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2005 Blog Entries
September ~ Entries #69 - #74

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9/24/2005 Blog #74: Here we go again, swaggering going down the “N” word road at Winter Park, with a letter “T” that stands for trouble.

In my preceding blog (9-20-05), the opening words are about the new Vikings ownership, “A Minnesota Revival” and “ a new day has dawned.” So why does the Coach take us back in time down the “N” word road again? For a guy who played in the NFL, and has been a coach for a decade, he still shows that he remains tone deaf when it comes to his players, and has no clue.

The papers have already reported that as Tice could not handle Randy Moss, Red felt he had to get rid of one or the other, but felt getting rid of the Coach during his attempts to sell the team was not a good idea. So, to bail out Tice and his wallet (we leave it to the reader’s imagination as to which was more important to Red), he traded Randy. But Tice still doesn’t get it, as discussed in our web log entry #72, 9/19/200: “Fading Purple, little pride. The Vikings are being divided, not united” by this coach.

On my TV program of a year ago (late September 2004), I discussed the fact that several players had told me that Coach Tice had used the “N” word. Now we have this new story in the Pioneer Press Tuesday when it reported that Tice made it clear that his offense needs to regain its “swagger,” and “arrogance.”

Say what? This illustrates why we say Tice is still tone deaf. The players think they are playing football. Tice seems to think it is “N - ball,” in the sense that he told the players last year that he wanted them to “start acting like Ni**ers” and now, yesterday, as reported in the story titled Righting the ship in yesterday’s Pioneer Press

What they need to regain is their football. The Pioneer Press reports that offensive players are insisting that they still are searching for an “identity. Now we ask, isn’t this the coach’s job? Not swagger, not arrogance, not Ni**er ball, but rather plain old football fundamentals: a strategically sound game plan, effective play calling, an offensive line that is the key to executing the plays called, solid defense at and behind the line, and a coaching staff that can teach their various players to execute what they plan.

Recall the head doo rags and other gang-like paraphanalia on players allowed and encouraged by Tice that his predecessor would not allow? This “swagger” line shows how much Tice has further taken his team further from football. The team needs respect from a coach. They need a coach who treats them as men not as junior high kids needing mind games to get them motivated or the apparel equivalent of secret agent rings or walking like peacocks, or, worse, as interchangeable parts on his football plantation.

We know Tice misreads his players. We believe he is misreading his new owner. The Pioneer Press yesterday also reported that Despite the dismal start, Tice said he knows that ownership “has his back.”

The players doubt he has their back. The headline in Friday’s New York Times says it all, Mediocrity Is Early Line in the N.F.C. North. The NYT reminds us that “Tice was fined $100,000 by the league for scalping Super Bowl tickets.” What the NYT leaves out is that Tice lied about it, to the team, to the fans, and to the NFL, before the truth came out, as we covered in March. Lying leads to the question of character, to the question of what else he lies about, and to the question if the fact also is that players have left or want to leave because Tice lies and doesn’t have their back.

As we wrote in Blog entry #72, 9-19-05:

Martin Luther King talked about a man’s character being important, not his color. We know Coach Tice is a crook and a liar. In our Column #6, March 23, 2005, we wrote: “Check these headlines. March 9: “Tice denies scalping Super Bowl tickets.” March 10 : “Tice is confident he’ll be cleared.” March 11: “Tice says he scalped ‘05 tickets.” So he lies and denies; then, when he’s exposed and fesses up, the Strib goes silent.” And now he blames his team. He has a great Vikings machine. He just doesn’t know how to drive it. Liars don’t build trust and confidence.

And that thought raises the question again of what is bothering Daunte Culpepper. As we have written before, Daunte is a pro-bowler, future hall of famer, and at the top last year in the NFL. We’d like to know what is brewing below the surface that has affected him and this team.

In the recent film, “Coach Carter,” based on a true story, the coach would not let his team use the “N” word. He said using it showed they had no respect for themselves, and players without respect for themselves can’t win. Ditto clothing. Tice’s predecessor was on that same page with Coach Carter. You never saw any of the cliché distractions Tice encourages, as if doo rags and “N**er ball” will make them play better. Which is why we consistently hear reports on the disrespect shown by Tice to his players in his mistaken attempt to be one of them.

