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NAACP Takes Eye Off Prize

By Ron Edwards

July 21, 2003

The NAACP 2003 Convention was held in Miami, July 12-15, 1903. My original idea was to provide daily reports in a positive response as my own follow up to the letter sent to the NAACP by Beacon on the Hill Press (see the July 3, 2003 “Letter to NAACP” in this “Solution Papers” section). But the action of the NAACP in Miami forced me to change my plan to one in which I can still be positive, but not about the NAACP: only about the prize of equal access and equal opportunity for all that the NAACP has lost sight of. I was astounded following the NAACP convention. What did I see? I saw a parade of presidential candidates shuck and jive in Miami, praising the NAACP to get curry votes for the South Carolina primary. That the NAACP convention lapped this up like cats at a bowl of cream shows how out of touch with reality that the NAACP is. Will no one stand up to such pandering by the Democrats? No? Then I will.

I also watched the NAACP get suckered in to say things way out of line and inappropriate about Whites and the other half of the population (those the rest of us are trying to get along with who the NAACP is kicking about as if we lived in 1940 Germany). Will no one stand up to the NAACP? No? Then I will.

Woe to us to have Presidential candidates like this and organizations like the NAACP has become. Time to stand up for ourselves as citizens. Otherwise, we forfeit to them our long sought prize of equal access and equal opportunity for all, and that I am not willing to do.

Full disclosure: I was not in Miami. But there were enough news reports and quotes of what was said to provide an understanding that what has taken place in the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP is not what I originally thought was an anomaly, but rather a reflection of the NAACP. Full disclosure again: the local branch kicked me out, banned me, and then asked me to apologize for what I wrote about them in Chapter 14 of my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes.” I appealed. A hearing has been set. Stay tuned. But as another reformer once remarked, I will not recant. Here I stand.

Before the convention I didn’t know that the NAACP had applied for and been granted status as an NGO, non-governmental organization, allowing it to interact officially in the world. That changes the whole ball game and explains a lot that otherwise didn’t make sense. It makes sense in light of the NGO status. The plantation mentality the NAACP was founded to fight, that it has hated so much, has finally taken over the NAACP (following the old psychological warning: you become what you hate). This is why I have always taken the high road, been positive, and have exercised the patience of perseverance, for I know the only true goal is the prize of equal access and equal opportunity for all. If the prize is worth while the issue is not how long it takes but how one perseveres in the quest. The NAACP has now lost sight of that.

Saturday, July 12, was Day One of the four day national NAACP convention in Miami. Their slogan was a bold “Having Our Say.” What we discovered is that by “our” they mean their organization, not Blacks as a whole (unless it is Blacks who follow in lock step with them). The national ongoing theme is “94 years of making democracy work.” We then discovered that they seem only to mean it for the national organization, not for the branches, nor for people enslaved around the world where they would rather make nice with tyrants than oppose them. My original idea for daily reports about the convention to spread the word and to wish them well in their undertakings, both inside and outside the NAACP, meaning not only in our communities across this great nation but also within the local branches representing what this great organization is supposed to stand for, necessitated a change to the prize not this organization. Instead, the NAACP has seemingly gotten off track, losing sight of the prize of equal access and equal opportunity for all. Miami is an excellent symbol of the NAACP past, present, and future.

In terms of the past, The national NAACP hadn’t been in Miami since 1980. It was there weeks after the acquittal of four Dade County police officers accused of beating a black man to death. Blacks turned Overtown and Liberty City into a nationally televised war zone in 1980. And it was in 1990, that the NAACP and local Black leaders led a boycott against the tourist industry in Miami because it didn’t like that some local officials, Cuban and Jewish, refused to welcome South African leader Nelson Mandela during his visit to a union convention, because of what they considered his links to Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat, and especially Mandela’s comments backing Castro against the Cuban exiles because Mandela felt the Cuban exiles had not backed Blacks during Apartheid in South Africa. That tipping point in 1990 still haunts the civil rights movement and seems to have twisted the NAACP’s sense of its future.

