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2006 Blog Entries
July ~ Entries #10 - #18

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7-24-06, #18: Police as quick to false profile Fong Lee's reputation as Officer Andersen was to shoot him to death with 7 shots based on a personal false profile.

Fong Lee, 19, shot to death, was a son and brother who cooked family meals, took care of his sister's kids, and raised pidgeons. The kind of thing you would expect of an immigrant from Laos. That is one profile, in contrast to the profile of the police. Both profiles are reported by the Pioneer Press today.

The police would have us believe this a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde story, sweet son by day, bad gang member at night. Is the police profile that because he was a young Asian man he must be a member of an oriental gang? What are the police covering up under the mayor's "get tough compassionateness" gone bad? The Mayor's police would have us believe, as reported by the PiPress, that Fong Lee had a gun that wasn't fired, was a gang member (an apparent key profile for police trigger fingers), had an arrest record, and had a confrontation with police after a "hand to hand exchange" with another man. According to the PiPress, this was "enough" to put the killing officer back on the street today.

Seven kill shots by Officer Anderson. None by the State Trooper. See how the story keeps changing?

With the PiPress reporting that the famly is not allowed to see the body and identify their son/brother/uncle, we ask why not? What are they covering up? The autopsy? The wounds? Why won't the video tape be released. What do they mean, waiting for the "enhancement" of it? As in the novel/film "Rising Sun"?

And here is another profile. In the killing officer's file is the notation that this first year policeman: that he "let the person you were talking with dictate the way the contact would go. That is terrible. A professional officer of the peace is NOT supposed to mirror the person. If Fong Lee was agitated and upset by the officer, especially having been treated so badly trying to rescue pidgeons from a deserted house and was arrested for trespassing, or if he was scared and feared being arrested just for being out at night as an Asian, the young officer Skywalker also changed, into a shooting Darth Vader.
Posted 7-25-06, 8:05 p.m.

2 Blog entries today, 7-24-06: #16: Trooper/Police killing of 19 year old Fong Lee, and #17: a response to Nanny Rybak's insult to our community, calling us a "culture of violence".

7-24-06, #17: Troopergate continues to gnaw regarding the police/trooper killing of 19 year old Fong Lee. The trooper/police axis of shock and awe has become community shock and anger.

19 year old Fong Lee was shot and killed outside Cityview Elementary School, where he had gone to play basketball. By a State Trooper/Minneapolis Policeman combo. This is not the kind of community policing we had in mind. The concept of community policing is to have police on the streets that get to know the community. Bringing in state troopers who know no one means placing them with strangers in situations where they shoot first and investigate afterwards. Placing them with Minneapolis Officers with questionable records is like pouring gas on the fire.

Why weren't Fong's parent's not notified for 12 hours? Why the delay in details from the police (see Strib story online last night "Police to discuss some shooting details.")

Why do we get the name of the MPD Officer (Jason Andersen) but not the game of Gov Pawlenty's State Trooper (and always lurking is the question of why the PCRC wasn't consulting regarding the bringing in of state troopers)?

And we still haven't heard from the police, although the Strib reported last night, online. We ask why do the police hide behind the policy skirt of being allowed to tell only a "limited" amount? Why when "they saw people together" did they automatically assume the worst? What was the "confrontation" that required drawn guns and shooting seven times when no shot is fired at them? Was the gun found near the scene "dropped" there later? Why do neighbors fear talking? Do they fear the police? When Al Gallmon, fomer Prez of the local NAACP says we are not looking to find "fault" or place "blame," is it any wonder that neither the NAACP nor other African American Leadership Summits and Ministerial groups has been effective for us?

When Don Samuels says in the Strib piece that we have to keep it "in persective" and "trust" and believe that the police will tell us the "truth," we are reminded once again of what a great loss Natalie Johnson Lee's election loss was to the 5 th Ward and to the City of Minneapolis.

