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2013 Columns
Quarter 3: July thru September ~ Columns #27 - #39

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September 25, 2012 Column #39: Death warrants in Faribault. State of MN ignores deaths at State prison hospital in Faribault

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

September 25, 2013

"Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850… Our system of mass incarceration…has devastated many of our communities…literally turning back the clock on racial progress in the U.S.”
— Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in An Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010)

So who will lead the battle against this injustice of mass incarceration? Will Churches, nonprofits and government agencies? No, as to many of their jobs rely on keeping the incarceration status quo.

So who is doing it? Right now: the gritty work is being done by courageous Black mothers, whose numbers will hopefully grow into a national movement (think of the Argentine mothers marching daily at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, to protest the 30,000 that were “disappeared,” 1975-1983).

Were it not for the mothers of two African American inmates, Courtney Clark and Robert Hosely, at the Minnesota Corrections Medical Facility at Faribault, Minnesota, they would die without notice (Justice for all” means justice for everyone — no exceptions, and July 25, 2012 (The policy of retaliation:  continuing the story of Courtney Clark).   Since mid-2012, at least nine inmates, both Black and White, have died at Faribault as a result of the State of Minnesota and its Department of Corrections policy of neglect, a kind of genocide against those who, for whatever reason, have been targeted.

Mr. Clark and Mr. Hosely have both been retaliated against by the Department of Corrections (and, thus, the State of Minnesota). Death warrants have been issued in a state whose constitution forbids capital punishment. But being sent to Faribault means it is only a matter of time before a form of capital punishment takes place.

Both Mr. Clark and Mr. Hosely are being denied medical attention and their medications. Both of these men have previously suffered, at different points in time, serious and massive strokes, which have confined them to wheel chairs and, in the case of Mr. Hosely, serious brain damage.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and this column have worked together to bring to the public’s attention the Department of Corrections policy of retaliation and the issuance of death warrants to both Black and White inmates. This is not unique to Minnesota. Pennsylvania newspapers have been reviewing circumstances of a gentleman by the name of Robert Mims, who was transferred from a Pennsylvania institution to Faribault, where he was allowed to die without medical attention.

Regrettably, shamefully, there is little interest, little concern, and little compassion for human beings who have been informally sentenced, without a formal charge or formal sentencing, to capital punishment by the judiciary system’s policy of death warrants. “Why?” is not the issue; the issue is the injustice of not providing constitutional protection against executions, without due process, in a non-death penalty state. See our July 7, 2010 column (Whose mental health issues incite Black violence? It’s not poor Blacks propagating dysfunctional social policieses).

Once again: if it was not for the tenacious and loving care of two African American mothers, these two men would be allowed to die without a legal, formal sentence of death. If you have a loved one in the MN correctional system, pray you don’t receive a call telling you they are being transferred to Faribault, as it could easily mean a life-ending death warrant.

The appeals of these two mothers to the director of corrections, the governor and members of the legislature have been met with silence and indifference. So much for Minnesota compassion.

Whites need to consider this: What will you do now that the government that had been doing this to us is now also doing it to Whites?

As long as churches and nonprofits treat symptoms (crime, poverty) and not causes (poor education, training, family breakups, lack of jobs), they turn their back on “lost sheep” and perpetuate the status quo.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, see our The MinneapolisStory.com home page.

ADDED to this column for on-line:
Legal Scholar: Jim Crow Still Exists In America

Argentina Mothers of Plaza de Mayo: Living legacy of hope and human rights. “more than 30,000 estimated missing sons and daughters who became part of ‘the disappeared’ during the reign of Argentina’s military juntas from 1975 to 1983.”

Posted Saturday, September 25, 2013, 5:55 p.m.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear Ron's readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Saturday, September 25, 2013, 5:55 p.m.


September 18, 2012 Column #38: The Ghost of Neville Chamberlain. President Barrack Obama Stands in That Shadow.

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

Sept 18, 2013

Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Great Britain, went to Munich, Germany to seek peace with Hitler in the 1930s. The “ghost” of Chamberlain refers to his miscalculating achieving “peace in our time” (the Chamberlain phrase used by President Obama in his second inaugural). Historians say Chamberlain’s miscalculation enabled World War II.

As this column is written, the president has not yet addressed the nation or the congress. Was he persuasive? Did he convince Congress to commit to the doctrine of “We go to war in our time to achieve peace in our time?”

The president painted himself into a corner, as victimized by his staff as Jimmy Carter was by his. Was Secretary of State Kerry’s unscripted remarks that the U.S. would not strike if Syria turned over its chemical weapons within a week a gaffe or clever transition to what is now U.S. policy, preventing having to take action, especially as the vast majority of Americans oppose intervention?

Russia’s Putin, ever the master geo-politician, manipulating both Europe and the United States, accepted it, check mating us. Kerry has enabled The Putin Plan.

If the president acts contrary to congressional wishes, impeachment could result, not just from Republicans who dream of tarnishing his legacy, but also from Democrats who say if he goes to war in Syria they would support impeachment. That’s not to say impeachment would be successful, but, as we saw with Clinton, it is an exhausting, time-taking process, bringing much senior level activity in government to a standstill that could cause security vulnerability.

Our country is weary of war, weary of sending sons and daughters into conflicts on foreign soil, weary of there being no end game, weary of not being told the truth. Even the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, when asked at a recent congressional hearing, he didn’t know what the end game was. Will acting or not acting in Syria deter or encourage would-be terrorists?

When then Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the misleading information given him by our intelligence community to the U.N., it enabled wide agreement to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Americans and most of the world are cautious and suspicious of American intelligence community’s statements of “facts.

Can the president sell the American people and Congress on limited surgical strikes? Will the Putin Plan’s end game enable the president to not bomb and still save face? Why am I’m writing about Syria? Because war interferes with American education, jobs and housing in general and in Minneapolis in particular.

As Charles Rangel, the respected African American senior congressman from New York, said last week, in a message he sent to the president: instead of getting involved in another war, he should combat poverty, gun violence, and discrimination at home with “a war on poverty, a war on income inequality, and a war on food insecurity.”

We hope the president listens to how weary people are of talk of war with neither a plan for jobs, better education, better housing, nor for a fairer criminal justice system. For a dozen years, this column has emphasized jobs (the Vikings Stadium still excludes Blacks), better education and training (too many Blacks still being poorly educated, thus being unqualified to get a good job), housing (affordable only with a job), and public safety in Black communities (which would be greatly enhanced if equal access was provided instead of discrimination against Black youth, dispersing them to gangs on city street corners instead of to careers and families.

Let us hope that the shadow of Neville Chamberlain does not suffocate another American administration in our time. Will it be peace through strength (“speak softly but carry a big stick”) or merely “peace through war”?

