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2006 Columns
Quarter 2: April thru June ~ Columns #8 - #13

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June 20, 2007 Column #13: NAACP's showboat runs aground.We are not surprised

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

June 8 Washington Post headline: "NAACP Will Cut Staffing, Close Offices: $5 million shortfall." All regional offices to close; 40 percent of national HQ staff to be laid off.

It will be impossible for many branches to address regional and local issues. How many will have to close?

In the musical Showboat, we all know the famous song, "Old Man River." The NAACP must rise again and stop being what it has become, just an 'ol man river that does nothing else but just keep on rollin and doesn't save the NAACP boat from going aground.

Since our 2002 book (see Chapter 14: "Black organizations have become part of the problem rather than the solution") and over two dozen columns and blog entries since, we have sounded the alarm. For speaking the truth, at the request of our local branch, they made me the first person in 50 years to be expelled by the national NAACP.

Chairman Jullian Bond and his 60-plus member board wanted a focus only on social justice. The former president, Bruce Gordon, who resigned after 19 months, wanted social service as a focus. Julian and the board refused.

On our web page, Blog #11, we offer 10 detailed suggestions for the NAACP Board to consider for its next annual convention to again achieve relevance and significance and reverse it having marginalized itself. They will work nationally and at any region or branch. The ten are are summarized as follows:

First, remember that we don't live in either a justice or a service world -- we live in both a social justice and a social service world.

Second, adopt the mantra of Nellie Stone Johnson: "No education, no jobs, no housing." The laws for justice in education, jobs, housing, etc. are on the books. Cities are voluntarily in noncompliance. The NAACP supports injustice by remaining silent about their noncompliance.

Third, stop shilling for the Democratic Party, which in turn shills for the Teachers Union, and instead demand that education be given by those who would educate and stop making schools part of the war against young Black men.

Blacks are the most loyal segment of the Democratic Party, and yet in the Democratic Party presidential debates so far, we are not brought up. This is a clear indication of our demise and being utterly taken for granted. We need the political parties to fight over us, not write us off, each for their own reasons. If neither "owned" us or dismissed us, they would have to fight over us by offering us the fruits of America.

Ignoring us, taking us for granted, the Democratic Party woos the 35.3 million Hispanic vote, believing they are "naturally" theirs. They push Hispanics, legal and illegal, ahead of us in line, and push us further to the back of the Democratic Party bus, as they know Black organizations will say nothing about it to Massa.

Fourth, pass the baton to young leaders with a practical bent. Let's be frank: The NAACP has taken its eyes off the prize.

Fifth, there are only 400,000 members, one percent of 36.4 million Blacks nationwide (there are less than 100 members in Minneapolis), demonstrating the tremendous irrelevance of today's NAACP among Blacks.

Sixth, return to a focus on where it counts -- on those not able to escape the inner-city enclaves, most due to either lack of education or lack of fathers, of "babies having babies." (And, stop getting excited by a drop in the numbers when there are still so many -- whether you bleed to death quickly or slowly, you still bleed to death.) And, of course, there is the prevalence of drugs and the choice of too many young men for gangs. Squarely address the State of Emergency For Black Youth.

Seventh, admit that the trillions of dollars spent on the war on poverty, education, and other social programs have been disastrous to many African Americans (although a boon to government bureaucrats), and face Daniel Patrick Moynihan's truth of over 40 years ago when he predicted these programs would hurt us.

We used to emphasize our families and cried when the slavers split up our families. Now we sit by quietly as government programs split up our families. Let's stop ignoring the impact of prison, death, drugs and absent fathers. We have higher hopes for our youth.

Eighth, read, from The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes . When it came out in 2000, the local Black leadership groups told people not to buy it, not to read it. The NAACP (national, regional, and local) needs to read The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes.

Read especially Interlude 16 , Calculating a Better Future For All; follow Chapter 17, The Positive Future Possibilities for Minneapolis ," and appy it nationwide; and be buoyed by the Concluding chapter, " Not Losing Sight of the Prize of Equality's Freedom."

Ninth, Follow our Solution Paper #22 Aug. 31, 2003: Seven Themes, Seven Problems, Seven Solutions.

Tenth, Follow Solution Paper #23 Dec. 2, 2003: The Blocks to Construct a Minneapolis Table for All to Sit At Together.