In terms of the present, NAACP President Kweisi Mfume seems to have set affirmative action and work abroad as an NGO as the top priorities. See my companion “:Solution Papers” piece on affirmative action, which I suggest be changed to “affirmative restorative action.” These two emphases will haunt the civil rights movement for years to come and weaken it even more. In the terms of the future the NAACP is going worldwide, for on January 21, 2003, the United Nations granted the NAACP NGO or Non-government Organization Status, which will allow the NAACP to become an advocate worldwide. But of what? Our question about the NAACP is a simple one: is the NAACP going to represent Blacks as individuals with a right of full citizenship in America or are does the NAACP see us only as individual members of the NAACP collectivity, as if we were part of a modern version of the Hindu caste system, and the NAACP executives are our Brahmin leaders, to which they will now add people of color in other nations? Do they now view themselves as the “Nation of the NAACP”? When the NAACP wants to bring its “expertise” re “people of color” to Cuba and other countries, isn’t it reversing Martin Luther King’s notion of judging people by their character and instead judging them by their color, as if color is the ticket of admission to the “nation” of the NAACP?

And how does the history of fighting slavery, Jim Crow laws, and any form of segregation fit in with working with the leadership of countries that enslave their people? Is NGO status just another excuse for self-appointed Black leaders to engage in globe trotting, saying good thoughts, living the good life, hobnobbing with the elite of other nations that have taken away the civil rights of their people, and thus diverting the attention of the NAACP from where it should be, in the inner cities of America in general and, in particular, public and higher education, housing and jobs, a diversion because they really don’t want to have to deal with “those people”? How will the NAACP stand up for democracy and individual rights in non-democratic countries when it won’t stand up for democracy and individual rights in its own local branches? Is the fact that most Blacks in America see the NAACP as a relic of the past with little credibility that its leaders are now turning to people of color in countries where there is no accountability, no resistance to their leadership, in order to maintain their elitist life styles?

Sunday July 13th, was Day Two of the national convention in Miami. As noted above, the local Miami paper (available on the Internet) began my puzzlement. Let’s revisit their retelling of how black leaders began a three-year boycott of tourism in the Miami area in 1990, in response to Cuban and Jewish leaders condemning Mandela’s links to Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat. I wondered then why leaders like those of the NAACP couldn’t separate Mandela the icon of Black liberation in South Africa, a hero we have all admired and sought to emulate, from Mandela the petty politician who would not condemn tyrants and dictators like Castro and Arafat. Now many Blacks in Florida are often those of the Caribbean region: Haitian, Jamaica and the West Indies. Doesn’t this dilute from the cause of seeking equal access and equal opportunity for America’s descendant’s of slaves and especially Jim Crow, skipping our history by whitewashing it? Surely the outline of concerns and top priorities given by NAACP President Kweisi Mfume -highlighting economic issues, health care, affirmative action, racially integrated public schools and the nation’s policy toward Africa, and the disparities between minorities and whites in health and income, are all goals we can surely agree with. But how is the NAACP, already bogged down in internal problems, by its own admission, as I cover in Chapter 14 of my book, going to address these areas when it now says it will engage with countries overseas before winning the battle here? Have they given up? Is the NAACP now just an employment source for its “leaders” where it can ignore local accountability by directing its energies overseas, especially as it gives the impression it has no disdain for tyranny nor will it stand up against dictators who rule over people of color as they lavishly entertain them?

Monday, July 14th was Day three of the national convention in Miami. And again confusion more than enlightenment greeted me. We learned of the strange almost clown like spectacle of rhetorical saber rattling and mean spirited put downs, as if the NAACP has been purposefully “dissed” and, like junior high kids, were fighting to be respected, not recognizing that respect is earned, not commanded, and that those they in turn disrespected are some of our best friends who most respect us?