Stay tuned.

P.S. Added to column online only:  a quote from Winston Churchhill and then excerpts from my column on Chamberlain of May 11, 2011, Peace in our time? I don’t think so, with the opening and closing paragraphs of that column.

Winston Churchhill:  “You were given the chice between strikes and dishonor.  You chose dishonor and you will have strikes.”

Excerpts from May 11, 2011:  Peace in our time? I don’t think so.

How many times will papers be waved to proclaim “Peace in our time”? What of the Emancipation Proclamation’s “Slavery is over,” or the Gettysburg Address echoing the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal”?

How about “Reconstruction in our time” leading to Jim Crow, or “Civil Rights in Our Time” leading to fewer Black businesses than before the Civil Rights Movement and worse results in education, jobs and housing?
And let’s not forget the War on Poverty that led to more poverty rather than “the end of poverty in our time.”

And now a new proclamation: Osama bin Laden is dead, so it’s “peace in our time” again. I don’t think so.

Real peace features equal access and opportunity, equal employment, equal education levels and equal neighborhood quality of life; in a word, prosperity.
…………………….
Are we now to assume the demise of Osama bin Laden will lead to peace and prosperity in our time, and that again the African American will enjoy prosperity and access to opportunity? Or is this just one more partial process?

Historically, wars bring prosperity, first to both sides (as the House of Rothschild demonstrated for three centuries), then just to the winner. We urge peace and prosperity. Answer this: Why, after a decade of wars, do Blacks have a much higher percentage of unemployment than Whites? Go to my website for ways [solutions] to bring prosperity as well as peace. Who will stand up for it? Who will actually act on it?

NOTE: “Go to my website” means go to my section on Solution Papers

Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013, 4:09 p.m.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear Ron's readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013, 4:09 p.m..


September 11, 2012 Column #37: How does the State of MN pay its $50 million? Has there been a breach of contract?

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

September 11, 2013

“Drop-dead” dates sends chills through lawyers advising legislators, executives and investors, because of the consequences of failing to comply with legal/contractual obligations on time. Minnesota’s Vikings drop-dead date is February 15, 2014: the date the NFL requires teams to submit notice if they will not play in their city in 2014. Will we save the stadium and our beloved Vikings?

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (“I have a dream”), Minnesota is pushing aside stadium employment equity and diversity considerations. Note the irony that it is two Black guys who have stood up for the Vikings and a new stadium and warned of the efforts to force them out (Dennis Green’s 1997 book and my 2002 book).

It is also ironic that as the governor and Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) have questioned the Wilfs’ ability to comply. Their ability is also in question, as their failure to comply could cause the Vikings to leave Minnesota. How about an audit of the stadium activities of the governor, legislature and MSFA?

When the MSFA chair recently rushed to New York City to meet with the NFL, did they discuss the NFL’s concern about the drop-dead date for paying the State’s $50 million initial payment? The 68-page legislative document authorizing the stadium has sections (e.g., see p. 18, lines 22.11 through 22.22) now giving nightmares to the MSFA attorneys, Dorsey and Whitney who should have better prepared and advised the MSFA chair before the meeting with the NFL.

The Governor and MSFA have questioned the business practices and integrity of the Vikings ownership. What about their own, including their potential default on the State’s first $50 million, that was to be paid into the construction fund?

The Vikings paid theirs. When? And can Minnesota honor its mutually agreed-to financial responsibilities, especially in light of their seriously and disastrously miscalculation on revenues, and failure to yet sell the tax-supported bonds?

The legislature insisted upon, and all parties — Vikings, NFL, State, and MSFA — agreed to the legislation, including its lines 22.17 through lines 22.20 of p. 18. Is the MSFA justifying its delay by saying the forensic accounting audit should be completed first (this month) and that the Vikings must first return to the negotiating table? Are they skirting agreements just as they accuse the Wilfs of doing?

Here is another key question: because no one has accepted responsibility for cost overruns and all other financial issues as discussed at line 18.11 through 18.17 (page 14), how can the Vikings be obligated to do so? Vikings’ attorney Warren was warned about the potential cost overrun of $273 million, with this quote from my 2002 book, p. 132 (the Vikings and many state officials have copies): the Journal of the American Planning Association reported that 28 percent was the average cost overrun for major construction projects, 1910-1998. Thus, $975 million times 28 percent equals $273 million in cost overruns (its how both sides’ special interests get a piece of the action).

Another drop-dead date: November 15, for the signed purchase agreement and advance payment if steel for the stadium is to be ordered and delivered by July of 2014, if the stadium is to be NFL ready and NFL certified by August 2016. How much of a financial setback and an additional burden on the taxpayers of Minnesota will now come into play to keep the Viking? These are questions that must be answered by September 15.

Stay tuned.

Posted Wednesday September 11, 2013, 3:43 a.m

======================

Relevant related links added for this web listing of September 11, 2013:

Vikings owners look to keep their family finances from public
Star Tribune Updated: September 4, 2013 - 12:14 AM
Lawyers for the Vikings owners will ask a New Jersey court next week to seal documents with the family’s net worth.

Party plaza near Metrodome at center of Vikings stadium disput
Star Tribune, September 3, 2013 - 5:20 PM
" The party plaza in front of the Metrodome is now Ground Zero in a legal dispute between the owners of the land and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MFSA), the public body overseeing construction of the new $975 million Vikings stadium."

Authority fires back in dispute over land near Vikings stadium site
Star Tribune, Updated: August 30, 2013 - 9:29 PM
"Authority accuses plaza’s owner of overstating value."

Vikings, stadium authority make progress on audit of Wilfs
Star Tribune, Updated, August 28, 2013 - 11:06 PM
"Despite substantial progress on audit, stadium construction could still be delayed, an official warns."

List of ten columns since 2005 and one book Chapter, 2002, offering solutions for how to Save the Vikings! First posted on "The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes" Home Page Blog side, October 12, 2011.  Updated September 2013.

2001 and 2002: This sequence theory: Vikings out, Twins in renovated Metrodome, Gophers new stadium, written about specifically in columns by sportswriter Larry Fitzgerald in Minneapolis (in the Spokesman-Recorder, July 12-18, 2001, July 25, 2002, August 27, 2002). Don’t forget today’s (9-4-13) column that listed MSR column of Larry’s: “Vikings are Going, Going, Gone!” May 8, 1997.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his"watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear Ron's readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday September 11, 2013, 3:43 a.m.


September 04, 2012 Column #36: Tensions divide stadium partners. Vikings and MSFA At Odds

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

September 4, 2013

Is there a future for reconciliation between two partners who thought they had the world at their finger tips just a year ago, when, in August of 2012, it was like a lovefest, as the Vikings (Wilfs) and the state of Minnesota (MSFA:  Minnesota Sports Facility Authority) both declared their love, trust, and respect for each other.  What difference a year can make.

