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2003 Blog Entries
October ~ Entries #163 -#210

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Blog #210. November 1, 2003: NAACP Fraud and deception is creating a credibility gap, a back lash, and questions. Would that it would create shame and acts of conscience.

When the NAACP cancelled it meeting for Saturday the 25th (against the rules, despite their “cover” that they’ve done it before, which is an admission that they don’t follow their own rules), their credibility took another big hit. Remember, with nearly 100,000 Blacks in Minneapolis and the local branch NAACP current membership roll under 400, their credibility is already at a low. Now they want put in jeopardy their big annual fund raising banquet, to be held next month, and which was to feature Danny Glover. But the last 4-5 years the NAACP has experienced a steady decline. They have gotten through the last 4-5 years because The St. Paul Companies, Norwest Bank now Wells Fargo, have been underwriting the dinner. Last year they had a total of 199 people at the dinner. When they stole the election in November 2002, patting themselves on the back for having defeated the notorious Ron Edwards, they believed the White community would reward them for defeating the notorious Ron Edwards, the community, instead, did not turn out.

So look how far and how fast they the NAACP has fallen: in the year 2000, I helped bring Nelson Mandela here, through my relationship with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was initially our speaker but fell ill (and after I contacted Tutu’s daughter, he arranged to have Nelson Mandela take his place), we had 2,000 people in attendance. Think of it, 2,000 in 2000, and 200 in 2002. That is a disaster. In 2000, by the way, the local NAACP cleared $75,000. Also note this: the local NAACP has not given a financial report for the last two dinners, 2001 and 2002.

This is a sign of terrible stewardship, destruction of a legacy, and receiving a huge vote of no confidence from the community. In 2000, The St Paul Companies picked up 70%, Wells Fargo 30%. The companies were so elated they held a breakfast the following morning for Mandela at The St. Paul Club and gave him a check for $100,000 to help with the Robins Island Restoration Project, which is creating a museum at the site of where he was imprisoned for 28 years for opposing Apartheid. In the past, White companies would buy tickets and give them to their Black employees. Not this time. The Whites came to hear Nelson Mandela. Black employees couldn’t get tickets. We were packed with White folks.

And how did the local NAACP handle this great breakthrough? They squandered. Thinking they were on a new gravy train and a new day had dawned, they geared up for the good life. And let us and the organization down. How can others be expected to respect us when the local NAACP leadership offers no respect.

Saturday, November 1, 2003, 1:30 am.

Blog #209. October 31, 2003: Speaking truth to power and going against the hegemony of the status quo and its power issues. This is not a Black and White issue, it is a citizen’s issue.

As the local NAACP has gone into its tailspin, many people come up to me and say wow, everything you talked about in your book they are doing, and then they ask, “how can they justify throwing you out?” And of course the answer is the same one they bitterly complain about when Whites do it: because they can.

Friday, October 31, 2003, 4:06 am

Blog #208. October 30, 2003: The musical chairs of real and imagined black mail: The NAACP is like a bunch of gun fighting black mailers standing in a circle, each one with a gun to the head of the next person.

In the popular TV cable re-runs of Perry Mason, the shows always deal with a murder. In many, black-mail is involved: some one has something on another, sometimes criminal behavior but most of the time embarrassing behavior. And then when every week Perry gets his client off by getting the real murderer to confess, the confession most of the time includes “I had to because,” and many time with “and I’d do it again.” This is what the NAACP reminds me of.

The national NAACP has proof that the November 2002 election was stolen, that the process was run fraudulently, that it was directed by their regional director, a church minister for the one elected, his lover, with knowledge, abetting and collusion of staff in the national office. So why aren’t these perpetrators fired? Why isn’t action taken against them? Why is the one expelled the one who has exercised his first amendment rights and the only action of the NAACP to try to deny my first amendment rights? What other conclusion can there be that the election had to be stolen to prevent an honest man a look at the financial records which have now all been disposed of? We can only conclude that they have been the corrupt hand maidens of the Democratic/DFL Parties for so long that such corruption has come to be seen as normal to them. They obviously all have been given a taste of the monies. And they have all sat around over time raising their glasses and clinking them together in satisfaction of how well they can play the White man’s money game.

They are so drunk on the wine of poison and nullification that they don’t have a clue as to the damage they are doing to both the reputation of the NAACP, to how this will effect people and organizations’ willingness to fund them in the future, and their credibility in saying they speak for the descendents of America’s slaves. With everyone having something on everyone else, they are paralyzed. By serving themselves they have disserved not only the many who came before them and handed them this great organization, but all those in the future who now won’t be served because of how they have failed to live by the organization’s principles and serve only themselves, all because they have they have taken their eye off the prize, as I explain in my paper, NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize.

They are so eager to punish “Boss Edwards” that they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces. They know the elections were tampered with which should be enough to make heads roll, and they know their married regional director was having an affair with the woman running for President that he showed them how to steal the election for. That raises two other questions. First, how many other local branches across this great country are being tutored in Fraud and Malfeasance 101? And secondly, how can the President of the NAACP exert moral authority regarding our inner city young men and women when he has tom catted with the best of the brothers, having sired six children with five different women?
Friday, October 31, 2003, 4:05 am.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Blog #207. October 29, 2003: The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes: 40 years of work and synthesis of experience combined with two years of additional thought and synthesis with a researcher and editor.

Some have asked me how I can continue a daily web log when topics as serious as these require study and reflection, not instant thought without rethought. Others have asked me how I could work with a White editor about the Black experience. These are good questions, as far as they go, but reflect more a lack of thinking on the questioners than about the writing. This is serious, but its not instant. 40 years of experience have gone into this followed by a year of writing the book and a second year working with that product as the prism for the daily web log. The simple truth that I’ve learned in 40 plus years as a community activist and advocate is that the truth will indeed set you free. It is also easier on the memory. Blogging is here to stay. Most are by serious people who have thought a lot before entering the Blog world. Unlike those who must come up with quick statements on new events daily, this Blog is very simple. There are only two topics that are discussed (equal access and equal opportunity for all) such that all receive an invitation to the table of society. These two topics are broken down into seven areas: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics. All of these in turn are based on the foundational grounding of the book, The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes. Finally, all of this is distilled down into one word: gap.

No matter how you slice and dice it, minorities in the inner city are taking it in the shorts in these areas. If the gaps were for suburban Whites they would be narrowed almost immediately. To call for waiting several generations is worse than a cop out. It is a denial of the human spirit in general and a dismissal of the spirit of freedom and liberty that beats in the heart of all people, especially the oppressed who want out from under oppression like inner city residents concentrated in impact areas with barriers to depart, the biggest one being a good education, as seen the most by the young Black men with no place to go, poorly educated, no jobs, no hope (see my State of Emergency for Black Youth).

As for the White editor, I merely say what I’ve said before: 2 + 2 = 4 isn’t White. Gravity isn’t White. Learning isn’t White. Slavery isn’t Black. Oppression isn’t Black. Jim Crow isn’t Black. The same is true of everything: the minute we say it has to be White (as many Whites do) or Black (as many Blacks do), we have lost our way. He has been asked the same question, being told by White friends in Minneapolis that he must have lost all of his self esteem, and that he is bottom feeding, because he is working with Blacks. So there is room for work and repair and reconciliation on both sides of the aisle. There is no Black or White in “equal access and equal opportunity,” only human yearnings to be free. There is no Black or White in being invited to the table, only justice and fairness.

Once we get past these, then we can deal directly and solve the problems, which to purposefully repeat, I address in terms of the gaps between Blacks and Whites: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics. I invite all to read my Seven Solutions paper. The solutions are not liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Black or White. They are justice and fairness, aimed at providing everyone with a place at the table, be it at the head or the foot or the side of the table, the placement to be determined by common ground rules: equal access and equal opportunity, and then, as they say in sports, may the best man (or woman) win (as long as all can still sit somewhere at the table).

For those needing more background in why these exists, the historical consistency of deferring Blacks their freedom and a way to restore justice and fairness to achieve equal access and equal opportunity, read my Restorative Affirmative Action paper.
Thursday, October 30, 2003, 12:26 am.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Blog #206. October 28, 2003: Message to the Corporate Community: Don’t Lose Faith. I’m still bullish on Minneapolis. We shall make it. We shall overcome. We shall have peace. Tell outsiders to come, invest, create jobs, and make money.

The unrest over the past year, and especially that over the past month in terms of clashes between misperceptions by Black and White as to what the others’ agenda is, is causing some to wonder whether they can invest in Minnesota, what is the problem here, etc. Just know this: this is a great place to invest. The attempt by RT Rybak and the Strib to shape the agenda and response of the Black community should be given no moment. Their attempt to set up Don Samuels as the spokesman is as big a failure as all other prior attempts with others.

Neither the Mayor nor the Strib nor Don, who refer to us as “they” (another word used is to call us “Negroes”) are really not in touch with the community other than superficially, and therefore these three have a far greater pessimistic attitude than do we Blacks in the community. The Strib piece on the Jordan neighborhood was hollow and almost schizophenic, saying on the one hand things were getting better but on the other they were not. In Grow’s column he admitted that he and Samuels are scared. We are not. They are not willing to stand up for our community. We are. We know the potential. We know what can be done. I believe the outline of recommended suggestions in my Seven Solutions piece reflects what should be considered.

We yearn for someone the mayor and the Strib will listen to that will grab both by the scruff of their necks and tell them to quick fighting in our sand box and cooperate with the other kids. There is a solution. Its is outlined in my Seven Solutions paper, posted August 31, 2003, which I open up by stating:

Strib head hunting tactics are setting up a prolonged seige of nastiness for the future, of wedging groups and races rather than helping to reconcile them, which is why I have stressed the ubuntu concept of reconciliation used in South Africa to reconcile the oppressed Blacks with the oppressor Whites after apartheid (see my web log entries #163, 164, 172). We can’t escape the negatives of the past, most of which none of us caused (see my Restorative Affirmative Action piece posted a week ago) but we can shape a positive future which we can escape and which we have to accept responsibility for (hence my book and my Seven Solutions piece, all produced for the purpose of helping Blacks and Whites together work to complete the Unfinished Dream , especially as it relates to solving the public safety issues in our community as it relates to the State of Emergency for Black Youth .

Recent newspaper stories regarding Black leaders have included their past histories regarding run ins with the law (whether they inhaled or not, whether they served time, or had other problems). This, I’m sad to say, is against the spirit of reconciliation. This is looking forward through the rear view mirror. Not helpful. It is the politics of personal assassination. It now means that any who will be nominated for, say the Superintendent of Schools, will have a microscope attached to their lives. Who wants that? Surely the mediocre and poor candidates will have few problems in their past.

The past is past. Again, we may deny responsibility for the past but we can’t for the future. What happened to reconciliation, to “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” People change and transform. Too many in both communities now want to allow for that only in “their” people but not for “the others.” Surely Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger (not to mention JFK and MLK, Jr.) have laid aside those considerations about the past for both parties, allowing for the ideal no matter the personal stumbling, so any can concentrate on the pragmatic “what will work.” We see in the 7 Solutions paper that in the areas of : (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics, some of what has been done has not worked. What hasn’t worked and what might should now be our focus, that and who can do what will work, regardless of whether they are Black or White, male or female, Ph.D. or not Ph.D., etc. It starts with education. As Nellie Stone Johnson used to say, “no education, no jobs, no housing” and “no education, no jobs, no hope.” As part of the subtitle of my book chapter on education states, “Stop the Clubbing and Teach Skills, Optimism, and Hope.” That is my hope. That is the essence of providing the kind of community foundation we all want in the seven areas. Who does it doesn’t matter. That we do it or don’t do it does.
Submitted Oct. 20, Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 9:20 am.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Blog #205. October 28, 2003: It takes two to tango: it takes the private and pubic sector, working together to create equal access and equal opportunity

It can be done if both sides reconcile and find the common ground on which to work together. Example: Atlanta. Maynard Jackson was Atlanta’s first Black mayor. The October 3, 2003 USA Today, p. 3A, reports that Maynard Jackson “pioneered the city’s affirmative action program, which forced city contactors to take on minority and female partners. The program became a national model and created a generation of black and female wealth.” When he became mayor, White contractors were getting 99.88% of city contracts. As Mayor, Maynard Jackson worked to close the gap. Blacks went from .12% to 34% before being cut back by court order to 20 some percent. It is this compliance that is missing by the city of Minneapolis, as I discuss in Chapter 9 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes.” If we work together, we can make it happen here too, to the tremendous benefit of Minneapolis just as it became a tremendous benefit for Atlanta.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003, 12:28 am

Blog #204. October 27, 2003: Tracing the Arc of Freedom for the descendents of America’s slaves: new Solution Paper is loaded and working: “Restorative Affirmative Action”

The trouble with the Restorative Affirmative Action paper has been fixed. It traces the Arc of Freedom for the descendents of America’s slaves and calls for the application of affirmative action programs to the descendents of America’s slaves, and calls for ending the process of expanding civil rights as it relates to the descendents of America’s slaves so they can play “catch-up” without all kinds free riders being enabled to push Black descendents of slaves back inside a new ghetto.

Sunday, October 27, 2003, 2:42 am.

Blog Blog #203. October 25, 2003: Where is the White ecumenical community?

The White Christian church, especially the Baptists, pride themselves on their “born again” moments of transformation, what Luther called “daily dying and rising,” of daily tempations such that for each of us there is a “daily putting to death the old Adam” so that we can be transformed again, daily, born again, pausing to remember whatever higher power we acknowledge. This is Lutheran country. Why are they not heard from? White ministers gave credibility to the civil rights marches in the 60s. Where are they today? They have radio and TV shows and newspapers and magazines. Why are they not standing up as a moral conscience regarding what this city is doing to minorities to cause and then prevent the gaps from closing in the Seven Solutions areas of : (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics. With the Marches scheduled and with many in both the White and Black churches deploring the violence of war and who marched against the war on Iraq, why don’t they march against the war on young Black men in our communities? Why don’t both of them remind their followers of the non-violent message of King and Ghandi, or is OK in their White eyes to have a little violence if it’s just on Blacks? Does the old saying “their silence condemns them” hold true? Indeed, in my TV program on Sunday, October 12, I asked why the White ecumenical community has remained silent. The only response I “hear” is their continued silence. Are they silent as an affirmation of my column comment this past week: City Hall is Vacant, Civil Rights are Dead, and the Mayor Has Left the Building, or can they only get angry if its against Republicans or the Bush administration?

