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07-30-10 #3: This is a call to Council President Barb Johnson to empanel an ethics committee, as authorized by the city’s charter, to review the relationships between Mayor R.T. Rybak and Councilman Don Samuels in regards to their obvious conflicts of interest regarding the program "Ceasefire."

My concerns: the $2.2 million funding allocations, program content, and program execution of the crime program Ceasefire Chicago, and the recipient organiations affiliated with the Mayor’s administrative aide and the Councilman’s wife: Mad Dads, The Peace Foundation, and Shiloh International Ministries.

"Ceasefire" is a program, from Chicago, for dealing with crime, being recommended for Minneapolis. Many want to know what is behind this Ceasefire program in terms of who receives the monies in terms of both administrators and those delivering the program on the street, the plans to be approved, who approves the plans, who executes the plans, and why Ceasefire.

What we have heard so far extends beyond the ethics of the Mayor and the Councilman to the ethics of the program as well. Martin Luther King, Jr. consistently offered as criteria "character", not "color". Ceasefire seems to be offering the "situation ethics" of ethnic/racial sets of values, in this case white over black.

The values that ensure political and economic progress and fairness are universal, not ethnic nor racial, yet Ceasefire came to town this week in the embodiment of all white people with a program for Black people, with no discernable Black input, as if crime was a Black problem, not a universal problem, black, white, yellow, brown.

All of us support the goal of ending violence in our community, especially the Black on Black killings by our young men. As I wrote in my June 21, 2006, column, the mistake then, as now, was/is labeling this "a Black problem", as this was "a gang and crime problem". Recall history: when John Dillenger and other white gangs headquartered in St. Paul in the 1930s, they didn't call it a "white problem," but "a gang and crime problem.” See also related columns: March 1, 2006 and July 5, 2006and August 16, 2006 and October 11, 2006 and November 22, 2006.

The founders of the DFL, a Black woman and a white man (Nellie Stone Johnson and Hubert H. Humphrey) would both ask, why aren't the top two "crime preventors" engaged: (1) reforming education so that it actually educates for working and jobs, and (2) inclusive economic development that creates jobs for non-whites as well?

Where are the Nellie Stone Johnsons and Hubert H. Humphreys of today? Thank goodness their spirit lives on in the newspaper of their friend Cecil B. Newman: The Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder).

Cecil introduced Nellie and Hubert. And, along with their friend Charlie Horn, a key white businessman of the day, the four of them (Nellie and Hubert, Cecil and Charlie) liked to refer to themselves as "The Four Horsemen". So where are our four horsemen of today? Who of the new generation will step up and again carry the banner: “Eyes On The Prize,” and fight for freedom's prize, equal access and equal opportunity, especially in education and jobs?

Let the ethics investigation begin.

Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010, 11:57 am
An additional paragraph added 3:15/11:01 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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