The New Jersey court ruling against the Wilfs led Minnesota (state, Sports commission, city) to question the integrity of the Vikes owners, the Wilfs, by ordering a forensic audit and an analysis of the Vikings’ owners ability to pay their portion of the $975 million so-called “Peoples” stadium. 

People tend to forget that just a year ago, as required by the legislation of 2012, the Vikings delivered $50 million to the Sports Facility Authority, when the MSFA was extremely cash flush ($50 million from the Vikings, $24 million transferred from the now defunct ball park authority). 

Everyone expected that by now the State of Minnesota would be reaping the millions of dollars in revenue expected to be coming in from electronic pull tabs (and later electronic bingo), isn’t happening.  And where will Minneapolis get its $150 million obligation?

What else in their revenue forecasts won’t happen?

Do you see the obvious:  only the Vikings have put major money in the big account.  Yet the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney, after the sports authority meeting of Friday a week ago, called the Vikings’ Les Bagley a liar. 

On Thursday the 22nd of August, Les Bagley was told to inform the sports facility authority that the Vikings  were breaking off negotiations until after the audit.  And again, two weeks after ringing their hands about the New Jersey law suit officials pretended they cannot understand why negotiations have broken off.  This is a bona fide crisis.   

The NFL has already said “no” to more money.  The Governor errored strategically by suggesting that the Vikings’ Wilfs were poor business managers.

Minnesota has not treated the Vikings well (and now the Wilfs):

How will the audit change minds?  Will they finally sign an agreement to pay and build?  Or not?

This is ugly.  What will prevent the Vikings from moving to California?  Will the covered wagons be loaded up and driven to the land of 10,000 lakes of the basketball Lakers?  Many of us don’t want that.  We expect local authorities to provide a clear, concise, honest response.  Will they do so?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

See our web site’s “solution” section, Solution #24, 2005, listing those who called for the Vikings to leave town,
First posted with our January 29, 2005 column.
Solutions Paper #24. The Roll Call Of Those Who Either Called for the Vikings to Move out of Minnesota or Who Stated They Would Have to be Moved As They Could Not Remain Competitive and Profitable Without a New, Tax Payer Subsidized Stadium.”  No one/no official has refuted any of the claims of this paper.

Posted Wednesday September 4, 2013, 2:44 a.m.

====================

2011:  Star Tribume and Newark news paper articles on the Wilf court case:

2011:  our key columns re the Vikings, the Wilfs, and Stadium locations:

2005:  our key columns re the Vikings and the Stadium question:

  Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday September 4, 2013, 2:44 a.m.


August 28, 2012 Column #35: The Chief Reaches Out. Chief Harteau Meets With Black Officers

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

The last couple of months have been challenging for the administration of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau. She is showing she can meet challenges and seek solutions.

The incidents embarrassing to the department — in Apple Valley, Minnesota, Green Bay, Wisconsin, downtown Minneapolis, the shooting death of Terrance Franklin, etc. — show how the rank and file have become their own worst enemy, creating problems for the department, seeding suspicion in communities of color, and reducing their credibility in White communities (see my August 14, 2013 column, Chief Harteau announces ... a public dialogue.

Chief Janeé Harteau’s recent decision to reach out to Black officers in her department shows a commitment to healing, as she shows she is developing a keen understanding of why and how to bring everyone to the table, demonstrating growth and maturity. Prior to the Chief reaching out to them, Black police were not sure of their standing in the department, even though the President of the Police Federation reached out to them.

She obviously recognizes and is turning away from the bad advice and false information she had been receiving. Black police were not sure of their standing in the department, even though the president of the police federation reached out to them (see my August 7 column, What it’s like to be Black in the MPD?).

Now the chief is reaching out to show a similar commitment and respect. Chief Harteau is doing what all good leaders do, grow into the position and its responsibilities rather than be diminished by them.

As a person of color, and as a person who has fought discrimination and bias in this department, she understands the pain and the burden that one must carry, no matter how far one rises in an organization still discriminating due to old prejudices. But as chief of the department, she appears to be moving towards reconciliation between her department, her office, and the city as a whole.

Not everything will be a success. We’d like to see perfection but we’re realists. Human nature being what it is, there will always be those obstructing and blocking progress (hence the need to continually work for reconciliation and healing).

The good news is that Chief Harteau seems to be thoroughly committed to recruitment, promotion, training, and, most importantly, improving police-community relations. Part of the current challenges are due to her predecessor and city administration not being committed or interested.

As I served five years as co-chair, facilitator and monitor for the Police Community Relations Committee established by the U.S. Department of Justice, along with 17 other colleagues, I understand how challenging and exhausting the chief’s job can be. Hopefully the newly-elected administration’s new mayor and new council members will embrace the spirit of Chief Harteau, so together they can reach out to make this a better city for all who live here, now and in the future.

It is important to recognize and respect courage and commitment to change and a commitment to reconciliation. And so we watch the various agendas closely. We expect the chief to be provided support and resources to continue the healing process, perhaps with a “truth and reconciliation commission” as established by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Despite visits by national police expert Wexler, the studies of his police institute, studies by the Federation, the MPD and others, the efforts until the chief’s current action, have been merely to have more meetings to forestall having to take real action. May the City government and MPD heed the chief’s call to demonstrate action for reconciliation and healing.

May Minneapolis heed the wise words of Chief Joseph: “All men were made by the Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers.” And: “Treat all men alike. Give them the same law. Give them an even chance to live and grow.”

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

From the archives:
--- Police Department racism and discrimination (in “Solution Papers,” aggregate of columns on MPD, 2003 – present)
---Assault by the MPD on Blacks at the Ames Elks Lodge, column of May 2, 2012
---Update on MPD 2012 Assault on Ames Elks Lodge. No contact with MPD for over a year, column of May 8, 2013.

Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 1:54 a.m.
=======================
Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.
Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm, Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point;
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers). Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 1:18 a.m.

Editor’s note: Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa) - was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid.” See also the official Truth and Reconciliation Commission Website.


August 21, 2012 Column #34: “We didn’t know about Zigy!”  Really? Everybody pretends ignorance or amnesia on Zigy’s dealings. 

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

Many intelligent, knowledgeable people purposefully said they were surprised by the Judge’s ruling against the Wilfs, owners of the Minnesota Vikings, that ended their 21 year-old court case.  Surprized?  Really?  Why do they think we believe them (Star Tribune wrote of it in 2011)?   They believed the Wilfs who said they would win.  

