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7-31-08, Blog entry #21: Why Do The Star Tribune and Katherine Kersten Deny Discrimination, Disinform About the Black Community, Attempt to Disappear Ron Edwards, and Encourage Defamation and Hate Under their banner of self appointed virtue and self fantasies about diversity and tolerance?
Let it be said clearly about Kathy Kersten, in her July 30, 2008 Star Tribune article, New Black Leaders Replacing Failed Old Guard, and about those who left online comments about her article who are her fellow travelers in the four pages of comments that accompany the article: they know not of which they speak.
The "it would be funny if it wasn't so tragic" part is that the so-called Obama backing Mayor RT Rybak has had to recruit the state's top Republican Negro, Peter Bell, to defend his DFL administration and its discrimination of Blacks in his police department.
The City is being sued and doesn't want to pay. It is not sorry for what it has done. It is sorry that it got caught. They are even more sorry that even though the Strib has gone to great lengths to help them cover it up, outlets like mine and the courts won't do so. The law suit exposes the institutional lying of this city's administration. On January 12, 2007, the city attorney's office submitted a letter stating that their expert had "determined that there was no such discrimination in the MPD hiring practlces. Further, l do not know of any studies that the City of Minneapolis has engaged in since that would demonstrate that the City has in the past or is currently engaging in discrimination in its hiring practices."
We all know this is a lie and therefore the city can't win. See my column of January 31, 2007 on this letter (Minneapolis backpedaling on civil rights protections), and my first web log entry of 2007, that is not only about that letter but produces a copy for any to read. In that blog entry I ask the question, How can Minneapolis claim it has no history of discrimination?
To see how far off the truth Kathy and the Strib are about the suit (not to mention the PCRC - Police Community Relations Committee), read my December 14, 2007 essay on the law suit, The Twin Towers of Minneapolis' Nullification and Reversal Begin to Finally Crumble as 5 Black Officers Sue the City for Discrimination.
You can also read Solution #31, July 14, 2008, which lists the most pertinent columns and web log entries of the past several years about the city approved discrimination in the police department: Ending the City's and MPD's COVER UP of Discrimination will help to end the DISCRIMINATION in the Minneapolis Police Department .
And to get a sense of how far off the truth Kathy and the Strib are in general, read any of my columns and web log entries on this, of which the key ones are listed in the Solution #30, June 6, 2008: Ending the SILENCE by the Star Tribune about DISCRIMINATION will help end discrimination . #30 also lists columns and web log entries on "The War Against Young Black Men", on "local journalism" , and on "suggested solutions". This is a listing of columns and web log entries that how the Strib twists the truth into word pretzels unrelated to the straight truth. In terms of the war on young black men, go to our 2003 Solution #13 piece, State of Emergency for Black Youth.
Clearly, the articles calls out for the need of apologies from both Peter Bell and Kathy Kirsten.
Peter Bell, fair haired Republican Negro of the Governor and now the Mayor, needs to apologize for two things, first for allowing the Govenor and the Mayor to sick him on us. Secondly, this former crack head who brought drugs into our community needs to apologize for bringing that poison into our community in his pre-rehab days. He needs to apologize for allowing himself to be used in his post-rehab life as the poster child of that segment of Republicans and DFLers who don't support civil rights and who deny that discrimination exists.
Peter Bell has never attended a PCRC meeting. He has been invited. He is Chairman of the Met Council. We would be better served if he would address real problems: not the Mayor's or Strib's anger at having the covers pulled back to expose the discrimination in the Police Department, but instead to work to protect not only passengers but also bus drivers (three of the latter have been viciously assaulted recently). Black police officers are understandably angry with the Governor, the Mayor, the City Council and the Chief of Police. If you were in their shoes, knowing what they know (read the 40+ page complaint covering 20 years of discrimation), wouldn't you be too?
Kathy needs to apologize for such sloppy journalism, and particularly for her statement that we have been "silent about the plague of black-on-black crime that is ravaging low-income neighborhoods." We don't care what arm chair journalists write in their private diaries for their own amusement. We do care about defamation of a whole community.