Unless the NAACP at national, regional, and local levels addresses these ten issues, and stops taking its Eye off the Prize, they will remain a showboat run aground.

Arrests made

Sgt. Charles Adams and Sgt. Rick Zimmerman led the investigation leading to the arrest of the three suspects now in custody for shooting 14-year-old Charez Jones last week. Congratulations to them and the MPD.

To repeat: Unless the NAACP at national, regional, and local levels addresses these ten issues, they will remain a showboat run aground.

Posted June 20, 2007, 3:45 a.m.

June 6, 2007 Column #12: More Minnapolis Days of Infamy: The disappearance of Chapter 423 of The Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Regarding the Small and Underutilized Business Enterprise Program

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

The December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor: "a day which will live in infamy." The U.S. was "suddenly and deliberately attacked." Likewise, Minneapolis has again suddenly and deliberately attacked its minority communities.

What is at stake? The city is trying to sunset (kill) the The Small and Underutilized Business Program on June 30, 2007. That will enable excluding minority firms in major projects.

On June 25, 1999, many within the Association of General Contractors thought that the commitment for inclusion had been cemented. In fact the language of the ordinance is as follows:

423.10, Purpose:

This ordinance is enacted pursuant to information and evidence of past and ongoing discrimination against qualified and available women owned and minority owned business enterprises in the awarding of City of Minneapolis construction and development contracts, and contracts for the provision of goods and services

City hall once again applauded and patted itself on the back, as the minority contractors association joined in singing the song, "Happy Days Are Here Again."

But very few paid attention to the trick section (emphasis added):

423.80, Expiration of Chapter 423 (emphasis added)

This chapter of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Chapter 423, shall expire, absent other action, by the City Council, based on an analysis of the continuing need for the Small and Underutilized Business Program. The Small and Underutilized Business Program shall cease all operations on June 30, 2007.

May 21, 2006: a Day of Infamy unless the City Council takes action: the day MN legislature passed House File 2480, authorizing the building of the Twins stadium, without any specific minority inclusion.

April 26, 2007: a Day of Infamy unless the City Council takes action: the day Hennepin County passed Resolution 07-4-187R, a putting the final dagger into the heart of the Black community: excluded again.

The key? The analysis. But no analysis has been done, unless you count the City Attorney's report of January 12, 2007, which claimed, " "There does not appear to be a history of discrimination by the city to remedy....[not] in the past [nor] currently" ( see our January 31, 2007 column and Blog entry #1 of February 2, 2007).

The civil service commission saw through this hoax, and unanimously extended Rule 8.03B about the city's hiring process to March 2010. Was that January 12 report to be used as their analysis to justify sunsetting the Small and Underutilized Businesses program? Who will step up to expose this new hoax and challenge the finalized arrangements and agreements and profit projections and extend Chapter 423's stop date so that minorities can be included as well?

Unless legal action is taken by the City (Or County?), the door will be slammed shut for small and underutilized women's and minority businesses. Will the consciences of our officials and community leaders awake, or will signs saying "Blacks need not apply," be hung on the projects, a slogan these government bodies currently affirm with their public actions?

Because this has come to light, a public hearing has now been scheduled for June 18 th . But if it is merely to allow the venting of anger but not the extension of the sunset date, it is another slap in the face of the minority communities.

And here is the Catch-22. The few positions allotted to minorities are ONLY if they qualify as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and other trade skills. But when half of Black young men are pushed out of public education that doesn't teach trades, how will they qualify? How can the OIC successfully broker applications? By the time it is done the projects will be done.

Thirteen months ago, we sounded the warning in this column that a he plan was afoot to deny meaningful access for the Black community to major projects inside the corporate boundaries of the City of Minneapolis. The legislative action on May 21, 2006 and April 26, 2007, were calculated to smother the dreams of African Americans who thought they would be involved.

The racist genius of the 1968 Kerner Commission Report that we have talked about before in this column, was to define America as "moving towards two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal," and make it inevitable and, thus, excusable. The 1998 Eisenhower Foundation reviewed Kerner and confirmed we are "separate and unequal." Whites, especially liberals who control our cities and their Black sell out "fronts", purposefully use this to "accept" inequality as something to be contained as it can't be changed for those unable to escape the inner city.