And before anyone has a hissy fit, please know that such terms as “born again” are not the province of fundamentalists nor outside the purview of sophisticates. Just as the Jewish scholar Hannah Arendt laments the fact that “forgiveness and reconciliation” have been ignored by those who don’t want to part of anything Christian (because what is said and done is irreversible, there can be no peace if sides, individuals to countries, can’t forgive and reconcile, which is why she sees it as part of the need of the human condition, regardless of religion or lack thereof, along with keeping promises, as promise keeping keeps chaos at bay). Wouldn’t it be wonderful in Minneapolis, if the Lutherans would call for creating in Minneapolis a “Kingdom of God” not as some fortress to hide from secularism (or collude with it) but rather to use the concept for society the same way as individuals, as a way to be “born again” in the community creative process, transforming Minneapolis into a city that values justice and love through an across the board application of the Golden Rule (see my Chapter 5) not just giving it lip service? Well, Lutherans? What say you?
Monday, October 27, 2003, 2:41 am.

Saturday-Sunday, October 25-26, 2003. No entry today. We are busy trying to fix the technical difficulty preventing links from working in newly posted Solution Paper, Restorative Affirmative Action.

Saturday, October 25, 2003, 5:38 pm/11:42 pm.

Blog #202: October 24, 2003: The NAACP’s Reverse Divestiture: Expel the Future, Invest in the Past, Divest the Prize. My response? Another definitive paper seeking common ground: “Restorative Affirmative Action.”

Tomorrow’s scheduled NAACP general meeting (cancelled by the Executive Committee even though it is not supposed to cancel general meetings by NAACP rules) is now a postponed red letter day for the NAACP, as in the red letter worn by Hester Pryn: the Scarlet Letter of Shame. When they will officially hold their day of shame as the national already did (see Blog #196). Three red letters: DPF for Divest the Prize of Freedom.

Tomorrow the local NAACP was to officially announce the national NAACP’s October 18 decision to expel me for five years, and in the process reverses the divestiture campaign against South Africa. To successfully end apartheid, South Africa practiced ubuntu, a Bantu word for reconciliation, to bring together the separate parts to heal the nation (see my Blog entries #163-164, 172). The NAACP separates. The NAACP should stand for restoration, the restoration of the descendents of slaves to the mainstream of American society. This is not rhetoric. This is not pie in the sky. I offer two papers to show how. Both are in the “Solution Papers” section of

The first paper, to be posted today in honor of what the NAACP should adopt rather than expel, outlines the need for restorative affirmative action and outlines how to achieve the need for Restorative Affirmative Action.

The second paper is my already posted Seven Solutions recipe for how resolve the emergencies of the inner cities of America in general and Minneapolis in particular, taken from with some additions, my book, The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes. These plus my book are my gifts to Minneapolis. These still remain a challenge to the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, Insight News, and One Nation News, four local papers that have steadfastly refused to print one line about the book (all were given copies) or its recommended remedies.

We are a city in Crisis. And because it isn’t being met, we are a city with an Emergency. And yet with my book and these papers we have dynamic solutions for resolving our crisis, ending the emergency, and ushering in an exciting tomorrow. These four city newspapers papers, on the other hand, have offered no rebuttal or their own solutions except a continued silence and, on occasion, warmed over nostrums picked up by looking through the rear view mirror. They are out of touch. I welcome this opportunity to bring them in touch, to connect the dots for them.

The Minnesota Spokesman Recorder and City Pages, on the other hand, have heralded the book and brought it to the attention of their readers, as well as run columns and stories about how to address the problems of our fair city. And what about the Coalition of Black Churches/African American Leadership Summit? They told their people not to read the book, and in stead have bought into the notion that it will take generations to solve the problems. But that goes against what Martin Luther King, Jr. said, in the title of one of his books: Why We Can’t Wait.

What do they fear? They fear the people of the inner city will see they are Plantation Mastuhs who wear no clothes and who work for themselves, not for the people (see Blog entries #200 and 201). I challenge all of these papers and groups to offer better solutions to our inner city problems. I challenge them to cast off their roles of “bell curve liberals” and repudiate the notion that Blacks can’t make it on their own, which has been the policy foundation of the Federal, state and city governments ever since they opted to follow the 1968 Kerner Commission Report, giving them cover to institute the equivalent of benign Jim Crow. Both the Restorative Affirmative Action piece and the Seven Solutions offer suggestions for resolving our emergency. What suggestions to the NAACP and the media offer?

Friday, October 24, 2003, 6:40 am.

Blog #201. October 24, 2003: NAACP to its members: Stand down! Get in line. Force Civil Rights illiteracy with Book Burning. Follow through where Abraham left off: Sacrifice the lives of your children on the altar of our power.

The “powers at be” in Minneapolis and the NAACP headquarters and their minions at the Strib, Insight, and One Nation News, Coalition of Black Churches/African American Leadership Summit, have done their level best to see that my book “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” received no hearing, saw no light of day, other than the light from the pyres of fire set for burning the book. In slave days, the Mastuhs kept power by keeping us from learning to read and write and learning about our conditions. We were their captives unable to read the road signs to leave. These groups would keep us that way.

In today’s inner city, the NAACP works to continue the illiteracy of our children and their disenfranchisement from education (ever since bussing) as a way to keep people in dependency in order to justify their paid jobs. Thus they have fought hard and conspired long to censor a member, yours truly, Ron Edwards. And why not? My book would liberate the inner city Plantation descendents of American slaves. It would require the bureaucrat Mastuhs to earn an honest living, and it would mean truly working with the power structures to free our inner city people.

But the NAACP would rather play Pharoah than Moses. Fearing the disturbance of their own little sand boxes paid for by government, foundation and corporate funds and grants, they have instead “sent a message” of intimidation to their membership nationwide: go against us and we will ostracize you, the highest penalty of any tight knit group already considered outsiders in a society: exclusion, the one thing we fought the most and the one tactic they play so well. Why? Because they are not a servant organization. They have no love in their hearts. They have no concept of ubuntu and reconciliation (see Blog entries 163, 164, 167, 172).

They sleep in the basement bedrooms of the Mastuh at night, enjoying the luxuries, and to keep those luxuries, are willing to whip the field hands by day, for “generations” as the recent local NAACP President said.

So what they are doing in Minneapolis has to be the tip of a very big iceberg that they don’t want exposed in Minneapolis nor at their national HQ nor in the other cities across America. Black leaders across the country who want to see the NAACP do what it was set up to do will think twice because they don’t want to be on the outside. It is not just silencing me that is their concern. It is anyone in the country that would stand up them. People not allowed much in the White world cling to what little they can get from the Black world, and this is the great club of intimidation and mendacity wielded by the modern NAACP that would rather truck with Black dictators in foreign lands that free our inner city people from the dicates holding them down (see NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize). The message is clear: shape up or ship out. Stand down. And oh by the way, they are saying, we have delayed the announcement from the 18th to the 25th to give you time to destroy the records.

Friday, October 24, 2003, 6:40 am.

Blog #200. October 24, 2003: The NAACP Plot thickens: State, regional and local march to the corrupt tune of national: Duluth shenanigans, Saturday, October 18, 2003, state conference.

Regional NAACP attended the Duluth state conference and helped rig another election, so this time it was Booker T Hodges who fell victim, beating him 16 to 11, with Gale Ford pressuring Kay Falls, Mankato and Rochester, cutting deals with these branches to let them receive monies for a prison program that the national NAACP has. So Ford bought the votes to defeat Booker T by promising that if they supported Claudie Washington, State President, against Booker T (who has bee n seen with the notorious Boss Edwards). They would get $20-40,000, a nice chunk of change for small branches.

AND, in the same Duluth, MN meeting, the question of audits came up. Gale Ford ruled, as Regional Director, that the only audit that would take place would take place under his supervision and would only go back one year. Technically, that would take it back such that the time his live in honey who he had elected in Minneapolis to prevent her being investigated. He slyly said, sounding oh so compassionate and feeling of their pain, that they had to understand that people come and go, and that a lot of time “records come and go with them” such that you don’t have information to reconcile everything, so he ordered them, under his supervision, to not go back any further than one year. Unbelievable. He is signally to them to be as self serving for themselves as he is being for himself: records come and go, with the emphasis not being on “go.”

The NAACP has long stood for having an opportunity to stand for and achieve good for the community. But there are obviously two NAACPs: the public face of news releases and official statements living off the reputation of its great past, and the dark side, the real NAACP, that has hidden in the closet. I’m now calling out the NAACP. They can expell me as they decided on the 18 to do. But in expelling me they are expelling themselves out of the closet of secrecy. If all of this begins a movement to clean up its act, nationally, regionally, locally, city to city across this great nation, so that the NAACP once again serves our people, then all of this will have well been worth the experience they have put me through.

The key question remains: will they deal with the key issues of education, jobs, housing, public safety, safe environment, governing, or ethics, as I have in my Seven Solutions paper, or will they continually to pull the shades over the fact that they are bankrupt of ideas, as their energies are self serving of their organization and positions rather than the movement and its people?

Friday, October 24, 2003, 6:40 am.

Blog #199. October 23, 2003: Upcoming NAACP Audits Bring Civil Rights to a New Fork in the Road: Serve the Movement or Serve the Staff? The Past Finally Catches Up as the NAACP Rushes to The Future Furtively Shredding Documents and Violating the Letter and Spirit of the Law as it Betrays the Movement and Exposes its own irrelevance as currently constituted.

Here are the questions for the NAACP: nullification and reversal or affirmation and march on? Stand proud on the barricades or slip silently into the muck of corruption? Those are the choices the NAACP has now presented Black Americans by the way they have handled not only the improprieties in Minneapolis but their own complicity in those improprieties.

Two audits have been ordered. The first is of the local branch NAACP. The order came down on Saturday, October 18, 2003 from national. That very same day recently resigned President Al Gallman immediately began the now familiar exercise of the corrupt: shredding documents and removing them from the NAACP offices, even though any order for an audit always means freezing the process so all items can be looked at. If, and this remains a big if, all of the document are there, the audit will show the e successfully conspired to place in the local presidency shortly before she left town to live with him. And we know from depositions already in the hands of the national NAACP that, if all the records are available and not shredded or hidden, that the complicity would reach all the way to the office of national President Mfume and his senior staff, Paula Edny, the Reverend Jerome Reed, and possibly even Nelson Ripperts. But again, we live in a “smoking gun” culture, of doubting (or should I say “enabling”) Thomases, where we say if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it there is no sound: by shredding documents and hiding them away, there is now no “proof.” No matter. We know that the document shredders and hiders are, by their actions, corrupt, unjust, and unfair, and not adult enough to stand up for what they have done.

Thursday, October 23, 2003, 4:10 am.

Blog #198. October 22, 2003: NAACP: Answering Machines Replace the The Bridge; Treading Water Replaces Marching.

The Modern Civil Rights Movement crossed the bridge to relevancy and significance when marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama on March 7, 1965, in their march on the capital from Selma to Birmingham. Those brave marchers began from the reality of racial equality on paper that was nullified by Jim Crow laws that forced them to live the life of racial inequality: that was the “genius” of Jim Crow. March 7 Bloody Sunday stepped up the battle for equal access and equal opportunity. The NAACP stood tall that day. Now the NAACP wants us to stand down, to stop marching, to leave the barricade. Indeed, their Baltimore fortress has raised its draw bridge. Easy access is denied. We can’t get in. They don’t have to leave. For two years I have heard from people trying to reach the NAACP that they usually get recordings. And when they get a live person they get referred to someone who answers with a recording. Folks who have called this week to get information about the receivership of our local branch got recordings or were told the only comments would come from the communications department. And when referred there the result was the same: getting a recording. It is as if their procedure is to screen recordings and then determine whether to respond. Folks I’ve talked to got recordings, not people. This is not the sign of an organization on the march.

The NAACP no longer marches. It treads water, preferring the bathing in luxury with dictators to the harsh reality of hard work in the inner cities (see NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize).

We now turn one of our spirituals on the NAACP: “how long O Lord, how long,” before you raise up this organization once again to serve its people instead of self-serving its “leaders.” I repeat my mantra: complaining isn’t an option without suggesting a solution. The NAACP whines and complains while the spirits of our people in the inner cities are extinguished, as, like the NAACP phones, they are put on hold by those who claim to fight for them. I’ll know the NAACP is back on track when they either endorse or provide an alternative to my suggested Seven Solutions.

Thursday, October 22, 2003, 4:10 am.

Blog #197. October 22, 2003: City Hall is Vacant, Civil Rights are Dead, and the Mayor Has Left the Building. Post script promised yesterday: Obstructionists: Bell Curve Liberals and Conservatives

In my weekly column today, I write about the dark days ahead for Minneapolis, our fair city, because of my sense that “City Hall is Vacant, Civil Rights are Dead, and the Mayor Has Left the Building.” Yesterday I discussed the Black and White “leaders/spokesmen” and suggested that they were like the six blind men describing an elephant, all with a piece and none with the whole. Who speaks for who is irrelevant because the real issue is the gap between Blacks and Whites in seven crucial areas discussed in Seven Solutions. The issue isn’t who speaks for who or who does what to who but how we respond to the who’s and the what’s. These seven areas have intentionally created and fostered gaps accommodated by those claiming to be spokesmen, Black and White. My interest is not in who gets the credit or who speaks for who, but to use the Seven Solutions to close the gaps. But I assure one and all that this is the elephant in the living room, and all its parts are real: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics. As are the desired YESes and undesired NOs outlined in Chapter 5. My challenge to all and a sundry is to find common cause among these common YESes and NOs and to then work to reconcile differences and reconcile with each other, both as institutions and as individuals. I offered up South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s ubuntu theology/philosophy of reconciliation as a potential model to follow (see Blog entries 163, 164, 167, and 172. The challenge is to discuss these together.

Post script: Obstructionists: Bell Curve Liberals and Conservatives. Promised yesterday. Two books: the 1968 Kerner Commission Report and the 1998 “The Bell Curve,” the first from liberals, the second from conservatives. Both excellent. Both with good things to teach us. Both with small sections that have overshadowed all the good they did. Both concluded that Blacks can’t make it on their own and thus must have special support from the government. The first because they are not like “normal” immigrants as they came as slaves, and the second because they are too dumb (ranking last after, in order, Asians, Whites, Browns, Blacks). Conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan quotes liberal blogger Mickey Kaus as follows: Mickey Kaus once described those liberals who simply assume the permanent neediness of minorities as “Bell Curve Liberals,” people who would never admit it but have internalized the notion that minorities are simply dumber than the majority. They either believe that such inferiority is in part genetic and in part environmental or entirely environmental. But the upshot is always the same: these people are helpless; and all we can do is right the system to disguise it as much as possible and minimize social resentment and division.