Certain self-appointed leaders may be quiet. But we have not been silent about the plague of black-on-black crime nor complacent about how it ravages our low income inner city neighborhoods. Kathy and the Strib support the racist notion that Blacks are different, can't make it on our own, like it that way, and prefer a handout. She ignores all of the columns I have written about the need and desire in the community for economic development and the city time after time thwarting it.
Had Kathy read either of my books or my columns or my web log entries or watched my TV show, she would know that we are very serious about this. Kersten making this statement just shows just how out of touch with reality on this that she and her paper are. She would also then know what the Black community knows: that putting me in the same category as others demonstrates she doesn't know my history nor my relationships.
I invite both Peter Bell and Kathy Kirsten to read the 40 pages of charges of "The Mill City Five" instead of speaking out to willfully mislead (anyone who writes about something without reading the basics about it is either lazy or willing to mislead as they have already arrived at their conclusions). I suggest Kersten and Bell get a transcript of the statements made by the Chief of Police Friday, July 25, when he illegally sat in on and addressed the Mayor and City Council with lies and scurrilous statements about the Five Police Officers (The Mill City Five) suing him and the city.
I suggest they also check out Chief Tim Dolan's history with racist white supremacists both in and outside the department (Kathy's fellow reporters have all of the information on this; they just won't report it). And I suggest she check out the statements of City Council President Barb Johnson who complained bitterly: "that 'effing' Ron Edwards gets more press than the President." And in a meeting Mayor RT Rybak had with Strib Editor Nancy Burns, he begged the paper to reduce my exposure. That's censorship. That's Pravda stuff. That's 1984 stuff. That's big brother stuff. That's " Farhenheit 451" stuff.
The 5 Black Officers offer a stunning refutation to the City's official lie that there has been no discrimination in the Police Department.
The Strib has the same access to media that I have. I'm just one guy with a newspaper column, a twice award winning public access TV show, a blog (web log), a guy people call when they are in trouble or need to know how to deal with the system. The Strib has 100s of staffers in abundance and millions of dollars, and yet get scooped by me over and over. Why? Because I see my job as uncovering and reporting the truth. They see their job as covering up and not reporting the truth, so it takes them longer to prepare stories that spin away from the truth. People call me and provide me with documentation because although they are sick of how the city operates they need their jobs to support their families. Because I am not paid for the work I do that has never been my concern.
Kathy and the Strib should check with former Chief of Police MaManus who was run out of town, who will testify how City Council President Barb Johnson referred to Blacks using the "N" word. And then I suggest that Kathy end her ignorance of my work by reading my two books. When I sent my first book to the City Council, all but Natalie Johnsonn Lee returned them under the specious "we can't accept gifts." In other words, they didn't want it known that they knew what I wrote about.
And for all the venom toward me in the comments section of her article referencing my TV program, I suggest Kathy read the award statements received when my program twice received "best of" its category awards by City Pages. I then suggest she check with the Mayor's office, which monitors the show looking for a reason to shut me down, and then talk to the manager of the public access TV station who explains to those that complain that I continually speak from facts.
Kirsten and her ilk call us radical. They say we block out the moderates. Well, the PCRC are the moderates. But to them, a moderate is someone who meekly does what they are told.
The so-called old guard told their people and congregants not to read nor buy my book. Indeed, the old guard is the NAACP and the Urban League and Leadership Forum. Despite my age, I represent the cutting edge of the future of race relations. The NAACP expelled me for writing The Minneapolis Story. Not for what I wrote (see Chapter 14 that exposes the old guard) but that I wrote it in the first place. Note that only 1% of Black Americans belong to the NAACP.
The Urban League tossed both Nellie Stone Johnson and me out when Rudy Perpich was Governor. He said any organization that won't have Nellie or Ron he had no time for.
Kathy and the Strib know the answers about me. They choose to ignore my books and to continue to weave their lies and half truths, as they once again approach a status that used to get them called The Johannesburg Star Tribune. My books answer the questions Kathy has as well as those of her commenters. Instead, the Strib's response was an official policy: to refuse to report the book as news and not to do a review of the book. As Doug Grow told my publisher, the book has been "shelved:" no story, no review. My publisher met with Mr. McClatchy in Sacramento to discuss the matter. He said their editors had independence. When he was asked, "even when they censor and refuse to print the news?" he just repeated himself, hiding behind the skirt of separation of the news business side from the business side. My publisher then contacted the Strib editor, with Mr. McClatchy's approval, and got the same runaround.