Parents and coaches who try to be “one of them” with their kids or teams don’t succeed. Watching games on TV it is visible on the sidelines. In “The Music Man,” there is a song called “Trouble,” about the game of pool, which begins with “P” and rhymes with “T” and that stands for Trouble. The T in Viking land is Tice. And the trouble he brings to the team is seen on the field.

And with Tice using the N word in such a disparaging way, as if he was listening to the worst of hip hop as if that represented Blacks (see our commentary, Higher Hopes For Youth Than Hip Hop),

it also means that his coaching staff had no problem with his use of the “N” word, and that too has to make players wonder just wide spread that type of thinking is. So this problem is bigger and wider than that of just the Head Coach.

And it continues: we now learn from a post by the Strib 9-23 and dated 9-24, that discussions have been held regarding possibly trading Michael Bennett. Did Michael stand up to Tice? Does he know more than they want told? We know Randy didn’t cotton to that kind of talk or behavior. Is the staff cabal that advised Red to do the Randy trade now taking that approach to Michael Bennett? And is Daunte Culpepper next in their sights? This brain trust doesn’t seem to get the fact that anyone can lead followers. NFL players are leaders (or they wouldn’t have gotten this far). It takes exceptional men to play in the NFL, and it takes even moroe exceptional leaders of men to lead them. This is what the Vikings now lack.

Because of the confusion and the mixed signals and the use of terms that are derogatory to a majority of his players, players are visibly upset here. It would seem that the Vikings need a coach in the mode of a Tony Dungy or a Marvin Lewis or a Romeo Crennel if they are to establish credibility again with the players.
Posted 9-24-05, 1:18 a.m.

9/20/2005 Blog #73: The Vikings Plan for a Stadium Complex Offers us a Minnesota Revival in the Spirit of New Orleans after Katrina. Let exciting progress reign. Let there be an Economic Stimulus Enterprise Zone along the new light rail line from Minneapolis to Blaine to St. Cloud, and invite all to the prosperity and growth table.

I knew when I read the Star Tribune this morning that a new day has dawned in Minnesota, an “aha” experience that came from reading four articles featuring (1) Zygi Wilf, Vikings owner, (2) Donna Brazile, Black political leader whose hometown is New Orleans and who served as Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign manager, and (3) Simon Wiesenthal, who died today (Nazi hunter and life long fighter against racism and anti-Semitism).

We have been waiting for this day. We talked about our hope for it in our columns #7 (April 6, 2005) and #8 (April 20, 2005), and in our Blog entries #55 (May 13, 2005) and #66 (June 24, 2005), when we discussed the great possibilities that could be ours in terms of jobs and prosperity for all, and especially for the communities of color, if they only they would let us in the door of 9 projects worth $5 billion that we discussed, especially those we long called would happen along the Minneapolis-St. Cloud corridor, including the Vikings stadium in Blaine. We have never opposed the corridor, only excluding people of color from the contracting and the jobs.

We raised the question of why both Black and White leaders remain silent on continuing the shutting out of minorities from contracts and jobs (see our book, Chapter 9), as city, state, corporations, and so-called non-profit watchdogs allow compliance laws to go unheeded. We wrote about the race hustlers, Black and White, who got theirs at the expense of our community, and of the developers and contractors who did the same. That was “Minnesota Nice” at its discriminatory excluding best.

I see a new Moses for Minnesota in general and, in particular, for Minneapolis: Zygi Wilf. We saw a new dawn dawning in the headlines: Wilf unveils stadium plan, as he announces Vikings have deal for Blaine stadium.

In the same paper, we have Donna Brazile’s article, in which she, a Democrat, praised her political opponent as A leader with heart and a good plan. I could not have been prouder of Bush and his plan to empower those who lost everything.

We believe Zygi Wilf is cut from the same cloth. He will facilitate empowering everyone. He is the son of holocaust survivors. He knows what it is to be a minority. He knows the power of justice and fair play. And thus, as he announces his stadium complex, we also read about Simon Wiesenthal, who died today at age 96, who himself was both a holocaust survivor and a Nazi hunter fighting racism and anti-Semitism.

For reasons clearly outlined in my book, Minneapolis has refused to (1) undertake the training and education needed for all students, giving minorities the gleanings (while paying good salaries to the Black and White race hustlers running the programs that club our seals, the kids in school, as all testing results show), provide equality of access and opportunity in housing, and failed to follow its own compliance laws in terms of including minorities in jobs.