Besides having lots of discussion groups discussing my Seven Solution areas, I invite any of claim to be “spokesmen” to do what I propose in this paper: 7. f. Call “a family meeting”: as has been pointed out elsewhere, back in the year 2000, Dave Jennings, now with the school district, in discussing the stadium problem, said “someone other than the teams has to create a public discussion about the future of the Twins and the Vikings in Minnesota. The teams are crying out for somebody to call the family meeting” (Star Tribune,8-10-00). So too, the problems outlined in my book call out for a public discussion, for a “family meeting.” Who should call it? Why not the Urban League, the NAACP, or the two together? How about a newspaper? A company? A coalition? Let the family meeting be called. Let the conversation begin. Use this Solution Paper to develop the agenda.

If the seven areas represent the actual elephant in the living room, the bell curve liberals (and conservatives) represent the ghosts in the living room that have to be exorcised in order to adequately deal with the elephant. Left in the room, these ghosts will, as the Shadow used to say, cloud men’s minds regarding the solutions, something that is no laughing matter. Things will stay the same until the claims just discussed are repudiated.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Blog #196. October 22, 2003: Ron Edwards Expelled for 5 Years by National NAACP: The Price of Dissent, The Price for Standing Up for the Principles The NAACP has abandoned.

The NAACP is now more a part of the problem than ever before, as its response to dissent is not discussion or reconciliation or by seeking common ground solutions, but rather through expulsion of dissenters and truth tellers.

Lets have some fun and jump the gun. Last Saturday, the national NAACP decided to expel me for 5 years. They are keeping the decision “secret” until a national board person comes to Minneapolis this Saturday, October 25, to announce the decision. As soon as they made the decision on the 18th, the local officials began shredding documents and taking other documents away. As I wrote in NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize, the NAACP has surely lost its way.

Thus, on Saturday, October 18, 2003, in Baltimore, MD, the Executive Board of the NAACP demonstrated once again why the statement running at the top of the pages of Chapter 14 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” is true: “Black Organizations: Now Part of the Problem Rather Than the Solution.” Now, a year later, this is true more than ever. The national board will announce this Saturday, that:

  1. Ron Edwards is expelled from the NAACP for five years, and can only be reinstated by the national board. The recommendation for the other three who were recommended for suspension with Ron Edwards was overturned. They may remain members.
  2. The local branch in Minneapolis that I have warned about will be placed in a “level 4 administrative receivership.” A national board member will come to Minneapolis to be administrator of the branch.
  3. The branch will be ordered to conduct an audit for the years 1999 - 2002.
  4. They have ordered a hearing on the election irregularities of November, 2002.

#4 is a mystery as the one they just banned, yours truly, Ron Edwards, is the one at the center of the controversy. The rational for the five year expulsion is because as a member of the local branch of the executive committee I am held to a higher standard than any others as it pertains to “divulging information.” This is akin to being expelled for telling the truth, and for failing to conform to their desires to cover up the irregularities and illegalities of the branch. In other words, as some have suggested, to accept the message but kill the messenger. The meeting in question of which I “divulged” information was an open meeting. To want to shut down even discussions from open meetings shows their paranoia and, to any astute observe, suggests immediately they have something to hide. They were also upset with my book. But note: NOT ONCE did anyone from the national NAACP enter into a discussion about this or my book with me. This is their Plantation mentality running amuck.

The NAACP is on a collision course with irrelevancy. In the Solution Papers section of this Web Site are two papers on the NAACP: the first the offering of an olive branch, July 3, 2003, is a letter from my publisher to the National NAACP Executive Officers, which they all ignored and didn’t respond to. But dialogue is not their goal, only dictating to others. The 2003 NAACP annual meeting in Florida shows just how badly it has lost its way (see Solution Papers section for NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize.

My goal is to help them find their vision. I believe my Seven Solutions piece will enable any group sincere about doing something positive regarding the inner cities to do so. The NAACP is in a unique position to help. Instead, it has opted out for the status quo. That is a dangerous view and risks sending the NAACP off into the sunset of irrelevancy due to its mediocrity and laziness. May it regain its vision and work to create and sustain a wonderful place to live.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Blog #195. October 22, 2003: NAACP has new initials: ENRON: shredding documents, taking them from the office

In addition to documents pertinent to the audit that are being shredded or taken out of the office, are related documents that are copies of communiqués between NAACP leadership and the police department passing information to them in situations where people in our neighborhoods have been complaining about police brutality, providing information to the authorities exposing our people to the police. You have one of two things going on: the people shredding/taking documents have either been authorized or have not been authorized but, given a week’s time, “wink wink,” just “know” what has to be done to protect the organization. That this shredding and removal of documents began right after the national decision to order an audit ought to be embarrassing. But the local branch and regional director and national organization have moved to the point where they have no shame. Regional Director Ford did not call and say freeze everything for national to look at. Instead he said start purging as soon as possible, as the audit will lead directly back to him and his current employee and live in lover Shayla Lindsey, who he helped rig the election in November 2002. And why didn’t the national want the audit order made public for a week? So they could get their document ducks all in a row, shredded or hidden.

What makes this all the more extraordinary is that all of the shenanigans of the local branch have been known. But the national is still in the mode of denial. Here are the earlier Blog entries regarding NAACP: numbers 7, 18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, 35, 33-35, 89-90, 95, 97-99, 107-108, 113, 123-124, 132-133, 137, 139-140, 142, 143, 153, 162, 164-165, 167-169, 171, 174-175, 185.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Blog #194. Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Who speaks for the Black Community or even “of” the Black community: the barber shop? elected officials? Coalition of Black Churches? the African American Leadership Summit? Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder? Insight? One Nation News? KMOJ Forum? Don Samuels? Natalie Johnson-Lee? Randy Staten? Clarence Hightower? Bill English? Spike Moss? Doug Grow? The Strib? The Police-Community Federal Mediation Group?

Topics: Spokespersons for the Black community—- Blacks.—- Whites.—- The Strib.—- Solution.—- Challenge.—- Postscript: Obstructionists: Bell Curve Liberals and Conservatives.

Spokespersons for the Black community. This is a six blind men and the elephant situation: each blind man accurately describes a part of the elephant but then makes the crucial error of believing his part represents the whole. So too here, in Minneapolis, where we seem to have a whole convention of blind men describing an elephant only they “see.”

This is not a multiple choice question, although the Strib would make it so nor is it a trick question as some of the indviduals above would have us believe.

The answer to the question of who speaks for the Black Community is truly simple: White voters.

Although we appreciate the fact that Doug Grow has seen the movie “Barbershop,” his seeming notion that Black barbershops have some kind of oracular status like quilting bees or chamber of commerce gatherings, is just another stereotype. For no matter what individuals or groups interviewed by Doug Grow, as he searches the question Freud asked frustratingly about women, “My God, what do they want?”, the ultimate spokespersons for the Black community are the White voters. So lets look at it in terms of Whites, Blacks, the Strib, and Solutions.

Whites. It is what is enacted legislatively in terms of laws and regulations and statutes that speak for all of us. Theoretically the majority rules but not at the expense of the minority. In my book “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” I outline in each of the seven areas above how the majority has not only ruled at the expense of the minorities but with the help of the minorities to boot. The policy that created the gaps between Whites and Blacks in seven crucial areas, (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics, were passed by Whites. Slavery laws were passed by Whites. So too Jim Crow laws and all the laws and statutes aimed at foiling the Civils Rights and Voting Rights laws of the 60s.

And what the White voters have wrought in the Black community in terms of these seven main areas with gaps between Blacks and Whites is not a pretty picture. It all starts with education. Make that unequal and the other areas remain unequal. The Whites created a societal pin ball game that can be tilted easily in their favor.

Blacks. And here is where the Black community let itself down in its support of bussing: how can parents be effective in their kids’ school if the school is across town and how can kids have enough time to be kids and do home work if they spend two hours a day in a bus? This was a White solution that enabled Whites not to have to change housing patterns. Pure and simple. Blacks, instead of fighting for integrated housing settled for integrated segregation: bussing to schools integrated powerless kids and kept the adult communities separated. Too many Blacks have helped tilt the game in the favor of Whites in order to curry White favor for themselves, but at the expense of our kids and, hence, the kids as adults after they pass through an education system that keeps them illiterate and uneducated, without optimism, without hope.

To many of those wanting to be spokespersons for the Black community refuse to be honest: they refuse to stand up and say “Hey, this is my city too, and I want my Black face on it too.” Whites do it all the time. There is nothing wrong with saying we want it too. The error is in denying we want it or denying we said it, for no one believes it, Black or White. It is not racism for the White to want a White Superindentent nor racism for the Black to want a Black Superintendent. This is why Staten and English errored when they say the issue with the schools is not the color of the Superintendent but the qualifications and process (see their The Strib op ed at, because at the community forum where Jennings was roasted, they made it clear color IS the issue: “When you start looking for a permanent superintendent, you’ve got to look for an educator, preferably, and let me be very clear, a black educator,” as quoted in City Pages (see Let me repeat: nothing wrong with that. And given the results of the previous Black superintendent selected by the same process as Jenkins, they lose even more credibility.

The Strib would have us to believe that the inner city is a problem of blacks that is up to Blacks to solve, as it all depends on whether “residents have the resolve to fight back” to which Council Member Don Samuels concurred when he said that the community needs to confront dealers with “massive community disapproval from someone who looks like them and someone able to demonstrate love and affection who looks like them (see Its takes more than love and affection to beat addictions, both the addictions of users and the addiction to the money of the sellers. And without some kind of reasonable government sponsored public safety program and system of sanctions for law breakers, no amount of love and affection is going to deter or stop those inclined to do ill to others, who believe in a negative golden rule: do others in before they do you in.

Solutions. The real issue remains the same: closing the gaps between Blacks and Whites in 7 key areas: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics.

Arguing over “spokespersons” is a dodge. It is a way to force things back to the status quo by trivialzing people who have no power to effect much change, and, in the process, trivializing the few Black elected representatives like Keith Ellison, Natalie Johnson-Lee, and Don Samuels. It is safe to say that all of the “blind men” listed above seek the status quo. There is a set of solutions on the table, as found in my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” which are summarized in Chapter 17 and then expanded on in my Seven Key Themes, Seven Key Problems, Seven Key Solutions paper on my web site under “Solution Papers.”

And where have the Blacks and Whites been on the book, its recommendations, or the 7 Solutions paper? With the exception of the Spokesman-Recorder and City Pages, silent. Deathly silence. Not a conspiracy of silence. An open, purposeful, intentional silence. The Strib openly agknowledges that the book is “shelved.” They are hoping it will go away. It won’t. Insight and One Nation News and KMOJ Forum have refused requests to be interviewed or have a discussion. The Coalition of Black Churches / Leadership Forum openly railed against the book for two hours, telling their people not to read it, not to buy it. The NAACP has expelled me for 5 years for writing about them in the book. What in the world are they afraid of? I honestly believed they would all say thank you and get together, harmoniously, and find the common ground in the desired YESes and undesired NOs of Chapter 5. Instead of saying “this is great, we have something to work with, we get louder acclimations of who is a spokesperson and leader, from people, Black and White, who are not leading. This is why I have stated that “City Hall is Vacant, Civil Rights are Dead, and the Mayor Has Left the Building.”

Challenge: I challenge all who would be “voices for the community,” be they White or Black, elected or appointed officials, government or nonprofit or church agency staffers, and residents and taxpayers anywhere, to discuss the seven solutions paper in the Solution Papers section of my web site as well as the YESes and NOs common ground approach in my book as summarized in Chapter 17. My editor will be in town for a week in mid or late November. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these with the Strib columnists and editors, local radio and TV talk shows, city council, Mpls.Forum issues list, and anyone else from Governor to Mayor to neighborhood resident. Any who would like to host us, in either the Black or White community or jointly, we welcome the opportunity to come to discuss these seven areas and proposed solutions, from pulpit to board room, from neighborhood to lunch room, from mainstream papers to Black papers to alternative papers, from Editors and writers to Executives and managers to teachers and preachers to any and all interested in closing these gaps. Any place, any time.

Although Martin Luther King, Jr. was the out front spokesman for the civil rights movement, he would not have been effective had it not been for the “unseen” spokespersons such as Thurgood Marshall and his phalanx of NAACP lawyers arguing in the courts, especially before the Supreme Court, and Clarence Carter (“Mr. Civil Rights), who tirelessly worked the halls of Congress to line up votes for the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and other civil rights legislation in the 50s and 60s. We certainly appreciate the input from all of the folks listed in the title of this Blog entry. But we know more is needed than spokespersons. Needed is effective engagement behind the scenes with those who write the laws and interpret them in the legislature as well as the city and its council and agencies. In our Seven Solutions piece, we list the seven areas that need to be addressed in Minneapolis, as listed above: (1) education, ((2) jobs, ((3) housing, ((4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics.

As long as any of the “blind men” deflect the discussion away from these issues and onto specific individuals, they can continue their status quo party. Lets change the status quo. Let’s close the gaps in these areas. And let’s do it now.

Post script: Obstructionists: Bell Curve Liberals and Conservatives: see tomorrow’s Blog entry, 195.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 5:00 am, edited Tuesday, 8:20 pm.

Blog #193. Monday, October 20, 2003

Who represents the Black Community? Events, in the short term, are making the mediation team the representative, a short term solution but not one for the long term. But it does provide an interim answer to “who speaks for the Black community?” In the long term, we know of two who speak for us: Nellie Stone Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last Tuesday the chief met with the mediation team about the events surrounding the stories that broke that day regarding the alleged sodomization of prisoners held in police custody. He met with them a day before the big press conference. The leadership of both the Black and White communities have abdicated their responsibilities. So now any reform or anything anyone is talking about will have more success coming through the Federal Mediation Group, by default as one of the few left with its credibility in tact. This is a sad reflection of how the leadership, Black and White, have gone about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They could have done it differently. We hope to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by reflecting on the work and insights of two we do know who will always speak for the Black community: Nellie Stone Johnson (see Interlude 3 of my book) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (see Interludes 4 and 15). So far, Blacks and Whites alike act like the six blind men describing an elephant, each getting a part of it right but none getting the whole picture. Tomorrow I will outline my sense of the picture as a whole and how to bring all the different actors together in common cause to address the seven areas with great gaps between inner city Blacks and the Whites of Greater Minneapolis: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) ethics (to read more about these seven, see my Seven Solutions piece in the Solution Papers section of this web site.

Monday, October 20, 2003, 5:15 am.

Blog #192. October 19, 2003: Lady Justice is abused, her clothes torn off, as she is beaten in the public square

The thing that makes America great is the Lady Justice wears a blindfold. She doesn’t see color or gender or party. She presumes innocence until proven guilty. This week, in Minneapolis, Lady Justice had her blindfold torn off and her cloak, so that she stood exposed, naked, forced against her will to stand against the accused on both sides of those involved in the police/community interactions and accusations. This is not the way to calm a community already in high anxiety.

