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Solution Paper #27: 2-15-06

The Solution to The Trials of Ronald Reed and Larry Clark, Is the Pursuit and Application of Fairness and Justice

Justice seekers: read our columns & blog entries on Reed and Clark listed below
Prosecutors: answer the 37 questions we raised July 9, 2005, listed below

In reverse chronological, we continue our reporting:


9. February 15, 2006 Column #4: Ronald Reed was correct. The continued search for justice.


8. Column #24, Nov 30, 2005: subheading: Clark and Reed

7. October 2, 2005 Column #20: Clark and Reed: The subpoenas are served

6. September 21, 2005 Column #19: The trial begins: The Government vs. Clark and Reed

5. Column #17, Aug 24, 2005: subheading: In the continued matter of Reed and Clark

4. August 10, 2005 Column #16: There was no Black Panther Party in Minnesota. Sinister plot concocted to influence all-White jury?

3. 2005 Blog entry #67, 7-9-2005: Our 5,181 word essay ends with 37 questions. Justice and fairness demands that they be answered, preferably in court. Here is part of title of our Blog entry #67: “Why is the…Press Extorting history in its reporting of the joint FBI - St. Paul Police raid on the facilities, memory, and history of the St. Paul Inner City Youth League, distorting the record of honorable people of an honorable organization in order to once again, put us Black folk “in our place”, while the Civil rights establishment again does a “lay down” for this false interpretation of history?” This entry ends by asking, “In terms of Reed and Clark, let justice be served. If they are guilty, so be it. Bring on the gurney. But if they are innocent, as I believe, then set these life long servants of the community free.”

2. 2005 Blog entry #63. 6-23-2005: Our 1,859 word essay: The Re-opening of the discussion about the 1992 Haaf case continues the DFL “PR Campaign” to paint Blacks as “terrorists.” This time as killers of the peace

1. April 6, 2005 Column #7: Has the community abandoned Reed and Clark? Why have those who benefited from their activism have fallen silent? 2002 For more examples, see these chapters and interludes from our book (available online): Chapter 3 (my own experience), 10 (Luther Darville) 5 (others). See also the legal issues covered in Interludes 4, 6, 8, 13-15.

To ensure fairness and justice, it is our view that the prosecutors must anwer the 37 questions we raised July 9, 2005, in our Blog entry #67:

1. “Black militants” was a term coined by J. Edgar Hoover. The media loved it and used it indiscriminately. We considered ourselves progressives. This was the long detailed discussion I had with Mara who probed about the terms. Why, then, did she not only not quote me but put my words in someone else’s mouth and not talk about the difference? Was she being duplicitous with me and disingenuous, or was this done by her editors? Or both?

2. Why did the media use J. Edgar Hoover’s term then and why do editors today “couple” it today with Blacks in gangs, when the “militants” then (”progressives”) were actually trying to provide help TO and FOR the community, not randomly tear it down through the violence and drug dealing of some of today’s gangs, or those lost souls trying to find a place to belong after being pushed out of the DFL run schools and school activities (see my book, Chapter 7, on education)?

3. We were working for the community and attempting to steer youth into productive pursuits. Isn’t this a significant difference from Black gangs today that are part of the hip-hop culture, not of the culture of community development? See our Higher Hopes For Youth Than Hip Hop.

4. The building used by the Inner City Youth League was bought by Ted Hamm, of the Hamm breweries, who then gave it to the Inner City Youth League in 1967. Why isn’t the Hamm family talked to? Does this mean that this white heir of the brewery fortune was bankrolling militants (can’t you just see the paper working hard to try to use the word terrorists?)?

5. We worked with L. Howard Bennett, Under Secretary of Defense, who was selected by HHH to head his Presidential Advance Team. LHB was a good friend of Nelly Stone Johnson. Was the White House part of this Inner City Youth League “cell”?

6. You know, dear readers, that in 1968, one of the most turbulent years, there was no way that us four young Black Americans could be working that close with the Vice President without security clearances and being checked out as OK. Why isn’t this record checked? Why is it ASSUMED that we were bad guys, which any raid on the Inner City Youth League for weapons evidence during our period there has to have been assumed?