I will seek to present a copy of my book to Zygi, welcome him to Minneapolis and Minnesota, and invite him to join with those of us who seek justice and fair play in jobs and hiring. And if he has time, it would be an honor to have him on my TV show. Indeed, the project he puts forth, when he includes what we hope will also be training for Black youth, will do more to help significantly reduce gang activity than all of the government programs put together. This can be one of many possitive acts that can contribute solutions to problems in our community.

This is why we call for making the North - South corridor from Minneapolis to Blaine to St. Paul an Economic Stimulus Enterprise Zone. It can have as great a positive economic impact for us as the same designation will have on New Orleans. Costs can be cut by designating a zone, eliminating the torturous delays of bureaucratic red tape, and allowing the projects to move forward quickly.

And, by including the entire corridor beginning with Minneapolis in the Enterprise Zone, it will also provide the kind of stimulus needed to offset problems foreseen with constructing stadiums for the Twins and Gophers as well. This would not only be a win win for everyone, it would be savings savings for everyone as well.

Those who are against supporting private enterprise with public monies are on the wrong side of history. It is government - private partnerships that has enabled us to not only have roads for truckers and families and airlines for freight and people, it is has also enabled us to unite to fight Hitler and later the USSR in the cold war, to help end the tyranny of countries subjugating their people and others, such as those that led to World War II, as well as fighting other tyrannies and freeing other peoples before and since, as we stand for democracy and freedom for everyone, as both JFK and W have said.

This is a new dawn for Minnesota. All can have a place at this table being set by Zygi. He has invited all of us to sit with him. There is room for both parties in the legislature as well as county and city officials. I look forward to the feast of jobs and the dessert of a winning football team again. Let us all join with Zygi and the rest of Minnesota to do for ourselves what the Gulf region is doing for itself, and be glad we don’t have to wait for a disaster to move us to action. We thank Zygi for bringing vision back to Minnesota (see my book, pp. 262-263). We celebrate achieving our goal of contributing to a self-defeating prophecy by exposing the plan (resignation?) that the the Vikings would leave town, as encouraged by the Strib and it’s writer’s book “Stadium Games.” We pulled the covers back to expose them. We take pride in having been able to do our small part to help derail those who would have shipped the Vikings out of town (see my Chapter 15).

Welcome Zygi, and Thanks. You now have true dual citizenship, New Jersey and Minnesota.
Posted 9-20-05, 4:34 p.m.

9/19/2005 Blog #72: Fading Purple, little pride. The Vikings are being divided, not united. It is Monday morning quarterback time.

Sunday’s loss, 37 - 8, and a season start of 0 - 2, raises many intriguing questions. Moments like this before brought out media torrents against the Black coach. How is it that this White coach gets such a pass in the media? The former coach never lost the admiration, respect or confidence of his players. The current coach has. We saw a team Sunday playing with no fire, no enthusiasm, having lost their trust, respect, and confidence in the coach.

As we wrote in Blog #68, July 16, 2005, the current “brain trust” worked to get rid of Randy Moss (so happy an event that the Strib carried six articles about it on February 24, 2005). We discussed this in the context of our blog entry entitled, Mankato Charges Fans to Watch Vikings Practice. What more surprises are in store for the new owner from his “loyal” employees? The former Coach was their scapegoat. Get rid of him and all would be well. It wasn’t. So then Randy became their scapegoat. With him gone all would now be well. It is not. So now Daunte Culpepper is their scapegoat, as there are calls to replace him. If that occurs we would call that Dummy time, not Miller Time.

The current coach is supposed to have at least one specialty: the offensive line (he formerly coached it). But the line is not protecting the quarterback. The dummy coaching the line and the offense is a buddy of the coach. Did the coach hire his buddy because so few others considered him a friend? And thus on the local radio shows we are treated to those identifying the newest scapegoat for the coaching incompetence: Daunte: that Daunte is a dummy. We think not. We know not. Daunte Culpepper is a pro-bowler and future hall of famer who has proven himself for the past six years. Something else is causing the team to be in disarray, being divided, not united. The first buck stops on the Coach’s desk.

A quarterback can’t succeed with a weak offensive line and bad offensive play calling. The same dummies are calling both

And a team of many Black athletes sensitive to the plight of inner city Blacks, finds it difficult to find pride in their work under a coach who, as reported on my TV program, makes racial remarks. His players, understandably, don’t like it. Add to that the fact that many Black players were upset when he campaigned for the President and gave him a Vikings jacket.