Sunday, October 19, 2003, 6:40 am.

Blog #191. October 18, 2003: #2 of 2 comments on The Strib as Slayer, Not Healer: The Strib finally finds its voice through the stereo voices of Don Samuels and Doug Grow, when it should be using wrap around sound from all voices (See Blog entry #190 For comment #1)

The two pieces Thursday on October 16 in the Strib about mounting tensions in Minneapolis reflect the Strib finding its voice again: how to clearly maintain the status quo, how to tell, as I’m told the phrase was used on the Mpls.Forum issues list, “the good Negroes from the bad Negroes,” and thus, in James Baldwin’s phrase, “keep them in their place.” On the surface, Council Member Don Samuels op ed piece ( and Doug Grow’s column ( are well written and well spoken. On the surface. As far as they go. They need to get below the surface. It is what’s below that is missing in these pieces that concerns me. The challenge to Minneapolis is clear, as I outline in my Seven Solutions areas, a challenge in 7 areas that I find missing in Don and Doug: education, jobs, housing, public safety, safe environment, governing, and ethics. This is why I maintain that the Strib breaks its compact with the community because it takes sides (Ok for editorials and columns, but not for reporting) and stresses the status quo rather than inviting needed change (see my earlier blog entries: 32, 36-37, 58, 67, 117, 140-141, 167, 171, and 175), and we have written before on CM Sammuels (see Blog entries 146, 87, 83, 82).

The page title of Chapter 16 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” is this: “Unrest, Disturbance: The Status Quo Price Minneapolis is Willing to Pay.” We see this in the two Strib commentaries noted above. The difference can be seen between them and the 7 Solutions piece of mine referenced above: they address the challenge of keeping “the bad Negroes” under control” and “in their place.” My book and my columns and my web log is all about these seven areas and the challenge to make the need changes in them. The Strib is about the change needed to maintain the status quo. In his op-ed, Don correctly identifies the racial aspect which he correctly notes must be recognized. And he correctly identifies the problems in the Black community of gangs, drugs, and crime. He also notes the existence of “renegade police.” But he accepts the status quo, blames it all on hate that comes from being kept in the status quo, and calls for incarcerating those unwilling to accept the status quo with their gangs, drugs, and crime. There can be no healing with the status quo. The only healing that can come is from changes in the status quo, especially in terms of education, jobs and housing. Until then, this is the unrest Minneapolis is willing to accept to keep the status quo.

Doug Grow hides the status quo by writing as if this was all new. He correctly notes the need for the police to be “connected to the community” (which is what our mediation group is all about trying to establish) and that “the glimmer of hope” he sees is in the fact that many in the Black community see the majority of cops as “good people.” But that has never been in dispute. Its the “enforcers” that we have complained about. Nellie Stone Johnson said it best: “no education, no jobs, no hope.” Where is the “glimmer of hope” for education, jobs, and housing? These are the missing keys to hope that the Strib continues to ignore in its quest to keep the status quo. For healing to take place we need to close the gaps in educational achievement between Blacks and Whites (my Chapter 7) and hold the school system accountable, especially the elementary schools, for if kids leave there unable to read how can the middle or high schools do their jobs). For healing to take place we need to close the gap in jobs caused by the city’s non-compliance in jobs for minorities (my Chapter 9), and hold the city accountable for being in non-compliance. For healing to take place we need to close the gaps in providing access to housing (my Chapter 8), and hold the city accountable for not having done so, starting with MDCA and Hollman. The only action that we see is that which will maintain the status quo in these areas rather than actually seeking real change to close these gaps. The city, in sum, doesn’t want to close these gaps. It works to maintain them. And thus it is willing to accept the cycle of hopelessness, helplessness, gangs, drugs, and crime in the Black communities of the inner city in order to keep those gaps, and jail young Black men as they become involved in them (see pp. 154-156 of my book). That is the dark side for African Americans of the status quo supported by the Strib and its scribblers.

Saturday, October 18, 2003, 1:35 am.

Blog #190. October 16, 2003: #1 of 2 comments on The Strib as Slayer, Not Healer: Printing About Healing As It Works to Divide and Conquer the Black Community, Laying Waste More leaders to find its own Annointed

Don Sammuels was well positioned with his op. ed. piece on Thursday, October 16, 2003: “City Must Seek Accountability and Healing” (here). This comments is about its placement in the Strib that did not include another submitted by a Black leadership group. In tomorrow’s Blog entry I’ll comment on the content along with that of the Doug Grow column.

It is an interesting article with some interesting statements. He addresses problems in both arenas of accountability and healing. And yet the “Black leadership” group had sent an op-ed piece into the Strib six days earlier regarding their position regarding the School Board’s selection of a Superintendent of schools and the attacks they were under because of their stance, and yet the Strib did not print it. They chose instead to print the Grow/Gallman version. This doesn’t take anything away from CM Samuels. It just proves the point I’ve made over time of the selective nature of the Strib to set up what it considers to be the good Negroes and cut out the bad Negroes, how it sets itself up to determine the news fit to print and the news it chooses to ignore. A truly journalistic newspaper would present both statements. Positioning someone to be spokesman in their eyes is OK, but even good leaders can be neutralized if the perception is made that they are working for the Strib and not the community. The Strib does neither the White nor the Black community any favors by inserting itself into the news one one side rather than reporting the different positions. It further strains the relationship between Don and the Mayor and Don and Natalie Johnson-Lee at a time when Don is trying to find a way to achieve both accountability and healing, something that is supported by all sides.

Friday, October 16, 2003, 2:14 am

Blog #189. October 16, 2003: 2nd anniversary of 9-11: Part 4 of 4: Pausing to Ponder on the Possibilities: American or Un-American

Part 4 of 4: The “pathways” for maintaining our security as well as our civic values of freedom at home and leadership for peace in the world and, therefore, equal access and equal opportunity for all citizens, and tools, skill, optimism and hope for doing so.

Part IV. For Parts I, II, and III, see Blog entries 131, 133, and 135,

There are a pair of “pathways” to start with to enable We the People to still count. These are two of many. These two are offered as starters for the discussion and as blueprints for action to take. The first pathway is in the “Solution Papers” section of this web site, my Seven Solutions paper, which covers these 7 topics: (1) education, (2) jobs, (3) housing, (4) public safety, (5) safe environment, (6) governing, and (7) moral/ethical stances. These are followed by my rationale and a list of additional resources. The second pathway is posted on the ISCV (Institute for the Study of Civic Values) web site. It has a series of rich resources, including LINKS to statements and resources for dealing with these topics pertinent to our dialogue in Minneapolis as well:

These sites help provide excellent starting points for the leadership, White and Black. The spotlight of justice is upon them. Rather than trying to run and hide (they can run but they can’t hide), I invite them to join me in an honest discussion of these points.

Thursday, October 16, 2003, 12:01 a.m.

Blog #188. October 15, 2003: It takes two to tango: private and pubic sector, to create equal access and equal opportunity

White refusal to be fair or cooperate is another reason why we still need affirmative action.Example: Atlanta. Maynard Jackson, first Black mayor of Atlanta died earlier this month. USA Today, 10-3-03, p. 3A, said of him: he “pioneered the city’s affirmative action program, which forced city contactors to take on minority and female partners. The program became a national model and created a generation of black and female wealth.” When he became mayor, White contractors were getting 99.88% of city contracts. As Mayor Blacks went from .12% to 34% before being cut back by court order [that is .0012 before and .34 after]. It is this compliance that is missing by the City of Minneapolis, as I discuss in Chapter 9 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes.” For those who say Affirmative Action is not needed, this is an example that refutes that claim. The history of Minneapolis noncompliance and freezing out Black contractors is another.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003, 3:35 am

Blog #187. October 14, 2003: The Recall In California Also Recalled Politics As Usual and Called for the “Common Ground” Approach Advocated in The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes

The election produced a pro-choice, pro-affirmative action fiscal conservative Republican who accepts gays and medical if not recreational marihuana. This, it seems to me, will be viewed as not only an historic recall election but a vote bringing welcome seismic tremors. My concerns of the inner city are the results of people fighting not for people but for ideas staked out either to the far left or far right with inner city Blacks, especially school kids, squeezed in the middle. Missing until October 7, 2003, was a credible view of and chance for a middle ground all could stand on. With 23% of the Black vote and 41% of the Hispanic vote and 57% of the woman’s vote and 50% of the union vote and 60% of the total vote going to the two Republicans in the California recall, ideology was replaced with a sense of reality driven by a desire for practicality, that to succeed California had to find a common ground. The so-called base of the Democratic Party has obviously departed the common sense message of JFK: to spur economic growth and create jobs taxes must be cut. How can this be done when Sacramento increased spending 40% over four years and added 44,000 employees to the government payroll despite a hiring freeze, as well as other rules and regulations and levees on both employers and employees, creating a $38 billion deficit and other consequences resulting in tens of thousands leaving the state?

Having worked in California on several Presidential campaigns, including that of Hubert Humphrey, I am familiar with its make up. You can image my shock to see in this recall election that three of the richest areas went to Davis by 63% (San Mateo County), 68% (Marin County) and 80% (San Francisco), whereas three of the poorer counties went to Schwarzenegger, with the percentages 64% (Merced County), 72% (Tulare County), and 75% (Lassen County). These voting results suggest that the Democrats, as I have outlined in my book, have lost their ability to represent ordinary people. As my book The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes makes clear, Democrats do not represent Blacks in the inner cities. Rather, they treat the not rich and minorities as if they are workers on a plantation to be domesticated. The Democratic Party has to ask itself this question: was the Davis administration what a liberal Congress and Presidency would look like and govern? If not, what will it do to repudiate what is wrong with that picture and uphold what is right?

Add the huge vote for Governor elect Schwartzennegger by Evangelical Christians and his bringing Willie Brown (a Black who ran Sacramento and more recently serves as Mayor of San Francisco) onto his team, and the reality of this is seen all the more. If this can be extended to the inner cities, we will solve the problems long left unchanged by the two major political parties for half a century. I, for one, wish him well. I’ll know how successful he is being by how he addresses the problems of the inner city. I’ll be particularly keeping my eye on Watts. And if the Democrats try to do to him what the Republicans tried from day one to Bill Clinton and, tit for tat, the Democrats have tried to do to George W. Bush from day one, bring him down and not cooperate, we may well see those percentages above for Blacks, Hispanics and women increase across the country. We can’t wait until a Democrat is elected to then solve the problems and get credit. Oh wait. They just had a Democrat and he not only didn’t solve the problems he made them worse. But if the Democrats will work with the Republicans, then we will have a healthy two party system again. I wish that on all of us. And I wish it particularly for those of us in Minneapolis and Minnesota.

For those who don’t like the recall idea, and I’m one, I still have to remind you of the last three words of the Constitution’s tenth amendment that divides the power between the federal state, the individual states, and the people: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 5:45 am.

Blog #186. October 12, 2003: Personal Politics Beats Us Again in Education as Reported by Doug Grow

Doug Grow’s column Sunday reveals several truths, not all intended. First of all, he gets it right when he says that the dissent from the Superintendent designate was from a small but vocal group (“the BNBers,” the “Background Noise Brigade”). And he gets it right that they feel slighted, but he gets it wrong when he suggests they don’t have a right to be heard, no matter how small their constituency may or may not be. Moving on, Doug gets it right when he says they don’t represent the community as a whole as they claim because there were equally vocal persons, Black and White, from the community who backed the Board’s decision. And he gets it right that race was a big factor. Rightly or wrongly, they do view the Superintendent’s position as a Black position.

But Doug gets it wrong when he says that the new Superintendent cut and ran, implying he was not tough enough to fight, running after only a couple of news conferences and court filings (this was probably a sop he threw to the Black community to show he feels their pain). As I show in the next paragraph, there was another group of “Background Noise” who do have clout, the Minneapolis Forum Issues group that were unrelenting on the subject on a daily basis, many times daily. He also misses the brilliant tactic used by the “pragmatic” resignation. If the BNBers can be trivialized and discredited, and then enough people with clout get angry, he can be rehired. He loses nothing by withdrawing and wins multiple options by doing so, including getting rehired. He deflected the anger off of himself and now the anger that counts is on the BNBers. Finally, in light of the California election (which I’ll comment on later this week), the BNBers may have been overtaken by history, with their approach now ill-timed and ill-served, getting the same shelving as the Democrats got in California. On this there should be no surprize. I’ve been warning about this. It is the basis of my “common ground” approach in my book, a book these same people vilified. They could have learned and achieved far more following its lessons.

The four truths Doug Grow exposes that he may not have meant to have exposed, and indeed probably isn’t aware of it, are the more interesting ones: the first is that he and his paper feel they can treat the “usual suspects” group of ‘leaders” as trivial and insignificant. How else could he refer to them as mere background noise, as “The Background Noise Brigade (BNB)” as “BNBers,” if doing so wasn’t widely accepted. So I give a tip of the hat to Doug: that is a powerful put down. It doesn’t make friends but I suspect that was never the purpose of the column. The second is that the Star Tribune, as we have said over and over in these daily web logs, filters the truth, and the anger from the Mayor’s office is that they didn’t do it enough here. Rybak “blames the media, in part, for giving too big of a voice to [the BNBer] who often is called ‘a leader in the black community’ by those of us in the mainstream media.” He is signalling that he doesn’t want to hear about them and that the Strib can ignore them in the future with his blessing. The third is that the Mayor doesn’t believe in the Minneapolis Public Schools, as his “children go to a prestigious private school.” As I have said before, put the kids of the decision makers in the public schools and you’ll see change fast. The fourth is the power of the Internet in the communications of news and ideas. The anger against the School Board and the criticism of their choice was unrelenting on a daily basis, through the day every day, on the Minneapolis Forum, an issues list of nearly 1,000 engaged Minnesotans on both sides of the political aisle. It is read by and contributed to by the School Board, by the Mayor’s office, by Council Members, by city bureaucrats, by developers, by liberals and conservatives and libertarians, influential people in both the public and private sector. And it was on this list that the process and anger was laid bare and there was nothing that could be done to stop it for such Issues Lists have no head. My own position was that the cart was put before the horse, that the problems of the school district, as laid out in detail in Chapter 7 of my book, The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, needed to be addressed first and that given how the progress results numbers had been cooked, even by Black school leaders, we needed to know the truth and what the board saw as the solution besides the tired “its the parents fault” and the even more tired “it will take generations to fix” before selecting a superintendent. As parents and/or tax payers, we need a pledge that there will be a true change, not just more business as usual. To show my constancy in seeking a common ground, let me state that in the “7 Solutions” piece in the Solution Papers section of my web site, I include the person who withdrew’s idea of calling “a Minneapolis family meeting” as a way to resolve these issues. Whether he is rehired or not, his idea is till first rate and needs to be followed.