Thus, it makes no difference whether city programs are run by whites or their Blacks. Hence: "the killing fields of the public schools, foster care, and all of the major systems funded out of the $5.3 trillion over the last 30 years." In a word: containment.

Which is why I use the word "genocide," albeit "benign": report there is no need, despite the contrary evidence, and then kill programs that address the denied needs so that minorities will not apply but fade away. So Minnesota is a nice land of opportunity for those chosen for access and opportunity, and a hell hole for those denied access and opportunity.

Posted June 6, 2007,6:20 a.m.

May 23, 2007 Column #11: Black officers under siege: the shame of the MPD

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

This is a difficult time for Black officers in the Minneapolis Police Department because of how they are treated by the City's "system".

The May 1, 2007 Star Tribune front page ("Twice in one day, police shoot at suspects in unrelated cases") reports how previously decorated police officers Tony Adams, an African American officer, and Sgt William (Bill) Blake, a Native American, had heroically and courageously faced off against armed gunmen.

Officer Adams was born and raised in North Minneapolis, was an all-star basketball player at North High School, and still has roots in North Minneapolis, where both his mother and father, God-fearing Christian people, are residents.

So when we read the story of Officer Adams' heroic action, we assumed he would be recognized for his professionalism, loyalty and passion with a "Job well done!" for apprehending three individuals, who were firing their guns (even though over 40 shots were fired during the chase and shootout with the fleeing law breakers, no lives were lost).

Which is why we were shocked and angered that the Police Department has issued a Class A violation to Officer Adams for not having his patrol car camera engaged during the high speed chase and shootout. This will leave a permanent blemish on his record.

The other example we are using to show how this is a difficult time for Black officers in the Minneapolis Police Department, is that of Officer Michael Roberts, the longest serving Black officer, 28 years, in the history of this department, who also finds himself under attack, and, as unbelievable as it sounds, is reprimanded for his dedicated yet aggressive policing against drug activity in North Minneapolis.

These stories reveal the different kinds of corruption of City Hall and its Police Department, aided and abetted by the Star Tribune and other white media in Minneapolis, as they chose to suppress both of these stories and suppress reports of the actions taken against Officer Adams and Officer Roberts.

Thus, despite the dramatic headline in the Thursday, May 17 th edition of the Star Tribune (" 'Gunplay' among youths worries police"), the department wants to punish Black police officers who are attempting to fight the "thugism" in our community. The Strib refers to "violent antics by young robbers." Antics? This is just a way for the city, department, community groups, church groups, and Strib to continue to downplay the real problem: their corruption that enables such "thugism." The war on drugs has become a war on young Black men, and too many, including church pastors, work to continue it, not end it.

This is why we see some white officers going through the motions while Black officers who are out there actually doing their job, receive career road blocks in the form of "violations" and "reprimands."

Now you can rest assured that Black leadership is not going to raise the issue. They have a conflict of interest. How can they be part of the solution when they are part of the problem? You know what I'm talking about.

Michael Jordan, the incoming Civil Rights Director, said in this newspaper that police officers have rights too. Clearly Mr. Jordan needs to clarify that. He needs to make clear that both Black officers as well as white officers have rights that must be respected.

The May 3 rd killing of 31 year old James William Mogren in the vicinity of the 1100 blocks of Irving and Humbold Avenues North, near where Officer Roberts' mother lives, could have been avoided, if not for a very sophisticated and innovative ploy by drug dealers. Yet, for the second time in two years, powerful forces have been able to manipulate the action against Officer Roberts, because of his efforts to police drug trafficking in North Minneapolis.

Why? Because of the system of City Hall and its acolytes in the media and their appointed so-called Black leadership.

The movies and TV make us aware of the corners cops sometimes have to cut to make justice work in order to get thugs off the street, especially when some laws seem to give criminals more rights than citizens. But there is also the monetary and power corruption: taking bribes to look the other way and/or beating up and abusing suspects, all the while protecting themselves behind the blue wall of silence. But there is an even worse form of corruption: the use of the criminal justice system to keep minorities in their place, particularly heinous when Black pastors and community leaders are a part of it.

This may shock the middle class, but such abuses are well known to any kid on the street. The examples above are part of the "power of the pen," especially in writing false reports used to intimidate and convict those who dare question their actions.