The Lee family needs to get the H'mong Community to help them get their own independent forensic examination of Fong's body. Were there shots in the back? If so, why? What does the gun trace show? Were paraffin tests made on Fong to see if he had actually handled a gun? If paraffin, before or after the killing? Is this a repeat of the Williams murder a year or so ago, when the 14 year old was shot and killed for allegedly holding a pellet gun? We urge the Lee's to get answers to these questions.

P.S. As we were writing this we received a call: the 36 th homocide of 2006 just occurred at 15 th and Irving. And you guessed it, another Black male. Say tuned.
Posted 7-25-06, 1:45 a.m.

7-24-06, #16: When will Nanny Rybak stop "hoovering" and step out from behind his staff's skirt and lead from a culture of leadership? His staff's "culture of violence" is one of the most egregious put downs of Blacks of North Minneapolis heard since the 1970s (especially given the violence done to our young by the City of Minnealis).

When Herbert Hoover rode with FDR to FDR's inaugural (FDR had beaten Hoover for President), Hoover said, "there is nothing that can be done" about the depression. FDR thought otherwise, and we know the result. Ryback "hoovers" by saying he expects the shootings and funerals to continue. He used to know better. Why is the staff so isolated they make him sound so out of touch with reality?

In his Monday opinion piece in the Strib, R.T. Rybak: We can prevail over the culture of violence, </b> </a> he says the answer is " adding more police and parole officers, arresting more gangsters, confiscating more guns." Indeed, the subtitle is " New police and parole officers are part of the response. So is a committed public." But commtted to what?

He wants parents to do more, and he wants suburbanites to stop subsidizing gangs by stopping their coming into town to buy their marijuana. How out of touch is he and his staff? Marijuana? Its meth and its cocaine and it other illicit activates of gangs. And his police know this, yet they allow gangs their "civil rights" and let them continue, and then turn around and blame parents and the communities that suffer at their hands, calling them the equivalent of prison supply zip code neighborhoods, supplying prisoners for the prisons, as if that was our community industry.

Rybak then blames the communities for not showing kids there is a way out. Whoa! Let us stop this ridiculous merry-go-round of nonsense. In our book, The Minneapolis Story , we demonstrate clearly, with evidence and statistics, in chapters 7, 8, and 9, the violence done to our kids by the city, when the kids are purposefully given a lousy education (its how plantations traditionally kept Black people in their place: don't let them get educated), and then the city itself fails to enforce its own employment/job compliance laws, the result is poor people with limited skills and few honest, non-gang options.

And until Democrats denounce the Kerner Commission Report's policy "truth" that Blacks can't make it on their own and must be wards of the state, North Minneapolis will remain a victim of the city.

And how simple for Rybak to blame video games and rap when every suburban kid and every college kid plays violent video games and listens to rap and aren't having the killings of the city. Rybak claims to want to surround the next generation with honesty and compassion (and then surrounds them with dishonesty and disdain). And while the suburbanites will love his entoning "The world is too small for anything but truth and too dangerous for anything but love," we'd like to know how that will protect the innocent law abiding majority of citizens from the gangs that the police and city let run as they please and giving us mean streets?

Rybak's staff's list of self congratulating programs (" career centers in every Minneapolis high school , ... more than 1,500 summer jobs and virtually guaranteed two years of college for every student who wants it ") is too little too late and an insult to our intelligence. You can see see his staff puffing up with pride at their line for him to write: " The message adults should give to kids is that we're breaking down one barrier after another for you; now it's time for you to stay in school and perform." Where is his evidence. What barriers has he helped break down?

And what about the barriers Rybak has let stand and those he has added to?

This is Rybak standing up and declaring to the suburbanites that it is not his fault, and don't worry, we'll make it safe, so keep coming downtown evenings and weekends to spend your money. He insults us. His education system and don't hire job system remain the big barriers. He raises them even higher and then blames the jumpers for not being to jump over.
Posted 7-24-06, 1:45 a.m.

4 Blog entries today: 7-23-06, #11-15: on the lastest teen killed by police; illiberal democrats and NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus; are freedoms just for us or also "for everyone in the world"?, and an old question renewed: are the Vikings leaving/being shoved out?
Posted 7-23-06, 3:30 a.m. Ed corrections 7-23-06, 5:30 p.m.