Now Coach Tice can campaign and vote for whoever he wants. But knowing many on his team don’t share his view, that was the act of a dummy. Many on the team believe, whether rightly or wrongly, that the mess up in New Orleans after Katrina was due to indifference to Blacks. And Katrina reminds them that the cities are warehouses for poor Blacks for whom both the 1968 Kerner Commission Report and “Bell Curve” book state Blacks are dummies, not like others, can’t mke it, and thus have to be wards of the state. Katrina exposed the raw results of these policies and beliefs.

Thus the race comments of the coach I’ve discussed on my TV show, are not only those of a dummy, they contribute to the dividing, not uniting, of the team, contributing to the team going into a greater state of disarray. Something is eating away at the team. Whatever it is, it has to be something at Winter Park.

Martin Luther King talked about a man’s character being important, not his color. We know Coach Tice is a crook and a liar. In our Column #6, March 23, 2005, we wrote: “Check these headlines. March 9: “Tice denies scalping Super Bowl tickets.” March 10: “Tice is confident he’ll be cleared.” March 11: “Tice says he scalped ‘05 tickets.” So he lies and denies; then, when he’s exposed and fesses up, the Strib goes silent.” And now he blames his team. He has a great Vikings machine. He just doesn’t know how to drive it. Liars don’t build trust and confidence.

Local radio shows are calling for the coach to shake things up. He already did. Poorly. It would appear that by the end of this season, we’ll see real shaking up of coaches, executives, and scouts, for, as The Strib reported September 11, 2005, The contract of every coach, football executive and scout expires before the start of the 2006 season.That makes the need of their departure all the more critical: if they perform this way in the last months of their contract, how much more poorly will they perform once they have a contract and guarantees?

There are those among this “loyal” staff that worked hard to turn Red McCombs against Coach Green. And now that Tice’s predecessor is gone, did it get better? No, it has gotten worse. Now it is time for the real dummies to depart. How much wool did they think they could pull over the eyes of the new owner? As we wrote July 16, “Welcome Zygi, welcome to ‘Minnesota Nice.’” The Vikings ship is in a storm. And we all know that ships go down when they lack either a helmsman altogether or one who doesn’t know how to navigate.
Posted 9-19-05, 2:02 a.m. Edited 9-19-05, 1:15 p.m.

2005 Blog #71: Is there a difference between Quarantine camps, detention camps, and Hurricane Katrina refugee camps? Are they guests of the government, recipients of the compassion of their fellow citizens, or are they indentured, dependent on the state?

Minneapolis City Charter, Chapter 14, Section 5:
( emphasis added )

When practicable, each person taken into quarantine or stations and receiving the aid and care afforded thereby shall pay a sum of money sufficient to meet all expenses, labor and care incurred in that person’s behalf, which money shall be faithfully kept, reported and counted for by physicians, health officers or other persons in charge of said quarantine or station. (As amended, 83-Or-234, § 13, 9-30-83)

We want to know if this applies to the incoming evaculees/refugees. We also want to know to whom it will apply in the future. Here is how we wrote of it in 2002 in our book, The Minneapolis Story, p. 268 (emphasis added):

During the national police chief convention in town, the Somalis demonstrated because of the lack of jobs for Blacks.

I then raised the question of the Quarantine Plan . This is part of a bill the Minnesota Legislature marked up in February as part of the House Crime Prevention Bill . This bill authorizes detention camps be set up in state parks. The plan also calls for making anyone quarantined to pay back the state for any expenses of the quarantine . So if there is a biological attack, those quarantined could possibly lose their houses if they have to repay the state. They all denied knowing anything about it, and yet I knew from the February meeting at the capital that the Mayor and Police Chief knew. Any attack would obviously be centered on the city as opposed to the suburbs or rural areas. That means Blacks in the inner city forced to repay the city and state for quarantine costs would be fully and completely impoverished

The refugees are being dispersed from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrinia because those homes still standing are contaminated by the disease and toxins of human and chemical waste. In other words, biological. Therefore, is the state of Minnesota mandated, by its own law, to make them pay? If so, will the state rescind this law? Will the city?