What a city that we reside in.

Officers Adams and Blake Honored. We are pleased to report that at the May 16, 2007 meeting of the Police Community Relations Council, Chief Dolan read from and presented plaques to Officers Adams and Blake, honoring their recent heroics and long time service.

Posted 5-23-07, 10:53 a.m.

May 9, 2007 Column #10: Blacks remain barred from big-money projects

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

Pullquote: The University of Minnesota is so arrogant it tells African American leaders not to raise the question, not to discuss the issues, and not to expect to share in the profits.

A little over a year ago we wrote in this column about the three future stadium projects that could total $1-2 billion. We encouraged meaningful and productive discussions for involving African Americans in stadium jobs and contracts, but city profit and nonprofit entities continue to practice employment noncompliance.

Blacks shunned for Twins stadium

In the case of the Twins stadium, a special commission met and talked about the "White" of it: White privilege, White opportunity, White profit. They echoed Boston's 19th century "Irish need not apply" with "Blacks need not apply."

Everyone chipped in for Whites: City, County, and Carl Pohlad. For Blacks? An entire year of silence about workplace inclusion [with silence also by Blacks except this column]. The chessboard of profits is now in place minus the significant piece representing the African American community.

U of M stadium

Local Black workers have been shunned just as Bishop Desmond Tutu was shunned in the 1980s. It is quite clear that there is no intention whatsoever to allow the African American community its participation in this economic pie. The University of Minnesota is so arrogant it tells African American leaders not to raise the question, not to discuss the issues, and not to expect to share in the profits. And so they remain silent. We won't remain silent.

New civil rights director, same old City noncompliance.

Michael Jordan, nominated to be Minneapolis new civil rights director, is a man with no previous experience in the field of civil rights, a man not too familiar with the politics of Minneapolis, and a man who may have difficulty finding his civil rights way from Apple Valley to downtown Minneapolis.

But, as we were quoted in Doug Grow's column a week ago, the Chamber of Commerce likes him, the city council likes him, and the cops, of course, will love him. So to hell with the communities of color.

Any public hearings will be a joke. We would get two minutes to make a statement and no time to ask any questions -- especially not about jobs for Blacks on the big stadium projects.

Downtown crime-fighting solution

Again, shun Blacks. Actions include moving bus routes to restrict African Americans from coming into downtown, increasing roundups, and placing more African Americans in correction facilities that are already bursting at the seams. What's next?

MacArthur Park "melting" in L.A. last week

Was this a preview of St. Paul Convention 2008? Who will get left "out in the rain" at the Republican convention in St. Paul in summer 2008? In light of the tensions currently at play here, taking a look at what happened in Los Angeles last week, and in light of the prediction by authorities that a minimum of 3,000 will be arrested outside the Republican convention in St. Paul, I continue to wonder what kind of plan is really in place.

With the president's veto of the War Resolutions Bill that contained a $50 million federal commitment for security for the convention, you have to wonder how they'll get the planning done in time and wonder how much extra we'll have to pay.

Tenant confesses too late

George Tenant's confession is too late for Colin Powell. Tenant, former CIA director, has written a warm and fuzzy book three years after his departure about the disastrous intelligence he oversaw for two presidents, Bush I and Clinton, leading up to the Iraq conflict. He sees himself as innocent, yet he left Colin Powell hanging out to dry.

I can still see Colin Powell testifying at the United Nations with George Tenant sitting right behind him. George says he didn't know his CIA had given Colin Powell bad information. "Innocence" takes many forms.

Tenant is going to make a lot of money off of his book (besides his $4 million advance). America lost a great public servant in Colin Powell, who received not money but a shattered reputation and a cruel fate that ended his brilliant public career.

Come on, George Tenant, you really didn't know that that intelligence was bad? Is that another slam dunk?

Black Focus honored

We were very humbled, appreciative and honored to receive the City Pages Award for the Best Cable Access TV program in the Twin Cities. It was the second time in 10 years.

We've been broadcasting continuously for 30 years, 16 on KMOJ and now 14 on MTV. We thank our producers for consistently high-quality efforts. And we thank City Pages for pointing out how the City would like to shun MTV: "One gets the feeling most elected officials would be happy to see the whole operation dismantled."