7-23-06, #15: "Minneapolis Police Shoot, Kill Suspect," Another Teen, A Kid

Minneapolis police shoot, kill suspect.

The Strib posted this story online Saturday night. The Strib left out that the "suspect" was an Asian teen, a kid. A traffic stop. Did they also leave out the world "to" in their headline: "Minneapolis police shoot, kill suspect." Did they mean: "Minneapolis police shoot to kill suspect"? Early this morning the Strib changed the headline and added more information. The new headline: "Officer, trooper kill suspect in Minneapolis."

Is this what we can expect from the Governor's "help" of sending in more troopers: shooting our kids?
Posted 7-23-06, 2:45 a.m.

7-23-06, #14: Why are some Democrats, some in the NAACP, and some in the Congressional Black caucus becoming more and more illiberal?

You would think that Democrats, the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus would support liberal causes and liberal governments. Yet a handful did not support Congressional resolution to support Israel against those that seek its destruction.

Why do they not stand up against slave regimes? Why vote against liberal democracies? What happened to keeping our eye on the prize in order to complete the unfinished dream? In July 2003, we wrote about this when we questioned why the NAACP leaders were dining with dictators in Africa. Why doesn't the NAACP stand up agaisnt shose fighting to destroy the democracy that is Israel?
Posted 7-23-06, 3:30 a.m.

7-23-06, #13: The "Four Freedoms." For everyone or just us, and if just us, which of "us"?

FDR said in his 1-11-44 State of the Union Speech, that the four freedoms ( freedoms of speech and of religion and the freedoms from want and from fear ) are "everyone in the world ."

Was he wrong? We say he was right. Are the 4 freedoms just for us, and not for Muslims too? We and FDR say they are fro everyone, incluidng Blacks, Jews, and Muslims. Why did we fight for civil rights if it is not for everyone? Was slavery in the US wrong only because Blacks were slaves? Democrats used to stand in solidarity against oppression any where in the U.S. or the world. Why now is it only the Republicans? Is this why Democrats continue to turn a blind eye to education/jobs/housing/public safety results in our inner cities?
Posted 7-23-06, 3:30 a.m.

7-5-06, #12: Is the plan finally being fulfilled: "Say Goodbye to the Vikings: They are leaving. That is the Plan."

That was in the title of Chapter 15 of our book, The Minneapolis Story. We reported that the former Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission chairman, Henry Savelkoul, wrote that Minnesota could only support 3 teams. Strib reporter Jay Weiner, in his 2000 book, Stadium Games, reported that the 4th team, the one to go, according to business and the legislature, was the Vikings. Why did nothing come of Viking owner Zygi Wilf's meeting last Wednesday with City Hall? How soon before he his looking at other area sites not just in Minneapolis but in other cities, as Minneapolis and St. Paul are offering nothing, and he has had to extend his offer to Anoka County. It is clear: no stadium, no stay. The article lists three of the problems for the Vikings in that article: (1) Corps of Engineers has not yet approved the wet lands as a site; (2) rising construction costs, and (3) the Vikies having to extend the original offer because the deal has't been done yet. And if the Corps approves, how much time will be lost by environmental law suits regarding the wetlands from environmentalist groups? Remember the music amphitheater that tried locations all over the areas, and lost out each time? Recall our 2005 Column of January 26, on "Saving the Vikings." In our archive version of the column, we have added the “Roll Call” of those supporting The Plan to have the Vikings leave. We list 25 in the roll call. We then list 12 items under The Cities have backed this up with their actions, of which #6 states:

6. Environmental concerns could prevent construction for at least a decade (a loss of nearly one billion in local revenues to the team which would have changed to a gain of over one billion if they moved to L. A. or another city during the same period); law suits by environmental groups can be expected to block new stadiums just as they did the Amphitheater.