What they “won” is loss of credibility.  The Wilfs also “won”   these words from the Judge: fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violated civil racketeering statute, and, most damning by the Judge: “The bad faith and evil motive were demonstrated in the testimony of Zygi Wilf himself,” and that “I do not believe I have seen one single financial statement that is true and accurate.” 

[Editor’s note:  see referenced articles below from Star Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, and San Antonio Express News.]

When Red McCombs was encouraged to relinquish Vikings ownership, Reggie Fowler, an African American from Arizona, bid for the team.  Kevin Warren, also an African American, introduced Fowler to the Wilfs.  When Fowler was not granted additional time to raise the required amount to purchase, Fowler became a Limited Partner, Zigy Wilf the General Partner, and Kevin Warren was rewared with being Zigy’s VP of Legal Affairs & Chief Administrative Officer.

So who do we trust? 

Do we trust the NFL, who loaned Red McCombs $100 million so he could outbid local bidder, Roger Hedrick, after which the NFL denied Hedrick the right to counter-bd, leaving the Vikings in the hands of an out of state-er? What did the NFL do to keep the Vikings out of Minnesota hands and instead in the hands of more non-Minnesotans, the Wilfs. What did the NFL do to pave the way for the Wilfs to be owners, who are not rooted in Minnesota?

Do we trust the Governor and legislature, as we ask what else have they winked at that hasn’t been discovered?  Yet.  What other shoes will drop?

Do we trust local leaders, who helped Red’s right hand man in San Antonio and his right hand man in Minneapolis kill the stadium campaign outlined by Dennis Green and approved by both Red and Charlene McCombs in 2001, leading to their departures? 

Do we trust the State, City, and Vikings, all of whom either signed off on or turned a blind eye to the city violating its own charter, benefiting themselves at voter/tax payer expense?  Is the announced “due diligence” and “forensic accounting” analysis for cover up?   

Reggie Fowler was vetted when he attempted to become the first African American owner of an NFL team.  So how, given their history, did the Wilfs pass an NFL examination of their finances and ways of doing business?   Even if the Wilfs won the court case, what it reveals about “The Wilf Way” of doing business should be raising loud alarm bells.

Why does Minnesota accept the NFL backing non-Minnesotans over Minnesotans?  How are Minnesota tax payers to believe the legislators, their teams of attorneys, and their financial consultants, not to mention those with a financial interest (such as the Star Tribune)?  Even a blind bat couldn’t miss the Wilf’s refusal to follow court orders for 21 years.

Who will pay Minnesota’s $348 million and Minneapolis’ $150 million (which the Kaplan Report states, with interest, will cost the city over $700 million, raising the question of what will be the true cost for the state)?   Answer:  the general fund, at the expense of education, road repair, health care, social servicers, while also adding higher taxes.

The Wilfs will pay very little personally, as the Vikings $447 million portion (including the NFL loan of $200 million) will be paid through stadium naming rights, sponsorships, seat license fees and other sourcing. 

The Vikings have paid their initial legislatively directed obligation of $50 million.  The state and city have yet to pay theirs.  

The city of Minneapolis, through its city council, has voted to award millions of tax payer dollars to the Ryan Construction Company’s development plan for the Peoples Plaza.  No one has seen a detailed and concise plan that would not burden the tax payers of the city of Minneapolis even more over the next 30 years.

We need transparency and honesty.  Now.

So again I ask, who do we trust, and why?

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

====================
Editors note:  here are the links to the articles referenced above that appeared in the Star Tribune, Newark Star Ledger, and San Antonio Express-News:

Inquiry into Wilf's business dealings adds pressure to tight stadium timeline, Star Tribune, August 18, 2013.  
“Any delays caused by a review of his finances would ripple through the construction schedule.”

Wilfs are on notice: Keep Minnesota dealings cleanSTRIB EDITORIAL BOARD, August 13, 2013, New Jersey lawsuit should intensify scrutiny of Vikings stadium dealings.”
Schafer: Wilfs may rue how they treated N.J. partner, Star Tribune,  August 13, 2013.

Vikings stadium deal is put on hold for probe of Wilf family finances, Star Tribune, August 13, 2013.  “Key stadium agreements on hold during a “due diligence” financial review of Vikings’ owners.

Dayton questions business dealings of Vikings owners,  August 8, 2013,  Star,  Star Tribune, “The governor wants assurance that stadium dealings are “truthful and accurate.”

Gov. Dayton 'deeply concerned' by Wilfs' legal case in New Jersey, Star Tribune, August 8, 2013.

Real estate moguls on losing end of epic lawsuit.  Judge rules Wilf family cheated their partners, Newark Star Ledger, August 6, 2013.

Is stadium McCombs' goal?,  San Antonio Express-News, August 8, 2002.
Auto magnate selling Clear Channel stock shares in complex deal to pay debt on Minnesota Vikings.”
“Woods, who manages McCombs' finances, said the money primarily would be used to pay off most of the debt on the Vikings purchase. McCombs borrowed $100 million from the National Football League and another $100 million from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. McCombs hired J.P. Morgan Chase earlier this year to shop the team to potential buyers after the Minnesota Legislature failed to approve a new stadium for the team.”

====================
For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.
For more on these concerns see list of our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross.

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 1:18 p.m.
Due to technical error, reposted Thursday, Augusg 22, 2013, 12:30 pm

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 1:18 a.m.
Due to technical error, reposted Thursday, August 22, 2013, 12:30 pm


August 14, 2012 Column #33: Chief Harteau announces dialogue. A public dialogue? Really?

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

Pull quote: Extremely serious issues confront needed dialogue and reflections for recommended solutions, issues as old as Minneapolis with a police department.

The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops.

The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. And let’s not forget those conveniently forgotten “others,” Black police officers, who must also have a seat at any MPD table.

Last week’s column, “What it’s like to be Black in the MPD,” reported Black police officers’ embarrassing pain and humiliation. To the credit of MPD Federation President Lt. John Delmonico, he has demonstrated more racial sensitivity and understanding, and, thus, more wisdom, than the mayor, the city council, the chief and Black leaders. And it would appear, based on the names of individuals the chief met with August 7, that not one single person in this so-called dialogue group reached out to Black police officers to ask about their understanding and responses and sense of solutions (Star Tribune, Racial incidents lead to calls to investigate Minneapolis police, August 7, 2013).

[ Editor’s note:  added to this online posting:  two columns, May 2, 2012 and May 2, 2013, on police beating Blacks, including Ron Edwards, at the Ames Elks Lodge, a year ago, April 21, 2012:
----- Assault by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on the Ames Elks Lodge
----- Update on MPD 2012 Assault on Ames Elks Lodge. No contact with MPD for over a year.  ]
----- See also our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD and the MPD’s coverup of them. ]

Hopefully it is not too late to repair the damage to Black MPD officers. But with the help of Lt. John Delmonico, who I have known and worked with for many years, maybe, just maybe, that breach can be repaired sooner rather than later.