Because it is so relevant for the foreseeable future, we will concentrate in this Blog on (1) the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as it relates to inner city poor, (2) how Hurricane Katrina has exposed the fact that “The Minneapolis Story” is also “The New Orleans “ story and the story of most American inner cities, and (3) on what it will all mean for those being relocated, such as the 3,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina arriving to live at our own Camp Ripley, and to the communities to which they are being sent in Miinnesota as well as others across the country.

Is Camp Ripley a refugee camp? A detention camp? A Quarantine camp? A combination?

For over two years a main concern of mine has been to try to get the quarantine laws on the books repealed because they were purposefully aimed at Black people. In previous 2005 columns (#s 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14) and Blog entries of 2005 (#51, 53-55, 60-61, 63, and 67), we have talked about the fact that such laws/statutes are on the books. What has been the most frustrating is that the most recent call for rounding up those Blacks not approved of, and put in detention camps (gang members and their friends and families), came last June from the Black who heads the St. Paul Department of Civil Rights in his “open letter” to the community, in which he condemned young Black men involved in gangs along with all of their family members and friends, as if, as a group, they should be rounded up and put in detention camps.

There are many questions to ask. Our concern in our book and web site has been the city of Minneapolis. We have written of the corruption in the government and Black organizations of Minneapolis. Now we see it in the corruption of New Orleans. And what about the fact that Louisiana and Mississippi are two of the most corrupt states in the union, having the most judges and officials and cops in jail indicted? It sounds like the area is run like the UN Oil for Food program, only here it seems to be oil for corruption in the city of New Orleans.

So we ask again, as in Blog #69, why did the mayor and other local authorities allow buses to be submerged rather than used to evacuate? Why were hundreds of the New Orleans police department not only not accounted for participating in the looting? Why, knowing the Super Dome was to be their holding area, didn’t the Mayor and other officials have food, water, or security at the ready for those they knew would be sent there?

Let us spell out our concerns with12 questions illustrating our concerne for for the victims of Hurricane Katrina now and in the future:

(1) Will the state and city renounce as their policy foundation the current beliefs of liberals and conservatives that Blacks can’t make it on their own and thus must remain wards of the state (liberal Kerner Commission Report of 1968; conservative book The Bell Curve in 1998)?

(2) Will those at Camp Ripley be charged for their stay? If not, won’t that be breaking the law?

(3) Is this a precursor to the roundups urged for Black youth?

(4) Will the 3,000 be examined ahead of time for communicable diseases that could have been contracted in the polluted waters of the flood, the only reason for legitimately quarantining them (and then only until healthy)?

(5) Will the 3,000 be screened in terms of any serious criminal behavior? The New Orleans murder rate is 10 times the national average, and according to the New Orleans police web page, 4,668 violent crimes were committed in the city in 2004, which doesn’t count the many non-violent ones. Is this a Cuba like dispersal to send “undesirables” elsewhere? And why, when FEMA does not deploy local police nor activate the National Guard, and the military can’t come in without the Governor’s request, why didn’t the local mayor and state governor follow the plan in place for dealing with what was understood would be a large amount of looting as part of any major storm aftermath?

(6) Is this a way to disburse Blacks from choice real estate so they don’t come back, as has happened with the Hollman project in our fair city? Why not give the poorrest victims rent vouchers by expaning the HUD “Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Progdram, which is a big improvement over the failed government housing projects they replaced, as rental properties nationwide have a 10% vacancy rate (12-15% in the south central region), instead of rounding them up in refugee camps?

(7) What will be done in terms of educating the kids? Will charter schools be allowed if the public schools can’t handle it? And if the public schools can’t will their political clout be allowed to prevent education structures that will work if the teachers’ unions don’t agree? And if that happens will the refugee camps become spawners of more anger and crime as occurs with youth in Middle East refugee camps?

(8) As kids follow examples, will the refugees themselves be hired and organized to handle the dispersing of food and supplies to all of the refugees or will it be done by well meaning Whites such that they undermine further the authority of and respect for adults in the eyes of the children in these refugee camps? In other words, will the positions needed to be filled to handle the organization and administration of the camp be decided by the refugees and use the refugees themselves, or will they be left so idle because of the do-gooders from the outside that anger and unlawful activity occurs among the young?

(9) And if so, is this but another way to put Blacks “in their place” and raise another generation for the the culture of despair tht is the culture of dependency on government?

