, league wide, in 1933, a ban not lifted until 1947. Before the Washington team integrated in 1962, Jim Brown, as one sport writer wrote, regularly integrated the Washington end zone. Marshall had “Dixie” played before “Star Spangled Banner.” Marshall died in 1969, leaving most of his money to the creation of the Redskins Foundation, stipulating that none of its money be directed to “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” [See The Racist Redskins, a New York Review of Books book review of Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins, both by Thomas G. Smith]

For half a century, Clyde Bellecourt has been in the forefront of championing human rights, civil rights, and respect for all Americans, going beyond Native American rights to the wars in Vietnam, Black civil rights, and police misconduct and brutality.

Mr. Bellecourt, co-founder and Director of the American Indian Movement, directs Peacemaker Center for Indian youth, organized the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, and is founder and Chairman of the Board of American Indian OIC, an innovative jobs program that has moved over 14,000 people from welfare to full-time employment.

At the 1991 World Series between our beloved Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves, Mr. Bellecourt challenged the disrespect Atlanta’s mascot showed to Native Americans.

The long standing battle over the disrespect and continued use of “Redskins” has come to a head once again. “Redskin” is not a term of endearment but a term of disrespect and justification to use violence against Native Americans. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “redskin” as a term that is “usually offensive,” as other terms like “darky,” “kike,” “Sambo,” “dago,” and “N..ger.” Would current Jewish owner of the Washington franchise change the name to the Washington Kikes?

The Federal Government is now looking into "overhauling how it recognizes Indian tribes." New rules were proposed in June for dealing with contemporary conflicts between communities and the  566 American tribes recognized by the Federal government.

After the NFL integrated, Marshall said he would “start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites.” Current owner Snyder said he would “never” change the name.

All people have feelings and sensitivity about how they are referred to. Mr. Bellecourt and the Native American nation has indicated it is never acceptable to disrespect by name or inference the rich, proud history of America’s first nation.

So I say once again: Mr Bellecourt is right. Americans of conscience and good will should stand with America’s first nation to bring respect to all who are part of this great nation (Canada doesn’t use the term “Indian.” Canadians use “First Nation” or “Indigenous People”).

I invite Washington team owner, Daniel Snyder and Vikings Black executive Kevin Warren to join by phone on my radio program to talk with Clyde Bellecourt and answer two questions for him: (1) isn’t “never” change the name continuing George Preston Marshall’s racist legacy?” And (2) how does the policy match what the great Chief Joseph said: “I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, books and archives, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. To order his books go to Beacon on the Hill Press.

Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Security reduced at Vikings games
Sheriff Richard Stanek objects: Why didn’t others?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

October 30, 2013

The National Football League’s Directors of Security ordered all 32 NFL teams to ban law enforcement officers working NFL games from being armed: no more bringing their weapons to work at the stadium. Besides the obvious “why?” question,  why did they try to keep it secret?

Two stood up against it. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek stood their ground. Our Sheriff Stanek reminded them that he is in charge of law enforcement at the stadium, following Minnesota law.  So why did the Minneapolis chief of police, the Minnesota Sports Authority, and the Vikings cede control to the NFL’s desk riding ex-FBI agents acting as Wild West sheriffs?

Why would they think they could keep this low key as if it never happened? Any law enforcement officers or security personnel that resisted would have risked being fired. Once again we pull the covers off, exposing the unintended consequences:  not only inviting bad people to bring even more guns to Vikings games, but leaving the fans as their mercy.

Now don’t get me wrong, in a perfect world of perfect people we could have a gun-free society. But the pursuit of perfection in an imperfect world of imperfect people throws everything out of balance. And after shootings at Sandy Hook, the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C., and the elementary school outside of Reno, Nevada, among others, we know how being out of balance can cause bad things to happen to good people.

In Reno, Nevada two weeks ago, a 12 year old terrorized an elementary school and killed a beloved teacher. A student’s anger issues took over. 

How does the NFL, the Minnesota Sports Authority and the Minnesota Vikings think they will be protecting the fans at Vikings games by disarming security personnel, all of whom are sworn police officers authorized to be armed? We expected to hear something from the police chiefs of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the State Highway Patrol.   These three departments supply the majority of sworn police officers that work security at Vikings games. As of the writing of this column, they remain silent. Why?

Vikings fans have gone through enough, especially in the last month, to now be faced with the possibility that while at a Vikings/NFL game with their family, friends and loved ones, if bad people decide to perpetrate violence there will be no one who can protect them.

I don’t understand this kind of thinking. I don’t understand how they could possibly consider such a decision with all of its political, procedural and safety ramifications. And I don’t understand why only Sheriff Stanek is saying no.

As we have said before, Vikings fans and the general citizenry need to be protected and respected at every level, in every community, at every event. You can’t have balance if you disarm the protectors.

We applaud Sherriff Stanek and Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, and wonder, given Minnesota law, what Minnesota Vikings General Counsel, Kevin Warren said about it. Or did the NFL order him to be silent also? Better and accurate legal advice is needed.

Law enforcement heads needs to join Sheriff Stanek in demanding that the policy decision by the Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings be reversed immediately. Banning law enforcement security personnel from having their weapons doesn’t make any sense in an America that, unfortunately, is extremely fragile in her battle against those who would do harm to our citizens and threaten the safety of all.

This is not England of the 1840s when all police needed were night sticks. This is America 2013, where bad guys can get guns no matter how many laws are passed against guns.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Wedesday, October 30, 2013


Minnesota Lynx: We thank you!

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

October 23, 2013

Pull quote: …we have never seen such perfection and dominance as we have when watching these last three seasons of the Minnesota Lynx….

It is quite clear that the most successful and winningest professional sports team in Minnesota history is now the two-time champion and three-time finalist, The Minnesota Lynx. Our profound congratulations and our deepest appreciation for a quality franchise and a quality team with quality players and a quality owner.

Minnesota has long been desperate for a dynasty. The young ladies of the Minnesota Lynx have created that dynasty. Their march through the WNBA playoffs, 7-0, has only been done one other time in the history of the league.

Much appreciation and congratulations must go to team owner Glenn Taylor. A year ago, October 2012, Minnesotans thanked Glenn Taylor for committing his resources, including his money, to put a winner on the court at Target Center. Think of how impressive The Lynx have been: three final appearances, two championships. The Lynx is one of the most dominant teams in the history of Minnesota professional sports. It is a continuous joy to watch the unselfishness, the togetherness, and the commitment to perfection that will forever be the legacy of the Minnesota Lynx.

During the celebration last Monday, October 14, I saw a lot of tears from a lot of young ladies, as well as tears from those of my age group in appreciation of their accomplishment. Minnesotans supported this dynasty by filling the stands in each and every game, a tribute and show of respect for the success the team brought to Minnesota, as well as their appreciation for an owner who did not turn his back on the goal of winning.

We know it can be done here in Minnesota, and over the last 50 years, we have seen different franchises — basketball, football, hockey, and baseball — obtain the success of winning. But we have never seen such perfection and dominance as we have when watching these last three seasons of the Minnesota Lynx, and thus we say, thank you Minnesota Lynx for reminding us of the joy of winning a championship, and, most importantly, reminding us that “class” is the order of the day in competition.

The Minnesota Lynx are all class: the players and the organization, with a franchise owner who is among the classiest owners to ever grace the Minnesota sports scene. This is not to take anything away from our other franchises. But it is what it is. We look forward to Minnesota men’s professional teams to take a page out of the success playbook of the Minnesota Lynx and work to set up their own dynasties.

The future of this franchise is solid. Ownership is committed and players have very productive years in front of them. We hope their success is contagious and provides a lot of inspiration to others.

Sadly, it seems to be difficult for the Minnesota Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press to keep from displaying negative bias in their coverage of these young ladies, as they have not only been less than enthusiastic in their coverage of the success of these young women, but they have not given them the same level of coverage as they do to the male professional sports teams, as the latter fall flat on their faces and continue not to excel.

Discrimination knows no gender or racial boundaries. There are still those who find it difficult to except others as successful and as winners. Nonetheless, after three successful championship seasons, be it the league finals or conference finals, we tip our caps to the success of this dynasty and its owner.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 12:18 a.m.


The Wilfs Prevail. Vikings Owners Make Clean Sweep.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

October 16, 2013

The Vikings and Sports Authority signed their new stadium agreement on October 3rd, resulting in Vikings ownership prevailing on their stated goals regarding the Lease Agreement, Licensing, Naming Rights, Concession Ownership, and Development Package.

The day before the Vikings-Sports Authority deal was signed, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder ran my column (written 8 days earlier), repeated 18 months of warning: “the Vikings will have to be given everything they want in order to stay.” At signing the next day, Governor Dayton admitted “yes:” failure to satisfy Vikings ownership demands would guarantee losing the team: “we had to make a deal”:

...the economics of professional sports are highly questionable all over this country. ..... We wouldn’t have an agreement here and we wouldn’t have a team staying here if we hadn’t been willing to accede to demand[s] on the team’s part from the very beginning of the process.”

Experts estimate Vikings can generate at least $100 million more a year. Will they put it in their pockets or use it to sign /hold better players? Minnesota ticket holders and taxpayers alike: is it all worth 10 games a year that most can’t attend but can watch only from TV? Yes, there will be temporary jobs during construction (but many to workers from outside Minnesota). Ten games/year won’t create year-round stadium jobs. Tickets will cost more and season tickets will require first purchasing a license to make them eligible to purchase a season ticket. The Vikings had the best of all hands: five aces, no reshuffle, and no redeal.

Now the Vikings await the successful completion of construction by M. A. Mortenson, with the Sports Facilities Authority, with both shouldering the obligation to pay any cost overruns. The Vikings out of state ownership juggernaut is in place. Minnesota gave away its leverage. Time will tell if this will really be a “peoples” stadium?

When will the Star Tribune, a key component of the people’s plaza development, give us a better understanding regarding how this affects Minnesota taxpayers? When will Star Tribune do a three part series on who won and who lost? As I have long maintained: the guys from the East Coast had the best plan going in and the best plan going out, all the way to the bank. And Minnesota had none.

History has been made. The Wilfs have their stadium. They await the 2016 opening. Then their beloved Vikings will reap profits for the Wilfs Sports Empire. Empire building is about knowing the terrain, knowing the weaknesses and strengths of whom you deal with, and having a Plan to implement all aspects of the creation of a Great Empire. Minnesota never replaced its “Leave Plan” with “Stay Plan.” Wilfs did.

Maybe the University of MN and other colleges can develop business courses on “How to Create a Sports Empire in the Mid-West by those from the East Coast.” What a historical journey as we watched the creation of the Wilf Sports Empire. It ranks with the development and planning of the Continental Railroad from the East to the West, with a new 30-year stopover in Minnesota. Not blinded by vanity, Wilfs knew how to get the job done. Blinded by vanity, Minnesota gave it away.

I write this because I care about our community and the failure of not only our Black leaders but also white non-profit do-gooder leaders who all failed to stand up for stadium hiring diversity compliance. Failure in hiring Blacks will now strike the Vikings Stadium as it did the Gophers and Twins stadiums and other large construction projects. When will any leadership stand up against “blacks need not apply”?

Stay tuned

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 2:47 a.m.


Attack on the Teachers Federation
Why have friends become foes?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

October 9, 2013

“The whole world opened to me when I learned to read.”
--- Mary McLeod Bethune

For decades, a workable relationship between organized labor and African American leadership existed in Minnesota. They do not necessarily speak with one voice, but, regarding financial consideration, they do. But for the last decade, this relationship has frayed, not in terms of financial considerations but in terms of standing up for real education for African American children.

Legendary civil rights activist Nellie Stone Johnson clearly stated: no education, no job, no housing. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that although many Blacks were not qualified (lacking education and training), we are qualifiable through education and training.

Bussing was a misguided policy of racism in education: that Black children could only learn when with White children. We expect that from Whites but not Blacks. And so we were quite shocked to hear the recent attacks on Lynn Norgren, White President of the Teachers Federation by powerful Black leaders and their Black organizations.

For a number of recent months, the Teachers Federation, the Minneapolis Board of Education, and the Superintendent, have met at least 19 times, in extremely intense negotiations.

These negotiation sessions, by law, can be made open to the general public. It s only when negotiations break down and mediation is asked for that such negotiations can be legally closed, according to legal sources familiar with Minnesota law.

After Federation President Norgren revealed discussions about others in the meeting, especially by Twin City foundations who talked of the incompetency of African American children – not because of poor education but because the are incapable of benefiting from a good education -- she became an enemy of the state. She became a target of those who embraced statements by African American leadership against the Teachers Federation and organized labor.

For them, only the “adult who’s” on all sides and their organizations matter, and not the “student who’s” (the children, whether American or immigrant, whether Black or White). This is rather stunning in light of the Federation’s ten point proposal, offered in negotiations, that would improve educational access, opportunities, operations and options for African American children and other children of color, not just whites.

We are hearing that deals have been cut within different racial communities, including the African American community, but for adults, not children. This questions the presence and effectiveness of pubic education.

Community leadership conspiring to help themselves will hurt the educational opportunity of our children by denying them many opportunities to move forward with the general masses. Efforts must be made to assure African American parents and their African American children, that they are still valued and important , that their future is important to all who seriously support the African American child.

As the Federation has stated, “the opportunity gap [for Black children] is a problem that has its roots in the racism, classism and white privilege of our city. We know that we must accompany social and economic reforms with education change in order to solve it.

Conditions facing Black America and the African American community in the Twin Cities are too threatening and too dangerous for brinkmanship. We don’t need John Foster Dulles leaders type leaders with a cold war doctrine of “to the brink.”

This is not about building a wall. It is about tearing down walls. This is about supporting the need for excellence in education, employment and housing on behalf of African American children and their parents. Expect nothing less from those who say they stand in defense of the African American child and their communities. Expect nothing less from those who say they stand in defense of the African American child and their communities.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 3:11 a.m.


Eighty-four million dollars levied against the Wilfs. The question of Vikings future still under discussion.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

October 2, 2013

Pull quote: Will the Wilfs stay or look toward the golden West?

On Monday, Sept 23, Minnesota media reported, almost breathlessly, New Jersey Judge Wilson’s verdict, using headlines with a different slant than coverage in New Jersey.

Newark Star Ledger: Judge announces damages of $84.5 million against Wilfs in long-running lawsuit.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Wilfs fined $84.5 million in New Jersey real estate fraud case.
Attorney fees of $16 million could push it over $100 million.

Minneapolis reporting leaves out three key points.
(1) The Wilf position: How little, if anything, those suing the Wilfs contributed to their joint enterprise (hence Wilf actions and subsequent lawsuit).
(2) The bogus concern: Can the Wilf’s pay? Bogus because the legislation allows stadium, team, and NFL revenue sources to pay the Vikings share, not the Wilfs personally
(3) Number two is because of Minnesota arrogance, as seen in Ted Mondale’s 2011 statement that is the essence of how the governor, legislature, and sports authority have acted. Mondale said that “a stadium deal is not complicated.” The Wilfs not only recognize the complexity of the deal, they actually understand contracts and finances and are better negotiators.

We’ve written on this for a decade. But those in both government and at the Vikings have not listened, which is why they are at this cross roads, with the Wilfs in the stadium driver’s seat. Don’t force them into an either/or decision: get the parking space they want or park in L.A.

Within a half hour of the decision in New Jersey, the Wilfs’ attorney conducted a conference call with Minnesota press. Was the attorney correct when he said they are prepared to “move forward,” are “committed,” and “look forward” to a new stadium for kick off 2016? Or are these “must say” Madison Avenue-type PR clichés, saying all the right things but maybe for all the wrong reasons as they study the road map options: stay, sell or drive to L.A.?

According to the stadium schedule, by the time this column is printed (we submit eight days prior to publication), the Wilfs will have signed a lease agreement, the state will have found purchasers for the $348 million in bonds it issues (we have no idea what the city will do regarding its $150 million obligation), and the Vikings will be back on track for their Fall 2016 opening. We are not convinced it will have happened. If it does, the state has already caved. [Editor's question, 9-4-13: as Star Tribune, October 3, 2013, reports the deal signed October 3, 2013:, allowing the state to issue $498 million in bonds to finance the public portion of the project, does this mean the State is covering the City's portion? And if so, what was in the deal?]

To make the sale of these bonds attractive, purchasers need a permanent tenant, which is needed to negotiate seat licenses and other revenue generation considerations that will pay the Vikings stadium half. So, is this a back-door strategy, as believed by NFL insiders, to humiliate the Wilfs to the point where they will sell to a local buyer, or is this an exercise to explain why the Vikings will have to be given everything they want in order to stay?

Will the Wilfs stay or look toward the golden West? Nothing suggests the Wilfs want out of pro football. Nothing suggests that the gods/owners of the NFL would force the Wilfs to sell.

Will the Minnesota Vikings faithful enjoy their beloved Vikings for another 50 years in the people’s stadium, or will Minnesota foolishness, arrogance and pettiness result in the “move” scenario or give them what they want scenario?

We wrote in an earlier column of an under current of anti-semitism directed toward the Wilf family. The Wilf family survived the Holocaust. I’m sure Zigi Wilf does not want to feel anti-semitism is widely in place in Minnesota.

Minneapolis media needs to do a better job of reporting actual facts and issues in the Wilf’s New Jersey lawsuit. The Wilfs may very well be able to demonstrate to the appeals court in New Jersey who had a personal bias against the Wilf family, given their complex web of holdings.

Stay tuned.

Posted Saturday, October 4, 2013, 5:32 a.m.


Death warrants in Faribault
State of MN ignores deaths at State prison hospital in Faribault

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

September 25, 2013

"Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850… Our system of mass incarceration…has devastated many of our communities…literally turning back the clock on racial progress in the U.S.”
— Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in An Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010)

So who will lead the battle against this injustice of mass incarceration? Will Churches, nonprofits and government agencies? No, as to many of their jobs rely on keeping the incarceration status quo.

So who is doing it? Right now: the gritty work is being done by courageous Black mothers, whose numbers will hopefully grow into a national movement (think of the Argentine mothers marching daily at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, to protest the 30,000 that were “disappeared,” 1975-1983).

Were it not for the mothers of two African American inmates, Courtney Clark and Robert Hosely, at the Minnesota Corrections Medical Facility at Faribault, Minnesota, they would die without notice (Justice for all” means justice for everyone — no exceptions, and July 25, 2012 (The policy of retaliation:  continuing the story of Courtney Clark).   Since mid-2012, at least nine inmates, both Black and White, have died at Faribault as a result of the State of Minnesota and its Department of Corrections policy of neglect, a kind of genocide against those who, for whatever reason, have been targeted.

Mr. Clark and Mr. Hosely have both been retaliated against by the Department of Corrections (and, thus, the State of Minnesota). Death warrants have been issued in a state whose constitution forbids capital punishment. But being sent to Faribault means it is only a matter of time before a form of capital punishment takes place.

Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Hosely are being denied medical attention and their medications. Both of these men have previously suffered, at different points in time, serious and massive strokes, which have confined them to wheel chairs and, in the case of Mr. Hosely, serious brain damage.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and this column have worked together to bring to the public’s attention the Department of Corrections policy of retaliation and the issuance of death warrants to both Black and White inmates. This is not unique to Minnesota. Pennsylvania newspapers have been reviewing circumstances of a gentleman by the name of Robert Mims, who was transferred from a Pennsylvania institution to Faribault, where he was allowed to die without medical attention.

Regrettably, shamefully, there is little interest, little concern, and little compassion for human beings who have been informally sentenced, without a formal charge or formal sentencing, to capital punishment by the judiciary system’s policy of death warrants. “Why?” is not the issue; the issue is the injustice of not providing constitutional protection against executions, without due process, in a non-death penalty state. See our July 7, 2010 column (Whose mental health issues incite Black violence? It’s not poor Blacks propagating dysfunctional social policieses).