Velma Korbel, Minneapolis Civil Rights director, and one of the greatest civil rights failures in the history of the city of Minneapolis, but one of the best at meeting former director Jordan’s infamous standard, “we can meet minority hiring requirements without hiring a single African American,” is the latest in faux leaders presented as a person who can bring parties together. Assisting her is faux leader Michael Brown, her trusted left hand. They represent rough not tranquil waters. How will they be able to set a steady course of reconciliation for the great ship USS MPD?

Extremely serious issues confront needed dialogue and reflections for recommended solutions, issues as old as Minneapolis with a police department. Many will be watching this group closely, most of whom have probably never been at a crime scene in their lives nor been involved in mediating conflict between police and community in their lives, and clearly could not personally identify even five Black police officers with whom they have had a meaningful and professional discussion in their lives. Blind leading the blind?

This is not to be negative. Just stating the facts and nothing but the facts. The beginning of resolution must come quickly for there is too much tension, too much distrust, and too much hopelessness about repairing these relationships.

We look forward to the chief’s plan, and await evaluating the rest of the plan’s components, for without them we are truly in big trouble, with little hope to improve relations between the African American community and this city.

As Robert Peel, considered the father of modern policing said in the 19th century: “The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

May God give us strength and have mercy on our souls.

Stay tuned

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. See Solution Paper #31, our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm
For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 2:07 a.m.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 2:07 a.m.


August 07, 2012 Column #32: What it’s like to be Black in the MPD? The Chance for another Cincinnati?

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

August 7, 2013

One cannot begin to understand the current racial tensions within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) until one reviews the history of this tension.  The tensions are there.  Extremely dangerous tensions.  Many do not understand while others don’t care about the level of hatred and disrespect, professional and personal, within the MPD towards the small core of Black police officers by many of their white colleagues.  It is not unknown.  It is ignored.

During the five years I served on the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC), which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) established in 2003 (to last until 2008), we warned the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. of the dangerous level of racism in the MPD.   What was so troubling was the indifference of Federal, State and City Officials to the dangers of racial conflict within the department.  The revelations now coming out of Green Bay, Wisconsin about outrageous statements laced with racially derogatory and threatening statements against Black citizens by visiting Minneapolis police officers symbolizes and reflects a department that ignores instead of corrects.

Another example is the racial strife inside the Cincinnati, Ohio Police Department in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The link at the end of this column’s tag line shows the MPD history, year by year since this column began, demonstrating the hell that can come from being Black in the MPD.   The level of disrespect accorded Black officers is reminiscent of that under South Africa apartheid, where Black policemen and constables were treated like 3rd class citizens by their white comrades in arms.  We forget at our peril the treatment in slave days, Jim Crow days, and periodic days since then.
 
The continued silence of the Governor, Mayor, City Council, and civic and state leaders is chilling.  Black leadership is silent too.   Indeed, remember “the Mill City Five” and the Black leadership betrayal of them and of the Black Police Officers Association.  Black leaders sided with then MPD Chief Tim Nolan against the concerns of Black officers in the MPD, unwilling to give up snitch pay.  And even after the Black officers filed their law suit in 2007, against the city and the department, Black leadership refused to support their contention and lawsuits.  The Obama administration and the US Attorney General today have also passed, as have many non-profit leaders and white church leaders, as there is resistance to condemn a city run by Democrats (think also of Chicago and Detroit).

The history is quite clear:  Black Police Officers have had little support in their quest to correct past grievances and to provide support today.  A sobering reminder of the history is seen in the attention to the culture of racism in this department provided by the legendary Inspector Raymond Presley, now deceased.

When we think back to the 1930s and 1940’s, we also think of Lt. William Colson, one of only three Black officers in a one thousand man department, yet a man who became its first African American Lieutenant, just as Raymond Presley became the first Inspector in the history of the department.

Those who know the history of race relations in this department know it has been a continuous struggle since the first time a Negro patrolman walked the beat and yet did not have the authority or power to detain or arrest a white citizen.

The danger today is from those who would take us back to the 1890s and make the African American Police officer an endangered species.

Black officers suffer in silence and pain without support in the lonely battle they wage in the dark, racist corridors of the MPD, and without support from the citizenry they protect.  This is not a healthy situation.  It provides all the worse possible circumstances at a time when we need all of the MPD to work together in the face of future eruptions of racial conflict.

Neither white nor black will be able to continue to hide behind the ignorance of “we didn’t know”, “we didn’t have an idea”, “golly if someone just told us we could have sat down and corrected this problem.”  Such statements would be erroneous, hollow, and untrue.  All that can be authenticated is the continued perpetration of the Big Lie that racism does not exist here in our beloved Minnesota.

All need a better understanding of what it is like to be a Black member of the MPD (see link below). It is out of place in any institution but in particular it is out of place in an institution that is supposed to provide hope for justice and fairness and a sense of trust for all citizens.  As I wrote in 2008, “…equal access and equal opportunity, …and a seat for everyone."

God bless America.  And God bless our Black police officers in their hour of need.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.  See our aggregate of columns and blog entrees on the racism toward police officers in the MPD at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/solutionpapers/31minncops.htm
  
Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm
For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 1:22 a.m..

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 1:22 a.m.


July 31, 2012 Column #31: August 20, 2013: ç

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

July 31, 2013

“Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a misunderstood quotation from Shakespeare. The character in the play wanted lawyers who would create chaos and unrest so he could become king. The character was referring to killing attorneys and judges who stood for justice in society, those who would follow the law.

So what kind of lawyers are “the big three,” Kevin Warren, NFL Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson, and Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal? None protested the violation of the City’s charter requirement that mandates a public referendum for any expenditure of over $10 million for any professional sports facility. The Minnesota legislature tried (and failed) to legislate exemption of the charter provision. Then seven city council members overrode the other six, voiding the charter provision.

The key question of democracy: Why do Mr. Warren, Ms. Swanson, Ms. Segal and their bosses not care about the will of the people? Why are they supporting this unlawful dictate? What’s with today’s federal, state and local officials ignoring laws, unconcerned about violating the trust of the people and setting terrible precedents for the future?

The Minneapolis City website defines the City charter as “the constitution governing the municipal government. The charter defines the powers the citizens agree to give their city government and how the government is to be structured.” Yet our city council voted to ignore the city charter.

The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 3): officials are to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Our officials are unfaithful, taking dictatorial and unconstitutional and dangerous precedent-setting actions. As I wrote in my 2002 book, “it shows how little respect the bosses have for the people” (p. 264).