Is it any wonder that the Strib is in demise, as its readership, subscription base, and advertising keep falling? Is it any wonder so many no longer trust the Strib? One can only wonder how much longer the new owners will put up with such nonsense, as the Strib is dramatically hurting their investment.
Unlike the Strib, I have literally been an open book. In five places: two books, one column, one TV show, and one web log. Kathy can read of my work, my accomplishments, and my approach in my books. But the Strib, despite being given over half a dozen copies of my first book, The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, ignore it. And of the three Black weeklies, only the renown Black weekly, the Minnesota Spokesman and Recorder, reported my books as news and reviewed them. The other two local Black weeklies, like the Strib, refused to acknowledge or review them. The only white paper to do so was City Pages. And for those who don't want to read, you can listen to key excerpts from the book.
In The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, I explain my civil rights approach which is not the victimization that Kathy and her commenters talk about (I have to wonder how many of the comments were by certain white police officers), but rather I write on the effects of racism: the discrimination that denies Black students an education, which denies them jobs, which denies them an opportunity for housing, which leaves them to gangs or activity close to it. As Nellie Stone Johnson always said, "no education, no jobs, no housing." I also make it clear that all of my positions in media and civil rights were unpaid. Just read the list of all of the unpaid media and civil rights positions that I have held .
All I have asked for is equal access and equal opportunity. Lousy education, blocked from jobs, and poor housing, is not equal access or equal opportunity. It is purposefully, with public policy, denying Blacks their place at the American table. Hence the title of my new book of March 2008, A Seat for Everyone: The Freedom Guide that Explores A Vision for America . And I just don't talk the walk. I also walk the talk. I have listed many suggested solutions for discussion. These include suggested solutions (ten suggestions) for the NAACP, a chapter in my book (#17) summarizes the suggestions that appear throughout The Minneapolis Story. This web site of mine has an extensive Solutions section with 31 solution papers to date, including Seven Themes, Seven Problems, Seven Solutions, "Ubuntu" Reconciliation of Communities and Races, and The Blocks to Construct a Minneapolis Table for All to Sit At Together.
You can read a summary of my thinking in an inner city vision. I invite Kathy and Peter Bell to publish their visions if they have any besides perpetuating the status quo. As to my books, here is the Minneapolis Story Table of Contents and here is A Seat for Everyone table of contents . The truth used to be the first resort. Now, for the Strib and the City, it's the last resort. This is why some have called me the last man standing because of who I am (an advocate of civil rights who has not taken his eyes off the prize of freedom) as opposed to the fakers and sell outs. And the Minneapolis Story continues in my web log, the purpose of which is to track the gaps in equal access, equal opportunity, and to offer suggestions on how to close the gaps caused by discrimination.
The contretemps that Kathy incorrectly reports about Spike Moss at the Unity Committee meeting (the non-police side of the PCRC) was not about who would be chair but about his erroneous belief that he had been cut out of the loop. It was nothing personal. The attorneys asked us, due to the confidentiality at that phase of the case before filing, that we not discuss it with anyone. And please note: unlike what she reported, this was not a PCRC meeting; it was just the unity group working out their unity. Spike later understood that as this was all confidential, and that the attorneys of the Black officers asked for confidentiality until the law suit was filed, so I couldn't break that pledge. He came to understand it was not personal. All involved just followed the attorneys directives on how to proceed. I was involved because I have been the official spokesperson for the Black Police Officers Association since 1996, which has nothing to do with the PCRC.
City Hall and the Strib believe they can get away with anything. Even ignoring the orders of the Magistrate who told them they were supposed to vote last Friday. They refused. They also broke the law by having MPD Chief Tim Dolan there, present and venting.