Once again: if it was not for the tenacious and loving care of two African American mothers, these two men would be allowed to die without a legal, formal sentence of death. If you have a loved one in the MN correctional system, pray you don’t receive a call telling you they are being transferred to Faribault, as it could easily mean a life-ending death warrant.

The appeals of these two mothers to the director of corrections, the governor and members of the legislature have been met with silence and indifference. So much for Minnesota compassion.

Whites need to consider this: What will you do now that the government that had been doing this to us is now also doing it to Whites?

As long as churches and nonprofits treat symptoms (crime, poverty) and not causes (poor education, training, family breakups, lack of jobs), they turn their back on “lost sheep” and perpetuate the status quo.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, see our The MinneapolisStory.com home page.

ADDED to this column for on-line:
Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America

Argentina Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: Living legacy of hope and human rights. “more than 30,000 estimated missing sons and daughters who became part of ‘the disappeared’ during the reign of Argentina’s military juntas from 1975 to 1983.”

Posted Saturday, September 25, 2013, 5:55 p.m.


The Ghost of Neville Chamberlain
President Barrack Obama Stands InThat shadow


"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Sept 18, 2013

Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Great Britain, went to Munich, Germany to seek peace with Hitler in the 1930s. The “ghost” of Chamberlain refers to his miscalculating achieving “peace in our time” (the Chamberlain phrase used by President Obama in his second inaugural). Historians say Chamberlain’s miscalculation enabled World War II.

As this column is written, the president has not yet addressed the nation or the congress. Was he persuasive? Did he convince Congress to commit to the doctrine of “We go to war in our time to achieve peace in our time?” [Note see my column of May 11, 2011, Peace in our time? I don’t think so, excerpts belo.w]

The president painted himself into a corner, as victimized by his staff as Jimmy Carter was by his. Was Secretary of State Kerry’s unscripted remarks that the U.S. would not strike if Syria turned over its chemical weapons within a week a gaffe or clever transition to what is now U.S. policy, preventing having to take action, especially as the vast majority of Americans oppose intervention?

Russia’s Putin, ever the master geo-politician, manipulating both Europe and the United States, accepted it, check mating us. Kerry has enabled The Putin Plan.

If the president acts contrary to congressional wishes, impeachment could result, not just from Republicans who dream of tarnishing his legacy, but also from Democrats who say if he goes to war in Syria they would support impeachment. That’s not to say impeachment would be successful, but, as we saw with Clinton, it is an exhausting, time-taking process, bringing much senior level activity in government to a standstill that could cause security vulnerability.

Our country is weary of war, weary of sending sons and daughters into conflicts on foreign soil, weary of there being no end game, weary of not being told the truth. Even the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, when asked at a recent congressional hearing, he didn’t know what the end game was. Will acting or not acting in Syria deter or encourage would-be terrorists?

When then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the misleading information given him by our intelligence community to the U.N., it enabled wide agreement to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Americans and most of the world are cautious and suspicious of American intelligence community’s statements of “facts.

Can the president sell the American people and Congress on limited surgical strikes? Will the Putin Plan’s end game enable the president to not bomb and still save face? Why am I’m writing about Syria? Because war interferes with American education, jobs and housing in general and in Minneapolis in particular.

As Charles Rangel, the respected African American senior congressman from New York, said last week, in a message he sent to the president: instead of getting involved in another war, he should combat poverty, gun violence, and discrimination at home with “a war on poverty, a war on income inequality, and a war on food insecurity.”

We hope the president listens to how weary people are of talk of war with neither a plan for jobs, better education, better housing, nor for a fairer criminal justice system. For a dozen years, this column has emphasized jobs (the Vikings Stadium still excludes Blacks), better education and training (too many Blacks still being poorly educated, thus being unqualified to get a good job), housing (affordable only with a job), and public safety in Black communities (which would be greatly enhanced if equal access was provided instead of discrimination against Black youth, dispersing them to gangs on city street corners instead of to careers and families.

Let us hope that the shadow of Neville Chamberlain does not suffocate another American administration in our time. Will it be peace through strength (“speak softly but carry a big stick”) or merely “peace through war”?

Stay tuned.

P.S. Added to column online only:  a quote from Winston Churchhill and then excerpts from my column on Chamberlain of May 11, 2011, Peace in our time? I don’t think so, with the opening and closing paragraphs of that column.

Winston Churchhill:  “You were given the chice between strikes and dishonor.  You chose dishonor and you will have strikes.”

Excerpts from May 11, 2011:  Peace in our time? I don’t think so.

How many times will papers be waved to proclaim “Peace in our time”? What of the Emancipation Proclamation’s “Slavery is over,” or the Gettysburg Address echoing the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal”?

How about “Reconstruction in our time” leading to Jim Crow, or “Civil Rights in Our Time” leading to fewer Black businesses than before the Civil Rights Movement and worse results in education, jobs and housing?
And let’s not forget the War on Poverty that led to more poverty rather than “the end of poverty in our time.”

And now a new proclamation: Osama bin Laden is dead, so it’s “peace in our time” again. I don’t think so.

Real peace features equal access and opportunity, equal employment, equal education levels and equal neighborhood quality of life; in a word, prosperity.
…………………….
Are we now to assume the demise of Osama bin Laden will lead to peace and prosperity in our time, and that again the African American will enjoy prosperity and access to opportunity? Or is this just one more partial process?

Historically, wars bring prosperity, first to both sides (as the House of Rothschild demonstrated for three centuries), then just to the winner. We urge peace and prosperity. Answer this: Why, after a decade of wars, do Blacks have a much higher percentage of unemployment than Whites? Go to my website for ways [solutions] to bring prosperity as well as peace. Who will stand up for it? Who will actually act on it?

NOTE: “Go to my website” means go to my section on Solution Papers

Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013, 4:09 p.m.


How does the State of MN pay its $50 million?
Has there been a breach of contract?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

September 11, 2013

“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings?

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. Note the irony that it is two Black guys who have stood up for the Vikings and a new stadium and warned of the efforts to force them out (Dennis Green’s 1997 book and my 2002 book).

It is also ironic that as the governor and Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) have questioned the Wilfs’ ability to comply. Their ability is also in question, as their failure to comply could cause the Vikings to leave Minnesota. How about an audit of the stadium activities of the governor, legislature and MSFA?

When the MSFA chair recently rushed to New York City to meet with the NFL, did they discuss the NFL’s concern about the drop-dead date for paying the State’s $50 million initial payment? The 68-page legislative document authorizing the stadium has sections (e.g., see p. 18, lines 22.11 through 22.22) now giving nightmares to the MSFA attorneys, Dorsey and Whitney who should have better prepared and advised the MSFA chair before the meeting with the NFL.

The Governor and MSFA have questioned the business practices and integrity of the Vikings ownership. What about their own, including their potential default on the State’s first $50 million, that was to be paid into the construction fund?

The Vikings paid theirs. When? And can Minnesota honor its mutually agreed-to financial responsibilities, especially in light of their seriously and disastrously miscalculation on revenues, and failure to yet sell the tax-supported bonds?

The legislature insisted upon, and all parties — Vikings, NFL, State, and MSFA — agreed to the legislation, including its lines 22.17 through lines 22.20 of p. 18. Is the MSFA justifying its delay by saying the forensic accounting audit should be completed first (this month) and that the Vikings must first return to the negotiating table? Are they skirting agreements just as they accuse the Wilfs of doing?

Here is another key question: because no one has accepted responsibility for cost overruns and all other financial issues as discussed at line 18.11 through 18.17 (page 14), how can the Vikings be obligated to do so? Vikings’ attorney Warren was warned about the potential cost overrun of $273 million, with this quote from my 2002 book, p. 132 (the Vikings and many state officials have copies): the Journal of the American Planning Association reported that 28 percent was the average cost overrun for major construction projects, 1910-1998. Thus, $975 million times 28 percent equals $273 million in cost overruns (its how both sides’ special interests get a piece of the action).

Another drop-dead date: November 15, for the signed purchase agreement and advance payment if steel for the stadium is to be ordered and delivered by July of 2014, if the stadium is to be NFL ready and NFL certified by August 2016. How much of a financial setback and an additional burden on the taxpayers of Minnesota will now come into play to keep the Viking? These are questions that must be answered by September 15.

Stay tuned.

Posted Wednesday September 11, 2013, 3:43 a.m

======================

Relevant related links added for this web listing of September 11, 2013:

Vikings owners look to keep their family finances from public
Star Tribune Updated: September 4, 2013 - 12:14 AM
Lawyers for the Vikings owners will ask a New Jersey court next week to seal documents with the family’s net worth.

Party plaza near Metrodome at center of Vikings stadium disput
Star Tribune, September 3, 2013 - 5:20 PM
" The party plaza in front of the Metrodome is now Ground Zero in a legal dispute between the owners of the land and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MFSA), the public body overseeing construction of the new $975 million Vikings stadium."

Authority fires back in dispute over land near Vikings stadium site
Star Tribune, Updated: August 30, 2013 - 9:29 PM
"Authority accuses plaza’s owner of overstating value."

Vikings, stadium authority make progress on audit of Wilfs
Star Tribune, Updated, August 28, 2013 - 11:06 PM
"Despite substantial progress on audit, stadium construction could still be delayed, an official warns."

List of ten columns since 2005 and one book Chapter, 2002, offering solutions for how to Save the Vikings! First posted on "The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes" Home Page Blog side, October 12, 2011.  Updated September 2013.

2001 and 2002: This sequence theory: Vikings out, Twins in renovated Metrodome, Gophers new stadium, written about specifically in columns by sportswriter Larry Fitzgerald in Minneapolis (in the Spokesman-Recorder, July 12-18, 2001, July 25, 2002, August 27, 2002). Don’t forget today’s (9-4-13) column that listed MSR column of Larry’s: “Vikings are Going, Going, Gone!” May 8, 1997.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Posted Wednesday September 11, 2013, 3:43 a.m.


Tensions divide stadium partners.
Vikings and MSFA At Odds

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

September 4, 2013

Is there a future for reconciliation between two partners who thought they had the world at their finger tips just a year ago, when, in August of 2012, it was like a lovefest, as the Vikings (Wilfs) and the state of Minnesota (MSFA:  Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority) both declared their love, trust, and respect for each othe?  What difference a year can make.

The New Jersey court ruling against the Wilfs led Minnesota (state, Sports commission, city) to question the integrity of the Vikes owners, the Wilfs, by ordering a forensic audit and an analysis of the Vikings’ owners ability to pay their portion of the $975 million so-called “Peoples” stadium. 

People tend to forget that just a year ago, as required by the legislation of 2012, the Vikings delivered $50 million to the Sports Facilities Authority, when the MSFA was extremely cash flush ($50 million from the Vikings, $24 million transferred from the now defunct ball park authority). 

Everyone expected that by now the State of Minnesota would be reaping the millions of dollars in revenue expected to be coming in from electronic pull tabs (and later electronic bingo), isn’t happening.  And where will Minneapolis get its $150 million obligation?

What else in their revenue forecasts won’t happen?

Do you see the obvious:  only the Vikings have put major money in the big account.  Yet the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney, after the sports authority meeting of Friday a week ago, called the Vikings’ Les Bagley a liar. 

On Thursday the 22nd of August, Les Bagley was told to inform the sports facilities authority that the Vikings  were breaking off negotiations until after the audit.  And again, two weeks after ringing their hands about the New Jersey law suit, officials pretended they cannot understand why negotiations have broken off.  This is a bona fide crisis.   

The NFL has already said “no” to more money.  The Governor errored strategically by suggesting that the Vikings’ Wilfs were poor business managers.

Minnesota has not treated the Vikings well (and now the Wilfs):

  • 1995:  NFL Commissioner: if no new stadium, team moves.
  • 1996 Owners:  if no new stadium, team moves.
  • 1997: In his book, “No Room For Crybabies,” Dennis Green outlines how team must sell to a local buyer to prevent being sold to an outsider who might move it.
  • 1997: May 8:  “Vikings are Going, Going, Gone!” Larry Fitzgerald, Sr., Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.
  • 1998: October, Henry Savakoul, Chairman of the Sports Facility Commission:  the state (meaning box seat buying corporations) is only prepared to support three pro sports:  baseball, basketball, hockey.
  • 2000:  Star Tribune reporter Jay Weiner’s book, “Stadium Games,” confirms Savakoul:  “Minnesota can’t truly afford four major-league teams,” as the business community and legislators identify the Vikings as the team to move.
  • 2001:  Dennis Green proposed a stadium plan approved by Red McCombs that was killed without either  being told in advance. 
  • 2004:  Vikings “Information Brochure” for buyers prepared by JP Morgan:  “Anoka County and City of Blaine are developing … a mixed-use development anchored by a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.”
  • 2011 deal for mixed-use development proposed by Ramsay County in Arden Hills.
  • 2012:  NFL Commissioner:  if no new stadium , team free to leave.

How will the audit change minds?  Will they finally sign an agreement to pay and build?  Or not?

This is ugly.  What will prevent the Vikings from moving to California?  Will the covered wagons be loaded up and driven to the land of 10,000 lakes of the basketball Lakers?  Many of us don’t want that.  We expect local authorities to provide a clear, concise, honest response.  Will they do so?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

See our web site’s “solution” section, Solution #24, 2005, listing those who called for the Vikings to leave town,
First posted with our January 29, 2005 column.
Solutions Paper #24. The Roll Call Of Those Who Either Called for the Vikings to Move out of Minnesota or Who Stated They Would Have to be Moved As They Could Not Remain Competitive and Profitable Without a New, Tax Payer Subsidized Stadium.”  No one/no official has refuted any of the claims of this paper.

Posted Wednesday September 4, 2013, 2:44 a.m.

====================

2011:  Star Tribume and Newark news paper articles on the Wilf court case:

2011:  our key columns re the Vikings, the Wilfs, and Stadium locations:

2005:  our key columns re the Vikings and the Stadium question:

Posted Wednesday September 4, 2013, 2:44 a.m.


The Chief Reaches Out.
Chief Harteau Meets With Black Officers

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

August 28, 2013

The last couple of months have been challenging for the administration of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau. She is showing she can meet challenges and seek solutions.

The incidents embarrassing to the department — in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Green Bay, Wisconsin, downtown Minneapolis, the shooting death of Terrance Franklin, etc. — show how the rank and file have become their own worst enemy, creating problems for the department, seeding suspicion in communities of color, and reducing their credibility in White communities (see my August 14, 2013 column, Chief Harteau announces ... a public dialogue.

Chief Janeé Harteau’s recent decision to reach out to Black officers in her department shows a commitment to healing, as she shows she is developing a keen understanding of why and how to bring everyone to the table, demonstrating growth and maturity. Prior to the Chief reaching out to them, Black police were not sure of their standing in the department, even though the President of the Police Federation reached out to them.

She obviously recognizes and is turning away from the bad advice and false information she had been receiving. Black police were not sure of their standing in the department, even though the president of the police federation reached out to them (see my August 7 column, What it’s like to be Black in the MPD?).

Now the chief is reaching out to show a similar commitment and respect. Chief Harteau is doing what all good leaders do, grow into the position and its responsibilities rather than be diminished by them.

As a person of color, and as a person who has fought discrimination and bias in this department, she understands the pain and the burden that one must carry, no matter how far one rises in an organization still discriminating due to old prejudices. But as chief of the department, she appears to be moving towards reconciliation between her department, her office, and the city as a whole.

Not everything will be a success. We’d like to see perfection but we’re realists. Human nature being what it is, there will always be those obstructing and blocking progress (hence the need to continually work for reconciliation and healing).

The good news is that Chief Harteau seems to be thoroughly committed to recruitment, promotion, training, and, most importantly, improving police-community relations. Part of the current challenges are due to her predecessor and city administration not being committed or interested.

As I served five years as co-chair, facilitator and monitor for the Police Community Relations Committee established by the U.S. Department of Justice, along with 17 other colleagues, I understand how challenging and exhausting the chief’s job can be. Hopefully the newly-elected administration’s new mayor and new council members will embrace the spirit of Chief Harteau, so together they can reach out to make this a better city for all who live here, now and in the future.

It is important to recognize and respect courage and commitment to change and a commitment to reconciliation. And so we watch the various agendas closely. We expect the chief to be provided support and resources to continue the healing process, perhaps with a “truth and reconciliation commission” as established by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Despite visits by national police expert Wexler, the studies of his police institute, studies by the Federation, the MPD and others, the efforts until the chief’s current action, have been merely to have more meetings to forestall having to take real action. May the City government and MPD heed the chief’s call to demonstrate action for reconciliation and healing.

May Minneapolis heed the wise words of Chief Joseph: “All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.” And: “Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

From the archives:
--- Police Department racism and discrimination (in “Solution Papers,” aggregate of columns on MPD, 2003 – present)
---Assault by the MPD on Blacks at the Ames Elks Lodge, column of May 2, 2012
---Update on MPD 2012 Assault on Ames Elks Lodge. No contact with MPD for over a year, column of May 8, 2013.

Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 1:54 a.m.


“We didn’t know about Zigy!”  Really?
Everybody pretends ignorance or amnesia on Zigy’s dealings. 

August 21 , 2013

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Many intelligent, knowledgeable people purposefully said they were surprised by the Judge’s ruling against the Wilfs, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, that ended their 21 year-old court case.  Surprized?  Really?  Why do they think we believe them (Star Tribune wrote of it in 2011)?   They believed the Wilfs who said they would win.  

What they “won” is loss of credibility.  The Wilfs also “won”   these words from the Judge: fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violated civil racketeering statute, and, most damning by the Judge: “The bad faith and evil motive were demonstrated in the testimony of Zygi Wilf himself,” and that “I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate.” 

[Editor’s note:  see referenced articles below from Star Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, and San Antonio Express News.]

When Red McCombs was encouraged to relinquish Vikings ownership, Reggie Fowler, an African American from Arizona, bid for the team.  Kevin Warren, also an African American, introduced Fowler to the Wilfs.  When Fowler was not granted additional time to raise the required amount to purchase, Fowler became a Limited Partner, Zigy Wilf the General Partner, and Kevin Warren was rewared with being Zigy’s VP of Legal Affairs & Chief Administrative Officer.

So who do we trust? 

Do we trust the NFL, who loaned Red McCombs $100 million so he could outbid local bidder, Roger Hedrick, after which the NFL denied Hedrick the right to counter-bd, leaving the Vikings in the hands of an out of state-er? What did the NFL do to keep the Vikings out of Minnesota hands and instead in the hands of more non-Minnesotans, the Wilfs. What did the NFL do to pave the way for the Wilfs to be owners, who are not rooted in Minnesota?

Do we trust the Governor and legislature, as we ask what else have they winked at that hasn’t been discovered?  Yet.  What other shoes will drop?

Do we trust local leaders, who helped Red’s right hand man in San Antonio and his right hand man in Minneapolis kill the stadium campaign outlined by Dennis Green and approved by both Red and Charlene McCombs in 2001, leading to their departures? 

Do we trust the State, City, and Vikings, all of whom either signed off on or turned a blind eye to the city violating its own charter, benefiting themselves at voter/tax payer expense?  Is the announced “due diligence” and “forensic accounting” analysis for cover up?   

Reggie Fowler was vetted when he attempted to become the first African American owner of an NFL team.  So how, given their history, did the Wilfs pass an NFL examination of their finances and ways of doing business?   Even if the Wilfs won the court case, what it reveals about “The Wilf Way” of doing business should be raising loud alarm bells.

Why does Minnesota accept the NFL backing non-Minnesotans over Minnesotans?  How are Minnesota tax payers to believe the legislators, their teams of attorneys, and their financial consultants, not to mention those with a financial interest (such as the Star Tribune)?  Even a blind bat couldn’t miss the Wilf’s refusal to follow court orders for 21 years.