Monday, October 12, 2003, 2:25 am.

Blog #185. October 12, 2003: Without a “higher power” the nation becomes god and the nation rules

The “self evident truths” that we were all “created equal under God” was not seen that way in the old South. To strengthen the hand of the citizen against both the state and the falsehood that some humans were inferior to others, a number of framers held out for the Bill of Rights. And thus it begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (meaning it can’t create a single state religion on the one hand nor prevent religion on the other; many today falsely interpret this as meaning we should do away with religion). If we do, all that is left is a state with no virtue, no conscience, and citizens the same. There is no reason for free speech, free assembly, etc., except as the government wants. At at a time of national security preoccupations, it is important that we don’t endanger our bill of rights in the name of security nor give up security for the bill of rights for those who would do us in. But there are also Americans who would take away the Bill of Rights of the Black man. Harry Truman said “If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!” The social darwinists and evolution fundamentalists following Darwin are not our friends. As Darwin said, referring to Africans and Aboriginal Australians as “savages:” “Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world…The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.” This, of course, influenced the Dred Scott Case of 1856 which stated that slaves “had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior.” This was another contributor to the Civil War. It is also behind the 1968 Kerner Commission Report that said Blacks were not like others and couldn’t make it on their own without the help of state or the 1998 book The Bell Curve that says Blacks are too dumb to make it on their own, hence blogger Mickey Kaus description of those liberals who simply assume the permanent neediness of minorities as “Bell Curve Liberals,” people who, whether they admit or understand it or not, have internalized the notion that minorities are simply dumber than the majority. Why? Because too many Darwinists and secular leftists don’t believe in God nor the positive aspects of men being created equal before God, and if there is no God there is only the state, and if only the state then only the state counts, and thus they will continue to try to keep us in our place. When will our leaders, like those in the NAACP, the Black Conference of Churches, the Black ministerial associations, begin to stand up for us rather than sit down, ashamed of us and themselves, in order to appease the Whites who fund them as their little Black Sambo voting pets? When will the preachers, these ministers of the Gospel, stand up for reconciliation instead of separation, for common ground cooperation rather than special interest entitlements? When will they stand up for, preach and practice Archbishop Tutu’s ubuntu theology of reconcilliation? For more on this see my Blog entries #163, 164, 167, and 172.

Sunday, October 12, 2003, 5:24 am.

Blog #184. October 11, 2003: Profiling the profilers: it is the profile of racists

The Star Tribune reported statistics on Monday, September 27, 2003 that racial profiling absolutely irrefutable. The article quotes from the recent report from the University of Minnesota.

Remember, as I point out in my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” profiling is not the issue. But racial profiling is. The heart of the issue is what the institutions are going to do about it, especially the Minneapolis Police Department, the state legislature, the city council. Racial profiling is harrassment by the state, pure and simple, as it is done by state officials. Thus the institutions are responsible. In education racial profiling takes place, as when the school counselor laughed at the idea that I wanted to go to college (see Chapter 7 in my book).

As we all know from popular TV police dramas, profilers are trained professionals with a sensible police technique that employs both patterns and probability to make the best use of their scarce resources to solve crimes and to attack and prevent crimes. No one is against that. Patterns and probability. Racial profiling assumes there are areas where race represents a high probability of a crime or potential crime. The use of race as a single criteria is not true profiling; it is merely true racism. A Black youth standing on a corner does not signal a crime, past or future. But a Black youth dealing drugs does. In other words, its not the race that should be profiled but the activity or a person’s past record, pattern, of behavior, “the usual suspects.” This practice has spilled over to the practice of stopping and inspecting Blacks passing through public places “they don’t belong” or if they have better than average clothes or cars. The assumption that Blacks couldn’t possibly have nice cars or clothes legally is clearly racist. After 9/11, no one objected, on 9/11 and 9/ 12, etc., to the stopping of Arab and dark skinned Arab looking men. And given the reports that there are thousands of Al Queda sleeper cells in this country, that profile may well be required (accompanied by other factors, not just the onen of being Arab) as well.

Here is an example from a report by Chad Thevenot of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, “Crises of Anti-Drug Effort, 1999,” about the stopping of motorists along a 50 mile stretch of I-95 in Maryland by their “Special Traffic Interdiction Force: 76% of those stopped were Black even though Blacks only constitute 25% of Maryland’s populatiaon and 20% of those with Maryland driver’s licenses. In a New Jersey town, it was reported that 94% of motorists stopped were minorities. If it was true that Blacks commit a high percentage of crime, it would make sense. That would be good profiling. But they do not. Thus the profiling is based solely on race (and when young Black men of means are stopped, a probably role of envy and resentment by the officers). We pay police to be suspicious. We do not pay them to be suspicious on account of a person’s race. The question is simple, If there are a disproportionate number of Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities engaged in criminal behavior, it makes sense. But that is not the case. Therefore it is not efficiency that is at work but rather racism.

As I note in my book, pp. 150-151, 6% of all users of illegal drugs are White, yet 70% of drug convictions are Black. And for those who say it is not users but dealers that count, the statistics still hold: White youths are one third more likely to ahve sold drugs than Black youth, yet it is Black youth who get arrested, because they are the one’s profiled, i.e., stopped because of being Black. The statistics suggest that a higher arrest rate would be achieved with the stopping of more Whites. Human Rights Watch puts it differently but the results are the same: that whil drug use is consistent among different racial groups, those arrested and prosceuted and given logn sentences are mostly Blacks and Hispanics. One statistical report falls as follows: 13% of all drug users are Black, 35% of those arrested for possession are Black, 55% of those convicted are Black, and 74% of those sent to prison are Black.

Ever since slave days, when Blacks had to carry papers identifying who they were for all were stopped if they were not where they were supposed to be. Generation after generation we teach our kids to beware of racial profiling, how to avoid it by avoiding high White areas, and what to do if stopped. You can’t tell if a White kids “belongs” in a neighborhood but a Black kids is assumed not to belong. And that is the heart of our problem in America today. Too many assume we still don’t belong. In Constitutional language, it’s called “equal protection under the law.” The basic principle of justice inour legal system is that all citizens are treated equally, with action not taken without “probable cause” other than race or age or ethnicy. These three categories are not crimes. Police - community mediation currently occuring is in part due to the social cost of alienation caused by police who act on single class (race) profiling.

In my book, Chapter 8, I write about the war on drugs as a war on young Black men. Take away the drug stops on the highways and you’d virtually end racial profiling. Do police put up road blocks to search the cars of Whites in order to find embezzlers or Enron/Adelphia/WorldCom criminals? In this scenario every rich White should be stopped. Think about it. If police stopped Whites the Whites would rise up against it. Their protest would end it. Black protests don’t end their being stopped. Think about it. Add the “asset forfeiture” law which those without means can’t afford to fight in court (money taken that “could” have been used to by drugs is kept, etc.) and you have a tremendous incentive for police to behave this way. Think about it.

Finally, despite all the protestations of lost civil liberties to WHITES as a result of the Homeland Security Patriot law, it is minor compared to the lost civil liberties of Blacks from profiling, an act that adds even more incidents of harrassment to the Black community. Think about it.

Finally, where statistical variations exist, profiling makes sense. If Blacks represent 15% of the population but commit 50% of the robberies or 40% of the murders, for instance, then racial profiling makes sense. The police, however, have to make this case before doing so “just because” of race. Everyone wants to walk their neighborhood streets safely, whether day time or night time. Any procedure to make streets safer, including appropriate profiling (not just race but other known factors), then no one will complain. The police have not yet made that case. And until they do we will remain ever vigilant and ever opposed.

October 11, 2003, 3:25 am.

Blog #183. October 10, 2003: The Black rubber hit the Black road on Election Day and has lain there ever since

Since the Mayor took office there has been no increase in Blacks in elite units (intelligence units, drug units, homicide). With the level of violence going on, and that’s a public safety issue, especially in terms of crimes of color on color (with Blacks, Hispanics, Asians gunned down on the streets or gunning down each other). St. Paul has been cited as one of the top departments in the United States for solving 16 of 16 homicides. What about the Minneapolis homicide unit? The White media claims to want to know what Black officers are thinking. What for? Police are police are police. They all want to enforce the laws. The only difference between Black and White officers is that one group gets hired and promoted willingly and the other group get hired begrudgingly and begrudgingly promoted. There is no “Black think” that makes Black officers different. And as any other employee in any other work force where one or more groups are singled out for non-hiring and non-promotion, you don’t have to ask what they think. Just ask yourself how you would think if you were part of a group that had few hires, few promotions, and were frozen out of the counsels of discussion and decision making as in the advisory panel regarding hiring a new chief.

Wednesday, October 10, 2003, 2:22 am.

Blog #182. October 9, 2003: “Black face” in minstrel shows is still alive and well in urban Black face stereotypes

This is to continue the discussion of Don Samuels presentation in the Jordan neighborhood about violence in our community at (see also Blog entries #146, 154). Although Don is correct in saying that most African Americans don’t live in ghettoes and most don’t live as shown in entertainment videos, he then adds his own false stereotype. A few years ago, when Whoppi Goldberg was living with White actor Ted Danson of “Cheers” fame, he showed up in Black face at a banquet. Whether you were amused or not is not the issue. “Face” is the issue. Don doesn’t like, and I concur, that society is not served by making the inner city Black youth the face of all African Americans. But then Don again misses the point and adds another myth on top of that when he says that African Americans have learned not to complain and thus don’t do anything to correct this distortion. Here Don shows why there is a difference between Black descendents of slaves and Black immigrants, the latter of which think the former are making too much out of too little. Don: please, read my book. Read the Spokesman-Recorder and City Pages. Stop reading the Strib. We complain often and loudly. Its just that if a tree falls in the woods and the tourists are deaf, no sound will be heard. The Star Tribune refuses to address and report our problems. The only place that really gets it right is this web site and the Spokesman-Recorder. Sometimes Insight News does and sometimes One Nation News does. And only seldom does the Star Tribune, as in its major stories like its 1991 series on racism. City Pages often gets it right and indeed has recently commented on how Black Council Member Natalie Johnson-Lee “has had to fend for herself, championing her causes to deaf ears in dreary council committee meetings. She heads the council’s Health and Human Services Committee, where most issues challenging blacks in this city—poverty, civil rights—tend to fall. But the committee’s agendas are usually treated as an afterthought by most of Johnson Lee’s colleagues” (see Here again, Don has accurately pointed out that these issues are treated as “afterthoughts” is indeed what is going on. But then he doesn’t have the solution. I would love for Don to champion the solutions in my book, once he has read it, which are summarized and added to in my “7 Solutions” piece in the Solution Papers section of this web site.

Thursday, October 9, 2003, 3:15am.

Blog #181. October 9, 2003: Reverse discrimination: Whites are more violent, Blacks think small

Continuing the discussion of Don Samuels presentation in the Jordan neighborhood about violence in our community (see and Blog entries #146, 154). At the same meeting Don said that most Black on Black crime involves only one to two people, but that to shoot a whole school, like Columbine, takes the kind of big thinking that kids from the African American community do not do. This is ludicrous. First of all, the number of kids shot as a result of “big thinking” in schools, all but one having been by White kids, is small and miniscule, as tragic as they are, compared to the number of Blacks killed in American inner cities each year. Don is again thinking like both a White man and an immigrant. Nothing wrong with either. But as I have written before (see especially Blog entry #24 as well as #s25, 27, 35-36, 40, 62), we won’t get anywhere without evidence and reasoning grounded in facts.

Thursday, October 9, 2003, 3:15am.

Blog #180.October 8, 2003: African American Mens’ Project: Another need spawned by neglecting to meet the needs of learing and education. Is it another White guilt assuagement program offering a few Blacks some jobs, or it it something real that can help our young African American men?

You want a workable solution? See my “7 Solutions” paper under the Solution Papers section of this web site and check out especially the section under Solution #2: jobs. The social services programs at Pilot City will be wiped out with full control going to the medical facility (hey, that’s where the insurance money, private and government is). It will be interesting to see the results of their experimental medicine projects on the folks of North Minneapolis. It looks like the old empire is dead, long live the empire, as a new one is being built. Musical chairs. But where is the music for our young men? Although a forgiveness program of public service in exchange for wiping out traffic tickets was somewhat helpful to some, the real need is for what Archbishop Tutu headed in South Africa: a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (or a set of Sullivan Principles for Minneapolis): and that requires not a day of good works but a system than enables a career of work with livable wages. Where better to start than the contract system of Minneapolis which was to provide inner city Blacks with jobs but instead provided jobs for Whites to build prisons to house Blacks (see my Chapter 9). It is sad, because most of the stories I hear is that nothing is really going on there, despite the occasional pieces the Strib runs to the contrary. Is the Africa American Mens’ Project going the way of the Synagen Project when it hit its negative turning point? So what’s happening? Jobs of Black professional men are being wiped out while Black women are allowed to keep their jobs, creating more division within the community, even at the professional levels. There have been radio programs out of Washington D.C. reporting the lack of jobs for professional Black men in this country right now. Hence my statement that we need a double header: charity indeed begins at home. It may well be necessary to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Iraq but not at the expense of ignoring and not rebuilding our inner cities and provide jobs for our own people as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003, 4:10 am.

Blog #179. October 7, 2003: Hollman has not been forgotten. MEETING: October 17, 2003, 10 a.m., Court house meeting

For all interested in housing in general and Hollman/Heritage Park in particular, come down to the courthouse and sit and hear what is going to be said and the arguments that are going to be made. We have exclusively reported, and no one has repudiated what we have exclusively reported, that the Housing certificates are in trouble and gone. Hollman is a disaster in many ways, environmental, vouchers, mobility certificates, misspent funds, gentrification for Whites rather than replacements for Blacks, delayed and delayed, and a whole host of other ways (see Chapter 8 of my book).

The Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights Public Relations and Education Committee held a meeting last week, which is supposed to have nine members, including the Chairperson. It could not achieve a quorum. I know. I was there. Civil Rights remains a Minneapolis after thought. Bob Boyd was there to “fix” the system to say there is no problem. He had no documentation. I cited the documents I have used on this web site. He could not refute one problem area we raised. One word for Hollman: turmoil.

And what about the $300,000 Legal Aid’s Thompson (see my Blog entry #134) discussed putting into the hands of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund? (See my Column #12). Can anyone tell me what that fund is? No one at that meeting could. And what is the status of the “special master” Thompson spoke of (which I had suggested August 29, 1999 to the Judge; see my Column #12). So we have to ask again, “where is the leadership” besides collecting their pay checks and waiting for tax payer paid pensions? Where is the leadership as our people suffer in the areas of housing, public safety, education, etc. Where’s the beef?