Rather than look in the mirror to identify the real culprits, the Mayor and his Police Chief and their minions at the Strib, play the old blame game, seeking a scapegoat to send out into the desset to die as a sacrifice to "atone" for what they have done or, in this case, to take the blame. They want to make me the scape goat. The old White Way: blame the little colored people. When will the City and the Strib stand up for truth? You'll see it before the 5 Black Police officers go to trial. In the meantime, the Strib and the Mayor and Police Chief he City will continue to lie and mislead, which, of course, is legal, as it isn't under oath. But at trial they will have to testify. Then when they lie its called perjury and they can go to jail. So they will settle before the trial starts.
All of the things Kathy and the City Council President and the Mayor and the Chief say about meI take as compliments. As the old Irish tune goes, "you take the high road and I'll take the low road." That is what we have here: them on the low road of lies and me on the high road of truth.
When you read my work linked throughout this essay, you find a journalist committed to seeking the truth vs. a whole bunch of folks and institutions committed to lying, which is what it takes "to keep us in our place."
The Mayor and Police Chief have written their prescriptions: lie, but these are prescriptions for disaster for the city, both in terms of policy, how we are treated in the inner city, and what the tax payers will have to pay to settle these types of suit. And the truth will still get out, as it is now filed in the public record. Why didn't Kathy read it first? Because she doesn't want to and she knows her readers won't so they can't call her on it.
The city will lose the court case so it will have to settle beforehand, bringing down their whole house of cards. Why do they get into these pickles? Because they don't want to be fair. And as I detail in The Minneapolis Story, they have gotten away with it for so long it is easy to think they can continue to do so. They don't want equal access and equal opportunity. They are unwilling to be fair and share. You can't participate in the American dream unless everyone shares. They refuse to share. Sharing should be easy: follow the law and the Golden Rule, as I write in Chapter 3, "The Courts," in The Minneapolis Story.
How about some more evidence, facts, "is" world stuff as opposed to the city's "wish" world for the past? What must Kathy, the Strib and the City consider a so-called new leadership type? Easy: the new, African American head of the City's Department of Civil Rights, who has declared that the city can meets its minority hiring compliance without hiring any African Americans. And so on the big projects it is hard to find Black contractors or Black workers. In other words, they want to turn the clock back to the pre-Civil Rights era.
Check out our columns of 2005, 2006, and 2007, when we raised the question: "When will Blacks be included in the billions worth of jobs in construction for stadiums, bridges, and other big money projects?" Here are six examples:
The Strib and its minions like Kathy and the State with its minions like Peter Bell, and the City with its minions in the departments and on the Council, only continue the discrimination.
When Kathy reports that Peter Bell says about the PCRC, "I don't hear anyone arguing that it's been a success in reducing crime," you get the sense they think they are Dancing With the Stars. What great foot work. The last time I looked, though, the job of reducing crime was the police function, not the PCRC. Kathy "reports" that "The PCRC's most vocal members can be counted on to shout every time a tragic incident occurs between police officers and a black citizen, and there's a TV camera in the vicinity. But too often they are silent about the plague of black-on-black crime that is ravaging low-income neighborhoods." As I mentioned earlier, for this she owes us an apology.
As you can see from the links in this essay, I provide details and specificity. Kathy and Peter Bell provide unproven generalities. I am, as some have said, the last man standing with his eyes still on the prize of freedom, as we try to maximizes minimal resources. And you can't have it both ways, saying on hand that I don't know anything, that I'm just a blowhard, and that in the next breath calling me a mastermind behind all kinds of nefarious deeds.
In 1990, the Strib ran a 21 day story on the issues of race. As the MplsStPaul magazine wrote in a cover story a decade later, Minneapolis still suffered from the issues of race and the discrimination because the cities were still racist. That continues today, nearly another decade later.
How much longer will the Strib continue this charade? As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "we can't wait." My guess is that the new owners of the Strib feel the same way about how their local caretakers are gumming up their investment.