How much longer will the new owners be able to continue with these kinds of unnecessary "status qo" losses caused by the lack of a "go ahead" stadium deal?
Posted 7-23-06, 3:35 a.m.

7-5-06, #11: Open Letter to Editors of Star Tribune: See our July 5, 2006 column regarding the chilling message to all African Americans of Minnesota: Justice is more easily dreamt about than an actual fact in practice during one's waking hours. What say you?
Posted 7-5-06, 11:59 p.m.

7-2-06, #10: Open Letter to Editors of Star Tribune: Solutions for your 7-2-06 editorial, Crime and the 'truly disadvantage.

Although we applaud your attempt to "solve" the crime problem in your editorial, we feel we are getting the old bait and switch because of "the secret that shall not be named," racism. You have no reference to The Urban League (Harry Davis's old organization--see below), the NAACP (which is still in disarray, which we cover and you ignore), nor to the prominent Black leader Emmett Carson, head of the Minneapolis Foundation, nor the The PCRC (Police Community Relations Council, which was created by federal order to help but is continually shunned and left out.

We also note you continue to ignore the resource of our columns adn blogs. See especially our columns this year and note your topics in our list of 2005 columns including our summary of those columns. And, of course, not one reference to the analysis and solutions of our book (which, to this day, you still refuse to review or even acknowledge, even though it is as relevant now as then, and carries what others have called the best approach to the solutions you claim you want solved but to which we respond, "not really"). All of our solution/resolution suggestions throughout the book are summarized in Chapters 16 and 17. Our chapter summar is on pp. 18-23.

From all of this we sense your frustration that the "handkerchef heads" picked by the white elite establshment (which includes the Strib) haven't gotten a handle on this to help keep Blacks "in their place", which, to us, is no surprize as you really don't want your hand picked Black leaders to do other than keep North Minneapolis in is place (and thus you support their dysfunction, hence the sutitle of our book's Chapter 14 on Minneapolis Black organizations, "Now part of the problem rather than the solution"). And this is where your schizophrenia comes in, as you really don't want it handled (hence our book's Chapter 16 subtitle: "Unrest, disturbance: the status qo price Minneaplis is willing to pay." And now those chickens are coming home to roost.

Of course we want the thugs and criminals (your "bottom layer") off the streets (most Black youth killed are killed by other Black youth; see our Column #13 of 2005). To help we must dry up their "supply" of new members (your "middle layer"). You refuse to address how to win over the "middle layer" other than to blame the bottom layer. And you refuse to admit that our education system is skewed so that most in your "top layer" are white and most Black students purposefully wind up in "their place," the middle and bottom layers.

You act as if crime and poverty are new. Until white policies took over the Black Civil Rights Movement, there was more Black entrepreneurship and more Black owned businesses than today. In another Sunday editorial on the Buffet to Gates Billions for eradicating poverty and disease combination you reveal the fatal flaw in your logic: top down not bottom up solutions, your belief that a super elite layer can lead "governments and nonprofits alike" in the fight against "global poverty and the illnesses that reinforce it." How about citizens be included to that?

To eradicate poverty and disease requires societies that are free and democratic, have contractual law, and where people can own as well as build wealth (and not be "redlined" out of ownership and building wealth; see our book's Interlude 8). We too admire the ability of Gates and Buffet to create and build wealth. We also recognize how they will avoid the estate taxes they claim to favor by creating foundations that will impact on the rest of us, even though they are not elected. That they will solve poverty without first advocating freedom and liberty, ownership and wealth creation by minorities, is just more top down "keep them in their place". Today's Parade Magazine has an article on Freedom is a Wonderful Thing, all about immigrants who left their countries that didn't have freedom to come here where freedom exits. All we ask is that it be allowed to exist in the inner city Plantation as well. And those who say democracy and freedom are outside the realm of Arab and/or Islamic countries, reveal yet another kind of insidious racism, the kind that says that as Blacks had a different immigrant experience they can't make it on their own, and thus must be wards of the state (Kerner Commission Report, 1968; 1998's "Bell Curve" concludes "wards" because Blacks are not intelligent enough to make it on their own).

