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08-19-07, Blog Recap: #s 29-30: Two for today
#30: Minneapolis Caught with its Non-Compliance Pants Down
#29: A tale of two cities: Newark and Minneapolis: two approaches to murder: justice and injustice. Newark rests and holds while Minneapolis sets free through deportation.
8-19-07, Blog #30: Minneapolis Caught with its Non-Compliance Pants Down.
The forces of nullification and reversal exposed for their continued battling against adaptation and integration to prevent us a seat at the Minneapolis table.
At the top of this blog we refer to six columns dating back to April 20, 2005, for our question, "When will our jobs compliance questions be answered re the coming construction boom?" (e.g., 3 stadiums, casinos, Mall of America Phase 2, destination developments, light rail to St. Cloud, and their ancillary projects and infrastructure). That question is about the future. It is based on what we know: non-compliance has been the history of the past. And it exists now. We have just learned that the monetary value of the contracts in non-compliance of the City of Minneapolis, is $576,100,000. The University of Minnesota has just submitted a report to the Standards and Procedures Committee of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission, July 25, 2007. It will be interesting to see the reaction at Monday's Commission meeting. Will they push to end this non-compliance practice, or find a way to continue to exclude Blacks (as opposed to "other minorities," which they favor more).
Think of it. No compliance. Letters of Agreements (LoA) to do so, and yet no monitoring, no meeting of goals, no compliance. The largest is the $250,000,000 contract to the Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) Department, Lee Sheehy, until May, was the executive director. In May he was appointed by our U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar to be her Chief of Staff for our. As he knows all about maintaining non-compliance, perhaps, in his new position, he can now work to see that compliance is met. As we note in our 8-1-07 column, we don't, as the city, define minorities such that, as the city is quoted, it can satisfy the compliance laws without hiring Blacks. Will the Democrats continue to subvert "minorities" so as to dilute us out of the picture?
We have often written of the forces of nullification and reversal. "Of what?" some have asked. The answer has been the same in America for over 400 years: of nullification of adaptation and reversal of integration. Minneapolis, as we have written, is the last outpost of those seeking to show the rest of America how to prevent adaptation and integration. They don't want to adapt to fairness and justice. They don't want to adapt to equal access and equal opportunity.
Minneapolis openly and defiantly continues to work to keep us in what they think should be our place. And we will continue to pull the covers off and expose their actions with the vision of how America should be a beacon on the hill beckoning all citizens to sit at the Minneapolis table. The Democrats control the cities. The DFL version of the Democrats controls Minneapolis. I am a Nellie Stone Democrat. Yet the Democratic National Committee kicked Nellie, a co-founder of the DFL out.
Minneapolis is the liberal finger in the dike to prevent the flood of fairness and justice in the inner city. Fairness and justice starts with education and jobs. Minneapolis openly denies this for our inner city kids. Why, Black America, do we continue to support Democrats? What will you do, White, DFL Minneapolis to show us that we should continue to support your candidates?
Will you go along with this refusal to follow integration compliance or stand up against it? Is this non-compliance the real White Minneapolis? Or that of a few poseurs pretending to be Democrats? Whether you do or don't end the practice will answer the questions. We're watching and waiting to hear from you. And oh yes, and the nation is also watching. How long will you continue to try to pull the covers over people's eyes and hide the light of freedom's adaptation and integration under your nullifying and reversing bushel basket?
Posted 8-19-07,11:20 p.m.
8-19-07, Blog #29: A tale of two cities: Newark and Minneapolis: two approaches to murder: justice and injustice. Newark rests and holds while Minneapolis sets free through deportation.
Or is this just the strategery of the Office of Homeland Security trying to "buy" influence from Mexico re border security by letting us be their sacrificial lambs? That is neither just nor free. It is tyranny and unjust. You can't keep your freedoms by giving them up.
Last Friday, in Block E of downtown Minneapolis, two brothers were attacked by seven Mexicans who were waiting for them (probably due to words exchanged earlier in the bar). One brother was killed, the other arrested. And the seven Mexicans were, as the movies would call them, "federales," Mexican agents carrying diplomatic pouches (giving new meaning to the phrase "ordering prescriptions by mail"). We also want to know why there were no police nearby as this is the most patrolled block in Minneapolis.
So, in Newark, the killers of three young Black men are arrested and held. As the Mayor says, in an August 4 interview, "I'm blessed to be in the most important American fight going on." As the article says, the fight in New Jersey is "trying to turn around a city plagued by violent crime, poverty and failing schools."
But not in Minneapolis, where education is one of the worst, and poverty, thanks in part to the refusal of the City to be in compliance re fairness in jobs and hiring, remains, and violent criminals are left off the hook, sacrificed to a failed policy. So the killers of an African American are released. And to add insult to injury, the 2nd Black victim is arrested.