Enter Doug Mann, acting pro se (representing himself and the citizens of the state of Minnesota). He filed suit, Mann vs. the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Vikings, and the NFL, for violating the city charter. Why are people shocked? How can Mr. Warren and the NFL, Ms. Swanson and the State, Ms. Segal and City, Mayor Rybak and the city council be shocked by this when they knew they were against the law?

Why is their view of citizens and their constitution (the city charter) so low and their arrogance so great that they won’t stand up for the law? They don’t realize they risk poisoning the golden goose. On August 20, 2013, Mr. Mann will present his case to Hennepin County District Court Judge Philip D. Bush.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ryan Construction, Mortenson Contruction, Thor, a whole host of big corporations, and the State and City must think they had slipped one by the voters. How wrong they are. When one reads the brief filed by Doug Mann, one cannot fail to remember the legendary Frank Alsop, one of the great legal minds of our time, who said, “I come into court carrying my brief, and fighting to serve and protect the interests of the masses, and let no king nor potentate stand in the way of my quest for justice.”

We now have elected officials acting as kings and potentates, blocking the will of the people. August 20, 2013 will be a historic day for the rights of the citizen. I don’t know how Judge Bush will rule, but I’m sure he will rule based on the law and nothing but the law and not on the lure of favors and other considerations.

The citizens/taxpayers/voters of the State of Minnesota expect nothing less. And yet the action of the City of Minneapolis in the spring of 2012 essentially shredded the City’s charter, its constitution.

Judge Bush will have the opportunity to set things right. We hope the appellate court does not overrule Judge Bush. If it does, Minnesota will be as a Banana Republic, a government of cronies, not a government of the people.

Mr. Mann has made persuasive arguments regarding the rights of the people to speak without impediment, without gamesmanship, and without further corruption. This is truly a test of the future of democracy in this state. May the state of Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis, the Vikings and the NFL, all do the right thing.

August 20, 2013, in Judge Philip D. Bush’s courtroom: a constitutional day of reckoning. It will either reaffirm the power and the sanctity of the City charter and its grounding in law or it will declare that the City charter is to be trumped by chaos and indecision as the order of the day, with laws then being whatever those in charge declare them to be for their cronies and friends on any given day. If Doug Mann loses, it will be a truly dark day for the future of Minneapolis and the tearing down of its historic legacy of standing for democracy and the people.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. For more on these concerns see our past columns on the Vikings and the Legislative Double cross, at http://www.theminneapolisstory.com/2013/blogs/1304apr.htm
For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 3:33 p.m.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 3:33 p.m.


July 24, 2012 Column #30: Trayvon Martin is guilty…, …of being a young, Black male in the wrong place at the wrong time

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

The headline in this column is not a mistake. Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was guilty of being Black.

All of us know of jokes about being arrested for driving while being Black. It was no joke for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, killed for walking in the rain while Black, wearing a hoodie, looking “suspicious,” and walking close to the townhouses to protect himself against the elements in a neighborhood that feared young Black men due to recent burglaries by Black youth.

Two men: both young, both male, both wanting respect, but only one with a gun. And only one with all the privileges of being White in America, including getting a “pass” if White.

An episode of the TV show 30 Rock had the Tina Fey character protesting a mailroom clerk seeking advancement as he was not qualified for anything. But look, her boss said, “He’s male, he’s White, he’s got great hair. There is no limit for him.”

That “no limit” was not extended to Trayvon Martin. It was extended to George Zimmerman, a man whose father is a federal magistrate, his mother a clerk of the court in the adjoining county. It is no coincidence that they were the only two witnesses that neither the prosecution nor defense asked what jobs or professional credentials they held.

That’s White privilege. That’s having “a fair head start.” Trayvon Martin, guilty in the eyes of the White privileged who were uncomfortable with him, had done nothing illegal. But he was “legalwhile being young and Black.”

In the end, though dead, it was up to Trayon Martin to defend himself, unheard of under Anglo Saxon law. White privilege, White anger and White denial came together to judge him guilty.

There are those in this country still angry at the late Johnny Cochran for getting a jury in 1995 to acquit O.J. Simpson. Some commentators, Black and White, suggested Zimmerman’s attorney Mark Omera was American’s new Johnny Cochran. Mark Omera is no Johnny Cochran. Mark Omera and Zimmerman’s other attorney, Don West, had White privilege on their side, the great “fair head start” privilege.

Black America needs to be concerned. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney, in 1859, ruled regarding Blacks as “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the White man was bound to respect.”

We thought, after the enactment in 1863 of the Emancipation Proclamation, that we would finally have access, opportunity, respect and protection of law. Instead, there were more tragedies in which Black Americans lost their lives, their freedoms, all the while being told to be patient, that our time would come.

Black America knows deep within her soul that we still await equal protection under the law, hence the headline in this column. Trayvon Martin was found guilty of being Black, young and offending White privilege.

The solution for the future is not more conversation but an education system that doesn’t push Blacks to drop out, and training and economic opportunities leading to employment in living-wage jobs that enable good rather than inferior housing.

The elephant in the room remains: racism. Its cousin: White privilege. George Zimmerman’s cleverness has served him well. All of his 49 calls to the police over the years in Neighborhood Watch were all about African Americans. But the judge denied mention of the elephant. When the prosecutor failed to challenge that ruling, I was overwhelmed with the sense that the fix was in.

The prosecution team came from Jacksonville, FL, Duval County, which has one of the most atrocious records of intentionally overcharging African Americans in criminal matters. No African Americans were seated as jurors. The State of Florida made a calculated decision to undermine their own “case in chief.” Once again, the tragedy that is so much a part of American justice was in play.

But let’s not forget the other elephant in the living room — us. Charles Evers, after taking over from his assassinated brother Medgar in 1963, said “We realized that all the hardship we had came from elected officials.”

In 1961, Martin Luther King said to a congregation, "Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58 percent of its crimes? We've got to face that… We can't keep on blaming the White man. There are things we must do for ourselves."

The concentration on Trayvon is taking our eye off the fact that many of our worst cities are run by Blacks who have become as corrupt as Whites. Until Black leaders put their eyes back on the prize, we’ll continue to be considered guilty while being Black.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013, 3:45 a.m.

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, anhis work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013, 3:45 a.m.


July 17, 2012 Column #29: Stadium contract under negotiation. Mpls. Civil Rights Dept. to monitor contractor and worker inclusion

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

It appears the Minnesota Vikings will sign off in the next 30 days on the contract for monitoring hiring compliance on the construction of the Vikings’ stadium. It is rumored that Viking General Council Kevin Warren will handle the final say for the Vikings (Warren, a member of the Stadium Equity Review Panel, is the highest-ranking Black American business executive with an NFL team).