Who will pay Minnesota’s $348 million and Minneapolis’ $150 million (which the Kaplan Report states, with interest, will cost the city over $700 million, raising the question of what will be the true cost for the state)?   Answer:  the general fund, at the expense of education, road repair, health care, social servicers, while also adding higher taxes.

The Wilfs will pay very little personally, as the Vikings $447 million portion (including the NFL loan of $200 million) will be paid through stadium naming rights, sponsorships, seat license fees and other sourcing. 

The Vikings have paid their initial legislatively directed obligation of $50 million.  The state and city have yet to pay theirs.  

The city of Minneapolis, through its city council, has voted to award millions of tax payer dollars to the Ryan Construction Company’s development plan for the Peoples Plaza.  No one has seen a detailed and concise plan that would not burden the tax payers of the city of Minneapolis even more over the next 30 years.

We need transparency and honesty.  Now.

So again I ask, who do we trust, and why?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

====================
Editors note:  here are the links to the articles referenced above that appeared in the Star Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, and San Antonio Express-News:

Inquiry into Wilf's business dealings adds pressure to tight stadium timeline, Star Tribune, August 18, 2013.  
“Any delays caused by a review of his finances would ripple through the construction schedule.”

Wilfs are on notice: Keep Minnesota dealings cleanSTRIB EDITORIAL BOARD, August 13, 2013, New Jersey lawsuit should intensify scrutiny of Vikings stadium dealings.”
Schafer: Wilfs may rue how they treated N.J. partner, Star Tribune,  August 13, 2013.

Vikings stadium deal is put on hold for probe of Wilf family finances, Star Tribune, August 13, 2013.  “Key stadium agreements on hold during a “due diligence” financial review of Vikings’ owners.

Dayton questions business dealings of Vikings owners,  August 8, 2013,  Star,  Star Tribune, “The governor wants assurance that stadium dealings are “truthful and accurate.” ”

Gov. Dayton 'deeply concerned' by Wilfs' legal case in New Jersey, Star Tribune, August 8, 2013.

Real estate moguls on losing end of epic lawsuit.  Judge rules Wilf family cheated their partners, Newark Star Ledger, August 6, 2013.

Is stadium McCombs' goal?,  San Antonio Express-News, August 8, 2002.
Auto magnate selling Clear Channel stock shares in complex deal to pay debt on Minnesota Vikings.”
“Woods, who manages McCombs' finances, said the money primarily would be used to pay off most of the debt on the Vikings purchase. McCombs borrowed $100 million from the National Football League and another $100 million from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. McCombs hired J.P. Morgan Chase earlier this year to shop the team to potential buyers after the Minnesota Legislature failed to approve a new stadium for the team.”

For more on these concerns see list of our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross.

From the archives:
Vikings Stadium Legislature doublecross?
Vikings: Is the "Plan" for them to leave or stay?

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 1:18 p.m.
Due to technical error, reposted Thursday, Augusg 22, 2013, 12:30 pm


Chief Harteau announces dialogue
A public dialogue? Really?

August 14, 2013

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Pull quote: Extremely serious issues confront needed dialogue and reflections for recommended solutions, issues as old as Minneapolis with a police department.

The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops.

The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. And let’s not forget those conveniently forgotten “others,” Black police officers, who must also have a seat at any MPD table.

Last week’s column, “What it’s like to be Black in the MPD,” reported Black police officers’ embarrassing pain and humiliation. To the credit of MPD Federation President Lt. John Delmonico, he has demonstrated more racial sensitivity and understanding, and, thus, more wisdom, than the mayor, the city council, the chief and Black leaders. And it would appear, based on the names of individuals the chief met with August 7, that not one single person in this so-called dialogue group reached out to Black police officers to ask about their understanding and responses and sense of solutions (Star Tribune, Racial incidents lead to calls to investigate Minneapolis police, August 7, 2013).

[ Editor’s note:  added to this online posting:  two columns, May 2, 2012 and May 2, 2013, on police beating Blacks, including Ron Edwards, at the Ames Elks Lodge, a year ago, April 21, 2012:
----- Assault by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on the Ames Elks Lodge
----- Update on MPD 2012 Assault on Ames Elks Lodge. No contact with MPD for over a year.  ]
----- See also our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD and the MPD’s coverup of them. ]

Hopefully it is not too late to repair the damage to Black MPD officers. But with the help of Lt. John Delmonico, who I have known and worked with for many years, maybe, just maybe, that breach can be repaired sooner rather than later.

Velma Korbel, Minneapolis Civil Rights director, and one of the greatest civil rights failures in the history of the city of Minneapolis, but one of the best at meeting former director Jordan’s infamous standard, “we can meet minority hiring requirements without hiring a single African American,” is the latest in faux leaders presented as a person who can bring parties together. Assisting her is faux leader Michael Brown, her trusted left hand. They represent rough not tranquil waters. How will they be able to set a steady course of reconciliation for the great ship USS MPD?

Extremely serious issues confront needed dialogue and reflections for recommended solutions, issues as old as Minneapolis with a police department. Many will be watching this group closely, most of whom have probably never been at a crime scene in their lives nor been involved in mediating conflict between police and community in their lives, and clearly could not personally identify even five Black police officers with whom they have had a meaningful and professional discussion in their lives. Blind leading the blind?

This is not to be negative. Just stating the facts and nothing but the facts. The beginning of resolution must come quickly for there is too much tension, too much distrust, and too much hopelessness about repairing these relationships.

We look forward to the chief’s plan, and await evaluating the rest of the plan’s components, for without them we are truly in big trouble, with little hope to improve relations between the African American community and this city.

As Robert Peel, considered the father of modern policing said in the 19th century: “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

May God give us strength and have mercy on our souls.

Stay tuned

See Solution Paper #31, our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD.

For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm

Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 2:07 a.m.


The Chance for another Cincinnati?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

August 7, 2013

One cannot begin to understand the current racial tensions within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) until one reviews the history of this tension.  The tensions are there.  Extremely dangerous tensions.  Many do not understand while others don’t care about the level of hatred and disrespect, professional and personal, within the MPD towards the small core of Black police officers by many of their white colleagues.  It is not unknown.  It is ignored.

During the five years I served on the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC), which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) established in 2003 (to last until 2008), we warned the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. of the dangerous level of racism in the MPD.   What was so troubling was the indifference of Federal, State and City Officials to the dangers of racial conflict within the department.  The revelations now coming out of Green Bay, Wisconsin about outrageous statements laced with racially derogatory and threatening statements against Black citizens by visiting Minneapolis police officers symbolizes and reflects a department that ignores instead of corrects.

Another example is the racial strife inside the Cincinnati, Ohio Police Department in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The link at the end of this column’s tag line shows the MPD history, year by year since this column began, demonstrating the hell that can come from being Black in the MPD.   The level of disrespect accorded Black officers is reminiscent of that under South Africa apartheid, where Black policemen and constables were treated like 3rd class citizens by their white comrades in arms.  We forget at our peril the treatment in slave days, Jim Crow days, and periodic days since then.
 
The continued silence of the Governor, Mayor, City Council, and civic and state leaders is chilling.  Black leadership is silent too.   Indeed, remember “the Mill City Five” and the Black leadership betrayal of them and of the Black Police Officers Association.  Black leaders sided with then MPD Chief Tim Nolan against the concerns of Black officers in the MPD, unwilling to give up snitch pay.  And even after the Black officers filed their law suit in 2007, against the city and the department, Black leadership refused to support their contention and lawsuits.  The Obama administration and the US Attorney General today have also passed, as have many non-profit leaders and white church leaders, as there is resistance to condemn a city run by Democrats (think also of Chicago and Detroit).

The history is quite clear:  Black Police Officers have had little support in their quest to correct past grievances and to provide support today.  A sobering reminder of the history is seen in the attention to the culture of racism in this department provided by the legendary Inspector Raymond Presley, now deceased.

When we think back to the 1930s and 1940’s, we also think of Lt. William Colson, one of only three Black officers in a one thousand man department, yet a man who became its first African American Lieutenant, just as Raymond Presley became the first Inspector in the history of the department.

Those who know the history of race relations in this department know it has been a continuous struggle since the first time a Negro patrolman walked the beat and yet did not have the authority or power to detain or arrest a white citizen.

The danger today is from those who would take us back to the 1890s and make the African American Police officer an endangered species.

Black officers suffer in silence and pain without support in the lonely battle they wage in the dark, racist corridors of the MPD, and without support from the citizenry they protect.  This is not a healthy situation.  It provides all the worse possible circumstances at a time when we need all of the MPD to work together in the face of future eruptions of racial conflict.

Neither white nor black will be able to continue to hide behind the ignorance of “we didn’t know”, “we didn’t have an idea”, “golly if someone just told us we could have sat down and corrected this problem.”  Such statements would be erroneous, hollow, and untrue.  All that can be authenticated is the continued perpetration of the Big Lie that racism does not exist here in our beloved Minnesota.

All need a better understanding of what it is like to be a Black member of the MPD (see link below). It is out of place in any institution but in particular it is out of place in an institution that is supposed to provide hope for justice and fairness and a sense of trust for all citizens.  As I wrote in 2008, “…equal access and equal opportunity, …and a seat for everyone."

God bless America.  And God bless our Black police officers in their hour of need.

Stay tuned.

See Solution Paper #31, our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD.

For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm

Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 1:22 a.m..


Vikings Stadium Day of Judgment:  August 20, 2013:
Doug Mann takes on the State of Minnesota

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

July 31, 2013

“Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a misunderstood quotation from Shakespeare. The character in the play wanted lawyers who would create chaos and unrest so he could become king. The character was referring to killing attorneys and judges who stood for justice in society, those who would follow the law.

So what kind of lawyers are “the big three,” Kevin Warren, NFL Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson, and Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal? None protested the violation of the City’s charter requirement that mandates a public referendum for any expenditure of over $10 million for any professional sports facility. The Minnesota legislature tried (and failed) to legislate exemption of the charter provision. Then seven city council members overrode the other six, voiding the charter provision.

The key question of democracy: Why do Mr. Warren, Ms. Swanson, Ms. Segal and their bosses not care about the will of the people? Why are they supporting this unlawful dictate? What’s with today’s federal, state and local officials ignoring laws, unconcerned about violating the trust of the people and setting terrible precedents for the future?

The Minneapolis City website defines the City charter as “the constitution governing the municipal government. The charter defines the powers the citizens agree to give their city government and how the government is to be structured.” Yet our city council voted to ignore the city charter.

The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 3): officials are to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Our officials are unfaithful, taking dictatorial and unconstitutional and dangerous precedent-setting actions. As I wrote in my 2002 book, “it shows how little respect the bosses have for the people” (p. 264).

Enter Doug Mann, acting pro se (representing himself and the citizens of the state of Minnesota). He filed suit, Mann vs. the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Vikings, and the NFL, for violating the city charter. Why are people shocked? How can Mr. Warren and the NFL, Ms. Swanson and the State, Ms. Segal and City, Mayor Rybak and the city council be shocked by this when they knew they were against the law?

Why is their view of citizens and their constitution (the city charter) so low and their arrogance so great that they won’t stand up for the law? They don’t realize they risk poisoning the golden goose. On August 20, 2013, Mr. Mann will present his case to Hennepin County District Court Judge Philip D. Bush.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ryan Construction, Mortenson Contruction, Thor, a whole host of big corporations, and the State and City must think they had slipped one by the voters. How wrong they are. When one reads the brief filed by Doug Mann, one cannot fail to remember the legendary Frank Alsop, one of the great legal minds of our time, who said, “I come into court carrying my brief, and fighting to serve and protect the interests of the masses, and let no king nor potentate stand in the way of my quest for justice.”

We now have elected officials acting as kings and potentates, blocking the will of the people. August 20, 2013 will be a historic day for the rights of the citizen. I don’t know how Judge Bush will rule, but I’m sure he will rule based on the law and nothing but the law and not on the lure of favors and other considerations.

The citizens/taxpayers/voters of the State of Minnesota expect nothing less. And yet the action of the City of Minneapolis in the spring of 2012 essentially shredded the City’s charter, its constitution.

Judge Bush will have the opportunity to set things right. We hope the appellate court does not overrule Judge Bush. If it does, Minnesota will be as a Banana Republic, a government of cronies, not a government of the people.

Mr. Mann has made persuasive arguments regarding the rights of the people to speak without impediment, without gamesmanship, and without further corruption. This is truly a test of the future of democracy in this state. May the state of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis, the Vikings and the NFL, all do the right thing.

August 20, 2013, in Judge Philip D. Bush’s courtroom: a constitutional day of reckoning. It will either reaffirm the power and the sanctity of the City charter and its grounding in law or it will declare that the City charter is to be trumped by chaos and indecision as the order of the day, with laws then being whatever those in charge declare them to be for their cronies and friends on any given day. If Doug Mann loses, it will be a truly dark day for the future of Minneapolis and the tearing down of its historic legacy of standing for democracy and the people.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm
For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 3:33 p.m.


Trayvon Martin is guilty…
…of being a young, Black male in the wrong place at the wrong time

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

July 24, 2013

The headline in this column is not a mistake. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was guilty of being Black.

All of us know of jokes about being arrested for driving while being Black. It was no joke for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed for walking in the rain while Black, wearing a hoodie, looking “suspicious,” and walking close to the townhouses to protect himself against the elements in a neighborhood that feared young Black men due to recent burglaries by Black youth.

Two men: both young, both male, both wanting respect, but only one with a gun. And only one with all the privileges of being White in America, including getting a “pass” if White.

An episode of the TV show 30 Rock had the Tina Fey character protesting a mailroom clerk seeking advancement as he was not qualified for anything. But look, her boss said, “He’s male, he’s White, he’s got great hair. There is no limit for him.”

That “no limit” was not extended to Trayvon Martin. It was extended to George Zimmerman, a man whose father is a federal magistrate, his mother a clerk of the court in the adjoining county. It is no coincidence that they were the only two witnesses that neither the prosecution nor defense asked what jobs or professional credentials they held.

That’s White privilege. That’s having “a fair head start.” Trayvon Martin, guilty in the eyes of the White privileged who were uncomfortable with him, had done nothing illegal. But he was “legalwhile being young and Black.”

In the end, though dead, it was up to Trayon Martin to defend himself, unheard of under Anglo Saxon law. White privilege, White anger and White denial came together to judge him guilty.

There are those in this country still angry at the late Johnny Cochran for getting a jury in 1995 to acquit O.J. Simpson. Some commentators, Black and White, suggested Zimmerman’s attorney Mark Omera was American’s new Johnny Cochran. Mark Omera is no Johnny Cochran. Mark Omera and Zimmerman’s other attorney, Don West, had White privilege on their side, the great “fair head start” privilege.

Black America needs to be concerned. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, in 1859, ruled regarding Blacks as “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the White man was bound to respect.”

We thought, after the enactment in 1863 of the Emancipation Proclamation, that we would finally have access, opportunity, respect and protection of law. Instead, there were more tragedies in which Black Americans lost their lives, their freedoms, all the while being told to be patient, that our time would come.

Black America knows deep within her soul that we still await equal protection under the law, hence the headline in this column. Trayvon Martin was found guilty of being Black, young and offending White privilege.

The solution for the future is not more conversation but an education system that doesn’t push Blacks to drop out, and training and economic opportunities leading to employment in living-wage jobs that enable good rather than inferior housing.

The elephant in the room remains: racism. Its cousin: White privilege. George Zimmerman’s cleverness has served him well. All of his 49 calls to the police over the years in Neighborhood Watch were all about African Americans. But the judge denied mention of the elephant. When the prosecutor failed to challenge that ruling, I was overwhelmed with the sense that the fix was in.

The prosecution team came from Jacksonville, FL, Duval County, which has one of the most atrocious records of intentionally overcharging African Americans in criminal matters. No African Americans were seated as jurors. The State of Florida made a calculated decision to undermine their own “case in chief.” Once again, the tragedy that is so much a part of American justice was in play.

But let’s not forget the other elephant in the living room — us. Charles Evers, after taking over from his assassinated brother Medgar in 1963, said “We realized that all the hardship we had came from elected officials.”

In 1961, Martin Luther King said to a congregation, "Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58 percent of its crimes? We've got to face that… We can't keep on blaming the White man. There are things we must do for ourselves."

The concentration on Trayvon is taking our eye off the fact that many of our worst cities are run by Blacks who have become as corrupt as Whites. Until Black leaders put their eyes back on the prize, we’ll continue to be considered guilty while being Black.

Stay tuned.

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013, 3:45 a.m.


Stadium contract under negotiation
Mpls. Civil Rights Dept. to monitor contractor and worker inclusion

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

July 17, 2013

It appears the Minnesota Vikings will sign off in the next 30 days on the contract for monitoring hiring compliance on the construction of the Vikings’ stadium. It is rumored that Viking General Council Kevin Warren will handle the final say for the Vikings (Warren, a member of the Stadium Equity Review Panel, is the highest-ranking Black American business executive with an NFL team).

The negotiations between Alex Tittle, Equity Director for the Sports Facility Authority overseeing the Vikings stadium construction, and the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) have been going on for at least two weeks, as of the writing of this column. Why are they being held in secret?

The selection of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to monitor hiring compliance raises troubling questions, which I assume the Authority’s and Vikings’ attorneys are examining. Re-read the excellent July 4, 2013 Charles Hallman article in this newspaper, “Minneapolis Civil Rights to post monitored construction projects online.” His investigative report raises serious questions about MDCR competency and transparency, despite the promise that the monitoring chart will show who is or is not meeting workforce goals.

Mr. Hallman’s article is another in the occasional reporting by this paper reflecting upon the MDCR’s inability and/or unwillingness to both measure and complete statutory responsibilities. Mr. Hallman reported that the MDCR was unable to respond by press deadline to clarify certain projects and the issue of non-compliance, continuing a practice we have reported on for a decade: the absolute refusal of the MDCR to provide reliable and transparent information consistent with the requirements of ordinances and laws.

The MDCR’s multi-colored chart won’t display two key Minnesota elephants in the middle of the hiring compliance living room. One, the refusal to use “African American,” so that, as before, “minorities can be hired without hiring a single African American,” and two, the good-faith-legislative escape hatch remains wide open: minorities don’t have to be hired if “best efforts” don’t generate “qualified” workers.

Contractors have already said there are no qualified workers. We look to Mr. Warren to make sure that travesty is not continued. Our consistent warning of this since 2005 regarding the coming $5 billion in construction has been consistently ignored. It’s a good thing that the African American Gentlemen of the Roundtable in Kansas City are available.

Is it naïve to assume that Mr. Tittle, the Sports Facility Authority, and the NFL Vikings’ Mr. Warren will place absolute requirement and protocols into the contract language that will provide for immediate sanction against any and all, be they the general contractor, subcontractors, or the monitoring entity, if there are violations of provisions of contracts and Memorandums of Understanding, and that “African Americans” will be specified as such, not just as “minorities”? We will be monitoring them.

The MDCR purposefully mismanaged monitoring the Twins Target Field and Gopher’s TCF stadium construction efforts (few if any African Americans were invited). Who will staff monitoring and carry out the responsibilities: monitoring compliance, implementation of workplace goals, and provide immediate recommendations to initiate actions in cases of statutory non-compliance and/or non-performance by those working on the Vikings’ stadium?

All concerned must pay attention to the lawsuit filed involving the construction of the Hudson, Wisconsin hospital, done by Mortenson Construction (Vikings’ stadium’s general contractor). WCCO, Channel 4, broke the story Monday, July 8, 2013. According to the lawsuit, current workers at that hospital are working under dangerous conditions and circumstances (glass used wasn’t suitable to protect x-ray/imaging workers from radiation exposure). Given the amount of glass to be used in the Vikings’ Stadium, what needs to go right with the choice of and installation of the stadium glass? And what is Mortenson doing to make sure nothing goes wrong as it did in Hudson?