The USA Today of July 14th reported that NAACP President Kweisi Mfume condemned Bush and the three Democratic candidates who did not attend the convention’s candidate’s forum. Mfume ridiculed them by putting four empty chairs on the stage with their names on them, and with “blazing rhetoric” and “anger” said that “Those four now have no right to ask for black votes in the 2004.” What is this, Junior High? How could he call these four “persona non grata” with “political capital not worth a confederate dollar” when Bush is the first sitting Republican president to go to Africa, and all three absent Democrats (Sen. Joe Lieberman, Missouri Rep. Richard Gephardt and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich) received 100% scores for their votes in the last Congress from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights? This is not seeking common ground. When the NAACP has so few Blacks as members nationwide in general (3% of Blacks if all the membership is Black, but as many are White it is probably closer to somewhere between 1 and 2 %) and particularly in Minneapolis, where only half of one percent of Blacks in Minneapolis belong to the local branch, and in the last election, the Black Plantation Leaders brought in Whites to help them serve their White masters, as 85% of the vote for the person who won the presidency were White (full disclosure again: I was one of the candidates that they worked hard to see didn’t get elected; just as if they wanted to outdo Florida, they had most of my Black voters disqualified). So you can see why I ask how the NAACP can present itself as the dictator of who Black people can vote for? They do to the pitifully small number in their branches, but not to the rest of us. They have taken their eye off the prize of freedom for individuals and are asking us to all surrender to their view, as if we have no individual thoughts or views of our own. And when Mfume says their “political capital is the equivalent of Confederate dollars,” can you imagine a White saying that and getting away with it? Why would these three presidential candidates be so unpresidential and come crawling back to do penance? For what other reason that for votes. I’ll come back to that in a moment.

How is this fighting for integration? Isn’t this just furthering segregation? Its one thing to dislike prejudice. It is another to accept discrimination. Mfume said ‘’We don’t mean to be arrogant, and we certainly are not trying to be mean-spirited,” but isn’t that exactly what he was being? If we condemn our friends, who will be left to vote for us or fight for us in Congress? Even the aides of the candidates who were there called Mfume’s words ‘’brutal’’ and ‘’scorching’’ to describe the effect of the rhetoric about the empty chairs. Finally, Mfume said African-American voters will treat the absences as ‘’a barometer’’ of commitment to them. Say what? He said ‘’People are sick and tired of having others expect that we will act a certain way or vote a certain way.” We do? Well if it means voting the NAACP way, well yes, we are sick and tired of that. He does not speak for me. Does he speak for you, dear reader? He went on to say that “This is a special affront to the larger black community when for whatever reason the need to be here is not a priority.’’ But, again, we all know this isn’t true. This certainly isn’t trying to get along. Why would any candidates want to do things for people who speak of them in this way (except to get their votes), condemning those who were not there and practically blackmailing those who were? These are the words we would expect of a dictator seeking to control a people, not a civil rights activist seeking supporters and standing up for individual liberty and freedom. To suggest African Americans will act in unison with him over this shows how out of touch the NAACP is with the everyday Black man, woman and youth, and how disingenuous these supposed presidential types are. So why did they at first not attend? The answer seems clear: because the NAACP is recognized as being a force no longer needed to be contended with. Thus, the major players stayed away. The minor players came (they need all the publicity they can get). The later attendance by the three Democrats, described below, is not a sign of the NAACP’s strength but of its nuisance level prior to the all critical South Carolina primary.

Tuesday, July 15th, was Day four of the convention. Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman spoke. He outdid Mfume. Bond accused the Republicans of doing what he and Mfume are actually doing: “preaching racial neutrality and practicing racial division.” Bond went on to say that the Republican “idea of reparations is to give war criminal Jefferson Davis a pardon.” Bond then said “Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and Confederate swastika flying side by side.” He also said that Republicans appeal “to the dark underside of American culture, to that minority of Americans who reject democracy and equality.” How can Bond, who in 2001 compared conservatives to the Taliban, be taken seriously outside a very small hyper-partisan group?

Mfume then backed up what Bond said by saying “It’s a little ironic that the president would go to Africa to meet with black leaders but he won’t meet with black leaders here in the United States.” But why is his ironic? He doesn’t get it, does he? Bush did meet with Black leaders. Real leaders. Those in Africa. But the NAACP “leaders” are NOT our Black leaders in this country, just woeful, pitiful wannabes. How can they claim to be Black leaders when they speak like this? How can they claim to stand for the freedom and liberty of people when they make it a point to give credibility to the Haitian President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who by most accounts (except for his apologists) has become a dictator? Are we to excuse that just because he is Black? How can there be common cause by the NAACP with Black, Brown, Arab, or other dictators who enslave or oppress their people? Isn’t our common bond the prize of freedom, of equal access and equal opportunity? Let us look at the record. How, when he talks like this, can Mfume expect to be taken seriously outside a very small hyper-partisan group?