(10) Will the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis come out and state, unequivocally and categorically, that this is not a quarantine, that the refugees will not be charged for any part of their stay, and that plans will be made and immediately enacted, within 10 days, to enroll everyone in either a training course or other courses in order to prepare them to be productively absorbed into the life of a rebuilt New Orleans or into the life of another community or town?

(11) Will the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis come out and state, unequivocally and categorically, that these “you pay for your quarantine laws” will be repealed?

(12) Will the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis come out and state, unequivocally and categorically, that they will repeal the detention camp plans as discussed in my Column #9 of May 4, 2005, especially the detention plan for Blacks by Hennepin County district court Judge Lindsay’s Plan of 1971 and 1972?
Posted 9-9-05, 10:10 p.m.

Note Column #18, 9-7-05: Another American Dark Hour: The Tragedy of New Orleans: To Be Black and Poor

9-5-2005, #70: Here are Ways to give to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and participate in community re-building.

Always designate: “Hurricane Katrina”: The Relief Fund, The Salvation Army, and, for excellent lists of charities, go here and here. Two for Minnesota Lutherans are ELCA Domestic and International Disaster Response and the Minneapolis insurance company Thrivent’s relief drive. For a list of all kinds and types of churches needing help that were in Katrina’s path, scroll down here. Also contact national VOADs. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. Here are lists on Liberal Blogs for Hurricane Relief. If you or your organization / agency / corporation have resources that may be made available to the response agencies, please list them in this Resource Registry. To who/what/wherever you give, be sure the charity is trust worthy. The Red Cross used most of the money for 9/11 victims on their other operations outside NYC. Be sure to designate: “for Hurricane Katrina victims”.

9-7-2005 #69: Huricane Katrina blew back the covers showing how The Minneapolis Story is also The New Orleans Story.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will be a tipping point. Which way and on who will it fall? Watch for bias in the media. See these photos with captions of whites “finding” food and Blacks “looting” food. We don’t condone looting. But we also don’t condone the looting of the good name of Blacks by such obvious racist reporting. See the bias also in the Strib online headline of story 9-2-05, stating that Troops arrive to take back New Orleans, as if Blacks had taken over the city. This is how their fear of Blacks twists their reporting and helps explain their constant negative slants reporting on Blacks in Minneapolis.

And look for the Blame Game to be a cover local incompetence. A visible sign of the local incompetence in New Orleans is seen in these pictures of parked, unmobilized busses less than a mile from the Superdome. As noted before, TV news showed up to 500 busses that could have evacuated the people. This was a local responsibility, and they failed.

Be clear the differences: (1) there is a difference between those who were unable to leave and those who could but refused to leave. (2) There is also a difference between a government that orders people to leave and provides the means to do so and one that orders them to leave and then provides no means to do so for those unable to leave. Check out this photo of more unused city owned buses. City officials did not use them to evacuate people; they just let them sit there. Other reports suggest that, in two locations, were 400-500 busses. Instead of using the busses, the Black mayor fell back on race baiting: it was the White man’s fault. Contrast that with the behavior of New York’s mayor after 9/11. And instead of acting, the female Louisiana Governor cried. This is not good enough of either of them. We are a democracy, with the locals in charge, helped by the state, and then by the feds only when called in by the state (which waited until Tuesday to do so). After 9/11 we have all seen people wearing first responder hats of the NYPD and NYFD hats. Ever see anyone wear a FEMA hat?

The Govenor has much to answer for. On “60 Minutes,” 9-4-05, the Black Mayor of New Orleans expressed his frustration that the White female governor refused help from the feds under the “posse comatatis laws” (the Posse Comatatis Act of 1787) the federal government cannot by law send federal troops or National Guardsman from other states into the area unless the state specifically asks for it. The governor cried tears yet refused to ask for help until Tuesday. She and her entire state staff show incompetence at its worse. The President declared the Gulf Coast a disaster area on Saturday, the weather service predicted the storm shift, and she waited until Tuesday to call for help. The mayor’s complaints, though valid, don’t answer why he didn’t order the city’s buses to make evacuation runs.

TV exposed the local incompetence: CNN, MSNBC, Fox and other stations must have shown the busses parked in the bus yard in New Orleans many, many times that could have been used for evaculation but were not. Why not Mr. Mayor? Why not Madame Governor? How can the feds help if the city and state don’t use the assets they have and refuse to ask the feds help (without which they cannot come in)? Is this why you bash the feds, to cover up your own incompetence?