Tuesday, October 7, 2003, 12:25 am.

Blog #178. October 7, 2003: Rush Limbaugh was malicious and was allowed to play the race card

See Blog numbers 166, 170, 173, 176. As Rush quit this is not meant to beat a dead horse but rather talk about the real issue Rush discussed that is not getting attention. First of all, some have said that however wrong he was, he didn’t mean to be malicious. Are you kidding? Of course he was. Remember, he didn’t limit it to just Donnavon McNabb. McNabb was just his door opener. He said it about all Black coaches and Black players. An ESPN spokesman said he didn’t think they were racially biased? Think? Think? This is not a maybe maybe not issue. It was or it was not. Of course it was racially biased. Listen to the words again:

Sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s (McNabb) been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in theNFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well, black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well…McNabb…got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve.

Several Black columnists have picked up on the “social concern” issue which, as we know, is about Black leadership: “Black coaches and Black quarterbacks.” Most know how good McNabb is (runner-up for the NFL MVP in 2000, three Pro Bowls, led the Eagles to two straight NFC Championships) so Rush was denying talent BECAUSE it is Black. Now answer me this: why, when Blacks bring up race people go into a frenzy but when Limbaugh plays the race care they don’t? How can ESPN possibly say that Limbaugh was hired for “his ability to express an opinion and spark debate” when they allow no response to his statement and when no football fan would tolerate such a statement made about a guy like McNabb who, as the article admits, “is widely considered one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL? McNabb “has helped turn the Eagles from a laughingstock franchise into a perennial championship contender.” Thus, “the Eagles wouldn’t have won consecutive NFC East titles without him.”

So, that leaves us with the leadership issue. The quarterbacks are too dumb argument has been laid to rest. So what is left? Black coaches. And owners like to take their coaches to their country clubs. That is the rub. That is what makes me wonder if this isn’t part of something more sinister in the ongoing racial clashes caused by those with resentment about “dumb Blacks” getting undeserved leadership positions. Where is the owner ready to break the country club color barrier the way Jackie Robinson’s owner broke the color barrier in baseball. In the meantime, the inmates keep running the asylum.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003, 12:25 am.

Blog #177. October 6, 2003: Limbaugh’s new definition of anger: people can’t see his truth. He won’t admit he himself is blind

See Blog numbers 166, 170, 173, and 176. On his radio show, Limbaugh said “All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something. If I wasn’t righ, there wouldn’t be this cacophy of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community.”

To believe people get mad because they are angry you are right is a real stretch. And to say the anger is only in the sports writer community when it is also across the fan base, the players and coaches, and everyone else who isn’t a closet Confederate sympathiser. Our founding fathers were mad at the British for their tyranny and taxation. Does that mean Washington and Jefferson and Franklin were wrong? Americans were angry after Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center. Does that mean they were wrong? I sounds as if Rush Limbaugh has been listenting to his own PR to much and smoking his cigars without any ventilation while in a glue factory.

Monday, October 6, 2003, 2:52 a.m.

Blog #176. October 5, 2003: Rush Limbaugh’s comment that “black coaches and black players” aren’t as qualified disqualifies him

See Blog numbers 166, 170, 173. The ESPN response to Limbaugh questioning the ability of “Black coaches and players” was to say that their commentators are “football experts” and thus they didn’t want them to respond as “media observers.” No matter what they say, they can’t hide the fact that his comments shows how terribly unqualified Limbaugh is. There isn’t a fantasy football player in this country who wouldn’t be happy having Donnovan McNabb. And the two Black Coaches last year? Both made the playoffs. And why the shot by Limbaugh at “Black coaches” unless it is really eating in his craw. I don’t buy ESPN’s statement that Limbaugh did not make “a politically motivated comment. This is a sports and media argument.” Say what? Is Shapiro as hopelessly ignorant as Limbaugh? Of course it was politically motivated, motivated by racism and a desire not to have Black coaches in White country clubs. If there is one place in American society where merit and merit only counts, its the NFL. How can an ESPN spokesman not know this? How can Shapiro say this without gagging on his own words? Do these people have no sense of personal shame, no personal integrity or honor for themselves? How can they expect to keep an audience once they realize they are being played for fools? Let’s call it like it is: how many teams don’t want Black head coaches because they don’t feel they will fit into their White country clubs? They will, if they’ll lead the way. What are they afraid of?

Sunday, October 5, 2003, 1:35 am.

Blog #175. October 4, 2003: Has Doug Grow and the Strib Snapped?

People have asked me about Doug Grow’s column (see Blog entries #167 and 171) and what it means. The most interesting question I’ve gotten is “have they snapped?” Followed by, “what are they up to? Why does the Strib attack on you?” (as no one believes Doug Grow could write without either editorial approval or direction). Before he wrote that column, he called me to say people were wanting to know “what will it take to satisfy Ron Edwards?” I, of course saw through his rhetorical question steeped in BS and racism. I asked him “what issues are you talking about that I would be satisfied on?” He had no response. Why? Because he doesn’t know the issues. So he writes about my alledged “blistering at the suggestion that he is holding back the organization” and badly defeated in the last election 111-22. We never discussed my feelings. So he is writing hearsay. What I longed have maintained is that it was fixed, rigged, and stolen. I can prove it. The national and local NAACP know it. They just haven’t figured out how to wiggle out of it as they colluded in it. The Strib, through Doug Grow and his column is thus practicing jaunticed journalism. Or call it selective journalism. Whatever you call it, it doesn’t stand without adjectives as just “journalism.”

October 1st reflected a disastrous day for what is happening in this town for people of color. If only the Strib would be objective regarding the discussion. They are dismissing people like me if we aren’t elected/appointed (chosen) and don’t know what to do with citizens like myself who force their way into the otherwise excluding process. It is time that people concernd about NAACP, Hollman, School Board and other issues to sit down with the Strib Board to discuss these issues. How else to reduce the tension and start something positive out of their negative journalism?

I do appreciate Doug Grow holding me responsible for all the problems in Black Minnesota (and maybe Black America) although local Black folks don’t buy that. Too much history, too much is known. The good news is that by focussing on me we may now be able to get closer to calling a “family meeting” of Minneapolis Whites and Blacks to discuss the 7 Solutions piece and begin our work of reconciliation so we can work together to solve problems left too long unsolved by both the White establishment and too many of the so-called Black leadership, the former because they like the status quo, the latter because they don’t think the status quo can be changed. I believe. I believe we can change the status quo. I believe we can find the common ground. I believe we can be reconciled as citizens of a great city in a great state in a great nation. We have to start somewhere. Why not with my 7 Solutions piece?

The Strib has gone from endorse anyone but Ron Edward, or how else are we going to keep them in their place, to finally inviting me to the table. This doesn’t mean that their investing a lot to identify the “right Negroes” was a waste of time, because we are now all involved. I welcome any opportunity to sit down to discuss this with the Strib board.

Saturday, October 4, 2003, 8:55 a.m.

Blog #174. October 4, 2003: The NAACP: Gallmon’s departure continues the NAACP trend of placing its light under a bushel rather than making it a beacon on the hill.

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See Blog entries 165 and 169. The leadership of the NAACP branch is the same as any organization: it is not the that counts but the and the how. What will the NAACP stand for? How will they pursue the civil rights goals they have so long turned their backs on in Minneapolis? How will they reach out to the full community, Black and White? Needed is leadership that invites everyone to the table to discuss our common goals and our different ideas on how to achieve them. That and only that will give the NAACP relevance. Sadly, it appears that the new leadership will engage in the same hidden and back room dealings until the national NAACP rules on the last stolen election. If the national does nothing, the local will do nothing different. If the national overturns the false election, and calls for new and open and honest elections, then, and only then, will there be hope to achieve our potential. Will the national and local branch practice the ubuntu philosophy of reconciliation (see Blog entries 163, 164, and 172) or continued its practice of division and segregation?

Saturday, October 4, 2003, 8:55 a.m.

Blog #173. October 4, 2003: More reflections on Rush Limbaugh: Which troops does he support, Whites, Blacks, or both?

With America’s sons and daughters of color dying in Iraq in a stalled war close to an election year, Rush Limbaugh has only added to the tensions with his gratuitous comments (see Blog entries #166 and #170). I remember visiting in Kansas City over 20 some years ago and hearing the then young talk show host on the radio, and I remember asking my family, “who is this” in the heartland of the Klan and different right wing paramilitary groups. I listened, I laughed, I shook my head. I told my family “this cat has got potential” because he had been up in Bethany, Missouri with “The Amy of God” and other groups. He could be a danger not only to Black America but to the good folks in White America as well, for, as Yoda says in Star Wars, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” For three days after his comments Sunday America’s better angels were silent. And then America’s better angels woke up, spoke their piece, and he was gone. Was this censorship? Of course not. Do you want “free speech” practiced in the schools, where any one of any hate group or prejudiced group can come in and spout such nonsense in front of your kids? Of course not. The NFL is beloved by all age groups. The NFL and ESPN have a responsibility to the children of America. Let Rush have his radio show, let him appear on interview shows, etc., but lets leave political views (whether liberal or conservative) out of the picture of the one institution left in America today that can unite people: sports. We need at least one place that is not politicized. Let’s keep it that way. Rush is a bright, talented man, and he uses his skills and abilities to the fullest. When he is entertaining, there are few better. When he is advocating, whether you agree or not, there are few better. But at that moment on ESPN, he was a spokesman for both the NFL and for President George W. Bush. He is so glib I thought he would take his race shots more cleverly, more disguised, more in code. But that Dr. Strangelove response of his was not going to be denied. He even said he planned it the night before, as he told a broadcasters’ group Wednesday night. And when he spoke, it doesn’t matter whether or not the Black participants were told to respond, for, as Donovan McNabb said, once someone puts that out there, it’s the responsibility of those in the discussion to challenge it and not let it pass as something they, the Blacks, agree with. Someone should have had the honesty, understanding, and courage to say, “Rush, that’s so far off base it’s ridiculous, man.” When a man brings you into a controversy a real man speaks up, and does not remain quiet, as if pacified, for whatever reason.

This was not new to me. I had commented several years ago on one of my TV shows that Rush uses the arena of sports entertainment to advance some of his doctrines. That’s OK. All of us do. Just keep that kind of stuff off the airways when our children are watching and listening and learning from he responses of the adults they see on TV.

Saturday, October 4, 2003, 8:55 a.m.

Blog #172. October 4, 2003: Minneapolis needs Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Ubunto Theology of Reconciliation, ”

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Here I let the Kirkus Review of Archbishop Tutu’s book, No Future Without Forgiveness, speak in this third statement (emphasis added):

No Future Witout Forgiveness is the “…story of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a meditation on evil and forgiveness from Nobel laureate Tutu ( The Rainbow People of God: The Making of a Peaceful Revolution, 1994). In 1994, South Africa faced a historically unique situation. A long-oppressed majority had peacefully taken power from its minority oppressor. As Tutu explains, the question facing the nation was, What then to do? Should Nuremberg-like trials be held against those who had maintained the ghastly system of apartheid? Or, as many whites wished, should the past be forgotten, let bygones be bygones? The new regime found what Tutu calls “a third way” to deal with the past: the TRC. Those who had committed politically motivated crimes during the apartheid era would receive amnesty if they made full and truthful public disclosures. In turn, the victims of such acts would be allowed to tell their stories in the hopes that this would restore a measure of their human dignity. Over 18 months some 20,000 victims appeared before the commission, imparting their tales of personal anguish—of torture, rape, imprisonment—but also exposing a system perpetrated and supported by the highest levels of government, military, and police. No longer could anyone deny knowledge of the past, as so many whites had; never again would such an evil be allowed to exist in South Africa. Yet it would be not only supporters of apartheid answering for their deeds. Those who had committed crimes in the fight against the system, including Winnie Mandela, would answer for their acts as well. Tutu’s writing on this process is nothing short of miraculous. He is strong in his defense of the commission that so many doubted as either too harsh or too lenient. He is also anguished by the depths of human depravity the commission hearings revealed, but passionately hopeful that human caring and unity might prevail, in South Africa and the world. [a] sober depiction and searing indictment of evil and [a] never-maudlin advocacy of love.”

With America’s sons and daughters of color dying in Iraq in a stalled war close to an election year, Rush Limbaugh has only added to the tensions with his gratuitous comments (see Blog entries #166 and #170). I remember visiting in Kansas City over 20 some years ago and hearing the then young talk show host on the radio, and I remember asking my family, “who is this” in the heartland of the Klan and different right wing paramilitary groups. I listened, I laughed, I shook my head. I told my family “this cat has got potential” because he had been up in Bethany, Missouri with “The Amy of God” and other groups. He could be a danger not only to Black America but to the good folks in White America as well, for, as Yoda says in Star Wars, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” For three days after his comments Sunday America’s better angels were silent. And then America’s better angels woke up, spoke their piece, and he was gone. Was this censorship? Of course not. Do you want “free speech” practiced in the schools, where any one of any hate group or prejudiced group can come in and spout such nonsense in front of your kids? Of course not. The NFL is beloved by all age groups. The NFL and ESPN have a responsibility to the children of America. Let Rush have his radio show, let him appear on interview shows, etc., but lets leave political views (whether liberal or conservative) out of the picture of the one institution left in America today that can unite people: sports. We need at least one place that is not politicized. Let’s keep it that way. Rush is a bright, talented man, and he uses his skills and abilities to the fullest. When he is entertaining, there are few better. When he is advocating, whether you agree or not, there are few better. But at that moment on ESPN, he was a spokesman for both the NFL and for President George W. Bush. He is so glib I thought he would take his race shots more cleverly, more disguised, more in code. But that Dr. Strangelove response of his was not going to be denied. He even said he planned it the night before, as he told a broadcasters’ group Wednesday night. And when he spoke, it doesn’t matter whether or not the Black participants were told to respond, for, as Donovan McNabb said, once someone puts that out there, it’s the responsibility of those in the discussion to challenge it and not let it pass as something they, the Blacks, agree with. Someone should have had the honesty, understanding, and courage to say, “Rush, that’s so far off base it’s ridiculous, man.” When a man brings you into a controversy a real man speaks up, and does not remain quiet, as if pacified, for whatever reason.

This was not new to me. I had commented several years ago on one of my TV shows that Rush uses the arena of sports entertainment to advance some of his doctrines. That’s OK. All of us do. Just keep that kind of stuff off the airways when our children are watching and listening and learning from he responses of the adults they see on TV.

Saturday, October 4, 2003, 8:55 a.m.

Blog #171. October 3, 2003: Why do Doug Grow and the Strib Commit Journalism Mal-Practice?