City Pages continues its award citation with: "And they'd probably start with Black Focus , the show hosted by longtime civil rights champion and City Hall agitator Ron Edwards. ...Most of what Edwards says packs a wallop... And nobody does a better job of confronting the city's race issues... Bottom line is that he tirelessly performs a public service, the kind public access was made for."

Posted 5-9-07, 12:20 a.m.

April 25, 2007 Column #9: MPS educational genocide continues apace Who decides who's 'legitimate'? Plans that threaten the Black community

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

Impound; isolate; round up; quarantine; eradicate: That seems to be "The Plan" in Minneapolis for dealing with inner-city Black youth. I invite Minneapolis to disprove this and show me differently.

The Plan appears to be to IMPOUND our slave-descended Black kids in schools that carry out education genocide by refusing to teach them the 3Rs, encouraging huge dropout rates leading them to be ISOLATED from society in the inner city. There, denied jobs, they can join gangs, commit crimes, get on drugs, commit murder and mayhem, and then be ROUNDED UP (with their families) and QUARANTINED in detention facilities according to the Hennepin County Lindsay Arthur Plan, after which they can be ERADICATED, put out of sight.

Therefore, we were not surprised when the Minneapolis Board of Education voted two weeks ago to close six public schools, five of them located in North Minneapolis. Only school director Chris Stewart spoke truthfully; the dark concealment of the rest was transparent.

The board reversed the Brown vs. Board of Education arguments of 53 years ago. Thurgood Marshall would be greatly disappointed in the Minneapolis Public Schools and the board of education. Their educational genocide continues apace.

If White men can't jump, they can outdo Blacks in school. Thus, Blacks are offered sports, arts and music and then allowed to fail reading, writing and arithmetic.

This is not a new plan. It has a long linage: slavery, Jim Crow, legal and allowed discrimination in education, hiring and housing. The 1968 Kerner Commission Report institutionalized Blacks as being "different" and thus having to be wards of the state as they can't make it on their own (hence our phrase The Minneapolis Plantation).

The 1996 book The Bell Curve portrayed Blacks as too dumb to make it on their own, thus having to be wards of the state. Hence our oversupply of Black youth in gangs and Black adults as race hustlers and cons, including our local branch of the NAACP, who rather than fight back have "turned back."

"Turned back" is an old Southern saying that refers to Blacks so ashamed of being Black that they they try to emulate the Master himself in their bad treatment of fellow Blacks.

How will the school board grade itself on the educational achievement of African American students? The board is playing a mean-spirited trick on a people who do not deserve to be treated so meanly and with such disdain.

This shows us how committed some people and institutions are to making sure that inner-city African American children don't make it. Genocide is defined by Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group."

With fewer physical plants left in Minneapolis for public schools, is it any wonder why so many African Americans try to flee to private and charter schools and why those who can't are so disappointed?

What will be the true savings and the true costs to the taxpayers of this Minneapolis educational genocide? Stay tuned.

Crime-fighting plan

In a conversation with a member of the White ecumenical community, Captain Mike Martin of the Minneapolis Police Department was heard to say that only Black folks who have legitimacy can see his plan. How is it that a White police captain won't talk to the federally established Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) about a plan to impose the most severe of conditions on African American people? Who is more legitimate than the PCRC?

Martin ("I know Black gangs better than they know themselves") is a chief architect of a plan to round up young African American offenders and their families. The controversial crime plan of 2006 recalls our columns on the infamous Lindsey Arthur detention plan of Hennepin County.

Blacks killing Blacks doesn't create much of a stir. But now, after this tragic double homicide, execution style, in North Minneapolis of two White adults by three Black youth ( Strib , 4-19-07, "2 chosen at random killed" and 4-20-07 "Minneapolis Slayings"), we hear a sudden urgency.

At a 4-19-07 press conference, reading from prepared remarks, the City Council President Barbara Johnson offered these chilling words: "We need to get these people out of our midst." Claiming Minneapolis has been too tolerant, she refers approvingly to a roundup plan.

It is indeed a fragile time for our city when White elected and White appointed officials declare they know what is best for the Black community without consulting it, just as in 1847, 16 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. As Captain Martin has been heard to say that he identifies as legitimate only those Blacks in his back pocket, an explanation is in order from the department, the mayor and the council.