UPDATE: Since writing this essay, we note that the Strib today has three articles that relate. The Strib finally admits that $2 million bias settlement between officers, Minneapolis derailed. It admits the Council met and that Chief Dolan was there. What it does not report is that the Magistrate ordered them to vote, which they refused to do, and they allowed Dolan to join them to vent and commiserate with them as they conspired to thwart the Magistrate and to thwart justice in terms of the law suit. In its editorial today, Why give awards in botched police raid? Even the Strib couldn't go along with the City and its police department, as it gives medals to cops who " broke into the wrong house and exchanged gunfire with an innocent homeowner". Luckily for the home owner, none of "the at least 22 bullets fired" hit he, his wife, or his six children. They raided three homes. Two found drugs and guns. Good raids. Mistakes happen. But you don't give medals for mistakes. Just another insight into how the city and police think.
Posted July 31, 2008, 3:55 p.m.
7-18-08, Blog entry #20, City of Minneaplis makes decision: rejects settlement with Black Police Officers.
Minneapolis City Council. Closed session. Representatives of City's legislative and executive branches. Mid-day today, Friday the 25th.
They rebuffed the settlement with the African American police officers. Our City's oficials' arrogance knows know bounds. They are trying to make it appear that there will be ongoing discussion with the Magistrate while also trying to make it appear that there was never an agreement on the table, according to reliable sources commenting on the apparent case of "amnesia" by City officials.
The rules of the Federal court now dictate that the turning down of the settlement by the City now requires that the next procedural step in the case begin: discovery. Minneapolis is now is guaranteed one of the most significant race trials in history during the municipal elections of 2009.
That the officials of the City are indicating there was never an agreement on the table is an insult to the federal court and to the presiding federal magistrate. City officials now clearly feel that their political position is strong enough to challenge the intelligence of the federal court and its authority. Such arrogance by a municipality has not been shown in almost a century.
The future of race relations in the City of Minneaplis is now at stake. Community tension is high. City leadership is lacking.
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008, 11:58 p.m.
7-18-08, Blog entry #19: Can Obama afford Rybak?Can Minneapolis afford Jordan and Dolan?
In light of the statement made last year by Michael Jordan, Director of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, and reported in the Strib again last week, and in light of the serious damage that will be done to the taxpayers of Minneapolis, people want to know how the situation went from Jordan's analysis that the 5 Black police officers suing the City and Policle Chief Tim Dolan were merely disgruntled officers near the end of their careers to where they found to have solid claims and thus were awarded $2 million in a settlement conference that Mayor Rybak is now blocking, showing his distaste for justice?
It is true the 5 police officers were "disgruntled", but about discrimination. And we should all be disgruntled about the discrimination revealed as instituionalized by some in the deparatment, including by the chief. Rybak, Dolan and Jordan all knew this.
Will the Democractic convention still use our early Obama supporting Mayor Rybak when he is clearly not ready for prime time?
Regardless of what the Democrats do with Rybak, the City of Minneapolis should call for the resignations of Michael Jordan and MPD Chief Tim Dolan. That would be a courtesy, for most folks so negligent at doing their jobs as these two have been would be fired.
Posted 7-23-08, 1:08 p.m.
7-18-08, Blog entry #18: Updates and rumors in City Hall.
Some say that during the course of internal discussions at City Hall that the mayor has let it be known that he is not in favor of any significant payout to the 5 African American police officers. Troubling as that is under "normal" circumstances, it is even more troubling in light of the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement of Lt. Lee Edwards, as well as within the context of an extremely egregious act against another black officer who is suing, that we are not at liberty to reveal until after the 23rd of July.
Posted Friday, July 18, 2008, 4:15 a.m.
7-18-08, Blog entry #17: Batman as the Dark Knight: social messages to ponder
Just got out of the midnight showing of Batman. I predict that Heath Ledger will become the first actor to receive both a nomination and oscar posthumously. The film has dozens of social messages about war, morality, crime concerns of citizens. The amoral Joker is not greedy, burns $68 million of the mob's money, and seeks instead to bring chaos to those who claim to be upright citizens and moral when they are really corrupt and not moral at all. In the words of Alfred, how do we protect ourselves from those who "just want to watch the world burn"?
Posted Friday, July 18, 2008, 4:15 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.
Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for the columns. Please cite www.TheMinneapolisStory.com for blog entries and solution papers.
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