The construction of the Vikings stadium will be one of the most demanding undertakings in recent memory. Given the deadline of July 2016, there is not time for slowdown, work stoppages, or litigation that obstructs meeting the July 2016 opening date. And yet here we see secret negotiations taking place by Mr. Tittle. Why?

It is important that Mr. Tittle, Mr. Warren, Mr. Wilf, and NFL commissioner Mr. Goodell, and a host of others, make sure that the interests of the citizens and interests of the tax payers of Minnesota are provided for and protected. And that means that the expectation of the African American community is met to participate fully and without the restriction of the traditional failure in Minnesota to retain and hire African Americans and others of color.

So we look forward to hearing of intentionally meaningful and fruitful negotiations resulting in a monitoring team that knows, understands and will willingly carry out their responsibilities, acting with integrity and transparency in building the Vikings’ Stadium. This we truly hope.

Stay tuned.

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 p.m.


God bless Rachel Jeantel, a courageous witness

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

July 10, 2013

During the first week of July, some in America showed their true colors by once again viciously attacking, with malice aforethought, a 19-year-old Black woman, Rachel Jeantel. She was the last person to speak to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just seconds before he was to die at the hands of George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012.

Ms. Jeantel was born in the nation of Haiti but has been a resident of the United States since age three. But English is not her native tongue. It is her third language. How many languages do her tormentors speak?  

Rachel Jeantel is important for two reasons. First, she teaches us about the lessons of respect. Second, she brought credibility and truth to her testimony.

As the State’s witness, Ms. Jeantel was viciously attacked by Don West, the defense attorney, who did everything he could to insult, malign, disrespect, and just literally beat her up verbally. Black and White bloggers chastised her, raising questions ranging from her testimony to her vocabulary, her physical appearance and her race. (Justice may prefer to be blind but sometimes can’t resist sneaking a peek out from under her blindfold.)  

I watched on cable stations. Ms. Jeantel is a courageous and accurate witness. Surprisingly, many did not know that Mr. Zimmerman considered himself a martial arts expert — he has taken martial arts classes three times a week for at least two years. He is a “lethal weapon.”

Mr. Zimmerman had been arrested before for assaulting a policeman, and he was under treatment for psychological problems related to anger. So how is it that this 28-year-old wannabe cop who killed this unarmed 17-year-old was still allowed to legally carry a firearm?
Mr. Zimmerman, in his own words in interviews, stated he was on top of Mr. Martin after shooting him. Some say Mr. Martin was on top. Which is it?
The reenactment tape conducted on February 27, 2012 with Mr. Zimmerman and the Sanford, Florida police department was an eye opener. To me, it provided sufficient credence to the statements Ms. Jentel gave under oath. 

How she was treated and continues to be maligned should be an eye opener for those in both Black and White America who no longer trust the system (police, prosecutors, the courts). Is it any wonder there is now less confidence in both Black and White America in terms of fairness and respect than was the case 20 or 40 years ago?

Because of the manner in which Ms. Jeantel has been ridiculed and criticized by both Blacks and Whites, I would not be surprised if fewer young Black Americans reach out in the future to become involved by doing the right thing, giving testimony, and, as Ms. Jeantel did in court, being courageous and honest.  

It is a sad commentary to reflect on how jury nullification is still the order of the day: no Black members despite the number of Black people in Seminole County. Thus, the jury of six are all women, five White and one Latina, another sign of institutional disrespect for the right of Blacks to be allowed to participate in the jury process.

My sense, given the number of hours I’ve watched this trial, is that there is a 70-30 chance for the acquittal of George Zimmerman with Trayvon Martin’s death ruled just another “no fault tragedy.”  I hope, as God is my witness, that I am wrong and it doesn’t become more “business as usual.”

Last week, Thursday through Sunday in North Minneapolis and downtown, groups of young Blacks as large as 250 and as small as 100 fought pitched battles among themselves and with police. Also last week, in North Commons Park, there was another wakeup call as more youth were roaming the streets. 

But it’s not just Black youth. In Greensboro, N.C. on July 1,400 teenagers, mostly White, rampaged. Are we are on the abyss of an outbreak of public disorder as in the days of the 1960s, only this time it is high unemployment and under-employment for both the under- and over-educated, both White and Black? 

Will White and Black communities reach out to help save their young with education and jobs, or will it take an American version of Tahrir Square, Tiananmen Square, or the streets of Paris and London to get adults in the USA to wake up? No one seems to have a clue or a plan, as eyes close in the naïve hope that they will open to show no clouds of darkness.

A word of simple advice:  Nothing is going to happen unless we are prepared to stand up and be counted like Rachel Jentel, who took it upon herself to do the right thing in that courtroom. I say God bless her and God bless the courage she showed in Sanford.
Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com (where "Archive" section has earlier March 28, 2012 column on the shooting of Trayvon Martin.)  

Posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:10 a.m.


Snowden, Hastings and surveillance? Were they right?
The “here we go again” relevance for Black America.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

July 3, 2013

Young journalists have stepped forward to warn again how we continue to lose our government to growing “Big Brother.” Thirty-year-old document leaker Edward J. Snowden has fled to a secret place. And 33-year-old journalist Michael Hastings was killed in a fiery auto crash in Los Angeles June 18, 2013. They have shocked the nation by exposing the extent of the secret crypt of America’s intelligence network’s surveillance abuse of American citizens.

Black America is not shocked. It’s been part and parcel of our lives ever since the first Black foot stepped off the boat in Virginia, on through failed Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the 1920’s, on through to today, blocking our access and freedoms.

We especially remember the surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Dr. King’s father and mother were the subject of government surveillance as early as 1921. Now Whites learn and experience as we have. They don’t like having that surveillance shoe on their White feet. Whether or not you view Snowden and Hastings as patriots and heroes, they exposed governmental abuse of surveillance power.

Michael Hastings’ reporting brought down the careers of director of the CIA General David Petraeus, about to be supreme commander of NATO General John Allen, and top commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal. Prior to his fiery death, Hastings had texted his close associates that the FBI was making deep inquiry of his friends and family.

The stories of these brave young men, Snowden and Hastings, are chilling reminders for all Americans and journalists as we reflect this July 4th weekend on what we are losing of our freedoms under the guise of national security. Mr. Snowden seeks asylum where he won’t be extradited. Few have discussed the sacrifice he discussed in his forthright Hong Kong interview several weeks ago: his fear that his patriotic actions may cause the forfeiture of his life and prevent him from ever seeing his family again.

We in Black America understand the power and abuse of Big Brother. We remember the tragedy of the annihilation of the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the continued surveillance of activists in pursuit of civil rights for the American Negro. Dr. King’s brother died mysteriously.

Others victims of surveillance and persecution include Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Medgar Evers, and, in our beloved city, Nellie Stone Johnson, Dr. Thomas Johnson, the founder and publisher of this newspaper, Cecil Newman, and the legendary Frank Alsop, all targets of Big Brother’s surveillance (FBI, military intelligence agency, state and city).

Many of us warned that the passage of the Patriot Act a decade ago meant that rights, values, freedoms and liberties we hold dear and fight for and are passionately committed to would be blocked even more. Will Mr. Snowden survive? Only God and time will tell.

Journalism comes with risks and dangers, not only in regards to the right of free speech, but also of the right to make inquiry, ask questions and investigate the facts.

The Snowden revelations raise serious questions about what those who claim to be defenders and protectors of the constitution of the United States are trying to hide, especially when this is not so much about information released but about the extent of their “Big Brother” secret surveillance.

Why are powerful individuals so uncomfortable and uneasy when asked questions about such massive surveillance? Why, in the name of national security, do they push our constitutional rights into a dark closet? Snowden and Hastings revealed troubling threats to our constitutional rights.

It is our elected public servants in the congress, judiciary branch, and executive branch and their appointees that should bring forward information of questionable conduct by powerful government institutions. Instead it is by journalists and reporters living under a cloud of threat (think Daniel Elsberg during the Vietnam War).

The Edward Snowdens and Michael Hastings of this world are courageously reminding us that as Americans we have constitutional rights that include the right to be told the truth about our democratic and constitutional institutions from those we have entrusted both their guardianship and the responsibility to uphold to the fullest “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God”.

All public servants have that in their oath of office. Sadly, they are not driving the debate tonight in America about the importance of truth, transparency and constitutional rights. The drivers are the actions of elected public servants and their appointees against truth, transparency and constitutional rights. We are learning it from courageous journalists who are then harassed and threatened for doing so. This is the awesome and dangerous burden of real journalism.

Americans should be very concerned about the life expectancy of Mr. Snowden and the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Hastings.

God bless America.

Stay tuned.

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 p.m.


Equity Director Hired.
Minnesota Sports Authority and Vikings Make their Selection

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

June 26, 2013

“Congratulations,” Alex Tittle, on being appointed Equity Director for the Vikings Stadium by the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA), as announced Friday, June 14, 2013.   “Welcome to an historic task”

Mr. Tittle, a nine year Army veteran (Company Commander and Platoon Leader), and Interim Director of the Office of Civil Rights, MN Department of Transportation, will now be the most significant player on the Minnesota civil rights stage.

I urge Mr. Tittle to read the results of my research as reported in this paper regarding the lack of diversity, equity, and fairness in Minneapolis and Minnesota hiring (archived on my web site). 

I urge Mr. Tittle to hold hearings, as authorized by the stadium legislation, in order for all to see whether plans submitted regarding equity commitment execution are actually followed, including the developer for the stadium, Mortenson, to see their commitment in public and in writing, with their acknowledgement that the legislation allows enforcement of any material breach by any or all not in compliance.  The Stadium legislation authorizes such hearings in Section 19, Provision 473.j15, entitled “Criteria and Conditions.”  See Sub Paragraph 9.   

Mr. Tittle has the opportunity and authority under Section 15-473j.11, “Stadium Design and Construction”, as well as lines 15.31 and 15.34 through line 16.30, to impose specific conditions, in concert with the authority and the Vikings.

The legislation also vests Mr. Tittle with the authority to research the history of those who would be pre-qualified.  Specific provision is under Section 17.473j.12, entitled “Employment,” at lines 18.33, through 19.13.  The African American community and its leadership needs to review these sections for specific tasks that will make it easier for Mr. Tittle to carry out his responsibilities.

Mr. Tittle needs to know that the Kansas City Group, Gentleman of the Round Table, as identified in previous columns, are prepared and ready to deliver qualified, skilled African Americans to works on the people’s stadium. 

I encourage Mr. Tittle to work closely with Kevin Warren, Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer and the highest-ranking African-American business executive with an NFL team.  He was a member of the Stadium Equity Review Panel.  In February, Mr. Warren stated, “The Vikings and the Authority are committed to ensuring a diverse and talented work force on this project.  We have worked hard to put together a comprehensive equity plan – one that will focus on outreach, recruitment, training and employment of all Minnesotans and will ensure inclusion of minorities, women and veterans.”  Missing are the words “hiring” and “African Americans.”

We expect Mr. Tittle and Mr. Warren to work closely together to keep their bosses, the NFL, and our community fully apprised of compliance regarding inclusion goals, including the category of “African American”, not just the category of “minorities.”

There must be no repeat of the state capital disaster highlighted by J.E. Dunn Construction of Kansas City, who confronted the state of Minnesota with evidence showing no qualified African Americans in Minnesota in certain categories and disciplines in refurbishing of the state capital, despite claims of our community leaders to have trained African Americans in the skills needed to perform within every trade category (so what did they spend that $10 million on that they were given to train workers in those skills?).

There must be no repeat of the scathing audit by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, issued on May 13, 2023, regarding MDOT’s failure to comply in diversity hiring (using the GFE - Good Faith Effort - “escape” hatch).

There must be no repeat of Twins and Gopher’s stadium non-compliance; they hired few African Americans (resulting in more scathing reports on non-compliance). 

There must be no repeat of what former African American Director of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department said, “we can meet all our minority hiring requirements without hiring a single African American.”  

For all of these examples, understand this:  making non-compliance legal through “good or best efforts” doesn’t make it right.

An early and important task for Mr Tittle is to select who will monitor hiring equity (verification of contracts, percentage of MBEs and WBEs, actual work hours).  I encourage Mr. Tittle to go beyond the literal following of the MSFA Construction Services Agreement Equity Plan:  Targeted Business goal of 20%  (11% women owned businesses; 9% minority owned businesses) and Targeted Workforce goal (32% minorities and 6% women) in all hours worked, so as to provide how many African Americans are hired, by number and percentage, not just as among “minorities”.

We have been given a second chance as a city and a state to do the right thing. May Mr. Tittle, Mr. Warren, the Vikings, the NFL, Minnesota, Minneapolis and the Sports Authority open a wide door of equity, a door that leads to success for all.

We wish success for all involved in the construction of the peoples stadium.

Stay tuned.

Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 4:58 a.m.


Franklin Case to County Attorney and then Grand Jury.
Will “all white” and “no bill” of indictment tradition continue?

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

June 19, 2013

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) announced two weeks ago that they completed the investigation into the shooting of T.T. Franklin, and forwarded its findings to the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman. The Star Tribune reported that “The case will get an initial review from the county attorney’s office before it is sent to the grand jury” (Star Tribune, June 7, 2013, “County attorney's office to review Terrence Franklin shooting”). As Sportin’ Life would say: "It Ain't Necessarily So,” as all evidence is NOT in.

How can the city or the Black community craft response strategies without a finished evidence report (DNA, finger prints, wound analysis, blood, urine, etc., etc.)?

On May 18, 2013, the MPD said it would take at least four months to complete the forensic investigation, 4 – 5 weeks for the final determination from the medical examiner. Why? Is the County Attorney setting up a continuation of the “tradition” leading to another Grand Jury “no bill” indictment in the case of police killing a Black person? Let’s look at our state and federal civil rights “tradition”.

The last time a Grand Jury even came close to indicting a law enforcement officer in the death of an African American was 35 years ago, when a Federal Grand Jury failed by ONE vote to indict an Eagan police officer for the traffic stop execution-style shooting death of the unarmed son of then Executive Director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, Robert Benford. His 20 year old son was home on leave from the United States Army.

The three African Americans on that Grand Jury were tenacious in their quest for justice, including the late Elmer Childress, the first and only Black Commissioner for Veterans Affairs in the history of Minnesota.

We thought this was the beginning of a positive trend. We were wrong. No other Grand Jury has ever come close to indicting a white police officer for killing an African American citizen. Our long uphill struggle continues. We are reminded of the climb when we remember that the ending of the filibuster of the civil rights bill in 1964, was the first time in history the U.S. Senate had enough votes to cut off a civil rights bill filibuster.

There are questions we in the African American community must ask as the County Attorney begins the process:
• Will the County Grand Jury hearing the case be all or mostly white?
• If we are told “minorities” are on the Grand Jury, what kind, as, in Minneapolis, “minorities” does NOT always mean African American?
• Will the instructions to the Grand Jury on how to interpret the evidence for determining whether to indict or not follow doctrines of fairness or racial bias?
• How will they make the case that the actions in that small basement space at 2717 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis, justified the killing by 5 white SWAT officers and a canine as “normal and usual” to subdue just one young man, instead of tasering?
• Will we learn the criteria given the Grand Jury to evaluate the evidence so we can see if it was honest and fair?
• Will Mr. Franklin’s DNA, finger prints, or blood spatter be found on the MP5 that he allegedly wrestled from one of the five officers, wounding two before he was shot and killed by another officer?
• How true is “one shooter” when the medical examiner says “multiple shots”?
• How credible will the story be of the custody and control of the weapon, as it is crucial in justifying taking a life.
• Will the illustrations and drawings supposing to reflect the officers’ recollections of fierce hand-hand combat be credible?
• How will it be explained to the Grand Jury how Mr. Franklin was so good in fierce hand-to-hand fighting skills that he could combat 5 easily trained policemen, disarming one, lightly wounding two, and then “have” to be shot and killed instead of tasered to be subdued?
• Will the forensics evidence provided include how many weapons were fired and how many times?
• What will be said about how many shots are required to blow half of his head away?
• How many places on his body received the “multiple” shots?
• Wasn’t the savage anger officers reported of Mr. Franklin really their own?
• How will the Grand Jury be instructed regarding how to weigh and determine if there was probable cause to use lethal force against Mr. Franklin vs. racial animus?
• Will there be a “No bill” -- no indictment – leaving the history of Grand Juries in Minnesota and Hennepin County in tact regarding being O.K. to shoot young Blacks?
• Will the sentiments prevail of a former Supreme Court Judge, since reversed, at least on paper, that the Negro has no rights that the white man is duty bound, legally bound, or morally bound to respect?

Stay tuned.

For ongoing following of the T.T. Franklin story, go to Ron's Blog at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com

See also our “Solution Paper #31, July 14, 2008 with periodic updates, Ending the City's and MPD's COVER-UP OF DISCRIMINATION will help to end the Discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department [Selected "Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues" columns and blog entries from our 2003-2008, with periodic updates].

Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 10:25 a.m.


Mpls police killed T.T. Franklin for being Black — Racism, individual and institutional, is alive and well in our fair city

June 12, 2013

There was a lot of hatred directed at and rained down upon T.T. Franklin May 10 in that poorly lighted basement at 2717 Bryant Ave. South, away from prying eyes, enabling public safety to once again turn its back on transparently serving the people, enabling public safety officers to engage in another wrongful death as they savagely mutilated and shot to death a young man hiding from them, not burgling.

Five SWAT members, all armed, in flak jackets, with a K-9 biting and chewing on T.T. Franklin, would have us believe that multiple shots and almost blowing his head apart was unavoidable as opposed to tasering him. How was that “protecting with courage”?

Minneapolis pays millions in wrongful death awards, doesn’t sanction its killers, while institutions that claim they care stay silent.

We need public safety. We need well-trained police. We honor those who serve honorably. But there is that contingent in the Minneapolis Police Department who are not honorable. We have written on it in many columns, listed by date and title in our July 14, 2008 paper (and updated since), Ending the City's and MPD's COVER-UP OF DISCRIMINATION will help to end the Discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department .

And yet, here we go again, as the bad apples of public safety again deliver the department’s long-held hatred of the Black community.

Bad apples have spoiled more than the police department. You can see the spoilage in the silence of White and Black churches, foundations, universities and colleges, public policy think tanks, other do-gooding nonprofits, corporations, and the elected: governor, mayor, city council. Their silence exposes the depth of that spoilage.

The hatred directed towards Mr. Franklin can’t be put back in its bottle. Hatred festers. Hatred ignores forgiveness of the small so it can act violently large. Dangerous people are applying hatred based on race that they have been given power to apply.

It’s in this city’s DNA. In 1991, the Star Tribune and Mpls-St Paul Magazine each acknowledged this hatred as widespread. One cover story: “We are still racists.”

People are scared to talk about it. We have the brutal death examples of Tycel Nelson, Sal Saron Scott, Quincy Smith, Dominic A. Felder, David Cornelius Smith, and now T.T. Franklin — all Black Americans. We also have the tragedy of Asian police officer Duy Ngo’s career-ending shooting at the hands of fellow officers. These cases represent the hatred within this department for its own officers of color.

The department destroyed the Black Police Officers Association in 2007. It took no action against Lt. Andy Smith and Sgt Pat King, who, in testimony in May of 2012, under oath, accused African American officers by name as being “scum of the earth,” unfit to be police officers, drug dealers, bribe takers, etc.

Sadly, there are some in the Minneapolis Police Department who equate Black officers with being like Afghan soldiers and officers who cannot be trusted nor depended upon in working with White officers in this police department.

Their chilling testimony, laced with disdain and hatred for fellow Black officers, demonstrates the hatred that brought about the death of T.T. Franklin on May 10. Even more chilling: no sanctions. Instead: transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department. Result: a chilling and fatal message that reinforces the hatred in the killing of T.T. Franklin, almost blowing his head off with multiple shots. This is not public safety. This is not “protection under law.”