Needless to say, we, like the family of the arrested victim, can't understand why he was arrested. This is not unlike the old Southern joke about the speeding white man who hits two Blacks, with one crashing through his windshield while the other is knocked two hundred feet down the road. The police arrive and assure the driver all is OK, as they arrested the one for breaking and entering and the other for leaving the scene of a crime.
When asked about it at the PCRC (the federally mediated/appointed Police Community Relations Committee) meeting, the police lied about it, not knowing we already knew. What Minneapolis and the Feds have done is not new. Recall the NYT story, "The Presence of Malice," August 2, 207, p. A21, in which we read that four men in Boston were aworded more than $100 million because the FBI had framed them for the 1965 murder of a local gangster, because the guilty person was one of their informants.
The same article reports a study in which "two-thirds of so-called wrongful convictions result not from good-faith mistakes or errors but from intentional, willful, malicious prosecutions by criminal justice personnel." An easy clue to this being the case is when a prosecutor is "dead set against reopening an old case." This is to let the feds and the police know that in this case, we are waiting for truth, not malice. So in Minneapolis, without even a whimper of a protest, the police and city officials consented to allowing the killers go free. Would they have acted the same had it been a white man killed? They would have at least made some gesture.
As the NYT article put it, "A crucial part of the problem rests in the hearts and souls of those whose job it is to uphold the law." What this is showing about the hearts and souls of all officials involved, city/state/feds, is not a pretty site. We can't stop them from being unlawful. But we can keep pulling the covers off their attempts to cover it up by blaming the victim of an attack. We will continue to watch the watchers.
Posted 8-19-07, 11:20 p.m.
08-08-07, Blog Recap: #s 21-28: Civil rights collapses some more with bridge collapse
#28: Congratulations to MLB all time HR hitter, Barry Bonds, and congratulation and admiration to a great man, Hank Aaron and his magnaimous congratulations to Barry Bonds.
#27: Where is the jobs plan for Blacks for the bridge cleanup and re-construction?
#26: The Civil Rights Bridge Comes Tumbling Down as Minnesota Waives Civil Rights. Again.
#25: Strib: 1996 report of cracks ignored follows our Blog entry #20 of 8-2-07
#24: Murders: 6 in 6 days. Murderapolis again?
#23: Is another bridge tax the Vikings leaving town?
#22: Blaming illegals for taking jobs from Blacks deflects the eye from the real culprit: bad education in schools and homes
#21: Govenor Pawlenty says, "We have to rely on the experts." Who will watch the experts?
8-8-07, Blog #28: Congratulations to Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron.
New MLB all time HR hitter: Barry Bonds: #756 was hit Tuesday night, and congratulation and admiration to a great man, Hank Aaron on his stadium videotape congratulations to Barry Bonds. Aaron noted how he had held the record for 33 years and said, "I move over and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family." Henry Aaron is magnanimous and has shown us how to be a big man with life's changes. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has shown us this year just how small a man can be dealing with change.
Posted Aug 8, 11:00 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #27: Where is the jobs plan for Blacks for the bridge cleanup and re-construction?
We note in the Strib that the I-35 bridge that collapsed will be replaced with a 10 lane bridge.
We read that, " the state moved to have eligible design-build teams for the new bridge construction in place by the end of the week," and that "The governor said the replacement span will be built swiftly but the Republican National Convention meeting in September 2008 "will not dictate the timetable for this bridge."
"MnDOT officials have said a new bridge could be completed as soon as the end of next year," and that, "contractors have until early today to submit their qualifications to build the bridge" and "the state will limit the pool by Friday" and "construction could begin within a couple of months" and that Minnesota's "U.S. Senators Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar also are attempting to speed up the request for nearly $160 million in federal funding of the Northstar commuter rail line in response to the bridge collapse."
That is a lot of construction work. But none for Black contractors or Black workers. Remember from our column of August 1, where we discuss this, and ask the 5 questions about jobs at the top of our "Tracking the Gaps" blog. Now we add question #6, where is the jobs plan for the bridge clean-up and construction?
Posted Aug 8, 11:00 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #26: The Civil Rights Bridge Comes Tumbling Down as Minneapolis and Minnesota waive civil rights. Again. Business as usual .
The Star Tribune is filled with stories now about meetings and action. Look how fast things are being done regarding our fallen bridge. $250 million from the feds. A 5 cent gas tax hike. The waiving of regulations and the cutting of red tape. All to the good, as it will help rebuild the bridge by the end of 2008 (in time for the Republican National Convention here?)
But note the business as usual making Blacks part of the cost through the waiving of civil rights and our exclusion from these actions. Why don't Minnesotans protest the waiving of civil rights in response to the aftermath of the terror of the bridge collapse when they protest the waiving of civil rights after the terror of the World Trade Center towers collapse on 9-11? Does it depend on whose back yard? Makes us ask, Law? What law? Compliance? What compliance?