Why are we back in the “here we go again” mode? In Blog entry #141, I invited Doug Grow and the Star Tribune to adopt journalistic integrity as their standard. But instead of maintaining journalistic vigilance they commit journalistic malpractice. In Blog entries #37, 117, 127, 140-141, I wrote about information that I gave to the Strib and three of its reporters, information they declined to use despite the fact that it was genuine news. I’m reminded of the news organizations that said they held back in Iraq from telling everything because they were afraid if the world heard the truth they would want to go to war with Iraq and they were waging peace. Why not wage journalism? So what are Doug Grow and the Strib waging by their withholding of information?. In his October 1st column, he again leaves out significant news that I gave to him. He slanted his article against me and others, blaming me for the woes of the NAACP. He left out that I had testified before the special NAACP board of inquiry on September 6th and that I was thus aware of who was involved in the conspiracy between local, regional, and national NAACP persons to steal the election, as attested to in the affidavit given by the Rev. Gale Ford’s wife (he is the Regional Director of the NAACP) to the national NAACP in April 2003

Now Doug, why don’t you believe me? Why did you then have to try to call Shayla Lindsey Wednesday morning, about 8:30 am, in Denver, Colorado? She wasn’t in. Or maybe your reputation proceeded you so that when they heard your name they didn’t put you through. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I wonder: couldn’t you verify with the local branch, or the national, or with the Rocky Mountain News? Or were you trying to alert her to something she already knew about: that I knew what was in the divorce proceedings (finalized two months ago), for which she was a major reasons. Of course one of the questions I have is what other level of involvement does Shayla Lindsey have with Rev. Ford in terms of the investigation being done on him by the Rocky Mountain News. Why is this important? Because it shows the levels of intrigue and betrayal of the NAACP at the highest levels locally, regionally, and nationally, that have nothing to do with me, and yet you, Doug, write your column as if all would be well with the world of the NAACP if it wasn’t for me. This is, purely and simply, journalistic malpractice. So again, I repeat my earlier invitation: for you and the Strib to adopt journalistic integrity as your norm. Come and let us do journalism integrity together.

Friday, October 3, 2003, 9:57 a.m.

Blog #170. October 3, 2003: Rush Limbaugh’s crack block on all NFL Black players and coaches as an ESPN commentator was as cowardly as it was purposeful and intentional

In Blog #166, I quote Rush Limbaugh’s statement that Black players and coaches get ahead in the NFL because they get preferential treatment because they are Black, not because they are particularly good. My experience in broadcasting spans several decades (I currently have my own show, “Black Focus,” on MTN-TV Channel 17 in Minneapolis (airs Sundays at 5 pm). So I know what the terms mean. In the USA Today article, it called them Limbaugh’s “unscripted remarks.” Remember the early controversy: would he bring his politics into the game. We were all assured he would not. It would be all football (like FDR’s card games: all cards; he allowed no politics to be discussed). So no one was prepared to debate politics. And because he was unscripted, he knew no one would be prepared for a response. Even sideline reporters are scripted; even their “and now back to you in the booth upstairs” is scripted. The article noted the sideline reporters have their own producers. So you know this is telling us this program is very tightly controlled. Only a coward attacks people knowing they can’t fight back or that no one around is allowed to respond (what over possible explanation is there for Michael Irwin and Tom Jackson remaining mum and even Steve Young letting it pass?). They were told to. As the article said, “ESPN officials chose not to have Jackson, Irvin and Young respond.” That is what I mean by puppet makers. Rush gets his freedom of speech, but the plantation players don’t. What other interpretation is there? So by doing that ESPN showed it either lied or didn’t really care when it said that in terms of Limbaugh’s political viewpoints, they “promised he [Limbaugh] wouldn’t espouse” them. So Limbaugh opened up a racial can of worms. He also pulled the curtain back exposing the ugliness of his viewpoint and his own incredible ignorance of football. Again, as he mentioned both black coaches and black quarterbacks I have to wonder if there is another agenda here. So far we don’t know. But those of us in Minnesota are particularly sensitive to this issue. Maybe ESPN and the NFL is willing to let Rush slide, but as an American who believes everyone should be invited to society’s banquet table and not resent the others who are there, I cannot let it slide. Stay tuned. I will continue to connect the dots for you on this as I do on all the topics discussed in this web log. ESPN and the NFL must stand up and be counted on this or else be exposed for holding to a double standard.

Friday, October 3, 2003, 4:05 a.m.

Blog #169. October 3, 2003: The NAACP: Gallmon’s departure continues the NAACP trend of placing its light under a bushel rather than making it a beacon on the hill.

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Gallmon or not Gallmon, it doesn’t make much difference, as the current leadership of the branch relies are all cut from the same cloth: they use such word nostrums as “potential” and “hope” and “beacon” while taking actions that delay potential, extinguish hope, and put out the light of truth. Gallmon is a minister. On of the Bible’s verses is to let your light shine (beacon) and not hide it under a bushel (closed door meetings, secret meetings, not release information, even to the membership). And yet the actions of the NAACP branch have been just that: hiding, failing to stand up for its objectives, failing to follow its own rules, and failing to keep its eye on the prize.

They seek darkness, not light, separation and segregation not integration and common ground. At the recent Missouri state meeting of the NAACP he called my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” and myself, “cancers that had to be removed.” And herein lies the problem with the NAACP locally and nationally. They forget the wisdom of Archbishop Desmond Tutu that “a person is a person through other persons,” that there is “no future without forgiveness,” and that “to forgive is indeed the best form of self-interest.” In this, the heart of spirituality, love and forgiveness, the heart and soul of what Jesus said was all of our mandates: to love and serve, the Rev. Gallmon and the entire Black ministerial alliance of Minneapolis have turned their back, keeping the NAACP light under a bushel, unleashing not the healing balm of love and reconciliation but the destructive wedges of hate and resentment. Therefore, it makes us wonder again, just what is it that don’t they want us to see?

My book is published under the name of “Beacon on the Hill Press.” A beacon on the hill shines light on everything, good and bad, clean and dirty. This NAACP refuses to do so. This the Black churches in Minneapolis refuse to do. My book shines the light on the good and the bad of the NAACP as well as on the good and bad of the discriminating and prejudiced city of Minneapolis. Truth is truth, regardless of color. The NAACP leadership no longer fights the good fight of civil rights; instead it has turned the NAACP into a den of righteous thieves. My commitment is to continue to shine the light of a beacon of truth, and to shine a light that seeks to provide the warmth of reconciliation.

Friday, October 3, 2003, 4:05 a.m.

Blog #168. October 3, 2003: Is Alfred Flowers a Deep Pass from Rybak to Gallmon’s NAAGP (the National Association for the Advancement of Gallmon’s People)?

Even though Al Gallmon has resigned, the local branch process and way of behaving has not changed. So let’s look at what happened on Saturday, September 27, 2003: a general meeting was held by the NAACP at the Urban League. Gallmon, as see, didn’t want the meeting to take place. He had to cancel it. This was an open meeting for the membership. Alfred Flowers was a member in good standing eligible, as all members, to attend. He doesn’t even get a chance to enter the building. Albert Gallmon called the cops to throw Flowers out for trespassing and fighting. Before he could enter the cops handcuffed him and then beat him. The witnesses all say the Gallmon charges are false. Witnesses say the cops were upon him immediately after getting out of their cars. No questions were asked. They seemed to know who to get and what to do to him. So why was Flowers put in the hospital? As I do in my book, I will connect the dots for you. worked with Communities United Against Police Brutality. Flowers has been involved with police-community mediation. Flowers was involved in the Hollman environmental investigation by citizens. The NAACP was to vote on whether to support the city’s motions in court related to Heritage Park funding: the members opposed, President Gallmon was for. The NAACP was to censure the executive committee for sacking the Housing Chair, Lisa Clemons who was investigating the Heritage Park funding gap problem. Gallmon wanted to avoid doing so. The NAACP was to take a position on the hiring of David Jennings as Superintendent, which the members oppose and President Gallmon supports. Continue to connect the dots: Who would benefit the most by ending the NAACP meeting? Gallmon. Who would gain most by interfering with Flowers’ important work in the community? Rybak. How do you cover an unbalanced White woman shooting two White men at the Hennepin County Government Center? Arrest Black men. Connect the dots and you get advance coordination and approval. Can there be any doubt in the Mayor’s involvement in okaying this type of activity, given he has remained mute since it happened? What message did these two self-proclaimed and elected leaders, Gallmon and Rybak, really send?

Friday, October 3, 2003, 4:05 a.m.

Blog #167. October 2, 2003: Response to Doug Grow question for Mpls.Forum Issues list: “Can Edwards be PART of something if not chosen to LEAD something?”

[October 1, 2003 on Minneapolis Forum:] I know Doug Mann is the main person scolding the NAACP leadership, but I doubt he can make a case that NAACP MUST represent only opinion from the poor neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Because at least one of the council members from the Northside seems more in keeping with the NAACP leadership than with Ron Edwards. The fact that he was elected indicates he has strong support from the very victims of discrimination for which Edwards wants to be a spokesman. I think the real question is: Can Edwards be PART of something if not chosen to LEAD that something?

[October 1, 2003, Doug Grow in Star Tribune:] The name Ron Edwards always comes up when the [NAACP] chapter’s internal woes are discussed.

It would appear that the writer of the October 1, 2003 post to the Minneapolis Forum issues list has not read my book nor does he understand Doug Grow’s column, nor does he understand the NAACP nor the term “field hand.” Nor does the person who thanked Doug “for separating the good Negroes from the bad Negroes.” I’ve been trying to explain this for over 40 years. I have explained it all in my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” but people continue to comment without having read the book. I would appreciate it if someone would pass this on to that Issues List.

I agree with the column title: “Doug Grow: NAACP chapter needs direction,” although it would have been better to say: “Community agrees:” rather than make it a “Doug Grow:” thing.

Grow says that ‘Internal politics are brutal.” To be sure. And I’m sure he finds that true at the Strib when he, as the community writer, has to participate in the black balling of my book. Whether he agrees with it or not isn’t the point. Either way he has gone along with it, the “it,” in his word, they’re “shelving” it. But it is incorrect to lay the NAACP’s woes at my feet. I only deal with the problems as I have found them. Doug Mann has done a great job of laying them out as well, as have the courts. Doug Grow used to over the years. But that has changed during the last year. Doug Grow’s column yesterday is payback time for himself and others. They don’t mind attacking me in print but they won’t give me equal time. So be it. Note: he is careful in his article not to mention my book so people could hear from me rather than through his and the Strib’s filters. So, please understand this background.

My fight has never been with individuals. My fight is not with Doug Grow. It is with the Strib. My fight has been with the results of organizations who have taken their eyes off the prize. I’ve taken Doug Grow and the Strib to task in this blog (see entries #153, 139, 140, 127, 17, 02, 101, 100, 96, 64, 93, 92, 76, 70, 67, 58, 52, 48, 43, 37, 36, 32, 41, 30, 2) because of their reporting in general, and, in a few entries, regarding their efforts to stifle debate and discussion by refusing to review or acknowledge my book. They have a right to condemn it. They don’t have a right, as a newspaper, to censor the news. I doubt they have read all of it although they may have read parts of it. A book covering 40 years of experience about Minneapolis is news. News that is fit to print. Or at last to review, condemn, and point out the errors, so their readers can decide rather than have newspaper nanny overseers. And if I’m such a thorn in the side of Minneapolis, what better way to demonstrate how terrible I am than to write a review exposing the fraud in my book. But they won’t. Because they can’t. They don’t dare. Because then they would expose themselves. Because the book is truth from first page to last page. Open it to any page and start reading. You’ll be riveted. And you’ll know why the Strib and the NAACP fear the book. It used to be a capital offense for Blacks to read and write. So I understand the Strib wanting to continue the tradition of deciding what we should and should not read. But when our own people censor our own writers, that is very troubling to me. Is it troubling to you too?

When the national NAACP held its hearing here earlier this month, Gallmon said I was banned because of what I wrote in my book (think, now, readers, just how far we have not come when ideas are not allowed the light of day), but when asked what I wrote he could not answer what it was in the book that was so bad, and had to take a 10 minute recess to pull some quotes together. When he read them the audience nodded in agreedment with what I wrote that he quoted. So he was not independent. And he did not fall on his sword with grace. His co-conspirator in the stolen election, Rev. Gale Ford, NAACP Regional Director, said recently at the Missouri state conference that people like me and my book are like cancers that need to be eradicated. Please understand what the national NAACP and local branch and Gallmon have known but won’t so far acknowledge: Gallmon participated with the regional head of the NAACP and people at the national NAACP to rig the election, including disqualifying those who voted for me (after complaining about Florida). The national NAACP has lost its way. Read my paper on that in the Solution Papers section of this web site.

And yes, there is a philosophical difference, but it is not about field hands being the only leaders. “Field hands” refers to a state of mind, an attitude. It refers to those who are the workers for the people. Many in the Congressional Black caucus are field hands. Many high level Blacks in corporations and on major professional athletic teams are field hands in that they seek to do good for our community. The term only makes sense in contrast to the other term: the banana heads, a term which Doug Grow conveniently leaves out of his story. The banana heads were the Blacks who lived in the Slave Master’s house and often were designated to carry out orders over and sometimes against the Blacks in the field. They are the ones called “the good Negroes.” The reason there are less than 500 members out of a potential 100,000 in Minneapolis is because many of the middle and upper middle class blacks, who consider themselves field hands, working for the people, don’t want to be involved in the corruption and graft of the local branch which is a wholely owned subsidiary of the DFL, just as the national NAACP has made itself a subsidiary of the national Democratic Party.

But it is more than philosophy. “Field hands” is a term that is also about action and results. I am proud to claim to be a Nellie Stone Johnson Democrat. I say that because to say I am a DFLer would be counter to what Nellie stood for in terms of what the DFL has become. The NAACP has made itself a branch of the DFL. What the NAACP doesn’t like about my book is not that I have not written the truth but that I have written the truth. No one has yet come forward to say that anything written in my book is false. I can document everything. Indeed, my weekly column is always supported by documentation. The response of choice in Minneapolis has been to ignore the book and hope it goes away. Others tell me the book is destined to become a classic. History will judge. I sleep at night. How do Doug Grow and the Strib and people like Al Gallmon and the NAACP sleep at night?

What I am trying to provide is leadership on issues. This is why the Seven Solutions piece was written, to gather together and expand on the solution suggestions in the book. What those interviewed by Doug Grow don’t realize is that he has feasted on them. And he has made the entire organization look not only stupid and incompetent, but hopeless, now and forever. Note how he opens and closes his column:

OPENS: The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP has become good at one thing: steady self-destruction.
CLOSES: [Succeeding Gallmon as President Brett Buckner is] saying positive things about Gallmon, Little and Edwards. “We’re like a choir,” Buckner said. “Everybody sings a different part, but it’s all the same song.” Imagine, just a few months ago, Gallmon was saying such harmonious things.