Those investigating this shooting will support and reinforce the hatred and malice aforethought that drives the actions and policies bringing about the deaths, mutilations and maiming of African Americans.

When DeMarco Hodges was almost beaten to death by Minneapolis police officers in November 2012, pubic safety protection was given the beaters, not the beaten. Will we see the same regarding the death of T.T. Franklin?

Too often, for their own agendas, Black leadership ignores the existence of such hatred against Black Americans. The ignoring of the hatred and disdain by both White and Black leaders jeopardizes the stability and future relationships between the Black community and the institutions that look the other way (churches, foundations, study centers).

Silence is not abstaining. It is affirming their "right" to speak and act with hate and disdain.

I repeat: The horrors in that basement at 2717 Bryant the afternoon of May 10, 2013 are chilling. Young Mr. Franklin was killed for no other reason than for being Black. He was a human being shown little regard, as the shooters’ sense of great comfort and immunity told them they could torture, beat, put their K-9 on Mr. Franklin, and then watch him die, knowing there would be no consequences for their action.

Shame, Minneapolis. Shame, Minnesota. This will not change until those standing silent on the sidelines step up and say, “No more.” As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from the Birmingham Jail, “Man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true.” Who will stand up?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

For ongoing following of the T.T. Franklin story, go to Ron's Blog at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com

See also our “Solution Paper #31, July 14, 2008 with periodic updates, Ending the City's and MPD's COVER-UP OF DISCRIMINATION will help to end the Discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department [Selected "Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues" columns and blog entries from our 2003-2008, with periodic updates].

Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 4:35 p.m


Justice for David Cornelius Smith, In spite of obstruction of justice from the Minneapolispls. Civil Rights Department.

"Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues"
A weekly column by Ron Edwards
Featured in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

June 5, 2013

On Friday, May 24, 2013, the Minneapolis City Council awarded $3.75 million to the family of David C. Smith, a 28 year-old African American. This wrongful death law suit was handled by the Bennett Law Firm. All tax payers’ money.

Since 2006, the City of Minneapolis has paid over $17 million dollars in tax payer money for wrongful death settlements against the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). Since mid-2010, the City has paid out over $8 million in such lawsuits, oftentimes due to being misdirected by intentional obstruction of justice by Director Velma Korbel’s Department of Civil Rights (DCR). Ms. Korbel has played a lead role in mis-advising City attorney Susan Segal and her staff, as the Department of Civil Rights aided and abetted the obstruction of justice. All the more reason why Velma Korbel should step down as director.

David Cornelius Smith was killed at the Metropolitan YMCA on September 9, 2010. Although Velma Korbel denied being a board member of the Metro YMCA, their roster showed that she was. When an official request was made to Ms. Korbel to open a civil rights investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Smith’s death she declined, as usual. She even sent an email to my associate, Mr. Donald Allen, stating our facts were not right, that we were not truthful.

This award, on the recommendation from City Attorney Susan Segal, demonstrates otherwise. We continue to have our facts straight. We are truthful. But not Ms. Korbel and her Department of Civil Rights, which convinced the mayor, the city council and the city attorney that they could cover up this crime and obstruction of justice with impunity.

The Minneapolis Civil Rights ordinance provides the authority for both the Civil Rights Department and the Civil Rights Commission to conduct separate and independent examinations of the circumstances like those surrounding the death of Mr. Smith. In fact, we would encourage you to read our column of September 29, 2010 (“A pattern in practice. Example: The tasered death of David Cornelius”).

I knew then, as the $3 million award shows now, that the mission of obstruction of justice was the path the City allowed this so-called department of civil rights to follow.

Headline: Star Tribune: October 26, 2010: “$1.8 million for tremendous loss,” in the matter of the killing of Dominick Felder in 2006 by Minneapolis Police. $300,000 was imposed in sanctions by the Federal Court for judiciary misconduct, raising the City’s total outlay to $2.19 million. All tax payer money.

How much longer will this pattern and practice of covering up abuses and violations of the civil rights of African Americans be allowed to continue? How much longer will this pattern and practice of city officials going to extreme lengths in violating and obstructing the rights of the very people they are paid to protect be allowed to continue? Part of the problem: they are paid to protect; they are not required to swear an oath to defend the rights of those whose rights they have obstructed.

How much longer will the pattern and practice of negligence under the cover of law be allowed to continue? How long will the city wink at making legal that which is unethical and immoral? I was glad to hear that some justice is now rendered for the family of David C. Smith, just as it was for the family of Dominick Felder. Hopefully the same will be true for the families of Quincy Smith and Terrance Franklin.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asked, from the Birmingham Jail, how long would the forces of nullification and reversal be allowed to continue to force us to wait for justice? How long would the forces of obstruction and darkness be allowed to spin their foul magic against the rights and pursuit of justice of African Americans and others? How long will we continue to read headlines about tremendous losses as well as awards to families such as Officer Duy Ngo, a man who won his case but yet was so violated by the conspiracy and the obstruction in his case that he felt his life and spirit go to another place?

A city with those who would obstruct justice is a dangerous city, for it can be applied to anyone. So how long will this city allow the Department of Civil Rights to be an imperial bureaucracy? The breath of fresh air and justice every once in a while to the Duy Ngos, Dominic Felders, and David Cornelius Smiths are welcome but not enough.

Needed is an end to the patterns and practices that prevent the fresh air of justice. How long will the agent provocateurs in the Imperial Department of Civil Rights be allowed to be a sovereign obstruction of justice by the mayor, the city council and the city attorney?

For more background on these cases see these past columns:

From 2008:
December 17: Brutality continues against Black males in Minneapolis: Smith's death by police tasers brings his appeal to a tragic halt.

From 2009:
February 4: Homicide of Quincy Smith warrants federal inquiry
April 8: Dominic, Fong and Quincy: the death of three men of color at the hands of the MPDD
December 16:No justice yet for Quincy Smith. One year later, his family still awaits some resolution.

God bless America, and God bless the Black citizens of Minneapolis.

Stay tuned.

Posted Monday, June 10, 2013, 4:24 am

=====

See also our “Solution Paper #31, July 14, 2008 with periodic updates, Ending the City's and MPD's COVER-UP OF DISCRIMINATION will help to end the Discrimination in the Minneapolis Police Department [Selected "Through My Eyes, the Minneapolis Story Continues" columns and blog entries from our 2003-2008, with periodic updates]
http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/solutionpapers/31minncops.htm

Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “Black Focus V” on Sundays, 3-3:30 pm and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for community planning and development, at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. Columns are archived at www.theminneapolisstory.com/tocarchives.htm.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, and his work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order here.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).

Posted Monday, June 10, 2013, 4:24 am


A Seat For Everyone, by Ron Edwards

About my new book: A Seat for Everyone

We are all part of a great country that still has what Lincoln called "unfinished business," about which Martin Luther King, Jr. said we can no longer wait to have it completed.

Thanks to all who have offered congratulations and asked questions. You can order the book on my publisher's website, www.beacononthehill.com. It is subtitled "The Freedom Guide that Explores a Vision for America."

The sad part is that this is a book that should have been written by the NAACP, the Urban League, the leadership forum, or the ministers association. They have remained silent. Worse: acquiescent silence.

The Urban League tossed Nellie Stone Johnson and me out a while back, and five years ago the NAACP national expelled me for writing my first book. So much for the First Amendment.

I will not be silent. I will not lie down. Sadly, our once young and energetic civil rights leaders have atrophied and become keepers of the status quo they once fought against. They have brought the Civil Rights Movement to a standstill in the inner city.

My hope is that, win or lose, the candidacy of Barack Obama rejuvenates the Civil Rights Movement with its lost energy and enables it to again refocus its eye on the prize, a seat for everyone, not just for the self-appointed leaders who now serve the mastuh. They have their seats at the table. I say there must be a seat for everyone.

You won't read about what is in my book in the Star Tribune and mainstream media. They don't want you to read all the news, only the news they want you to read. Only the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder provides you with the news they won't.

A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide that Explores a Vision for America discusses the major status quo areas that have shown little or no progress: inner-city education, jobs, housing and public safety. I also reference key past columns and where to find them on my Minneapolis Story website.

Also discussed in detail are the two historic lawsuits against the Minneapolis Police Department brought by Black officers. The conditions resulting in this litigation have had a profound impact on public safety in our city and in the City/MPD's treatment of its Black officers. The outcome will also have significant impacts.

Minneapolis is so delusional that it has defined "minorities" to include so many "diverse" groups that it proudly boasts it can now comply with minority hiring without having to hire Blacks. My book discusses this insult as well. Why is everyone else silent about this?

A unique feature is that the book "marries" the online world with that of traditional book publishing. I present my argument in less than 100 pages. This slim volume (literally, as it is easy to put it in your pocket and carry around for easy reference) includes five columns and one blog essay and lists additional columns that can easily be found at: www.TheMinneapolisStory.com/tocarchives.htm.

The book presents a beacon of hope for the current lows in inner-city education, jobs, housing, and public safety. We need to work together to stand up for Black youth and stop waiting for the city government and its teachers unions as they continue to lie down also, rather than stand up for our kids in our schools.

It all starts with education. As Nellie always stated, "No education, no jobs, no housing." Senator Obama would add, "No hope." My book brings hope back to the discussion.


A note from my publisher

From Beacon on the Hill: "Thank you, Mr. Edwards, for allowing us space to announce more details about the publication last week of your new book, A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide that Explores a Vision for America. We want your readers know that they can not only learn more about it on our website, www.BeaconOnTheHill.com, they can also order the book on that site.

"Mr. Edwards presents his arguments and vision in just 55 pages. The rest of this slim volume (easy to put it in your pocket and carry around for easy reference) lists specific columns that can be found in the archive at: www.TheMinneapolisStory.com/tocarchives.htm. He combines the printed word with the new online world of the Internet in a small package that packs a giant wallop.

"In addition to covering major Minneapolis civil rights events, Mr. Edwards shares with his readers the background to the historical lawsuit by the Black police officers of Dec. 3, 2007, against the city and the department."

Two books by Ron Edwards


Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order Ron's books at Beacon on the Hill Press. Hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” on this site, www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for the columns. Please cite www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for blog entries and solution papers.

Ron's media message platforms:
(1) Columns (since 2003): "Through My Eyes:
The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio: hosts “Black Focus,” Sundays, 3:00pm;
(4) Blog Talk Radio:
Co-Host of weekly “ON POINT!",Saturdays at 5 pm;
(5) Book: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); (6) Book: A Seat for Everyone (2008);
(7) Solution Papers: for community planning and development; (8) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps" web log at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com;
(9) CD: Hear his readings;
(10)
Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers)
Order
his books at http://www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.

Column Archives | Blog Archives | Solution Papers | Order the Book | Back to Top

BLOG SIDE
"Tracking the Gaps,”
"Connecting the Dots"

of "The Key 7": (1) Education, (2) Jobs, (3) Housing, (4) Public Safety (& the war on young Black men), (5) Safe Environment, (6) Governing, and (7) "ubuntu" Moral/Ethical Stances (access & opportunity, fairness & justice, liberty & freedom, rights & responsibility), in the on-going contest over ideas. See key suggestions for Black organizations here, here and here. Archives here.


To jump straight to continuous blog entries, type into your search bar or "Find" these three words: BEGIN BLOG ENTRIES. They start after the list of 4 keys and 6 resource categorties for use in resolving black leadership comflicts that are obstacles to achjhieving shared civil rghts goals.


Story breaks regarding the split regarding how to approach minority development, as discussed in  Minneapolis this evening on the Don and Ron program on Blog Radio.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

Republicans in the Minnesota legislation have reached an agreement with Nekima Levy-Pound and the Minneapolis Chapter of the NAACP, and with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, on legislaton geared to advance ecomomic development proposals in Minneapolis. However, as the legislature is divided between being run by Democrats or Republicans, neither Legislative branch will send the bill to the other. As a result, the legislature will look good -- "we tried" -- but the African American community will be left with zero. This is a shrewd move by the parties to maintain the status quo.

This leaves the key question of how the African American Community will respond to "zero." Will it be with perseverance and the strong yet peaceful commitment forward done non-violently, as preached by Martin Luther King, Jr. (and Gandhi), which, in the long run, will win, or with violence, which, in the long run, will not win?

Stay tuned as we follow this breaking story on this blog, in our columsn, and on our TV and radio shows. 

Posted April 13, 2016, 11:59 p.m.


Breaking News
April 13 2016

4th PRECINCT to be RE-OCCUPIED

Intelligence sources indicate that there will be an attempt to march on and re-occupy the Minnapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct, on Saturday, April 16, at noon.

Posted Wednesday April 13, 2016, 12:48 p.m.


WITNESS TO JAMAR CLARK SHOOTING IDENTIFIED: Jerome Copeland
March 25, 2016, 4:04 p.m.

In our column of January 28, 2016, Jamar Clark Investigation Compromised. Investigator sabotages Integrity of Witness, we purposefully did not give the witness' name. We are now, with his permission, able to do so. The witness in question is Jerome Copeland.

The county attorney's office called today. They wanted me to verify the witness. They asked if it was Jerome Copeland. I said yes. I then called Mr. Copeland after that to ask if he was ready for the next step, dto have his name stated publicly as the witness to Mr. Clark's shooting. He said yes.

Posted Friday, March 25, 2016, 4:05 p.m.

EDITOR's note: on, Sunday, March 29, 2016. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published today these 3 summaries of the Jamar Clark case so far:

1. What we know about the death of Jamar Clark: 29 point Star Tribune list.
2. Full Coverage: list of 31 Star Tribune Stories on the Jamar Clarkcase.
3. Time Line of the Jamar Clark shooting: 12 point Star Tribune list from November 15, 2015 (the day of the shooting) to February 10, 2016 (when the findings of the BCA -- Bureau of Criminal Apprehension -- were turned over to the Hennepin County attorney's office.

Earlier columns on the shooting of Jamar Clark and its aftermath in the community:


LIST of FOUR KEYS to successful community action, Nov. 19, 2015:

KEY #1
: Develop "To Do" lists (the "what") through collaboration (to develop the "how").
KEY #2: Collaboration with others: all at the table to negotiate the "what" (goals/to do's) and the "how" (of achieving goals), taking from the using the 5 categories of resources below
KEY #3: Adapt action for success in goal achieving from the methods in the
6 Resource Categories below.
KEY #4: Utilize the 5 Resource Categories, 4 in this web site, 1 list of outside this web site, for use in fulfilling the "what" and the "how" regarding resolving the failure of leaders and leadership:

SIX RESOURCE CATEGORIES on this site, Numbers 1 - 4 on this site, #s 5-10 partially excerpted or referred to on the site:

1.  Nellie Stone Johnson's MANTRA: no education, no jobs, no housing, from #5.5 below, posted 2009 and 2010, as Solution papers #40 (education), #39 (jobs), and #41 (housing).

2.  SOLUTION PAPERS, (models, approaches), 47 SO FAR, 2003-Present.
START WITH, in order: #s 29, 37, 42, 45A, 45B
and then #s 8, 12-14, 18-20, 22-23, 32, 35-36

3.  COLUMNS, 2003 - Present
, ARCHIVED HERE, for your review from which to select and use. To see all column titles for a given year, go HERE and click on the individual year’s "ALL".  To see full text columns lisdted under “ALL,” go to section where columns are archived by each year's quarters.
Example: January - April 2016, go HERE and then to 16 Q1

4.  BLOG ENTRIES, 2003 - Present, ARCHIVED HERE

5. Ron Edwards, The Minneapolis Story, through my Eyes, Ron Edwards, 2002 (especially Interlude 3 and Chapters 7, 12-14, 17). See especially Chapter 17: The Positive Future Possibilities for Minneapolis. Also see 2002 press releases here.

6. Ron Edwards, A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide that Explores A vision for America, Ron Edwards  2008. #5 and #6 combined here.

7. Recommended Resources OUTSIDE yet related to this web site, taken FROM YEAR END SUGGESTIONS IN 12-30-15 COLUMN, for use in esgtablishing 2016 goals, plans and formulas of peace to achieve goals and act on the plans: as discussed in columns listed and solution papers referred above.

  1. Nellie Stone Johnson:  The Life of an Activist, Nellie Stone Johnson, 2000, and her mantra: "no education, no jobs, no housing" mantra
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr.: use non-violent approaches. Don't become what you hate.
  3. Recommended books
    (
    1st three from Thursday, July 16, 2015 Minneapolis Story Blog entry):

    1.  Race Pimping: The Multi-Trillion Dollar Business of Liberalismby Kevin Black, a brother with a weekly St. Louis weekly radio show.
    From Amazon blurb:  Race pimping has cost America TRILLIONS of dollars, as the money is ... fantastic. Politicians line their pockets and those of family and friends, while delivering little to nothing to their constituents or the community at large.
    From p. 33 of my book: $856.5 million for planing and building replacement units. Number actually built: 52

    2.  Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed, by Jason L. Riley.
    From Amazon blurb:  Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries?  Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back.  …  In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward.

    Data now shows the same for poor whites.

    3.  Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, by John H. McWhorter.
          From Amazon blurb:  Berkeley linguistics professor John McWhorter, born at the dawn of the post-Civil Rights era, spent years trying to make sense of this question. Now he dares to say the unsayable: racism's ugliest legacy is the disease of defeatism that has infected black America. Losing the Race explores the three main components of this cultural virus: the cults of victimology, separatism, and antiintellectualism that are making blacks their own worst enemies in the struggle for success.

    4. The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes, by Ron Edwards as told to Peter Jessen. It is an introductory "how to and what to do" manual for action steps to take, all summarized in

    5. A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide that Explores A vision for America, Ron Edwards, 2008

    6. See also our Solution Paper #44, Guidelines for Including Justice in Planning Meetings to Calculate a Better Future for Minneapolis in terms of education, jobs, housing and public safety, which also includes Interlude 16: Calculating a Better Future For All.

  4. 7. Remmended by Beacon on the Hill Press, publisher of Ron Edwards books (TRecohe Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, and one: The Freedom Guide that Explortes A Vision for America), and web master of The Minneapolis Story web site, featuring a weekly column (Through My Eyes:

    1
    . The Many Altars of Modernity, Peter L. Berger, 2014, a discussion of a dozen historic  “formulas of peace,” some that worked, some that did not.  Which will work best to enable Minneapolis to engage in the political management of pluralism to achieve workable "formulas of peace"?
    See pp. 79-93.

    2. Pyramids of Sacrifice: Political Eethics and Social Change, Peter L. Berger, 1974. Key concepts: "calculus of meaning" and "calculus of pain."

    3. The Capitalist Revolution: Fifty Propositions About Prosperity, Equality, & Liberty, Peter L. Berger, 1986.

    4. To Empower People: From State to Civil Society, Peter L. Berger and Richard John Neuhaus, 1996, a response to original paper, To Empower People: The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy, Peter L. Berger and Richard John Neuhaus, 1977.

    5. A Future South Africa: Visions, Strategies, and Realities, Peter L. Bergef and Bobby Godsell, 1988. Apartheid was official from 1948 - 1994. This book was used to better understand Apartheid, end it, and plan for a post Apartheid South Africa. Why not the same for the Twin Cities?

    6. In Praise of Doubt: How to have CONVICTIONS Without Becoming A FANATIC, Peter L. Berger and Anton Zijderveld, 2007.
  5. 7. Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist: How to Explain the World Without Becoming a Bore, Peter L. Berger, 2011.

Nov. 19, 2015, Blog EXCERPTS:
What matters? These 5 matter:
1. Education/training (instead of sacrificing the lives of young people to disqualifying ignorance),
2. Jobs (requiring education and training)
3. Housing (a place for families with children after getting educated/trained and a job)
4. Health care (include all in the programs available instead of denying on account of age or color), and
5. Public safety, which includes the cleans – water, air, soil – and agents of governance: electeds who pass legislation to facilitate these “5 that matter” along with police that protect and serve.