The negotiations between Alex Tittle, Equity Director for the Sports Facility Authority overseeing the Vikings stadium construction, and the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) have been going on for at least two weeks, as of the writing of this column. Why are they being held in secret?

The selection of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to monitor hiring compliance raises troubling questions, which I assume the Authority’s and Vikings’ attorneys are examining. Re-read the excellent July 4, 2013 Charles Hallman article in this newspaper, “Minneapolis Civil Rights to post monitored construction projects online.” His investigative report raises serious questions about MDCR competency and transparency, despite the promise that the monitoring chart will show who is or is not meeting workforce goals.

Mr. Hallman’s article is another in the occasional reporting by this paper reflecting upon the MDCR’s inability and/or unwillingness to both measure and complete statutory responsibilities. Mr. Hallman reported that the MDCR was unable to respond by press deadline to clarify certain projects and the issue of non-compliance, continuing a practice we have reported on for a decade: the absolute refusal of the MDCR to provide reliable and transparent information consistent with the requirements of ordinances and laws.

The MDCR’s multi-colored chart won’t display two key Minnesota elephants in the middle of the hiring compliance living room. One, the refusal to use “African American,” so that, as before, “minorities can be hired without hiring a single African American,” and two, the good-faith-legislative escape hatch remains wide open: minorities don’t have to be hired if “best efforts” don’t generate “qualified” workers.

Contractors have already said there are no qualified workers. We look to Mr. Warren to make sure that travesty is not continued. Our consistent warning of this since 2005 regarding the coming $5 billion in construction has been consistently ignored. It’s a good thing that the African American Gentlemen of the Roundtable in Kansas City are available.

Is it naïve to assume that Mr. Tittle, the Sports Facility Authority, and the NFL Vikings’ Mr. Warren will place absolute requirement and protocols into the contract language that will provide for immediate sanction against any and all, be they the general contractor, subcontractors, or the monitoring entity, if there are violations of provisions of contracts and Memorandums of Understanding, and that “African Americans” will be specified as such, not just as “minorities”? We will be monitoring them.

The MDCR purposefully mismanaged monitoring the Twins Target Field and Gopher’s TCF stadium construction efforts (few if any African Americans were invited). Who will staff monitoring and carry out the responsibilities: monitoring compliance, implementation of workplace goals, and provide immediate recommendations to initiate actions in cases of statutory non-compliance and/or non-performance by those working on the Vikings’ stadium?

All concerned must pay attention to the lawsuit filed involving the construction of the Hudson, Wisconsin hospital, done by Mortenson Construction (Vikings’ stadium’s general contractor). WCCO, Channel 4, broke the story Monday, July 8, 2013. According to the lawsuit, current workers at that hospital are working under dangerous conditions and circumstances (glass used wasn’t suitable to protect x-ray/imaging workers from radiation exposure). Given the amount of glass to be used in the Vikings’ Stadium, what needs to go right with the choice of and installation of the stadium glass? And what is Mortenson doing to make sure nothing goes wrong as it did in Hudson?

The construction of the Vikings stadium will be one of the most demanding undertakings in recent memory. Given the deadline of July 2016, there is not time for slowdown, work stoppages, or litigation that obstructs meeting the July 2016 opening date. And yet here we see secret negotiations taking place by Mr. Tittle. Why?

It is important that Mr. Tittle, Mr. Warren, Mr. Wilf, and NFL commissioner Mr. Goodell, and a host of others, make sure that the interests of the citizens and interests of the tax payers of Minnesota are provided for and protected. And that means that the expectation of the African American community is met to participate fully and without the restriction of the traditional failure in Minnesota to retain and hire African Americans and others of color.

So we look forward to hearing of intentionally meaningful and fruitful negotiations resulting in a monitoring team that knows, understands and will willingly carry out their responsibilities, acting with integrity and transparency in building the Vikings’ Stadium. This we truly hope.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and for information on how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 p.m.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com, which also has my “Solution Paper #46, “Disparity/Compliance Studies,” and my Blog entry of April 20, 2013, on the Vikings stadium legislation.  

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, and his work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 p.m.


July 10, 2012 Column #28: God bless Rachel Jeantel, a courageous witness

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

During the first week of July, some in America showed their true colors by once again viciously attacking, with malice aforethought, a 19-year-old Black woman, Rachel Jeantel. She was the last person to speak to 17-year-old Trayvon Martin just seconds before he was to die at the hands of George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012.

Ms. Jeantel was born in the nation of Haiti but has been a resident of the United States since age three. But English is not her native tongue. It is her third language. How many languages do her tormentors speak?  

Rachel Jeantel is important for two reasons. First, she teaches us about the lessons of respect. Second, she brought credibility and truth to her testimony.

As the State’s witness, Ms. Jeantel was viciously attacked by Don West, the defense attorney, who did everything he could to insult, malign, disrespect, and just literally beat her up verbally. Black and White bloggers chastised her, raising questions ranging from her testimony to her vocabulary, her physical appearance and her race. (Justice may prefer to be blind but sometimes can’t resist sneaking a peek out from under her blindfold.)  

I watched on cable stations. Ms. Jeantel is a courageous and accurate witness. Surprisingly, many did not know that Mr. Zimmerman considered himself a martial arts expert — he has taken martial arts classes three times a week for at least two years. He is a “lethal weapon.”

Mr. Zimmerman had been arrested before for assaulting a policeman, and he was under treatment for psychological problems related to anger. So how is it that this 28-year-old wannabe cop who killed this unarmed 17-year-old was still allowed to legally carry a firearm?
Mr. Zimmerman, in his own words in interviews, stated he was on top of Mr. Martin after shooting him. Some say Mr. Martin was on top. Which is it?
The reenactment tape conducted on February 27, 2012 with Mr. Zimmerman and the Sanford, Florida police department was an eye opener. To me, it provided sufficient credence to the statements Ms. Jentel gave under oath. 

How she was treated and continues to be maligned should be an eye opener for those in both Black and White America who no longer trust the system (police, prosecutors, the courts). Is it any wonder there is now less confidence in both Black and White America in terms of fairness and respect than was the case 20 or 40 years ago?

Because of the manner in which Ms. Jeantel has been ridiculed and criticized by both Blacks and Whites, I would not be surprised if fewer young Black Americans reach out in the future to become involved by doing the right thing, giving testimony, and, as Ms. Jeantel did in court, being courageous and honest.  

It is a sad commentary to reflect on how jury nullification is still the order of the day: no Black members despite the number of Black people in Seminole County. Thus, the jury of six are all women, five White and one Latina, another sign of institutional disrespect for the right of Blacks to be allowed to participate in the jury process.