7. How is it that the words reported in the article as those of Bobby Hickman were the ones I spoke to reporter Mara Gottfried? That makes me believe that Bobby Hickman was never interviewed. Or is his a name given to Mara along with the police version of things Bobby has said (beyond what I wrote that she attributed to him) and, thus, is he part of the case they are using to get the reporter to interpret things their way?

8. Is this a new style of creative journalism? Of course. But fictional historical novels are the purview of novelists, not newspapers (with the exception of their editorial pages, of course).

9. How come there were never any complaints of loud noises or gun shots from neighbors? Hay bales won’t muffle the retort of a firearm. Watch the sequence: pull the trigger, a retort takes place, and the round hits something. But as sound is slower, it seems simultaneous. Fair enough. But the hay bale doesn’t reach back to muffle the sound of the gun. Hay bales will stop a slug. How dumb do they think people are to believe the sound of a shot will not be heard because the round hits a hay bale? The sound comes not from the bullet striking but from the bullet being fired.

10. The Pi Press reports fragments in cement but not in anything else. Shouldn’t there be strands of soundproofing material if the fragments were from that time, as no firing was ever heard? How could the sounds not be heard unless the basement was sound proofed, on ALL three surfaces: floor, ceiling, walls? Yet not one strand of sound proofing material was reported as found (will they add the strands later?).

11. As grenades are military weapons, were they U.S. grenades? If they were, why is there no record of theft from a munitions depot?

12. If these were not U.S. military weapons, who supplied them? Russians? In Minnesota?

13. Just who, 35 years later, is the real target of these conspiracy charges?

14. Remember: this is not about a calendar mistake: the affidavits especially state the 1960s, locking the informants, the police, the FBI and the prosecutors into a finite time line of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Why wasn’t this checked more thoroughly? Are we back to the “good old days” when any suspicion about a Black man is accepted as true even when false?

15. Note that in the early 1980s, a Black police officer began a boxing program at the Inner City Youth League. He was a former ranked welterweight. Was the police department then part of this cell?

16. Are our young reporters aware that well into the late 1960s, in college dorms across the upper tier of the country and across the South, students had gun racks on their dorm walls, with boxes of bullets open on the shelves (not to mention the gun racks in the back of their pickups)?

17. Are our young reporters aware of the fact that elementary school kids in the 1950s in small towns took rifles to school for instruction in gun safety after school?

18. Are our young reporters aware of the fact that elementary school kids in small towns wore hunting knives on their belts going to school?

19. Are our young reporters aware that much of the demonization of guns in this country is from a false fear by Whites in cities, not in suburbs and rural areas?

20. Is the famous image of the Black student with crossed bandoleers of bullets across his chest and a rifle in his hand after they had taken over the Cornel University building still seared in people’s minds, as it was on most front pages back in 1968? When will it be reported that these Black students, as White students had as well, taken over the building peaceably and without weapons, and that it was only after White students grabbed their guns from their gun racks and surrounded the building did guns get taken into the Black students? When will this story be told truthfully? They didn’t mind the white students having guns. It was Blacks having guns that scared them. Why?

21. When will it be told that many of the Black Panther groups in the U.S. were started by Black FBI informants in order to gather activists together in order to then raid and end them?

22. When will it be written that there were NO Black Panthers in the twin cities? In other cities? Yes. In the Twin Cities? No. We were too sophisticated to be taken in by their rhetoric (although we admired their food programs and teaching programs for little kids) and too sophisticated to be taken in by FBI plants trying to hustle us into trouble so we could be taken down.

23. When will the papers report on the Federal COINTEL program setting up Black Panther units so they could later be raided? Many took place in California. In Cincinnati, 5 or 6 young Blacks were killed and 35 sent to jail in such a raid. Innocent or not was not the issue: they had fired on the police raiding them and that was enough, even if there had been no criminal activity before. It was round up and elimination time for active young Black men, many trying to make a positive difference in their community.

24. Why not, for history’s sake, use the story of Geronimo Pratt and the attorney who successfully demonstrated his innocence, Johnny Cochran?

25. Are our young reporters aware of the fact that many Blacks don’t want to talk out of fear from another time held over to day, as they fear the government charging them with conspiracy 35 years after the fact, just “because”?

26. Is this all part of a scare campaign by anti-gun folks, using Black community activists of the 1960s as canon fodder to discourage Black community activists in the 2000s? See the scandalous “keeping them in their place” in Minneapolis as described in my chapters on education, jobs and housing (Chapters 7-9).