How? See our Solution Papers:

(8) Solution Papers: for community social and economic development, extending the Minneapolis Story by promoting practical plans and strategies to enhance neighborhoods in their efforts regarding developing and achieving GOALS in the areas of education, jobs, housing, and public safety, while developing strong foundations for appropriate level community based planning and economic development. See especially #s 18 – 19, 22 – 23, 29 – 47.

HAVE WE REACHED A TIPPING POINT? The Great Society has became the Great Non-Profit Society, in which do-gooders in power too often do the opposite that they intend, as they:

1. Unintentionally corrupt the system top down for their own financial, career, survival purposes.
Keys
2. Demean or fight our profit system that provides the taxes, corporations / jobs, and deductable donations that enable the non-profit world to exist in the first place.

3. Will blacks, whites, hispanics, and Native Americans work together in community solidarity, from bottom up working with the middle and top, to foster developing a Society of Prosperity, Peace, Independent Liberty and Social Equality for all?


BEGIN BLOG ENTRIES


LATEST BLOG ENTRY:

WITNESS TO JAMAR CLARK SHOOTING IDENTIFIED: Jerome Copeland
March 25, 2016, 4:04 p.m.

In our column of January 28, 2016, Jamar Clark Investigation Compromised. Investigator sabotages Integrity of Witness, we purposefully did not give the witness' name. We are now able to do so. The witness in question is Jerome Copeland.

The county attorney's office called today. They wanted me to verify the witness. They asked if was Jerome Copeland. I said yes. I then called Mr. Copeland after that to ask if was ready have his name stated publicl as he witness to Mr. Clark's shooting. He said yes.

Posted Friday, March 25, 2016, 4:05 p.m.

EDITOR's note, Sunday, March 29, 2016. The Minneapolis Star Tribune published today these 3 summaries of the as so far:

1. What we know about the death of Jamar Clark, a 29 point Start Tribune list.
2. Full Coverage, a list of 31 Star Tribune Stories on the Jamar Clarkcase.
3. Time Line of the Jamar Clark shooting, a 12 point Star Tribune list from November 15, 2015 (the day of the shooting) to February 10, 2016 (when the findings of he BCA -- Bureau of Criminal Apprehension -- were turned over to the Hennepin County attorney's office.


February 25, 2016, 4:02 p.m. Letter to US Department of Justice: it is now neceary to reveal this letter now that the case has been returned to the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension:

 

Ronald A. Edwards
6048 West Broadway – Apt 11
New Hope, MN 55428
February 2, 2016      763-228-1748

Leslie R. Caldwell
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice - Criminal Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Ms. Caldwell,

I am a member of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Minneapolis Steering committee, as well as being a journalist, investigative reporter, and concerned citizen.  This letter is sent to you about the compromised investigation discussed below of the Jamar Clark shooting death, and is sent in the tradition of our shared quest for Fairness and Justice.

We, as a city and a people, bring this matter to your attention and await your response with an investigation that unfortunately has been tainted by the state of Minnesota’s representative.  I provide more information in my recent column, Jamar Clark investigation compromised:  Investigator sabotages integrity of witness (attached), in the January 28, 2016 Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the state’s largest African American weekly newspaper (at http://spokesman-recorder.com/2016/01/28/jamar-clark-investigation-compromised).  The column is also archived on my The Minneapolis Story website: http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2016/columns/16q1.htm#c164d012.

Jamar Clark, a 24 year-old African American, was shot to death November 15, 2015.  The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) announced it was turning over the investigation of the circumstances surrounding Jamar Clark’s shooting death to a joint investigation by the FBI and Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

During the turbulent days since then, including 18 days of the occupation of the grounds of the Fourth Precinct head-quarters building of the City of Minneapolis, great anticipation developed regarding the investigation bringing justice.

During this period, witnesses to the shooting death of Mr. Clark approached me.  A specific witness, who has significant evidence, asked me to accompany him while he gave his statement to the joint investigative team of the FBI and of the MN BCA.  I agreed, and was present when this witness gave his testimony to the investigative team.  A little over a month later, I became aware that the investigator representing the MN BCA was undermining and suppressing this witness and, unfortunately, corrupting the integrity of the joint investigation.

I made this known to the MPD for the purpose of establishing a record of this misconduct, which jeopardizes the reputation and image of the FBI, the DOJ, the MPD, and the USA.  Working closely with the witness and his attorney of record, I have become aware of the depth of the sabotage of this investigation.   

Given the violation of the law and the potential damage to the case, I’m suggesting DOJ appoint a Special Prosecutor from outside the jurisdiction of Minnesota, with the power to empanel a Federal Grand Jury to take testimony from those who have knowledge and information relative to the undermining of the DOJ’s role in what has become two separate investigations, one by the DOJ and the second a joint investigation by the MN BCA and the FBI.  After the occupation and after allegations of other police situations in Minnesota, and after the DOJ opened up a separate investigation, I was told that the MN BCA didn’t want the African American Assistant District Attorney from the DOJ involved in the investigation.  The MN BCA asked him to leave.

Thank you for your attention to this matter; I stand prepared to answer any questions, inquiries and/or communications.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Ronald A. Edwards
___________________
Ronald A. Edwards
Member of the OJT Steering Committee that is monitoring police activities of the MPD, 2013-Present
Former Chairman, DOJ established Police Community Relations Council (PCRC), 2003-2008
Former Chairman, special federal oversight committee over the Minneapolis Fire Department. 1979-1989
Spokesperson for the Black Police Officer’s Association, 1996-Present
Executive Committee, Minneapolis branch of the NAACP, 1999-2002
Former President, Chairman, Minneapolis Branch of the Urban League, 1978-1989
Former Chairman, Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission (CRC), 1967-1979


LOCAL NAACP CALLS FOR BOYCOTT OF MALL OF AMERICA, RISKING NON-PROFIT STATUS. WHY?

January 2, 3016

Local NAACP breaks national NAACP and Federal non-profit rules by calling for a boycott of the Mall of America.  Why are they risking losing their 501(c)3 status?  Don’t they know?  Don’t they care?  Or do they believe they are above the national NAACP and federal rules and laws? 

Don’t they know they don’t have the legal right, under NAACP and federal rules, to call for a boycott? Why are they jeopardizing the entire NAACP by calling for a boycott of MOA, an illegal action?.  Look forward to our historical analysis of how calling for a boycott is a dangerious game that can cripple a national movement.

Post attempted January 2, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Server connection problem
Post completed January 7, 2015, 4:42 p.m.



        ---- B R E A K I N G  N E W S -----
                            NAACP
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dissent forces inside the Minneapolis NAACP will meet tonight, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 6:30 p.m., to enter a motion asking for the resignation of President Nekima Levy-Pounds.

                  Unfolding -- Following

Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 4:32 p.m.


IN MEMORIUM, December 2, 2015
Dorothy E. Miller,
of Kansas City, Missouri, my beloved mother, passed away on Thursday, November 27, 2015, at her Kansas City home, at age 95. She was preceded in death by her parents. She was the daughter of Dr. L. Virgil and Katie Miller. She was a graduate of West Virginia State University, a historically black public university in Institute, West Virginia, in the Charleston-metro area. She taught in the Kansas City School District for 52 years. She was featured in Ebony Magazine for her active participation in many social organizations and clubs, and especially for her work with underprivileged children.

She was an active member of The Kansascitian, a major Kansas City club for African Americans, founded by her mother. She also often helped her father, Dr. L. Virgil Miller, who had a dual professional practice, as he was both a medical doctor and an attorney-at-law. Dr. Miller was close to president Harry S. Truman.

She is survived by her sister Virgiline and her husband Bill, of Braderton, Florida, her son Ronald A. Edwards, of Minneapolis, MN, her grandson Brian Jones in Los Angeles, CA, and by her nephew, Craig Bowman, of Kansas City. Services will be held on Monday, December 8, 2015, at 11:00 am, at Watkins Heritage Chapel, in Kansas City.

Written Nov 27, 2015
Posted Dec 2, 2015, 3:18 a.m.


Police working quickly to capture white terrorists. One caught November 24, two more November 25.

November 25, 2015

We commend the police and other law enforcement officers for their diligent focus and speed to capture the four white Neo-Nazi terrorists who came to the demonstration led by Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, in the words of the Star Tribune, “locked and loaded.”

Posted November 25, 2015, 9:40 a.m.


Mini-Paris Comes to Minneapolis, as “Black Lives Matter” and NAACP replace “make love not war” with “make war not love,” turning the 1960’s upside down.

November 19, 2015

Outside demonstrators have been brought in by “Black Lives Matter” and the NAACP to understandaby demonstrate and protest regarding the shooting of a young African American by police.

But closing the Interstate and gathering outside the 4th Precint and throw rocks and other objects at it tarnishes the Golden Rule (all religions have a version of it), the Rule of Law (which is to suppress reigns of terror), and the goal of Civil Rights (to not take the eye off the prize of freedom for everyone).  What is ironic is that the group they will be doing battle with are white anarchists, a new low for both groups.

Investors in the 1960s stayed away from riot torn areas in fear it could happen again.

Ever since the Great Society of the 1960s, the “accepted wisdom” has been that government programs with their power and funding can manage local communities by funding creative government and non-government outreach programs that will save them.  We all know that that has not yet worked out, as conditions continue to falter because of misdirected government programs in education, jobs and housing that work against our communities.

Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, by their actions to bring Mini-Paris to Minneapolis, betray every known formula for peace, as they carry out their acts to destroy and enslave, not free and liberate. 

What matters?  These 5 matter:  education/training (instead of sacrificing the lives of young people to disqualifying ignorance), jobs (requiring education and training), housing (a place for families with children after getting educated/trained and a job), health care (include all in the programs available instead of denying on account of age or color), and public safety, which includes the cleans – water, air, soil – and agents of governance:  electeds who pass legislation to facilitate these “5 that matter” along with police that protect and serve.  How?  See my 47 Solutions,  especially  #s 18 – 19,  22 – 23,  29 – 47. 

The Minneapolis NAACP President has invited the National NAACP President to come to Minneapolis.  Here is the Big Question for him:  Is he going to denounce the actions of the military wing of the NAACP and Black Lives Matter, or will he embrace their actions and contribute even more to their continued fall from grace into even more irrelevance?

Black Lives Matter and NAACP have taken their eyes off the prize and tarnished the hopes and future of our young people.  To have young people cry out “shoot a pig” as they hurl objects at the 4th Precinct behind cover, overlooks the fact that they are also taking action against Black lives inside, showing how this kind of so-called leadership is killing our communities across the country, choking off the future of young people they have sucked into their fantasy world that there are no consequences for such acts, as if they were in a college campus bubble where cowed administrators give in at the slightest whimper and action, and hurts the credibility of the Civil Rights Movement.

As the President of the Minneapolis NAACP is also a professor at St. Thomas College, I have just one question for St Thomas College:  why do you support a domestic terrorist group that are anarchists who put tearing down and destroying ahead of bringing peace and buildin up?

For the local NAACP and Black Lives Matter to call in fellow anarchists to infiltrate our safety and the lives of our impressionable young people, it is as if they don’t care about all Black lives, only those who agree with them.  Not upholding the basic rule of law and the Golden Rule, reflects how they have become intolerant and discriminatory against those they oppose who they claim are intolerant and discriminatory of them.  

As our mothers used to say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

Written Thursday, November 19, 2015
Posted Friday, November 20, 2015, 1:26 a.m.
Edited Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, 9:35 a.m.


IN MEMORIUM”
Philip Daniel "Flip" Saunders died Sunday, October 25, 2015

October 24, 2015

We were saddened to hear of Flip Saunders passing this morning, Sunday, October 25, 2015.

Our most heartfelt condolences go out to his family, his team and to Glen Taylor and the whole Timberwolves organization.

I first saw Flip Saunders when he was a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He remains the best point guard in Gopher history. I watched many of his games in the 70s. From the very beginning, from when he first came to Minnesota from Ohio, he became a Minnesota man. Throughout his career he always maintained his home in Minnesota.

His coaching career started at Golden Valley Lutheran College, where he never lost a home game. He went on to become the winningest coach in Timberwolves history.

Unlike with many, it is not cliché to talk about the positive manner he chose to follow on his journey in the various passages of his professional and personal lives, which is why those he met were so deeply touched in a very positive manner, and why so many had such high respect for him. I met him a couple of times in different settings, and have written positively of him in this column before. He was one of those whose career I enjoyed following. Along with many others, I always found him to be a very decent and committed person. Those I knew who also knew Flip always spoke highly of him.

Wherever he went to coach and live, he was a winner, on and off the court. Part of his legacy is how he lead and inspired with the flare and charisma that he brought to the game as a terrific coach, known for having one of the best offensive minds ever. He always had his thick playbook. He always had a plan. My continued hope and prayer is that state and local leaders in government and community work would also develop a playbook with workable plans.

He may have sensed his end, given the caliber of personnel and assistants he brought in as he wore his three hats: President of Basketball Operations, Head Coach, and part owner.

Flip Saunders’ legacy will continue to lead and inspire. May they remember him by naming, at Target Center, "The Flip Saunders Court."

Known as a terrific person always willing to help others in need of support, he leaves many positive memories that will comfort his family as well as the Timberwolves, as both face a future without his physical presence. He was a great family man. I wish his family all the support and love needed, as it is harder on them than his players, coaches and friends.
Thank you Flip for all that you have done. Our prayers are for you and your family.

Written Sunday, October 25, 2015
Posted Monday, October 26, 2015, 9:12 p.m


CHIEF HARTEAU HAS EARNED A 2ND TERM

September 19, 2015

There are rumors that Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Chief Janeé Harteau will not be reappointed by Mayor Betsy Hodges once Chief Harteau’s term is up, December 31, 2015.

We are both surprised and troubled by even the remotest possibility that this type of devastating decision is even being considered.  Chief Harteau has done more than just work hard with great success:  she has put in place an excellent administrative team that has allowed the MPD to work closely with the community, establish a well earned reputation for the MPD, and achieve that contiinuing success.

Chief Harteau proposed to the Department of Justice that include Minneapolisa  in the six city monitoring program of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).  The cities that do well will receive half a million dollars to continue the work in enabling improvements in po lice accountability by integrating  model practices to help prevent officer misconduct. 

I know a lot about this.  For five years I was on the PCRC (Police Community Relations Council), and served  much of that time as Co-Chair.  And now, answering Chief Harteau’s request, the DOJ granted OJP participation and placed me on the Steering Committee that is monitoring police activities.

We have sub-committees, including
--- Resources,
--- Communications,
--- Community Engagement,
--- Performance Monitoring,
--- Early Prevention, and
--- Police Conduct Review. 

So why would the Major risk all of that?  What’s the hidden agenda?  We know there are only four reasons to not renew a Chief’s contract, two that are OK, and two that would be disastrous for the city:
1. for cause
2. for retirement,
3. to politicize the police department, which would be a disaster, as it is for any city that tries to politcise their police department, or
4. for personal reasons best left to experts on “mean girls.”

We know we don’t live in a perfect cityor in a perfect world. We also know we are under siege from Mexican drug cartels supplying gangs with drugs and guns (see our blog entry of July 31, 2015). 

We need the kind of action that Chief Harteau has called for to helpl to make this a better city for all.  We believe that is the right direction.  So what are the politics for this move?  Who is whispering into the mayor’s ear to make a decision that would be a terrible reversal of what we say Minnenaplis is about?

Janeé Harteau, we repeat, has earned a second term, and we hope that the rumors of her departure are just that, rumors without foundation, for if these rumors become fact, it will set the MPD back for at least a decade.

We think it is nice that John Harrington is being mentioned as a successor, but we thing that John is serving well his mission as Chief of the Metropolitan Transit Police.  We are a big enough city and a big enough metro area, that we can utllize two or more who are fine chiefs.  We will watch the situation very closely.  Continue to read our observations on this Blog and in our in columns.

Stay tuned.

Posted Saturday, 9-19-15, 8:41 p.m.
Edited, Sunday, 9-20-15, 2:10 am.


MEXICAN CARTELS ARE TAKING CONTROL OF DRUG TRAFFICKING IN TWIN CITY NEIGHBORHOODS, STREETS. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Drafted Thur., 7-16-15, 12:40 p.m.
Posted Friday, July 31, 10:58 a.m

Cartels to Minnesota from Chicao.
Violence accompanies this new menace.
Four books to consider in developing solution plans to launch.

Sheriff Stanek, last summer, tried to alert black and white communities of the new heroin epidemic.  He held 3 workshops.  But despite this devastating news and increase of deaths by overdose, no leadership has responded.

Mexican Cartels are gaining control of heroin, marijuana, crack, and methamphetamin trafficking in the Twin Cities.

Word is Mexicans sre allowing enough off the top to keep local leadership involved and quiet.
In Mexico, newspapers stay quiet so as not to lose reporters to cartel violence.
Is this silence now going on in cities like Chicago and Minneapolis, despite Sheriff Stanek's workshops and other efforts?

Life matters. To make it matter best we have to make family, education and jobs matter most.  Where is the leadership from any quarter on family, eduation and jobs?

How much race pimping is going on by black and white leaders working together? 

Have we reached a tipping point?  The Great Society has became the Great Non-Profit Greed Society (do-gooders in power unintentionally corrupting the system top down for their own financial, career, survival purposes). Will blacks, whites, hispanics, and Native Americans work together, from bottom up, to foster develoing a Society of Prosperity, Peace and Independent Liberty for all ?

Four books to consider:
1.  Race Pimping: The Multi-Trillion Dollar Business of Liberalismby Kevin Black, a brother with a weekly St. Louis weekly radio show.
From Amazon blurb:  Race pimping has cost America TRILLIONS of dollars, as the money is ... fantastic. Politicians line their pockets and those of family and friends, while delivering little to nothing to their constituents or the community at large.
From p. 33 of my book: $856.5 million for planing and building replacement units. Number actually built: 52
2.  Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed, by Jason L. Riley.
From Amazon blurb:  Why is it that so many efforts by liberals to lift the black underclass not only fail, but often harm the intended beneficiaries?  Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back.  …  In theory these efforts are intended to help the poor—and poor minorities in particular. In practice they become massive barriers to moving forward.
Data now shows the same for poor whites.
3.  Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, by John H. McWhorter.
      From Amazon blurb:  Berkeley linguistics professor John McWhorter, born at the dawn of the post-Civil Rights era, spent years trying to make sense of this question. Now he dares to say the unsayable: racism's ugliest legacy is the disease of defeatism that has infected black America. Losing the Race explores the three main components of this cultural virus: the cults of victimology, separatism, and antiintellectualism that are making blacks their own worst enemies in the struggle for success.

4. The Minneaolis Story Through My Eyes, by Ron Edwards as told to Peter Jessen. It is an introductory "how to and what to do" manual for action steps to take, all summarized in Chapter 17: The Positive Future Possibilities for Minneapolis.

See also our Solution Paper 44, Guidelines for Including Justice in Planning Meetings to Calculate a Better Future for Minneapolis in terms of education, jobs, housing and public safety, which also includes Interlude 16: Calculating a Better Future For All, with excerpts from Chapter 17.

The book is also the base of 44 Solution Papers, with three more in the works.

PREVIEW: Looking back to When Blacks made it work in Minneapolis:  excerpt from next week’s column of August 4, 2015:   As Insight News wrote, February 19, 2015,  [our Minneapolis Urban League] formed “a highly effective advocacy and civic change movement,” being “civil rights freedom fighters [who] formed the core leadership group of the legendary Minneapolis Urban League Board of Directors” that “in the mid-1970s, gave rise to the MUL national reputation as audacious, relentless, progressive and effective.”