My sense, given the number of hours I’ve watched this trial, is that there is a 70-30 chance for the acquittal of George Zimmerman with Trayvon Martin’s death ruled just another “no fault tragedy.”  I hope, as God is my witness, that I am wrong and it doesn’t become more “business as usual.”

Last week, Thursday through Sunday in North Minneapolis and downtown, groups of young Blacks as large as 250 and as small as 100 fought pitched battles among themselves and with police. Also last week, in North Commons Park, there was another wakeup call as more youth were roaming the streets. 

But it’s not just Black youth. In Greensboro, N.C. on July 1,400 teenagers, mostly White, rampaged. Are we are on the abyss of an outbreak of public disorder as in the days of the 1960s, only this time it is high unemployment and under-employment for both the under- and over-educated, both White and Black? 

Will White and Black communities reach out to help save their young with education and jobs, or will it take an American version of Tahrir Square, Tiananmen Square, or the streets of Paris and London to get adults in the USA to wake up? No one seems to have a clue or a plan, as eyes close in the naïve hope that they will open to show no clouds of darkness.

A word of simple advice:  Nothing is going to happen unless we are prepared to stand up and be counted like Rachel Jentel, who took it upon herself to do the right thing in that courtroom. I say God bless her and God bless the courage she showed in Sanford.
Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com (where "Archive" section has earlier March 28, 2012 column on the shooting of Trayvon Martin.)  

Posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:29 p.m.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com, which also has my “Solution Paper #46, “Disparity/Compliance Studies,” and my Blog entry of April 20, 2013, on the Vikings stadium legislation.  

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, and his work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:10 a.m.


July 03, 2012 Column #27: Snowden, Hastings and surveillance? Were they right? The “here we go again” relevance for Black America

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

Young journalists have stepped forward to warn again how we continue to lose our government to growing “Big Brother.” Thirty-year-old document leaker Edward J. Snowden has fled to a secret place. And 33-year-old journalist Michael Hastings was killed in a fiery auto crash in Los Angeles June 18, 2013. They have shocked the nation by exposing the extent of the secret crypt of America’s intelligence network’s surveillance abuse of American citizens.

Black America is not shocked. It’s been part and parcel of our lives ever since the first Black foot stepped off the boat in Virginia, on through failed Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the 1920’s, on through to today, blocking our access and freedoms.

We especially remember the surveillance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders. Dr. King’s father and mother were the subject of government surveillance as early as 1921. Now Whites learn and experience as we have. They don’t like having that surveillance shoe on their White feet. Whether or not you view Snowden and Hastings as patriots and heroes, they exposed governmental abuse of surveillance power.

Michael Hastings’ reporting brought down the careers of director of the CIA General David Petraeus, about to be supreme commander of NATO General John Allen, and top commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal. Prior to his fiery death, Hastings had texted his close associates that the FBI was making deep inquiry of his friends and family.

The stories of these brave young men, Snowden and Hastings, are chilling reminders for all Americans and journalists as we reflect this July 4th weekend on what we are losing of our freedoms under the guise of national security. Mr. Snowden seeks asylum where he won’t be extradited. Few have discussed the sacrifice he discussed in his forthright Hong Kong interview several weeks ago: his fear that his patriotic actions may cause the forfeiture of his life and prevent him from ever seeing his family again.

We in Black America understand the power and abuse of Big Brother. We remember the tragedy of the annihilation of the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the continued surveillance of activists in pursuit of civil rights for the American Negro. Dr. King’s brother died mysteriously.

Others victims of surveillance and persecution include Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Medgar Evers, and, in our beloved city, Nellie Stone Johnson, Dr. Thomas Johnson, the founder and publisher of this newspaper, Cecil Newman, and the legendary Frank Alsop, all targets of Big Brother’s surveillance (FBI, military intelligence agency, state and city).

Many of us warned that the passage of the Patriot Act a decade ago meant that rights, values, freedoms and liberties we hold dear and fight for and are passionately committed to would be blocked even more. Will Mr. Snowden survive? Only God and time will tell.

Journalism comes with risks and dangers, not only in regards to the right of free speech, but also of the right to make inquiry, ask questions and investigate the facts.

The Snowden revelations raise serious questions about what those who claim to be defenders and protectors of the constitution of the United States are trying to hide, especially when this is not so much about information released but about the extent of their “Big Brother” secret surveillance.

Why are powerful individuals so uncomfortable and uneasy when asked questions about such massive surveillance? Why, in the name of national security, do they push our constitutional rights into a dark closet? Snowden and Hastings revealed troubling threats to our constitutional rights.

It is our elected public servants in the congress, judiciary branch, and executive branch and their appointees that should bring forward information of questionable conduct by powerful government institutions. Instead it is by journalists and reporters living under a cloud of threat (think Daniel Elsberg during the Vietnam War).

The Edward Snowdens and Michael Hastings of this world are courageously reminding us that as Americans we have constitutional rights that include the right to be told the truth about our democratic and constitutional institutions from those we have entrusted both their guardianship and the responsibility to uphold to the fullest “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God”.

All public servants have that in their oath of office. Sadly, they are not driving the debate tonight in America about the importance of truth, transparency and constitutional rights. The drivers are the actions of elected public servants and their appointees against truth, transparency and constitutional rights. We are learning it from courageous journalists who are then harassed and threatened for doing so. This is the awesome and dangerous burden of real journalism.

Americans should be very concerned about the life expectancy of Mr. Snowden and the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Hastings.

God bless America.

Stay tuned.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 p.m.

For Ron's hosted show's broadcast times, solution papers, archives, and how to order his books, go to www.TheMinneapolisStory.com, which also has my “Solution Paper #46, “Disparity/Compliance Studies,” and my Blog entry of April 20, 2013, on the Vikings stadium legislation.  

Ron Edwards is the former head of key civil rights organizations, including the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League. He continues his "watchdog" role for Minneapolis, and his work to contribute to the planning discussions in order to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together in Minneapolis.

Ron's investigative reporting media message platforms:
(1) Column (since 2003): "Through My Eyes: The Minneapolis Story Continues", published weekly in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.;
(2) TV: Host of weekly Black Focus, Sundays, 5-6 pm, on Channel 17, MTN-TV;
(3) Blog Talk radio podcasts: host of “Black Focus V,” Saturdays, 3-4:00 pm,  Sundays, 3-3:30 pm, and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm; Archives here and here; On Point,
(4) Books: The Minneapolis Story Through My Eyes (2002); and A Seat for Everyone (2008); Order at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com.
(5) Solution Papers: for community leadership, planning and development;
(6) Blog: "Tracking the Gaps"
(7) CD: Hear his readings;
(8) Archives. (Columns, Blog entries, Solution Papers).
Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for equal access and equal opportunty in community planning and development at his website, TheMinneapolisStory.com

Posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 11:40 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 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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