You decrie the demise of Black marriage and two parent families. But until government (federal, state, local) policies promote marriage and two parent families, and until they support equal access and equal opportunity, you will continually foster that, as well as continue to enable the "bottom layer" and make it the option of choice of the"middle layer" and, we might add, too many in the "top layer." You make our case with your statements that "Crime in the Midwest is growing three times faster than elsewhere, the FBI reported last month. These same Midwestern cities have the nation's highest black-white school achievement gaps and the largest black-white income gaps," hence, achieving the very consequences you rail against, consequences resulting from the policies you support.

You ask "Who are these dangerous children? Who are their parents? Where did they come from? How did we get to this point?" You give a major blame to the "absence of marriage and two-parent child-rearing." And yet it was Demoratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who predicted this as a consequence of government policies. He knew it. We knew it. You knew it. But you did nothing to editorialize against it.

Bottom line: take away your "bottom layer" and our thesis remains: Blacks in your "top layer" and "middle layer" will still get lousy education (our book's Chapter 7, the city and state will still be woefully out of compliance in terms of jobs and hiring (our book's Chapter 9), and North Minneapolis housing, thus, would remain subpar (our book's Chapter 8). See also our 2005 Columns #14, and especially #8.

The real issues, and the answers to your questions, are, as we have noted in our book fully covered in The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes. Racism continues to create the gaps in education, jobs, and housing, phrased by Nellie Stone Johnson as "No education, no jobs, no housing." You have switched the "narrative" from white racism to black crime and the Black offspring of 1990 Black gang members. But what led to that? Have you forgotten your own 1990 series, "Issues of Race" (June 10-24, 1990) , or the autobiography of your own W. Harry Davis, Overcoming, or the autobiography of Nellie Stone Johnson: The Life of an Activist? In Harry's 2000 book, funded partially by your foundation, your editor states, "Racism still stalks this city" (p. 9). But you can't make up your mind, as we read, "white racism was not eradicated [but] was dealt a punshing blow" by Harry (p. 9) followed by "This book should lead no one to conclude that racism has been conqurered in Minneapolis" (p. 11), which, we interpret from your editorial, the blow to racism was thus anything but punishing.

You site loss of manufacturing jobs, the rust belt, and the diaspora from there and the South to Minneapolis. And yet what is so different in history about that? Nothing. Manufacturing changes, technology changes. Jobs change. What is missing is the inability of too many Blacks to adapt to such changes due to too many not able to read, write, and compute because of your continual backing of a school system designed to keep Blacks in their place, not to educate relevate, that is about teacher job security, retirement and benefits. Your system has done well to keep young Blacks in their place, which you prove in your statement: highest black-white school achievement gaps and the largest black-white income gaps.

Unbelievably, you praise Mayor R.T. Rybak for "finding his voice on this matter." Say what? The only voice he has found has been to abdicate his responsibility as mayor with his own bait and switch in order not to be held acountable. Rybak's "call for the governor to lead a reform of the criminal justice system that clamps down on repeat offenders was especially welcome, as was his plea for a city-state partnership." And what is the partnership? It is profiile, push out, roundup, put away.

We recommend a different kind of "model", Mayor Cory Booker, who was sworn in yesterday as Mayor of Newark, NJ. Except for the proportion, the similarities are amazing: "Few other urban areas face as many challenges. Among large cities, only Miami is poorer. Gangs, guns and drugs are spreading, leading to a 15 percent increase in homicides, according to the latest statistics. The schools are so troubled that they are run by the state , and still a majority of Newark's 8th and 11th graders failed a statewide math test in 2004." Booker covers the spectrum: would move Newark from dangerous to safe, poor to prosperous. This is a very different perspective that merely joining a Minn city - MN state partnershp in making downtown Minneapolis safe for suburban Minnesotans. Booker has key themes for his first 100 days: safety, education, and ethics (our book's Chapters 16, 7, and 11), as he aims to deal with fatal shootings, deficient schools and relentless unemployment (our book's Chapters 16, 7, and 9). Why not here in Minneapolis? In Newark, "everything is on the table" ready for "revamping." Why not in North Minneapolis?