 When will we get a group like that in Minneapolis for the 21st century?

Drafted Thur., 7-16-15, 12:40 p.m.
Posted Friday, July 31, 10:58 a.m


February 19 Column Prophecy is being fulfilled. More summer violence. Home invasion. Brutal slaying.

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Drafted 12:40 p.m.
Posted 11:57 p.m.

We have said for years that plans are needed that are then carried out, if "long hot summers" are to be avoided.

Our most recent warning: February 19, 2015 column (reprinted below): Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer. Black ‘leaders’ work on a plan to reduce crime. Will the community be left out again?

The Mayor will give a speech in the City Hall Rotunda at 3:30 pm this afternoon. What else will she do? We hope she announces support for gettng plans develped and executed to curb violence on our streets and to curb home invasions.

Three questions:

1. When will Minneapolis get a plan?
2. Will it be white top down or colaboratively
developed in concert with all leadership groups from all community sectors, public, private, and government?
3. What about white and blacks working together? We address this in the column submitted for next week, to be published here and in the Minneapolis Spokesman Recorder, July 23,2015.

Latest figures, Added 7-16-15, 11:15 p.m.
North Minneapolis artist, activist killed during suspected home invasion,

Star Tribune and KSTP, 7-16-15:
--- 26 homicides, 2015 to date
--- 111 nonfatal shootings, 2015 to date
--- 26 shootings, in 2 weeks ending July 13
--- 8 shootings in one hour, July 4, 2015
--- 2 more shootings, July 16
--- 2/3 of shootings on North Side

RE-PRINTING of February, 19, 2015 column: Preparation for a ‘safe’ summer. Black ‘leaders’ work on a plan to reduce crime. Will the community be left out again?

Pull quote: The DOJ wants to know how the African American organizations spent the millions of dollars poured into their organizations.

“Leadership’s” annual empty rite for summer begins: “planning” for community summer safety, with the opposite of “community” in play, claiming the solution demands more money for planning and planners, leaving little for community people and streets, betraying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of involved community.

Why is leadership concerned now when earlier they would not sit down with Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Chief Janeé Harteau to discuss her goals? Almost two years ago, Chief Harteau asked the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to examine the MPD’s oversight, discipline and preventing of misconduct, resulting in two reports. Dr. Ellen Scrivner, Ph.D., ABPP, was on the core team of both:

· 2014: The DOJ Diagnostic Center presented assessment findings to MPD and the broader Minneapolis community in October 2014.
· 2015: The current report, Diagnostic Analysis of Minneapolis Police Department, was released January 28, 2015.

“Leadership,” fearing diagnostic analysis, asked Governor Mark Dayton five months ago for significant funding for themselves, claiming that more funding would guarantee success in the war on violence. Some of the ecumenical leadership also wanted the MPD placed in Federal Receivership. Why? Is there something “leadership” isn’t doing for community that they don’t want exposed?

They need to pay attention to the recommendations in the January 28, 2015, diagnostic analysis report. Chief Harteau has embraced all of its recommendations. Why can’t they? Its steering committee has five subcommittees reporting to it:

· Communications
· Conduct and oversight
· Community relations
· Early Intervention System (EIS)
· Coaching

The MPD has received praise for its positive response to the recommendations. So why does “leadership” remain so negative and cynical?

“Leadership” too often misses that “community” means engaging those living in the community. Instead, “leadership” asks for more funding for themselves to do planning but little for the community.

The DOJ Office of Justice Programs has reviewed volumes of data, information, recommendations, and conclusions. The MPD will be doing everything asked for.

One of the areas of concern is analysis of where the millions of dollars went that were awarded, granted or paid to African American organizations and individuals to plan for the safety of the African American community. The DOJ wants to know how the African American organizations spent the millions of dollars poured into their organizations.

When Chief Harteau asked for assistance, she indicated she expected African Americans would be in the forefront of critiquing and evaluating how the millions of dollars were spent. Now they will get their chance.

There is displeasure in some African American organizations. They don’t want to be audited, reviewed and critiqued. They reflect what African American Professor John McWhorter calls in the subtitle of his book Losing the Race, “Self-Sabotage in Black America. For 15 years, some of these organizations and individuals have claimed their leadership would make the community safe. Ask yourselves this: Have they?

The yearly empty summer rite discussing how to keep the African American community safe is reflected in “leadership’s” claim that they can reduce violence in the spring of 2015. All involved regarding the summer planning would do well to review the five years of reports by the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC).
[Editor's note: Ron served on the Council] Newcomers to the public safety scene in the Twin Cities are especially urged to familiarize themselves with the PCRC work so they can bring themselves up to speed with factual information consistent with the factual events in the Twin Cities and throughout the State of Minnesota.

The subcommittees are already at work on phase one, which will end making recommendations for phase two. We look forward to successful implementation of recommended actions.

Stay tuned.

Posted Thursday, July 16, 2015


Patrol Officer Michael Griffin, Minneapolis police officer, indicted on nine criminal counts over bar fights, including perjury.

May 21, 2015

Three views:
1. Griffin's attorney: Griffin has "not broken the law.... innocent of all charges ... false accusations ... will be found not guilty.”

2. Ron Edwards: “ 'I do hope that we are not looking at a double standard by federal authorities because there have been a number of cases involving white officers over the last five years where federal authorities appeared to show no interest,' said civil rights activist Ron Edwards, a former president of the Minneapolis Urban League, who sits on a police oversight committee appointed by Police Chief Janeé Harteau."

"Edwards expressed regret at the turn of events for Griffin, who became an officer in 2007: '“It is so hard and difficult to get a person of color, African-Americans, into law enforcement in this state,” he said. “This was a young man who came into the department with high expectations. Something went wrong. He lost his vision of what he wanted to do.' ”

3. U.S. Attorney Andy Luger: “The race of an officer or victim is not and never will be a factor in my office’s charging decisions.”

We hope so. We seek fairness and justice. We'll be watching.

[Editor's note: Edwards has been called "the last man standing" supporting a Martin Luther King style non-violent civil rights movemement.

Posted May 21, 2015, 11:20 p.m.


Sad collapse of Minneapolis Urban League by corrupt Black leadership was steady over time, ever since 1990.

April 16, 2015.

Breaking news April 15, 2015: Star Tribune began updating its report in the evening (see Star Tribune, 4-16-15,Legislative auditor to investigate Minneapolis Urban League, and Star Tribune, April 13, 2015, Minneapolis Urban League accused of potential double billing.

This continues our reporting on the coming end of the Minnesota Urban League (MUL). For the first time, there will essentially be two enclaves, St. Paul and Minneappoalis without an UL affiliate.

See our column of April 16, 2015, Crises in Black leadership Changes in the Urban League and the NAACP and see our blog entries of April 1 and 6, 2015.

The last “State of the Urban League” address was given by me in 1989. All was gone in 1990, with the promise of modern things that turned into both the NAACP and MUL to become no longer functional or influential entities in the Twin Cities. Prior to this, through the 1980s, both were among the most important organizations iin the black community, nation wide. Now they are nothing.

Their demise across America reflects the quality of sincerity of liberal America. The behavior of the leaders of these two organizations could result in no new tax payer dollars for these organizations for the next 10-20 years. Any new organiation that is formed will have to be formed by individuals that are squeaky clean.

The new favorites of liberals, reflecting the search by liberals of calm plantations to run, are the Hispanics and Asians, especially Spanish Latino and Asian immigrants. The Somalis haven’t slid into a position of influence due to being Muslim. Thus it has happened to the once most powerful black organiations in the history of Minnesota.

But the negative value of these organizations is seen in how their leadership did nothing but increase, not decrease, the poverty and lack of development in Black inner cities.

More history of the demise of Black leadership and organizations can be found in Chapter 14 of our 2002 book, The Minneapolis Story, with the title The Role of Minneapolis BLACK ORGANIZATIONS in the Minneapolis Story: Civil Rights Commission, Urban League, NAACP, Churches/Synagogues/Mosques. The subtitle clarifies, reporting the these Black organiations are Being Part of the Problem Rather than the Solution, as they Move Toward White-Like Black-Elite Rule, for Spoils Not Principles and Sell Out Inner city Black Community Interests: Education, Housing, and Jobs, Dignity and Recognition.

Former Mayor R.T. Rybak, who came in office in 2002, declared he was going to see that new Black leaders were chosen who would cooperate with him. We now see the result of his plan.

Posted April 18, 2015, 4:40 p.m.


LEADERSHIP COLLAPSE:  causing coming change in NAACP and Urban League leadership. More of the same or true change for the benefit of our African American community?

April 6, 2015

1.  NAACP MINNEAPOLIS BRANCH:  UNPRECEDENTED SPECIAL ELECTION.
For the first time in 16 months, an unprecedented 2nd election ordered by the National NAACP, will be held on May 2, 2015. 320124g made that.

One of the concerns is that Louis King, who some continue to identify as a significang and effecive black leader in the Twin Cities, has been a member of the Executive Committee of the local NAACP branch as it disintegrated, leading to the action by the national NAACP to hold this special election, May 2nd set with a 30 day notice.

Todate there has been no comment from Mr. King on the collapse of the Minneapolis NAACP.

2. MINNEAPOLIS URBAN LEAGUE (MUL) AFFILIATE’S LEADER’S RESIGNATION.
Scott Gray tended his resignation effective immediately according to Insight News, whose publisher is President of the Minneapolis Urban League Board.

3. WILL WE GET NEW FACES AND STABILITY OR JUST NEW FACES WHO CONTINUE THE INSTABILITY?
This information about our local NAACP branch and our local Urban League affiliate comes at a very difficult time for the African American community and the attempt by some to push the perception of stability when, in reality, there has long been instability.
 
The collapse of the African American leadership of these organizations continue to negatively effect and impact our community.

Submitted April 6, 2015, 9:20 am
Posted April 6, 2015, 12:51 p.m.


The Continued Decline of Leadership in Twin Cities.
Leadership abandonment again. at the NAACP and the Urban League.

April 1, 2015

Scott Gray, President of the Minneapolis Urban League, has resigned to take a position with a CAP agency outside the Twin Cities. As an owner of a Subway franchise and Dairy Queen Franchise in Madison, WI, he should know something about leadership. 

So why doens't he exercise those skills now for the community instead of postponing doing so by leaving the Twin Cities to pursue yet more studies, this time under a Bush Fellowhip, as he seeks to pursue post-graduate work “to get a Ph.D. in nonprofit leadership” so he can create a “social enterprise and innovation institute that inspires, teaches, and develops best-practice models for nonprofits.” 

Don't we already have organizations to do this? Once again, “leadership” gravitates away from what is needed now – education, jobs, housing – and drags more talent away to organizations providing jobs for non-profit administrators but none for the neighbors of our communities in terms of education, jobs, and affordable housing.  Case in point:  no leadership resulting in prime employment in the billions of construction currently being undertaken in downtown Minneapolis, including the Vikings stadium.

According to The Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) faceook page, MUL “provides direct service for nearly 4,000 people, and 20,000 more look to us for public advocacy.”  Don't we need less in meetings of advocates and more of action from "doers."   Advocacy needs plans and collaboration with the private and public sectors to achieve success in education, jobs, public safety and affordable housing.  We see much advocacy for ideas but not for the plans and actions needed to implement the MUL goal to help members “prepare and prosper.”  Why so little influence in facilitating hiring for the Vikings stadium construction and for the rest of the billions in construction in downtown Minneapolis?

Jerry McAfee, Minneapolis NAACP President, has let his membership lapse in the NAACP.
Where is McAfee’s attention?  Certainly not the NAACP.

Where is McAfee’s loyalty:  to the NAACP or to being Pastor of New Salem Baptist Church?
The Bible says we cannot serve two masters.
Who will step up to end the aimlessness of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP, or will the National NAACP have to follow through on its considering putting the branch under receivership?

Stay tuned.

Sumited April 1, 2015.
Posted April 5, 2015, 11:59 p.m.


Shooter a police informant.

February 24, 2015

Tomorrow morning’s edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune will report that the current supect in the shooting of Police Officer Jordan Davis has been identified, through court documents, as a police informant working for the police as far back as the 1990s.  This represents an interesting development as it pertains to the fact that earlier today in Minneapolis,  Mr. Deal was charged with two counts of burglary and assault.  The information that he is a police inmformant and was involved in a possible retaliation killing of a individual will set a very dynamic table in the city of Minneapois, especially if it turns out spawn reciprocal killings. 

Posted, Saturday, February 24, 2015, 9 p.m.


LEON RANKIN
Died Sunday, February 15, 2015

We are saddened to report the passing of long time civil rights activist, businessman, and good friend, Leon Rankin. 

We had the privilege of serving with Leon Rankin and later Elmer Childress and the late Nellie Stone Johnson, and others on the Urban League Board of Directors.  We all served together from 1974 – 1989.   Mr. Rankin was one of the most effective organizers within the labor movement in Minnesota for African Americans and others of color.

Leon Rankin was only 1 of 2 African American Certified Master Electricians in the State of Minnesota.  He was respected and often called upon within the labor movement for his advice and recommendations when the Urban League was at the forefront of changing to a positive relationship between organized labor and the African American community.  Mr. Rankin worked closely with Nellie Stone Johnson and long time labor leader and U.S. Commissioner of Veterans Affairs for the State of Minnesota, Elmer Childress.  In fact, Mr. Childress became the first and only African American to serve as the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in the history of Minnesota. 

Both Mr. Rankin, Ms. Nellie Stone Nelson, and Mr. Cecil Newman, founder and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, worked together through the Urban League.

He will long be remembered as one of the most successful and effective civil rights leaders in the State of Minnesota.

Our condolences to his family and loved ones, both here and in Mississippi.

Services for Mr. Rankin will be held in the Twin Cities on Saturday, February 21, 2015. 

Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 2 p.m.


The unfinished audits:  disaster relief audit; training audit; hiring audit.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A review of three audit issues of  non-compliance or unsatisfactory performance regarding:

  • Disaster Relief.
  • Training
  • Hiring (work force, with a special look at:

         (a) non-compliance at the new Vikings stadium, at major construction projects, and disaster relief, and
         (b) the diversion or misdirection of both public and private funds

The contents of this review has been long known by the state, county, city, and Star Tribune, but all continue to provide an abundance of words in meetings and newspapers in order to avoid having to provide actual actionable interventions to assure.

      (1) Non-Compliance in the proper use and spending of funds regarding relief support, training, and hiring, as intended by the money providers, tax payers, legislation and statuets, and

      (2) Non-Compliance in meeting training and hiring goals as mandated by state legislation and city statutes.

Key columns and Solution Papers:

DISASTER RELIEF NON-COMPLIANCE:
Column, March, 13, 2014, What happened to the receipts? Revisiting the Tornado Relief Funds. “…how much was diverted from such help? Incompetence? Embezzlement? Both?”

Column, June 8, 2011, When experience and knowledge truly mean something. Real vs. Fake Ministry Responses to the North Minneapolis Tornado.

June 2, 2011, Disaster accelerates gentrification of North Minneapolis. Reconstruction proceeds without Black workers..

HIRING NON-COMPLIANCE

Solution Paper 46, November 22, 2012, Disparity/Compliance Studies:  Minneapolis Has Practiced Disparity And Purposefully And Actively Avoided Compliance. List of 41 columns, going back to 2005.

March 27, 2013: Will the Vikings stadium be a repeat of Target Field? Question: Will the State/City and Vikings/NFL allow the “Blacks need not apply” motto of Twins Field be applied to the Vikings stadium? …

POOR TRAINING AND HIRING NON-COMPLIANCE

August, 13, 2014: Stadium Update. Is 34% minority participation goal being met??
"The Star Tribune recently reported Polar Explorer Will Steger hired two Summit OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center) graduates …. exposes the level of training of Summit OIC graduates. The article clearly suggests they aren’t qualified for stadium construction work. How many Summit graduates are?"

"Do they have licenses as Journeymen or Apprentices? What do their certificates of completion mean? …. Summit OIC claims …. after just 20 weeks of training start them at a job that will earn an average of $26,000 annually.” How many Summit OIC graduates have actually done so? …. how come Summit OIC graduates are not being lifted out of poverty?"

January, 29, 2014: "NAACP activates legal strategy. Local branch joins Doug Mann in law suit against the Minnesota Sports Faciliteis Authority." The MSFA failure to create a diverse work force is clear. Its time of stalling by again saying “wait” has run out (see Martin Luther King, Jr.’s seminal 1963 book regarding this, Why We Can’t Wait. Hint: injustice and unfairness).

In his 1963, “Letter from a Birmingham jail,” Dr. King wrote: "The question is not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?"

October 17, 2012 Column #42: Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring! But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan.

Column, May 12, 2010, City failed to monitor hiring during Twins stadium construction. I “vigorously opposed the breaking of employment compliance law” by the Twins Ball Park Authority. …. there was fanatical resistance, absolute refusal, to embrace a specific goal for African Americans.

Column, February 20, 2012, Will Blacks finally get a fair share of work on this stadium? Chair of stadium authority raises serious questions about past inclusion. Three City-commissioned studies by two separate research groups support Chairwoman Kelm-Helgen’s observations. The last study was issued on May 15, 2012, by NERA (National Economic Research Associates) at a cost to Minneapolis of $500,000. These studies expose the City’s serious and purposeful noncompliance with Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) utilization requirements.

Ted Mondale, who stated to us at a closed meeting October 10, 2012, with the chairwoman that although there was no Equity Plan for Target Field, and that they had no numbers for compliance, it will be different for the Vikings stadium; just give us a chance, Ted Mondale said. NERA’s report will help facilitate preventing future cover-ups and provides an opportunity to stop the misrepresentation of the plight of African Americans in Minneapolis.

Pages 205-208 show just how little inclusion there has been for African Americans in the area of utilization in construction and other aspects of economic opportunity: less than one percent. At page 209 of the October 22, 2010 report we see that on City-funded construction projects for the period 2003-2007, African Americans were awarded and ultimately paid less than one percent of the total.

Zero in so many categories — this exposes the true nature of so-called Minneapolis job training programs. Only the size of this new stadium project is exposing the true nature of the Minneapolis condition of purposefully not training African American workers and of hiring minorities defined as not Black. Claims of certification and hires are false. Despite computers able to collect data, unlike the old paper-and-pencil days, the City cannot authenticate African American hiring for the construction at TCF Stadium, Target Field, Target Center, Fairview Children’s Hospital at the University of MN, or the Minneapolis Public Schools District’s new HQ.

Posted September 26 2014, 8:06 am.


7-7-14: Mannifesto of Peace: a community response to community mayhem and city hesitancy. The Community Standards Initiative will hold a meeting Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

The spectre of violence that has been haunting Minneapolis that we have warned about in our various platforms (column, books, Blog Radio show, public access TV, will need more that a prayerful “Please Jesus, help us” (the ministers have disappeared). It will need more than a brief PR walkathon by the Mayor and Chief of Police. Needed is not urging people to put down their guns but to give them a reason as to why they should act peaceably. We’ve come a long way since 1995 designation of Minneapolis as Murderopolis. But we still have a long way to go.

Needed instead are non-violent peace programs that prepare young people for a peaceful and prosperous future through educations, training, and jobs, and not discrimination, drugs, and desertion. Blacks in the suburbs are as afraid as are the whites. When will Twin City safety net organizations (corporate philanthropies, churches and charities, non-profit and non-government organizations, and state, county and city safety net agencies, going to stop their carousel of conventions and meetings and instead develop a frontal forward assault in order to fight the status quo that seeks to keep Blacks dependent because of mediocre education, increasing not reducing unqualified blacks, and lack of living wage jobs, as too many whites still too often hang out “blacks need not apply” signs, as seen in how few Blacks are working on major construction sites as roads, commercial buildings, and, most angering, not only a lack of jobs for Blacks on the new Vikings Stadium but a lack of any attempt to make such hires.