Local and states’ rights/responsibility or not? Knowing the reality that the levees would only repel a Category 3 storm, why didn’t the state and city politicians come up with the money? To design/build for Category 4 or 5 would have cost $2.5 billion. The Louisiana state government budget is $18 billion. As they have been waiting since the “cuts” started under Carter 30 years ago, why not tax themselves to save themselves? That would be $83 million/year, or .46% (half a percent additional tax, which could have been paid by adding half a cent to tourists).

LA and NO undermine federalism. Louisiana and New Orleans sound like they want a centralized national government. If so, state legislatures and city councils are not needed. They can go home and just wait for the local National Administrator to tell them what to do. If not, step up, look at the priorities, take the initiative, and legislate/tax accordingly. There is nothing sadder and more hopeless than to see state and local officials so reduced in their pork barreling civic styles that they can’t adjust to real change and instead drop the ball and wait for the feds to pick it up and tell them what to do rather than taking the initiative and taking action.

When the debate settles down to the hurricane and everything else being the fault of just One Man, we are saying we are not responsible for the safety of ourselves or our loved ones, and that we want The Man to come and make it better. The world tried that for millenia under kings and emperors. France tried it under Napoleon. Russia tried it under Lenin, Stalin, and Stalin wannabes (Putin). Germany tried it under Hitler. China tried it under Mao. Cambodia under Pol Pot. Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh (sorry, Jane, but why do you want us praying on our knees for one of them to rule us?).

Are we individuals or merely political cogs for the city plantation master? As Blacks of African slave descent, we have allowed ourselves to be dependent on the city plantation masters since the 60s, and all the while cursing them for making it so and cursing ourselves for allowing it. Let us let Katrina inspire us to find our voice again. It is time that we stand as men in our own right and it is time the wannabe MLKs remember what MLK said: those of us not qualified, including our kids in the schools, are qualifyable, and the continued turning of their backs by so-called Black leaders in the face of the poorest quality in America education, poorest jobs, poorest housing, and poorest public safety, is a scorge and plague upon our people by our people. We need a Category 5 clean up of the NAACP, the Urban League, and all city political machines that provide our Black cubs with only the worst of inner city education, their parents the worst of inner city jobs, and their families the worst of inner city housing.

3,000 refugees of New Orleans will be at Ft. Ripley, Mn. Other thousands will be re-located elsewhere In this country. Let us make this a time to really start over, not roll over and wait for assistance.

Let us remember that Nellie Stone Johnson (See Interlude 3 of my book) was opposed to state centered liberalism and a state political party in control. She wanted local, bottom up liberalism by members of the communty. She worked as a seamstress all of her life to remain independent. She fought for equal access and equal opportunity for the people of every community so that they could work and learn and do well in their own communities. She believed in freedom and property rights. Her issues were education, jobs, housing and health care. All of these issues were back burnered in New Orleans by Black leaders sucking up to and living off the corrupt political system, just as they have in Minneapolis, as outlined in my book, The Minneaopolis Story, Through My Eyes.

And why the joy of describing New Orleans as a 3 rd world country? Do we hate ourselves that much? NOLA looks like that because of Katrina, not because of corrupt dictators. And the difference is that NOLA will not long look like that while 3 rd world countries will continue to look like that every day they are ruled by dictators. This is a huge difference. And it is why we say that not only Blacks from our civil war days should be free, but all peoples of the world over should be free, and we should help them make that move. Or how else can we complain about our ancestors forced slavery or the Jim Crow laws, if we are willing to stand by silently while others remain enslaved, or, worse, spend time enjoying the dictators of our people in Africa, as the NAACP does, which is why we say that the NAACP has taken its eyes off the prize.

So let us, together, rethink policies toward our inner cities, and, in particlar, our minority inhabitants in them, who are controlled by one party and their favorite unions (government workers unions and teachers unions), the NAACP and Urban League, that foster maintaining a culture of dependency on a government run by a single party, and see how what we have said is true: The Minneapolis Story is also The New Orleans Story, The Detroit Story, The Newark Story, etc. Katrina has pulled back the covers to expose this reality.

What to do? Our advice remains the same: read The Minneaopolis Story, Through My Eyes, especially our summary of solution suggestions in Chapter 17, and our Solutions Papers written since the book.
We gratefully acknowledge the research help of our publisher, Beacon on the Hill Press.
Posted September 7, 4:24 a.m.

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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