Doug Grow has already predicted failure. Here is my prediction: the NAACP, national or local, will never be successful until it embraces the ubuntu philosophy of reconciliation of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu (see my 3 part sequence on that beginning with Blog #163 and continuing today with Blog entry #164). So back to the question: yes, I can be part of something without having been chosen to lead it (again, that is the sum and substance of my life as written in my book).

However, that is not the correct question. The question is whether those at the NAACP can be a part of something bigger than themselves. By that I don’t mean the national NAACP. By “larger” I mean a philosophy of reconciliation (Blacks with Blacks, Blacks with Whites), a purposefully pursued intentional goal (equal access and equal opportunity for all in education, jobs and housing), what we in the civil rights movement call keeping our eyes on the prize (to achieve a status where all are invited to sit at society’s table, not just wait on it), and have a working plan of action to achieve the goals sought (such as my 7 Solutions piece). Here is the kicker: the empirical data in my book about education, housing, jobs, public safety, safe environment, governing, and ethics, as applied to the inner city Blacks of the cities of America, including Minneapolis, only allow one of two conclusions: these are the desired results of those in power or Blacks are just too dumb to do better. Another conclusion: the NAACP has not addressed these areas successfully. They say insanity is dong the same thing over and over and expecting change.

Think about it: while Whites and immigrants have been working and building wealth for a few generations or for many generations, that opportunity has been denied to Blacks. First there was 300 years of slavery (without wages or the ability to own property there can be nothing to pass on). Then Jim Crow (replicating slavery as best they could; a study shows many who were lynched were land owners whose property was then taken away). Then the 1968 Kerner Commission Report said Blacks couldn’t make it on their own because they are different and thus the government must take care of them. And then the 1998 book The Bell Curve came to the same conclusion regarding government support because Blacks are too dumb to do so on their own. I oppose both positions. I stand on my 7 Solutions piece. I will willingly work with any who wish to work for the bigger picture of the prize under the umbrella of seeking to reconcile all of us together and find the common ground I discuss in my book. But as long as the local branch is allowed, with national’s help, to rig the elections, and as long as they seek expulsions rather than reconciliation, then Doug Grow’s conclusion and prediction will remain correct. And then those who continually work to “keep us in our place” will have won.

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 12:25 p.m./5:20 p.m.

Blog #166. October 2, 2003: Rush Limbaugh just became George W. Bush’s tight end that fumbles and drops the ball and the NFL’s poster child for hypocrisy when he Crack Blocked all NFL Black players and coaches as well as fans, Black and White, on ESPN.

This is a significant story, as it reflects my points about all not being invited to the banquet table and Limbaugh’s saying Blacks are welcome only begrudgingly, as if he prefers us to be waiting on the table, not sitting at it. Even though he resigned, the story offers us a chance to explore these issues of choice: segregation or integration, exclusion or reconciliation

“USA Today” has posted two interesting articles that could significantly effect the 2004 election plans of the Republicans to garner Black voters. At 12:17 am, ESPN posted Limbaugh fumbles the ball, and ESPN fails to recover. Twelve hours later, at 12:48 pm and updated at 2:47 pm, indicating this is a hot story, USA Today posted ESPN backs Limbaugh in wake of McNabb remarks.

These were not slips of the tongue. Yesterday on his show in the morning he said that the hubbub was proof that he was correct (can you imagine, arguing that because people don’t agree with you it prooves you are correct?). Later in the afternoon he resigned from his “dream job” at ESPN. Then later the same evning last night, after resigning, he told a group of broadcasters that he had thought of making the remarks Saturday night as he felt it was an important issue that needed discussing. It is bad enough that he said what he said. But to then follow up first with the notion that the hubbub proves him correct and then state it was not a slip of the tongue but something that needed saying and he prepared the remarks in his mind the night before, shows how far off the mark the leading voice on radio for George W. Bush is, and why he was so rapidly dispatched (he claims it was voluntary but most of us know that can’t be the case with a guy who has coveted this job for years; he promised one thing and delivered another. He may control the Kingdom of his radio show, but the world outside that controlled universe works differently).

I’m a Minnesota Viking fan and I still hope I will be proven wrong in my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” Chapter 15, that a miracle will happen to overturn the plans of our local puppet masters to kick the Vikings out of town. I thought of this because here I was seeing the national puppet masters working with impunity on national TV: putting down Black players and Black Coaches for being Black without one response from the Blacks in the studio on the show when the remarks were made. I’m also a great fan of Viking quarterback Daunte Culpepper. On his radio show this week he responded to a question about the Limbaugh statement, being justifiably offended, as anyone would be who was told they got ahead unfairly or got ahead despite not being very good because they were Black. Remember, Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a win. But he started poorly. And Limbaugh couldn’t wait. Like Dr. Strangelove in the film of that name (played by the great comic Peter Sellers), Rush’s inner racist raised its hand in salute, saying, as the USA Today article called them, “unscripted remarks”:

Sorry to say this, I don’t think he’s (McNabb) been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well, black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.

Notice he mentioned the Black leaders, coaches and quarterbacks. That was his first shoe. Had he remained on the air, who knows what the second shoe for him to drop would have been over the next several weeks. But if you are a Black leader in the NFL, it is ominous. The NFL (for player/coach relations) and the White House (for votes in 2004) will now have to choose how closely they want to be associated with Rush. Don’t think we won’t be watching.

Rush Limbaugh sucker punched Sunday Morning Football Fans and the brass at ESPN: he offended Black players and Black Coaches in general, and then he offended McNabb’s White Coach and owner, and he offended ALL White fans to boot, as well as the hand that feeds, the NFL itself. He exposed himself as a sniveling coward (which I’ll explain in my next Blog), rude to his fellow commentators who are Black, and as an unbelievably ignorant, if not stupid, analyst. Everyone knows that it is McNabb that has carried this team on his back and on his two strong legs. So what Limbaugh is talking is NOT football. It is just pure, unadulterated, right wing racism served up purposefully (which I’ll explain in my next blog). It’s bad enough that he is racist (which we already knew). But it is truly unforgivable to be that unknowledgeable about football and the great players of the game. As a compassionate human being, I am ashamed of him. As a Black American man, I am offended, mightily. And as an ardent football fan who played football in high school, I am offended that on a program about the game with the greatest athletes in the world playing the greatest sport in the world requiring the greatest physical efforts in the world, we are subjected to someone whose ignorance of race and resentment of the achievement of players of color, and his appalling lack of knowledge of the game itself, is allowed to make commentaries. Had he not resigned my dial would no longer have been tuned to ESPN for this show.

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 12:25 p.m./5:20 p.m.

Blog #165. October 2, 2003: The NAACP: Gallmon’s departure continues the NAACP trend of placing its light under a bushel rather than making it a beacon on the hill.

Rev. Albert Gallmon has just resigned as President of our local NAACP. He said he resigned (10-10-03 Star Tribune) because he failed to unify the branch and, in particular, bring in middle and upper middle class members. He said that “This branch has so much potential of doing good not only for blacks, but for all people of color.” He is also quoted as saying the branch “has a chance to become a beacon of hope.” Yet he puts us down today as well as our history and mimics the Whites when he dismisses the poor and powerless the NAACP was formed to help, as his goal was to bring in “ more middle-and upper-middle-class blacks into the branch” because “They have the contacts, they have the resources. They know people within the community to help achieve the goals,” and then put down all we know about the great leaders and leadership itself when he says “Without them, the branch will continue to struggle over the mission and the leadership. If the middle class is not going to engage, the branch will always struggle.” That flies in the face of the history of the NAACP. This is not leadership. It is elitism. It is segregation. It is exclusion. Worse, it is denying the value and worth of the inner city Blacks the NAACP claims to serve. We need leadership that brings us together, both poor and not poor, both Blacks and Whites. That is the light of reconciliation that the NAACP keeps hidden under a bushel.

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 12:25 p.m./5:20 p.m.

Blog #164. October 2, 2003: Minneapolis needs Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Ubuntu Theology of Reconciliation.”

Part 2 of 3

Part 1 is #163. Some ask why I keep mentioning in public the fact that the Black Ministerial Alliance and Leadership Forum harangued my book for over an hour a year ago demanding no one read it, no one buy it, just as they demand from our young Blacks to get permission from them before they do anything (even though when they were young they themselves didn’t ask permission; see the moving story on this in the Spokesman-Recorder (9/18-24/03, p. 1). Our local Black Ministerial Alliance and Leadership Forum are people Archbishop Desmond Tutu would say are deeply in need of his “Ubuntu Theology of Reconciliation.” Too often, like the religious leaders in the story of the Good Samaritan, they have passed by on the other side and not attended to the broken ones in our community, preferring instead that the broken ones come to their doors first. Their record is a scandal to those who follow Archbishop Tutu (which I discuss in Chapter 14 of my book). And in Chapter 5 of my of my book, I call for a common approach to use to resolve our conflicts and solve our problems: apply the Golden Rule. At the heart of “justice and fairness” (the title of my Chapter 5) is how we treat each other in order to give all “equal access and equal opportunity.” The leadership of the NAACP continues to fail to apply the Golden Rule. In my book, on p. 99, I raise three questions:

First: To be fair or not to be fair, especially in education, housing, and economic development (including jobs, living wages, and Black entrepreneurial growth)? Second: To determine what the “do” is that we want everyone to do unto everyone else: What is it? Third: Are we willing to practice this individually and collectively? In other words, are we willing to treat others in education, housing, jobs, wages, entrepreneurial activity, the way we want to be treated?

In terms of the first one, what I see in terms of the Black community, is that we are not being fair to our kids because of how we fight each other or fight Whites from the stand point of what we as adults want not from the stand point of what is good for the kids. In terms of the second one, I have answered “what to do” by gathering all of my solutions in my book into Chapter 17 and in a new paper, my “7 Solutions” in the Solution Papers section of this web site. The seven areas are education, jobs, housing, public safety, safe environment, governing, and ethics. In terms of the third one: our treatment of each other and of those outside our community has not followed either Rev. Leon Sullivan (see Chapter 14 and 17) nor Archbishop Tutu (see Chapter 17), and for this any person of conscience should feel shame. We can learn from them. In a nutshell, unless we start practicing the Golden Rule, let go of the past but not forget it, and focus on how to bring all up to speed in terms of education, jobs, housing, public safety, etc., then we are all less. However, by working together to bring these opportunities to everyone, to be sure that all are invited to the table, we can all be more than we are. As Tutu says in his book No Future Without Forgiveness:

I am because we are. We belong together. Our humanity is bound up with one another. We say in our languages, a person is a person through other persons. A solitary being is a contradiction in terms. I learn how to become a human being through association with other human beings.

Archbishop Tutu chaired the South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission was a pioneering international event. Never before had any country sought to move forward from despotism to democracy both by exposing the atrocities committed in the past and by achieving reconciliation with its former oppressors. This is a model, surely, for use in Ireland and the Middle East. He emphasized restorative justice, not retributional justice. As he says, “The future cannot be without forgiveness.” Thus, “To forgive is indeed the best form of self-interest, since anger, resentment, and revenge are corrosive of that summum bonum, the greatest good.” This is why, in Chapter 5 of my book, I demonstrate why the best response to each other is the Golden Rule. The more we can do that the more we can respond with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s non-violent responses, so we can stop the deferment of our dream, and hasten the day when we attain the prize on which we all must keep our eyes.

Thursday, October 2, 2003, 12:25 p.m./5:20 p.m.

Blog #163. October 1, 2003: Minneapolis needs Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Ubunto Theology of Reconciliation”

Part 1 of 3

In Chapter 14 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes,” I touch briefly on the experience Nellie Stone Johnson and I had with Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, back in the 80s. The title of Archbishop Tutu’s book, No Future Without Forgiveness as well as his work on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission have many good things to say to us that relate directly to the current firestorms in Minneapolis, and, in particular the one regarding the firestorm over the appointment of Superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools. Once again, we have been diverted by old hatreds of yesterday that prevent us from doing good today so that we can’t create the future we want. Our topic should be how poorly Minneapolis (and every other city in this country) educates inner city Black kids. That the NAACP has backed the appointment is really not the issue (it has long stood for the status quo and going along with the Masters in their big house as it stays away as much as possible from the fields). The issue is the fact that the NAACP hasn’t stood up to the district as a whole over its poor perfomance with Black kids, especially during the tenures of Black superintendents. The man the board wants once opposed making Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday (but so did President Jimmy Carter, and thus it was that it was Ronald Reagan who signed it into law). He was also opposed to divestiture as the way to fight apartheid in South Africa (which was also the position of the University of Minnesota and many in the DFL, so he again was in a large company). I am nervous when we hold specific views of the past against people selectively, as some are held up and others are given a pass.

This needs to stop. Why? Because our kids are the ones who pay for the hatreds of their parents. And don’t forget that even though the Repubicans get the blame for the flag of the Confederacy flying over the Capitol of South Carolina, it was a Democratic Governor, Fritz Holllings, who put it up there (incidentally, I like Hollings current web site slogan: “Performance is better than promise” and recommend we apply it to the MPS). And I don’t hear any in the Black community taking Senator Robert Byrd to task for his past membership in the Ku Klux Klan nor for his recent use of the “N” word.

Earlier I talked about the need to use specific tools of conflict resolution, of which a list is on my web site in the paper on “Conflict Resolutions Models” posted in June 2003. We have just added two more, including the model used by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As I explain in my book (Chapter 14) Nellie Stone Johnson and I had several telephone conversations with Archbishop Tutu. We were going to bring him to the campus of the University of Minnesota. Tutu urged divestiture (to fight apartheid by selling stocks of companies that do business in South Africa). Nellie and I supported that. Others felt it would delay not hasten the end of apartheid. And just as there was White fear and Black anger in South Africa, we had them here too (still have them in Minneapolis). We also talked with the journalist Eric Duma. Their phones were tapped. The government of South Africa called the U.S. which in turn called the University of Minnesota. The University Board of Governors had refused to apply sanctions. The university denied our request to have Tutu speak at the University. Read about it in my book: p. 222:. “Local officials, public and private, didn’t want Bishop Tutu because…they didn’t want a campus movement in favor of disinvestments when the University had already determined it would not divest nor favor divestment.” Not the University’s finest hour…

In my next Blog entry, I’ll explain Archbishop Tutu’s philosophy behind his theology of reconciliation for integrating South Africa after apartheid and how it can be used today in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

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

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and for the columns. Please cite for blog entries and solution papers.

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