No notification of these contracts were given to the Civil Rights Department to check re jobs compliance. So no checks were done regarding affirmative action nor compliance with city hiring rules. The bridge we can add to our big civil rights battle regarding jobs and education (poor quality education prepares drop outs for poor quality jobs). And don't forget, as we report in our August 1 column, the city says it can meet its minority hiring requirements without hiring Blacks, as "minorities" now includes white women, gays, and other special interest groups that are not slave descended, who thus ride on our backs and our coat tails on the way to the job site, while we are then left outside the job site.
Its like going back in time. We are not even on their radar screens. We appreciate the speed with which the President left $250 million in town over the weekend, and we appreciate the speed the city and state are taking to clean up the collapse and get a new bridge building process started. Contracts have been let. More will be. But not to us. We have again become the new invisibles. And our local Black organizations like the NAACP and Urban League again remain silent. The cat of selling out all thse years has got their tongue. They can't (won't?) speak up. They no longer know how to fight for our people and our communities. This is the true evidence of the dying of a community, when its leaders are too scared or too unconcerned or to dependent on patronage. Contracts have been awarded that exclude those who of our "diversity" population.
At the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, US Supreme Court Justice Jackson said, "That for great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason" (this week's Newsweek, p. 6). When will white power pay tribute to the reasonableness of law and follow its own laws regarding the civil rights of Blacks?
Posted Aug 8, 11:00 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #25: The Star Tribune reports of bridge cracks ignored since 1996, follows our Blog entry #20 of 8-2-07
Who is watching the watchers? And so we read in the Strib, " For nearly a decade, report after report showed extensive problems on the bridge.
State bridge inspectors warned for nearly a decade before its collapse that the Interstate 35W bridge had "severe" and "extensive" corrosion of its beams and trusses, "widespread cracking" in spans and missing or broken bolts. And not only was the superstructure in poor condition, but certain components were "beyond tolerable limits."
Posted Aug 8, 11:00 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #24: Murders: 6 in the last 6 days. Murderopolis again?
2 in North Minneapolis; 2 in South Minneapolis; 1 on Block E, where a young, 15 year old Black boy was beated to death by Mexicans, and the 6 th making history as the first murder ever on the campus of the U of M, our major land grant institution. The points on the compass are covered. We need the kids of our community covered. In 1996, Minneapolis was labeled " Murderopolis " by the New York Times, due to a spike in murders that year.
Business as usual? But of course. Check our history: When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, Minneapolis had its own sordid story: " By the turn of the twentieth century it was considered one of the most crooked cities in the nation." Mayor Albert Alonzo Ames, with the assistance of the chief of police, his brother Fred, ran a city so corrupt that according to Lincoln Steffans its ''deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled.''
Remember the mid-1990s, when the New York Times labeled Minneapolis ''Murderopolis'' due to a spike in murders that occurred over the long hot summer of 1996? And now, in the first week of August 2000: 6 murders in 6 days. More than bridges are collapsing in Minneapolis.
Posted Aug 8, 11:00 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #23: Is another bridge tax the Vikings leaving town?
Wouldn't that be wish fulfillment of our "leaders?"
In 1996, a leading sports authority head said the consensus was that Minneapolis had too many pro sports teams (NFL, NBA, MLS, NHL) and one had to go. The book "Stadium Games" identified the one to go as the Vikings. With the bridge collapse, 10s millions will be needed to fix it and to repair others so they don't fall (there are six other bridges of the same design). So now we get new taxes to cover these disasters. Pubic monies have already been pledged to new stadiums for the UM and theTwins. This raises the question: will there also be public monies for the Vikings for their new stadium (needed to create revenues to cover the $600MM purchase cost of the team), or not? Will this be the excuse - no tax dollars - the state uses to ease the team out of town?
Posted Aug 8, 10:30 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #22: "Immigrants a scapegoat for blacks' unemployment." misses the point: : no education, no jobs, and lets those in charge of education off the hook.
DeWayne Wickham's headline in August 7, 2007 USA Today: Immigrants a scapegoat for blacks' unemployment." A Miami Urban League leader is quoted as saying, "Immigration isn't the whole reason for the drop in employment of black men; it's not even half the reason. But it is the single largest reason." We disagree. Besides structural racism built into the systems of our country, we know that poor education is the number one reason. As Nellie Stone Johnson said, "no education, no jobs, no housing." And although Black unemployment is the lowest we can recall, it is still twice that of whites.
Blaming immigrants deflects the eye from where it should be focused: on education. The real culprit for Black unemployment and poor paying jobs is bad education in schools and homes. And who controls the schools? The DFL and their teachers union. And whose policies decimated our communities, as Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted? The Great Society programs of the Democrats. As long as we retain round heels for the democrats and don't stand up for what we know is best for our community, we are condemned to continued slow community death. Why, when the education system refuses to adapt to teaching non-whites so our kids can learn, don't we either boycott them come election day or vote for different parties?