The last time President Bush spoke to the NAACP was at the 2000 convention when he was a governor and a presidential hopeful. He was proud of the fact that “the party of Lincoln was the party of civil rights” but was not proud of the fact that the Republicans “had not always stood on the right side of history” and that as President he would act to “rectify” that. What Democrat has been willing to say this? Let’s not forget that it was a Democratic governor that raised the Confederate flag over the Capitol building of South Carolina and it is a Democrat from West Virginia that is a former KKK member (if not secretly still so in his own mind). Let us not forget it was Democrats that did most of the lynching in the south. It was Democratic Governors that stood in the school house doors in the South to prevent Blacks from entering. And lets not forget it was Democrats who created and implemented Jim Crow and who, after passing the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, couldn’t live with it and thus it was Democrats who published the 1968 Kerner Commission Report in which they said that Blacks were not like others, couldn’t make it on their own, and thus had to be taken care of by the state, relegating those unable to escape to their inner city plantations and government dependency. This is why I call myself a Nellie Stone Johnson Democrat (see Interlude 3 of my book).

And I am not a Hubert Humphrey democrat, as much as I admired much that he did, as both he and Walter Mondale blamed Blacks for their not being elected President. As some analysts have written, even though we may clearly question much of his domestic policies, and I do, surely Bush’s foreign policy is “courageous, effective and vital.” Why doesn’t the NAACP “admit that the potential danger to the US from hate-intoxicated terrorists could one day cause an even greater loss of American lives than did our Civil War,” and instead work to reverse the Kerner Commission’s racist report and work to free our people in the inner cities instead of gallivanting overseas? And let us, in the spirit of the modern age of science, seeking factual evidence over ideology, give credit where credit is due. I repeat: everyone knows I am a Nellie Stone Johnson Democrat (see Interlude 3 of my book). I’ve never voted Republican. But can we not recognize that Bush is the first Republican President to go to Africa? Has he not continued to hold out for more money for AIDS in Africa than any previous president, and hasn’t he stood up in support of other humanitarian crises in Africa? And can we really turn on a man who is willing to stand up in public and talk against slavery in ways I don’t hear White Democrats speak, which many White Democrats past and present have refused to say? Here are excerpts of Bush’s speech about slavery (emphasis in bold added) and about a woman we have named one of our buildings in Minneapolis after, Phyllis Wheatley: “liberty and life were stolen and sold. Human beings were delivered and sorted, and weighed, and branded with the marks of commercial enterprises, and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return.

One of the largest migrations of history was also one of the greatest crimes of history…Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice. A republic founded on equality for all became a prison for millions… Enslaved Africans heard the ringing promises of the Declaration of Independence and asked the self-evident question: Then why not me?…Down through the years, African-Americans have upheld the ideals of America by exposing laws and habits contradicting those ideals…Among those Americans was Phyllis Wheatley, who was dragged from her home here in West Africa in 1761, at the age of seven… she became a poet, and the first noted black author in our nation’s history. Phyllis Wheatley said, “In every human breast, God has implanted a principle which we call love of freedom. It is impatient of oppression and pants for deliverance…That deliverance was demanded by escaped slaves named Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, educators named Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois, and ministers of the Gospel named Leon Sullivan and Martin Luther King Jr. At every turn, the struggle for equality was resisted by many of the powerful. And some have said we should not judge their failures by the standards of a later time.

Yet in every time, there were men and women who clearly saw this sin and called it by name…Their moral vision caused Americans to examine our hearts, to correct our Constitution, and to teach our children the dignity and equality of every person of every race. By a plan known only to Providence, the stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America. The very people traded into slavery helped to set America free…journey toward justice has not been easy and it is not over…But however long the journey, our destination is set: liberty and justice for all…There is a voice of conscience and hope in every man and woman that will not be silenced—what Martin Luther King called a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. That flame could not be extinguished at the Birmingham jail…This untamed fire of justice continues to burn in the affairs of man, and it lights the way before us. Judge for yourself. But shouldn’t this be the fire we not only hold Bush’s feet to, but the Democratic contenders’ feet also?