27. Is this all a piece of the plan to scare people so they don’t complain when police shoot those who resist being rounded up?

28. As the Twin Cities newspapers are willing to print any rumor about Blacks, about the stories we know to be true about James Sackett, that he was notorious for being a head thumper and could make drugs disappear? And why isn’t there any talk about Officer Sackett’s life prior to his joining the police force?

29. Why isn’t the angle of the need to manufacture evidence prior to the upcoming September trial explored?

30. Why isn’t the list of persons that have appeared before the Grand Jury not been reported on or listed, that was supposed to be released June 26th ? Who was on that list?

31 Why is there no famous time line or chronology of boxes about the events and people involved? Do they fear the holes in their story will be too easily seen if they develop such a chronology?

32. How long will it take the Feds to understand that the police have been obsessed with this case, especially since they botched their efforts to manufacture evidence and testimony in 1994? Do the Feds really want to be seen as yet another group whose eyes the locals have pulled the wool over?

33. The history of the 1950s and 1960s was the history of a dream, famously expressed by Dr. Martin Luther King in his 1964 “I have a Dream” speech, which remains the Unfinished Dream, and expressed by others in my book’s Interludes 4, 6, 9, and 11. What will the papers do to address this reality? The Strib in 1990 wrote a three week series on the racism still in existence in Minneaplis (see my book’s Interlude 2). The Mpls.St.Paul Magazine wrote a similar cover story in 1990 and then wrote in 2001 that the racism still existed almost unchanged in Minneapolis (see my book’s Interlude 10). See also Interludes 8, 13, 14, and 15, and you can see why we are not sanguine about the way the Reed and Clark affair is being handled. Not that there hasn’t been progress (see my book’s Interludes 5 and 7).

34. When will the papers acknowledge the Dream that Reed and Clark believed in and fought for and were later disillusioned about? When will the papers acknowledge the Emergency that exists among our young Black Men? We can still reconcile the races as well as the generations: see our paper on reconciliation (and our site on fairness and justice). Will the papers promote reconciliation or continue promoting keeping Blacks in their place? Will they continue to assume the American Dream is not for young Black men or will they relent and open the door even to them? Will the papers continue to promote the negative status quo, “Unrest, disturbance,” which is the status quo price the Twin Cities seem willing to pay (see my book, Chapter 16)?

35. Is there an answer? Yes there is. We offer a number of “solution” papers based on our book, including one called The 7 Solutions, which sets the framework for The blocks to use to construct a table for all to sit at together. Look soon for our solutiuon paper on how to acquire assets and build wealth, as enabling all to do so will help implement “the four freedoms,” articulated in the 1-11-44 State of the Union speech, in which the freedoms of speech and of religion and the freedoms from want and from fear would be freedoms for everyone in this country and for everyone “everywhere in the world,” so that everyone would then belong to an individual ownership society rather than a collective dependency society (models for the latter have been failures, politely said, disastrous when truthfully said. Why don’t the papers discuss how Blacks are redlined out of wealth building, literally and figuratively?

36. One might think I am being cynical or negative about our justice system. No, just reflecting some harsh truths, sad truths, truths that hurt Whites as badly as Blacks. I deal with this in my ook in Chapters 3 (The Minneaplis Courts) and in Chapter 10 (how the courts were used to railroad Luther Darville as the scapegoat and let those who were really guilty go scott free). Will the papers write about this? Will the papers continue to support Life on the Mississippi’s Grandest Liberal Plantation (my book, Chapter 6) and accept my challenge of “not here, not there, not anywhere” (my book, Chapter 4)?

37. Will the papers consider my book’s Interlude 16, regarding “Calculating a better future for all,” and thus consider “the positive future possibilities” as outlined in my book’s Chapter 17, and thus, as the conclusion chapter states, “Not lose sight of the Prize of Equality’s Freedom”? These are the questions our intrepid reporters should be asking. We are available to help answer them. As in every human space, not all Black Panthers were bad and not all cops were good.

Posted 2-15-06, 4:45 a.m.

Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm. Formerly head of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission and the Urban League, he continues his “watchdog” role for Minneapolis. Order his book, hear his voice, read his solution papers, and read his between columns “web log” at

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