My suggestion: start with these 47 Solution Papers, with suggestions for reducing the city’s average of 43 homicides a year.


Vikings Stadium Legislature double-cross? Why? To make them move to L.A. or to distort more money from them and the NFL? Can't just be confusion.

April 11, 2013

When you break a deal or try to, you lose both credibility and trust.  Recent proposed legislation, whether passed or not, has broken the credibility and trust developed with the Vikings.  As Yogi Berra said, “Déjà vu all over again.”  Is this another inning or quarter in Minnesota’s perennial Stadium Games (2000 book by Star Tribune sports writer Jay Weiner, with subtitle,  Fifty Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles).  From Minnesota nice to Minnesota nasty:  what the legislators are proposing to do, from the Star Tribune, KMSP-TV, and NFL links:

--Legislator asks for larger Vikings commitment to stadium
--Vikings Stadium Plans Could Be On Hold By State
--Bill would put Vikings stadium on hold
AT THE CAPITOL:
-- Stadium funding

--Dayton's stadium chief backs pro sports gear tax
--Racino proposed as answer for Vikings stadium and budget

The Proposed Doublecross as taken from the preceding links:

1.  For Minnesota to slash $200 million from its $348 million commitment, proposed out of panic as the electronic pull tabs that were to pay the state’s portion is only bringing in 5% of what was projected.
2.  Delay issuance of bonds for the stadium until viable revenue source are found/created.
3.  Extend sales tax to luxury boxes and seat licenses
4.  10% tax on athletic memorabilia:  the only acceptable part of the doublecross, but too little too late
5.  Ill-advised action hiding behind the skirts of false “do goodism:” that the stadium will “take money from education, health care and maintaining roads.”  If so, why were new stadiums built for the Gophers, Twins, Wild, and  with proposed upgrading for Timber Wolves?
6.  Remember:  Stadium and arena promises were broken to Bob Short, Norm Green, and Red McCombs. Now the Wilfs. 

Consequences of the Proposed Doublecross
1.  Vikings and the NFL won’t play Revenue Roulette:  they won’t pull the trigger on the Vikings
2.  Won’t force the Vikings and the NFL to put up more money
3.  Will more than likely force the Vikings to L.A.
4.  Kelm-Helgen, Authority Chair, correctly notes that the luxury seat proposal infringes on the deal struck by state negotiators
5.  Hence Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president, correctly points out that the proposal "would dramatically change the deal that was negotiated and ratified by the Legislature in May of 2012."  Why would the Vikings trust the state and city again?
6.  Will cause cost increases.  New 49er stadium will now need $29 million in design changes and another $50 million for emerging technology upgrades.  What design and technology upgrades (and their costs) will become necessary after a 1-2 year delay in Minnesota? 

Revenue realities behind the Proposed Doublecross

1.  Owner of Atlanta, GA NFL Falcons to pay $800 million of the proposed $1 billion retractable-roof stadium, with the remaining $200 million public contribution to be paid by a city hotel-motel tax.  But the Falcons owner is a billionaire; the Vikings owner is only a millionaire.

2.  Owners of MLB team in San Francisco paid for their stadium:  but this is not San Francisco

3.  The public contribution to the San Francisco 49ers new stadium of $800 million will be covered by seat and suite sales (if the latter don’t cover it the team will make up the difference but at current rate of sales in post-Super Bowl fever, they expect to make more that the $800 million.  Here is a big difference:  “The 49ers team loaned Santa Clara $400 million, the NFL loaned out $200 million.”   …  “The first team to draw from the so-called "new stadium fund" that came out of the league's new collective bargaining agreement.”  Never the less, they are LOANS.  But Minnesota has no Silicon Valley, and no longer has 19 Fortune 500 companies in the region with their highly paid employees able to buy expensive seats.  And the 49ers took years to work it out; Minnesota kept avoiding real negoatiations and then did it hastily.

4.  Racino proposed as answer for Vikings stadium and budgetwould not get tribal approval.

Solutions:  Begin with My Solution Paper #47:  SAVE THE VIKINGS! OR DO THEY MOVE?  Includes key columns since 2000,  my 2002 chapter on the Vikings, my 2003 roll call of those opposed to the Vikings staying in Minnesota.

I proposed answers to key solution questions as proposed to the State, City and the Vikings, all ignored, including:

1.  My December 11, 2011, Stadium Solution Paper #47 (and updated since)

2.  My 2002 book, The Minneapolis Story: Through My Eyes.

3.  January 29, 2005, Solution Paper #24, The Roll Call Of Those Calling for the Vikings to Move

4.  And references to outside proposed solutions submitted to the Vikings in 2000 and again in 2004:  (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).

5.  KEY QUESTION from my 12-11-11 Solution Paper #47: Save the Vikings or do they move?    “Why haven’t the elected (Govenors, Legislators, City Council) and/or their staffs or the Vikings ever asked for a ‘how?’ conversation/demonstration when given documents regarding how to build a new stadium without raising new taxes (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here)?”  That “no new taxes” solution presented in 2000 and 2004, if followed, would have yielded another $1 billion for the Vikings since then, the amount of the proposed stadium today.

Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013, 4:27 a.m.


1.  Record of city's purposeful and intentional practice in list of 20 columns posted 11-22-11: Disparity and Non-Compliance: how Minneapolis purposefully avoids compliance and sets barriers to diversity. Background to the serious violations is reported in the Disparity Study that found Minneapolis, current and past, is not and has not been in compliance.  See columns on the Disparity Study, Part I November 17, 2010, and Part II November 25, 2010See also the list of 12 additional columns written since 2005 on the disparities (web log entry of August 28, 2009).


2. Re Planning for education, jobs, housing, and economic development: Lists of columns and book chapters regarding plans and planning for all citizens in all of our communities, Black and white, at this link, Solution Paper #42: Planning, with suggestions for use in resolving the issues of unequal access and unequal opportunity in education, jobs, and housing. Also see here and here and here, and here: "Disaster accelerates gentrification of North Minneapolis. Reconstruction proceeds without Black workers." Another list of columns, blog entries, solution papers."


3. VIKINGS: Stay or Move?

We see a stadium bill — but where’s the inclusion plan? We Await the Diversity Plan from the Civil Rights Department For the Vikings Stadium, Planning, Development, and Construction, May 23, 2012.

Our Vikings appear to be saved. But did legislators still leave the exit door to L.A. open? May 16, 2012

Sid Hartman and Star Tribune confirm our stadium analysis, April 25, 2012.

Will the Vikings stadium be in Minnesota or L.A.?, April 11, 2012.

Vikings stadium plan in place??? March 14, 2012

Black jobs promised on Vikings stadium construction. Who will ensure the promises are kept? February 15, 2012 Column.


NOTE: Star Tribune: Council group urges minority hiring for Vikings stadium, February 29, 2012.

Our revised November 09, 2011 Column: Stop the punting of the Vikings! Minnesotans: Unite with a ‘Fan Response Movement’ to keep the team

May 25, 2011 Column: Budget battle threatens Vikings’ future. Lists columns on leave/stay since 2005.

April 13, 2011 Column #15: Can Minnesota afford another stadium? Difficult times force difficult choices

Our January 26, 2005 Plan: Let’s Save the Vikings!
Zippidy do da, zippidy ay, my oh my who do we blame for “who lost the Vikings” day?

GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS OPPOSED TO THE VIKINGS STAYING:

1. University elitists who want the University first in the hearts of football fans, and are jealous of the Vikings being in town, taking away the University’s thunder?

2. Corporations
that don’t want to spend money on suites for four teams, so bye bye Vikings?

3. Any of the 37 “influencers”
on the 2005  The Roll Call of those who say the Vikings, have to go?

4.Key Minnesota leaders' "The Plan": have the Vikings leave town, 2002.

5. Stadium and arena promises were broken to Bob Short, Norm Green, and Red McCombsAre theWilfs  next.

KEY QUESTION: why haven’t the electeds or their staffs or the Vikings ever asked “how?” when shown how to build a new stadium without raising new taxes (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here)?

Original set of 3 posted January 19, 2011 column.
Vikings lists added October 12, 2011.
Edited/expanded November 22, 2011.
Updated and re-ordered January 12, 2012, 8:22 a.m.
Updated March 14, 2012, 9:50 a.m.
Updated May 31, 2012, 5:10 p.m.


3. Re Black Leadership:
DETAILS OF THE LISTS RE LEADERSHIP, PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS:
GOAL: closing the gaps in education, jobs, and housing by first looking back in order to better contest the ideas allowing intentiional discrimination in order to break down the barriers to equal access and equal opportunity for today and the ongoing future.

Still open for consideration: local NAACP December 12, 2010 assertion in this paper that “Its time for leaders [who] put personal agendas ahead of community interests to go." In othert words, there are too many ministerial, government, corporate, foundation and other non-profits) not leading. See here for what, who, when, where, why. List of columns coming soon.


4. “Minneapolis POLICE Department Racism and Discrimination.” See list of July 10, 2008, updated through September 14, 2011 column (lists 60 columns, 31 blog entries, and 12 “solution” papers. The subhead, “Speaking over the silence of the major Twin Cities Dailies,” speaks to the scooping by this newspaper of the major dailies that often refuse to thoroughly report on this topic.


5. Ending the Journalism SILENCE by the Star Tribune about discrimination will help end discrimination. Lists columns and blog entries posted since 2003.


6. Re Planning for education, jobs, housing, and economic development: Lists of columns and book chapters regarding plans and planning for all citizens in all of our communities, Black and white, at this link, Solution Paper #42: Planning, with suggestions for use in resolving the issues of unequal access and unequal opportunity in education, jobs, and housing. Also see here and here and here, and June 01, 2011 Column:"Disaster accelerates gentrification of North Minneapolis. Reconstruction proceeds without Black workers." Another list of columns, blog entries, solution papers."

Where are the Nellie Stone Johnsons and Hubert H. Humphreys of today? Thank goodness their spirit lives on in the newspaper of their friend Cecil B. Newman: The Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder).

Cecil introduced Nellie and Hubert. And, along with their friend Charlie Horn, a key white businessman of the day, the four of them (Nellie and Hubert, Cecil and Charlie) liked to refer to themselves as "The Four Horsemen". So where are our four horsemen of today? Who of the new generation will step up and again carry the banner: “Eyes On The Prize,” and fight for freedom's prize, equal access and equal opportunity, especially in education and jobs?

Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010, 11:57 am
An additional paragraph added 3:15/11:01 p.m.


3-18-10, #2:  Alert:  Is our lack of plans and their execution drawing us to a plan to execute in Mexico?
Is the Minneapolis 2010 homicide total to date that averages one a week since the beginning of the year a precursor of larger battles in American border towns along the Rio Grande?  Has former Mexican President Fox’s comment that there is no border, that Mexico extends all the way to DesMoines being misunderstood by Mexican gang bangers as permission to cross our border and commit acts of violence with impunity?  We have a reversal of Saddam Hussein who said that when there are 10,000 body bags on the Tarmac, the Americans would leave.  Once we get a body count in some American town of 15-20 piled up after a murderous incident by Mexican gang bangers, the only question will be how many American troops will be sent to Mexico to fight drug traffickers as done in Panama and El Salvador.  Will this be a response to the legacy of Che, who hoped to bring down the U.S. through sending drugs to American cities?  How will this alter the battle of minorities for government funds?  Will it result in more money “lost” from American inner city Black neighborhoods and sent to Hispanic border ones?  What is the number of dead bodies on a single day that will be the tipping point to send in American troops?  What plan will Minneapolis develop now for Minneapolis to deal with this kind of gang violence and drug trade, instead of making citizens suffer through the deaths necessary to reach our own tipping point? Stay tuned.

Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010, 6:15 p.m.


01-07-10 #1: Alert: Police: aiding and abetting, just incompetent, or ran out of cover ups? Different standards for white citizens than Black citizens?

It is all over the TV today, January 7: Minneapolis Police Officer Tim Carson, a 3 year veteran and Iraq vet, was arrested for robbing a dozen stores and banks, raising the obvious questions: 

(1) how many other police officers are taking advantage of their positions? 
(2) will there be yet another aiding and abetting cover up by the Mayor and his Police Chief? 
(3)
 As the Mayor and his Chief claims to know all and do all, are they aiding and abetting or just plain incompetent, or is their laxity regarding letting white officers do what they want gotten so bad that even this could not be covered up as so much else in the past has been covered been?

These are not questions I take lightly. Nor am I surprised as I raised these issues with the MPD while serving on the PCRC (Police Community Relations Council);  we especially asked about background checks and rumors of white police officers out of control, being involved in drug dealings and thefts. The MPD would not answer; would not cooperate. Our concern was that questionable white candidates were passed while qualified Blacks were not, raising another question regarding whether the tests were rigged toward whites or just scored that way. Certainly we ask, "How did Officer Carson pass his profile tests?"  And, we suggest, the city must lean to the best candidates, regardless of their color, and recognize the value to the city of having qualified Black officers rather than unqualified white ones.  

And how is it that when things happen to whites, nothing is said to the white "community" about "coming forth", but when it happens to people of color, they are asked to cooperate and come forward with information. This is currently going on regarding the 3 Somalis gunned down (some say executed). How can the community come forward when it doesn’t feel safe? The MPD terror investigation last year in the Somali community regarding killings that are essentially not street crimes as defined but political killings, have left Somalis feeling unsafe and unprotected.

The mayor, broadcasters, and others follow the cue of the FBI and make the community the problem, not the public safety system. Many young Somalis are survivors of the Civil War in Somalia, and are here seeking a peaceful chance at life, something made more difficult with police like Tim Carson, whose precinct locker revealed guns and money.  Carson reflects a department still out of control, which is what led to the establishment of the PCRC in the first place. The MPD continues to cover up the Metro Gang Squad, recently disbanded for their own law breaking.  Public safety is more important than any Governor's race.

We want to know how many others are like Tim Carson there are but who are more clever in avoiding getting caught, and why, if the MPD leaders claim to know all that's going on, why they let it ride and don’t act on it?  Some have said it is because they are in on it. Others have said it is because they would rather have poor white recruits that excellent Black ones and thus have to admit more candidates of color to a department they'd prefer was all white.  

Stay tuned.

Posted January 7, 2010, 11:30 pm, CST  
Edited January 8, 2010, 9 pm, CST


9-17-09, #11: The demise of the Minneapolis Urban League.

At 5:15 p.m., today, Thursday, 9-17-09, Minneapolis Urban League Branch President Scott Gray announced, in closed session, the new austerity: 10% salary reduction across the board; termination of ten employees within 30 days; and an indication that the staff of the Urban League Street Academy would go on part time employee status (thus loosing their benefits). Ever since the sell outs kicked Nellie Stone Johnson and me out 20 years ago, when I was the President of the Urban League with 118 employees, they have cannibalized the organization, reducing it from the 118 employees then to what will be less than 20 employees now. We show how this got started in Chapter 14 of The Minneapolis Story.

Posted 9-18-09, 1:32 a.m.


Read More 2009 Blog Entries »

8-30-09, #10: Who is our neighbor and how do we "do unto them"?

8-29-09, #9: Minneapolis Police Training Chickens Come Home to Roost. The key for police seeking to achieve public safety is the same for people of color seeking to achieve jobs: training.


8-28-09, #8: Trainers or plunderers? Demonstrating for jobs for people or money for selves?

........

In May of this year, Insight published a story about Louis King of OIC saying he had federal funds to create 1,000 jobs in the African American community. Last week Louis King had to admit he did not have the funds, that they had not been released. And so the demonstration was held about the funds for the leaders, not funds for jobs. As listed below, we will continue to advocate for jobs for workers, not funds for "leaders".

This is what happens when the Governor of Minnesota and the Department of Transportation get tired of playing the games of the Mayor of Minneapolis and his allies that want to use government funding for themselves but not for the community. The state understandably doesn't want to take the blame for that. What is not understood is why the city and its minions think they can get away with their posturing.

Our "leaders" spend much time training African Americans for jobs but little in standing up for their being hired to use their newly acquired skills. A lot of young men were expecting to get jobs. They will be disappointed, at the hands of Black "leaders." As seen below, we have written about the economic stimulus and its potential to help our community. It is the right cause with the wrong people in charge, as they plunder and tear asunder. We first published about this in The Corrupt and Racist Construction Contract System, Chapter 9 of our book, The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, in 2002. We have continued updating this shame in our columns since then. Why haven't the "leaders" used the facts in the book and columns to plead their case for jobs? That is the best way to get funds for their organizations.

We first published a roundup of columns in the Minnenapolis Spokesman Recorder in our Blog entry #21 of July 31, 2008 (Star Tribune...Denying Discrimination and Disinforming About the Black Community). That list is reproduced and updated below. It is with these that we urge Black leaders today, and those interested in "planning" for the communities of color, to start: advocating   for jobs rather than seeking funds to plunderor or to recycle among nonprofits, neither of which profit the community. Here is that updated list of selected columns, 2005-2009:

4-20-2005: Black share of $5 billion construction: Zero. What can be done to reverse "Blacks need not apply" for the coming great construction boom?

7-13-2005: Where is The Plan for Black's share of jobs, development?

6-07-2006: Hallelujah! Good Times Are Here Again! "Best Effort". False alarm.

5-09-2007: Blacks remain barred from big-money projects

7-04-2007: Where's The Jobs Plan? Minneapolis Kremlin initiates retaliation

8-08-2007: Where is the jobs plan for Blacks for the bridge cleanup and re-construction?

1-23-08: Who will challenge discrimination in this city?

3-5-08: Response to a Challenge Baseball Authority Responds

6-4-08: Stadiums go up while compliance system breaks down

2-18-09: Where's the plan to ensure Blacks benefit from economic stimulus? Now's the time to ask your representatives.

2-25-09: With stimulus funds coming, where's the plan for inclusion?

7-15-09: Mismanagement forced re-bid of Marquette and 2nd Avenue Project. Cover-up keeps city council in the dark.

We urge the Black leadership of the Twin Cities to begin with these columns if they are to be truly successful in obtaining jobs for our community and, in the process, funding for their organizations. Right now they have it backwards. We suggest they turn around and get it right.

Posted 8-28-09, 11:10 p.m.


Read More 2009 Blog Entries »

08-27-09, #7: In Minneapolis, training doesn't equal jobs for the trained, only the trainers (we are a city of over employed trainers with an "army" of underemployed, underutilized trained workers).

06-26-09, Blog #6: The Role of Black Organizations in the Minneapolis Story...

06-06-09, Blog #5: Welcome NNPA (National Convention of the National Newspaper Publishers Association)

06-06-09, Blog #4: Thanks for thrilling us

04-10-09, Blog #3: Minneapolis settles law suit with the Mill City Five, causing more questions to be raised than answered.

04-05-09, Blog #2: "Why, in an information age, they attempt such cover-ups, mystifies us. The truth will out."

03-31-09, Blog #1: The revealing of the truth: nearly three years in the making.


EXCERPT FROM: July 31 2008 Blog Entry #21

Check out our columns of 2005, 2006, and 2007, when we raised the question: "When will Blacks be included in the billions worth of jobs in construction for stadiums, bridges, and other big money projects?" Here are six examples:

  1. 04-20-2005: Black share of $5 billion construction: Zero. What can be done to reverse "Blacks need not apply" for the coming great construction boom?
  2. 07-13-2005: Where is The Plan for Black's share of jobs, development?
  3. 06-07-2006: Hallelujah! Good Times Are Here Again! "Best Effort". False alarm.
  4. 05-09-2007: Blacks remain barred from big-money projects
  5. 07-04-2007: Where's The Jobs Plan? Minneapolis Kremlin initiates retaliation
  6. 08-08-2007: Where is the jobs plan for Blacks for the bridge cleanup and re-construction?

Posted July 31, 2008, 3:55 p.m.

Read the Complete July 2008 Blog Entry »


Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

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