Our perspective in our journalism reflects the sense of Booker, not Rybak. We seek to (1) "track the gaps" as they relate to education, jobs, housing, etc., between Blacks in the inner cities (not to mention "gapped" groups of White Americans), in order to influence positively the closing of those gaps through our book, CD, weekly columns, blog, and solutions papers (which includes our Building Blocks and 7Keys... papers); (2) seek common ground for Blacks and Whites and for Republicans/Democrats/Independents/Greens through what Archbishop Tutu of South Africa calls ubuntu reconciliation (see our book, Chapter 14) for inner cities; (3) keep our eyes especially on the gaps as they relate to young Black males; (4) contribute to meeting the special goal of getting the NAACP and other Black organizations to once again get their eyes back on the prize; (5) do so as a new media journalist (reporting plus analysis backed by facts, eschewing partisan politics for performance politics (measuring and interpreting the gaps), sifting truth from belief and validity from plausibility; (6) follow these words of Abraham Lincoln at his 4-4-1864 Inaugural Address , "with malice toward none; and charity for all, ... let us strive on to finish the work we are in;" and (7) interpret Lincoln's all men are created equal phrase and his "the work" to be the closing of the gaps and extending the spirit and substance of the dream of Martin Luther King to all.

We invite you, the Star Tribune and the various city agencies, non-profits and charitable organizations, as well as corporate Minnestoa, to contribute to these goals as well.

P.S. also see our Blogs #8 and #9 below, our Column on the left side of June 21, our upcoming column of July 5 (written 6-30-06), as well as our collected solution papers.
Posted Sunday, 7-2-06, 11:58 p.m.

A next day posted 2nd PS re Gates/Buffett and "who's on first." The WSJ on Monday, 7-3-06, printed a piece which reflects our concern above ("Where the Boys Aren't," p A-10, by Christina Hoff Sommers. Sommers has written the book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men . Given what we have written about both Black youth and white youth, you can imagine our shock when we read that the Gates Foundation (which has set itself up as an "honest broker of evidence") think tank "Education Sector" reported that "The Evidence Suggests Otherwise: Truth About Boys and Girls," in which the report denies there is a problem with boys. People will say, "well if Gates's think tank says so it must be so." But it isn't.

The report is concerned about undermining girls without giving any evidence that they are being undermined. It says boys are doing better than ever, as the Gates think tank attaches its own spin to these statistics that it uses, when the report itself acknowledges that "the problem of male underahcievement is largely confined to black, Hispanic and low-income white males," as if this is somekind of "of course" understood statistic.

Somers notes that a recent study by Judith Kleinfeld also reveals that this same Gates think tank report is not true: White males from college-educated families: 23% scored "below basic" whereas only 7% of white girls. Hispanic males from college-educated parents: 34% of sons below basic, only 19% of females.

And it even acknowledges that colleges across the board are 57% female, and that of every 100 women who get a college degree, only 79 men do. There is a crisis with males in this country, white and black, which, as we have continually discussed (see our book's Chapter 9, p. 154-156), and which the Gates Foundation funded study can't find. This bothers us a good deal.

Gate's education think tank acknowledges that "African-American, Hispanic and low-income white males "are in real trouble." But it attributes their plight to larger social problems that have little to do with gender."

When Gates' Foundation's studies are crowned as having the answers, and yet Gates supports reports such as this, we can only cringe at the kind of reports they will give about education as a whole in the U.S. and particularly cringe over how they will define and judge causation of poverty in American inner cities, not to mention Blacks in those inner cities. With friends like this you don't need enemies., which is why we need bottom up input and local analysis, not top down from far away "experts." it is false of Gates to trumpet that his foundation is "an honest broker of evidence" when it look at only some of the evidence and then forces it through an already accepted ideological lens of perception.
2nd P.S. posted 7-3-06, 2:55 p.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

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