Are we to condemn outright, reflexively, without hesitation, the first President to meet with a slave since the 19th century (Bush met with former Sudanese slave Francis Bok last Fall and spoke out against the Sudanese killing of 2 million Black Africans and against their holding tens of thousands in chattel slavery). Because he is a Republican, are we to condemn outright, reflexively, without hesitation Colin Powell, who stood up, despite boos, to condemn the racist regime of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe? Shouldn’t the NAACP stand up with him as well?

And let us not forget that this is from a President who got only 8% of the Black vote and can gain little politically for doing so, and is doing it the face of Blacks constantly kicking mud in his face. Surely, among us Nellie Stone Johnson Democrats, his conviction and commitment to do the right thing should stand for something, especially among us. And if Bush is so bad, how is it that such liberal rockers as “both U2 front man and roving international humanitarian Bono and Aid veteran Bob Geldof have bucked the rock establishment’s tacit party line by applauding Mr. Bush’s AIDS relief efforts in Africa?” Geldof went so far as to say that the Bush administration is “the most radical - in a positive sense - in its approach to Africa since Kennedy,” with Bono saying he was ready to “trumpet that and give him the applause he deserves,” this despite the fact than none of this will garner Bush many voters among rockers either.

Here, in my view, is the key question: are we to wait to try to achieve progress only when Democrats are in office or will we work for it daily, yearly, regardless of who is in office? The NAACP officers can afford to wait. No matter who is President, they keep their jobs, they keep getting paid. This is not so of our children and their parents and our communities. Must our children wait to learn, must their parents wait for jobs, and must our communities wait to develop until after Democrats are in office, when the historical fact is that is that when in office the Democrats did little to help and fought the national civil rights legislation every time some was passed? So reflexively, automatically, kowtowing to what the Democrats say, unquestioningly, makes no sense to me, particularly in light of the record of double crossing by the Democrats of Blacks in Congress, who were courted at election time and ignored in between elections (see “Just Permanent Interests: Black Americans in Congress, 1870 - 1992, by William L. Clay, one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus).

Wednesday and Thursday, July 16 and 17, 2003, was Day Five and day after of the convention. Now I know some will say that what I wrote above was wrong because the three Democrats came crawling and groveling to Miami with profuse apologies. You can read Joe Lieberman’s speech on his web site, “” Even Joe accuses Bush of what he himself has become, one who has “chosen partisanship over progress, conservatism over compassion.” And then Joe out Bonds and out Mfumes them by saying, with a straight face, that Mfume was needed on the Supreme Court (incidentally, Mfume is not an attorney). Otherwise, he said all the right things about “civil rights, fighting for economic justice, fighting for voting rights” and “continuing the fight for prosperity, equality, security and justice.” But as the referenced book by Bill Clay notes, once they get our votes, they ignore us. Joe was masterful in his damage control regarding the bad publicity among Blacks regarding the no-shows.

So why did he come? Because of the front loaded Democratic primaries placing South Carolina early in the schedule. Thus even the foreign press covered the event. And it was a British paper, the Guardian, that gave the blaring headline, “Jackson: Southern Blacks Key to Democrats,” meaning the Democratic Party needs the Black vote to recapture the White House and Congress next year. This was a no brainer for the candidates: they want to win in South Carolina. They’ll say anything. And they did. And delegates lapped it up. But the rest of the Blacks in this country are no longer so sure.