Posted Aug 8, 10:30 a.m.
8-8-07, Blog #21: Govenor Pawlenty says, "We have to rely on the experts." And just in case, he also identifies the scapegoats, "the experts."
So then we adapt the old, old question, "who will watch the watchers": who will watch the experts?
You have to like a guy who can stare you in the eye and profess complete innocence. And you have to admire his lawyerly mind already setting up the legal case for the state's innocence on the technicality that no one said "close the bridge," and, just in case, identify the scape goats: the experts.
Here is what he said: "At no point did anyone say the bridge needed to be closed, or that there was imminent danger of failure," and "If they had, then certainly the commissioner and the MnDOT team certainly would have closed the bridge. " Thus, We have to rely on the experts." They expressed concerns about the bridge, but at no point, as far as I know, did anyone ever say 'close the bridge.' " So the Govenor says the state is innocent, and just in case, offers up the scapegoats when and if they become needed, the experts.
Posted Aug 8, 10:30 a.m.
8-2-07, Blog #20: Old truss stressed, collapses, looking like a bombed bridge in Bagdhad [See pictures]
The picture of Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan at the microphone, with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Mayor R.T. Rybak standing by as the Chief addressed the reporters about the collapse of the I-35W bridge, says it all.. When everything is fine, anyone can be in charge. But when things are not fine, true professionals are brought to bear.
So we are thankful that the mayor had the wisdom to put the best person in charge of all emergency preparedness: Former Fire Chief Rocco Forte, recognized as the best emergency response person in the state, and some say one of the best in the nation and the world. Political appointees don't cut it when reality knocks down your door of life and threatens your survival. With dead people, dying people, injured people, and unaccounted for people, this is not a time for desk jockeys.
This columnist went to the site, and got within 65 feet of the disaster. I was astonished at the equipment brought in, including a huge fire truck from Minnetonka that I had never seen before. The suburbs are certainly well equipped.
Most of us who have many a time crossed the Interstate 35W bridge that spans the Mississippi River could not help but pause to count our blessings that just after 6 p.m. Wednesday was not one of those crossings, for that is when the bridge fell, with the part over the river pancaking straight down, and the two sections on either side breakoff in diagonals. It could have been us.
It was a strange symmetry. Homeland Security says there is no indication of terrorism. But the FBI is investigating just in case. Black Hawk helicopters were circling overhead. We look forward to see what the security cameras maintained by the Coast Guard reveal.
Questions will emerge for weeks before answers start to make sense. Some say the last inspection of the bridge was 2004. Others say 2005 or 6. Which was it? KSTP reported comments of several engineers. CNN waved a report it said was that of UM Professor Dexter inspection in 2001. He found problems: significant stress fractures and fatique, as well as rust in cracks, never a good sign. CNN reported that Professor Dexter had recommended that the bridge be closed down and repaired. He was paid by the state, which can cloud judgment. Did that happen when he then wrote that if they didn't close and repair it right away, it could be done in 2020? Is "should" too cavalier a word when people's lives are at stake? And how is it that the b ridge passed its inspection?
How does this happen to a relatively new bridge?
And as in all tragedies, heroes are born. 59 kids were in the school bus that dropped with the bridge. Thanks to an African American student who kicked out the back door, the children who could were able to get out and the six injured needing help thankfully could be reached by rescue workers. KTSP also reported that people who were on the bridge and uninjured did not leave but instead ran from car to car to see who might be injured and in need of help. It is a wonderful sign of community when a tragedy like this brings out the best in people.
Ironically, the Republican National Convention site team was in town, scouting the convention to be in St. Paul in September 2008. One wonders what they were thinking in light of reports that protest groups hope to tie up bridge traffic and thus snarl traffic during the convention. Now they'll know.
The impact of the bridge collapse will be huge. Barge traffic? Closed, switched to trucks. Rail freight? Closed, switched to trucks. Accidents? They will rise as more trucks and shorter tempers collide on what will be many crowded detours.
In the midst of this tragedy we need, after our moments of silence for the victims, ask the question how the employment victims of our community: Black contractors and Black workers shut out of consruction projects. Will they be hired to help in the recovery and rebuiding work? We ask for two reasons. The first is that as our column of yesterday notes, Minneapolis has said that as the definition of minority is broad, they can mee their minority oblications without hiring Blacks.
The second question, related to that, concerns the fact that there in all probability will be a shortage of workers for a project of this magnitude. African American workers are available. So the second question is whether this will be another "minorities" so defined so as to eliminate Blacks. Will Blacks be hired, or will workers outside the city and state be trucked in instead? These are good questions. We'll be reporting back as we get answers.
Posted August 2, 2007, 2:42 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 www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
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