Determining who of us is legitimate is not the purview of just White America. They've taken a lot away from us, but I'll be doggoned if they will silence us about our right to survive and our patriotic duty to oppose their plans to impose genocide in any form.

Posted 4-25-07, 6:55 a.m.

April 11, 2007 Column #8: The dark corridors of injustice in the matter of Tyesha Edwards

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

Eleven-year-old Tyesha Edwards (no relation to this columnist) was murdered in November 2002. While doing her home work. A drive-by. Bang. Dead. And once again, the Black leadership of Minneapolis fails our people.

At 9:45 am April 3, in Courtroom 665, the battle lines were drawn once again in the continuous pursuit of justice for Tyesha Edwards. The Star Tribune has carried scant coverage of what has become a fierce fight between Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and District Court Judge Charles Porter.

The April 4 edition of the Star Tribune reported on the decision handed down the day before: "Request denied for new judge for the re-trial of accused killer." That story made us realize that the district court had already sided with Judge Porter and had already rejected the request to remove him from this trial.

For too long, this district court has suppressed the truth and has failed to examine the out-of-control racism and animus against Black citizens and against its own sitting Black judges.

Although the Star Tribune chose to suppress the long history of Judge Porter and his relations with both the Black community and Black judges on the district court bench, we are reminded of his role a decade ago in leading the unsuccessful impeachment of now-retired District Court Judge LaJune Lang.

We must not forget the week-long trial in the chambers of the Minnesota Supreme Court presided over by three retired supreme court judges and one district court judge. We must not forget the testimony about the brutal attack on Judge Lang because of her speaking out about the targeting of African American juvenile defendants by the Hennepin County court system.

We must not forget the attacks on District Court Judge Pam Alexander, approved by the Clinton White House, leading to the decision by then-Chief Judge Roberta Levy that Judge Alexander was soft on drug dealers and may have had a relationship with them. This unfair attack ultimately led to Judge Alexander's name being withdrawn for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench by the late Senator Paul Wellstone.

They want us to forget and move on. That would be wrong. Thus, we can't. We won't.

Back to Courtroom 665 on April 3: The sense was clear -- justice for Tyesha Edwards was to be nullified and reversed. The attorneys completed their arguments in 23 minutes.

County Attorney Freeman's arguments were passionate, on point, and expressed concern about a deal consummated by a wink and a nod. We knew, as we listened to the questions from Chief Judge Lucy Whelan, that the district court had no intentions other than to let Judge Porter continue in his role as judge of guilt or innocence.

County Attorney Freeman has since appealed the decision of the chief judge.

This has opened old wounds. It has called for the dirty secrets to again be brought temporarily into the light of public scrutiny: that as long as Blacks are killing each other, there is no need for White folks to be concerned.

If this had been an 11-year-old White child who had been the victim of marauding forces, the community would still be enraged. For a White victim, no White judge would have suggested that because two of the witnesses had been assassinated in the last three years, and because the Minnesota Supreme Court was the problem, this 11-year-old child would not be allowed the opportunity to have justice rendered on her behalf.

The fact remains that within the district court there are those who maintain that there are no rights or consideration for the African American and that the courts are not honor-bound or duty-bound to protect them. And so a legal system of winks and nods continues.

Connecting other legal dots

McQuitter, Hall and Drake: This is not a law firm. These are three Black men who have filed separate discrimination cases with the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department against Barnes and Noble Books, Rainbow Foods, and McCormick Barron. The law says such complaints are to be adjudicated in 120 days. Let's count.

Mr. McQuitter filed his complaint in October 2002. Yet it took 1,550 days, four and a half years, for Mr. McQuitter to be told in March of 2007 that no probable cause had been found in his complaint.

Mr. Hall's complaint still hasn't been looked after nearly 1,460 days (nearly four years) later.

Mr. Drake filed his complaint on April 27, 2006, and is still waiting over 300 days later. His file hasn't been read, although he was told on April 5 that the burden of proof was on him as a result of an accommodation made with Rainbow Foods.

Three African American men wanting to believe in the system but getting the shaft instead. There are many more cases like these three that are being suppressed from the general public's knowledge.

But R.T. Rybak says we live in paradise. So, colored folks, stop complaining and just be happy. Just wink and nod.

posted 4-11-07, 11:59 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

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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