Mfume played the irrational card at the NAACP convention when he gave the first rankings of the auto industry in terms of its “hiring, marketing and charitable practices in the Black community.” He gave Toyota a D minus. Say what? How? Toyota “has 28% minority employment in its U.S. manufacturing, which represents two-thirds of its domestic work force.” That gets a D minus? No way. So what earned the D minus? Very simply, it was the fact that the “facts” graded included how well companies heeled to the demands of the NAACP: 45% of the grade was based on whether they answered employment questions. Because Toyota didn’t answer all of them, the NAACP spread the lie that Toyota shouldn’t be supported by Blacks. And then the NAACP wonders why they have lost credibility and don’t have a large membership. With friends like the NAACP, Blacks don’t need enemies. This is scandalous. Worse, no one is calling them on it, not other Blacks, not Democrats, and especially not Democratic presidential candidates. So be it. I am not in that group. I am calling them on it by writing this piece.

In conclusion, let me anticipate a question of my reader: what’s wrong with me. Am I talking heresy. Yes. But whose heresy? What is heresy? Doesn’t the word come from the word herein, which means to choose? And that is what I elect to do: choose. For myself. By myself. Which most others will do as well. I choose not to take my eye off the prize of freedom’s equal access and equal opportunity. It is the Democrats and the NAACP that doesn’t want us as Blacks to choose for ourselves, only to choose what they want us to choose. That is not democracy. That is not citizenship. It is blatant partisanship and ideology that benefits not our people but only the self-declared, self-proclaimed leaders. They want us to choose only their Plantation ways so they can maintain their Plantation jobs. Think I’m exaggerating? You can’t think so if you have read my book and read my chapters on education, jobs, housing, the courts, gerrymandering, etc. To date, no one has challenged as incorrect anything written in my book, “The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes.” I invite you, my readers, as well as the NAACP, to take the high road, to take the high moral ground, and demand that all parties, Democrats and DFL and Republicans and Greens and Independents, work to achieve the prize: freedom and liberty for all, equal access and equal opportunity for all, and, as Lincoln said, “government of the people, for the people and by the people.” Not of/for/by any party, not of/ for/by any particular organization.

So what do we stand for? During the week of the convention, British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed a joint session of Congress. Recall that Blair had a love fest with Clinton just as he does with Bush, showing he recognizes the greatness in both, dismisses their failings and works for the common good he shares with America, regardless of who is in office. This, in my view, makes Tony Blair one of the finest leaders today on the planet. Here is part of what he said: is this not what the Democratic presidential candidates should be saying? Isn’t this what the NAACP should be saying too. Why do they oppose Blair other than because he works with Bush? Blair is seeking common ground to save us from world terrorists.

Can’t the Democrats too, or can they only do it when they are President? Here is what Blair said to our Congress (bold emphasis added): We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind—black or white; Christian or not; left, right or merely indifferent—to be free—free to raise a family in love and hope; free to earn a living and be rewarded by your own efforts; free not to bend your knee to any man in fear; free to be you, so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others. That’s what we’re fighting for, and it’s a battle worth fighting. And I know it’s hard on America. And in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I’ve never been to but always wanted to go—(laughter)—I know out there, there’s a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happy minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, “Why me, and why us, and why America?” And the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do. And our job—my nation, that watched you grow, that you fought alongside and now fights alongside you, that takes enormous pride in our alliance and great affection in our common bond—our job is to be there with you. You’re not going to be alone. We will be with you in this fight for liberty. And if our spirit is right and our courage firm, the world will be with us.

This is the common ground we need to work for, fight for, in our cities in America today, rather than turn them over to those, Black or White, with a Plantation mentality. To those kept in the inner cities by government policies, what matters is NOT which party is in office but rather what is done to and for Blacks in the inner cities. We need to wean ourselves from those who won’t help all seek the prize and walk away from those who court us and whisper sweet nothings in our ears at election time and then leave us alone until the next election. Let us not help any who take their eye off the prize for in doing so, we prevent ourselves from obtaining the prize. I am not alone as I see other writing and speaking about people get over committed politically to the detriment of their cause, as they begin to dislike and distrust those that don’t subscribe to their view. I’m not sure why so many seem to succumb to such contempt and spite. In my book I urge the following of a single rule, The Golden Rule. And I offer a single set of points for common ground we should all be able to agree on, a set of YESes and a set of NOs (see my Chapters 5 and 17). I urge all, including the NAACP, to use these as their starting points, as they will immensely help them to not only understand that that the prize is for all and fight is for all, it will then dramatically help them keep their eye on the prize.

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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