Home | All Solution Papers » | All Columns » | All Blogs »
Solution Paper #43, posted May 18, 2011
ABOUT Chapter 5
Justice and Fairness:
The Question Of Equal Access And Equal Opportunity
Originally published in November 2002 in The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes, by Ron Edwards, as told to Peter Jessen, pp. 93- 104.
In Chapter 5, I will deal more directly with the questions of equal access and equal opportunity from the standpoint of justice and fairness. I believe the solution is for all of us, Blacks and Whites, to come to an agreement on the common ground we share, in the form of the things we all say YES to and the things we all say NO to. If we can agree on these, we will have smooth sailing in the future. I provide a beginning set of lists for discussions of what, from my perspective, should be on the YES list and what should be on the NO list. (p. 20)
…why not allow them [Blacks] equal access to a good education and let the results speak for themselves. Or as Jawanza Kunjufu (Chapter 5) said in Minneapolis on November 1, 2001, at Pilot City Neighborhood Center, if Blacks are so inferior, there is no reason to discriminate. Fear is usually reserved for those who are superior. So why do Whites fear Blacks if not for the fact that they fear that if they are “turned loose” and given equal access and equal opportunity, they will surpass Whites? (p.32)
Indeed, “keeping us in our place” is what James Baldwin called “the machinery of our country’s operations.” My goal is to help us all see that it is in everyone’s best interest to be in the same place, a place I outline in Chapter 5. (p. 33)
Justice and Fairness:
The Question Of Equal Access And Equal Opportunity
The issue is a simple one. Will Minneapolis work to be fair or not in education, housing, and economic development (including jobs, living wages, and Black entrepreneurial growth. How will Minneapolis answer the question: To be fair or not to be fair? Racists would answer: not to be fair. Do the math. The record of Minneapolis in Education, Housing, and Jail Instead of Jobs, is clear: It is a racist record of injustice and unfairness, which I document in these chapters.
The question will not go away for Minneapolis or any other city: to be fair or not to be fair. It is all a matter of choice. What choice will the city make? This choice will determine the kind of justice that will be prevail, as discussed in Chapter 2.
To answer “be fair” will require a shift from the idea that it is the state that is the mechanism for groups to gain power to the idea that the state is the referee (checks and balances) for individuals, groups, and organizations in the search for fairness. If the mechanism is the state, democracy cannot last. And without democracy, even Whites will lose.
This is not an easy question. But if we are going to deal with it openly, we need to face the truth about racism in America in general and in particular in Minneapolis. As noted in Chapter 1, accepted best study for its time, 1944, was Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. Let us recall the dilemma then that exists today: how do Americans, who don’t want the Negro, get rid of the Negro in an acceptable manner? This book heavily influenced the Supreme Court’s 1954 anti-segregation decision. Any discussion must start with the bedrock of what Myrdal documented: that in the U.S., there was a virtual genocidal intent on the part of Whites. He had no solution to the problem other than advocating reducing their birth rate and openly advocating removing as many from the country as possible. Myrdal also documented how it was that liberal White Americans came to rationalize the notion that there would be less prejudice if the Black population could be reduced. We can see this rationalization at work in Minneapolis as attempts are made to depopulate Blacks from the city. And this, of course, is the same dilemma Myrdal wrote about. Americans are decent, law abiding citizens who believe in democracy and liberty. The dilemma: how to appropriately meet their goal of “of removing black people from the country “under those ideals? Or, as he phrased it (emphasis is his):
[T]here is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of white Americans desire that there be as few Negroes as possible in America. If the Negroes could be eliminated from America or greatly decreased in numbers, this would meet the whites' approval -- provided that it could be accomplished by means which are also approved.
Or, as I like to put it, how can a nice guy be a bad guy too? That is a contradiction in terms. So the White man in America has botched being nice and botched being bad. But there is a solution: the universal brotherhood of man. The word Philadelphia means “City of Brotherly Love.” I believe 21st Century America is ready to move on, to let go of the genocidal notion, and accept integration. That must be the goal. My hope is that my book might show some ways for doing so.
And the obvious first place to begin is unemployment, the most basic and fundamental area of unfairness and injustice practiced against the poor. Solve it here and it will be solved virtually everywhere. But it can’t be solved in employment until we get we stop following failed economic dogma.
Recall that although the average unemployment today hovers around 4-5%, it was 25% during the Great Depression. In the 1970s it often reached 10%. We are still plagued by the economic theory of the 1970s, which said that it was good that many stay unemployed, so there would always be a surplus of workers for companies when they needed them. Hubert Humphrey tried to temper this idea when he was in the Senate, with what was called the Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Act, which sought to set a ceiling for unemployment at 7%. If it rose beyond that, the Federal government would step in and become the employer of last resort, just as it was with the WPA and similar programs during the Great Depression.
I remember hearing that in the 1970s. As a Black man, I knew that we made up a lot of that 10%. It was an average number, but for Whites it was in single digits and for Blacks it was in double digits. I am still amazed that so-called liberals could still condone 7% unemployed as OK. Remember what I said earlier: much of this is about law. If the law is such and the government works to enforce whatever it is, it is legal. And if legal, moral Not fair, but legal and moral. Not just, but legal (hence my repeated example of slavery and the Jim Crow laws in the South which, in their day were legal and moral and which, today, some states, as we shall see in this book, are trying to bring back). The theory of the day said there needed to be surplus workers for companies to dip into during expansion time who could be dismissed when not needed.
Some of us used to joke that as the Black man was the key to the success of the economy, providing this labor pool for Whites to draw from, Blacks should be paid for carrying this important function. Not everyone thought we were funny.
And yet just think of the economic energy that would be freed up if we enabled rather than blocked Black entrepreneurs, if we hired Black contractors and service companies and used Black workers. During the 1990's, more than 80% of the net gain in new jobs was not from corporate giants but from small companies involved in a wide range of businesses (far broader than the dot-coms). We have allowed Whites to manage the corporate and government contracting by engaging White companies and workers, but have not required to be in compliance regarding hiring minorities as well.
Small businesses are where most people get started, as this is where most of the new jobs are created. In 2000, nearly half the work force in the United States was employed in small businesses. It was small business that actually powered the record economic growth of the 1990's. Yet less than 8% are Black. We need to establish policies that will provide micro-loans that actually go to Black company startups (many now go to women as minorities; there is nothing wrong with that as long as they are in addition to, not instead of those to Blacks). If we make a concerted effort to facilitate such loans for Blacks, not only will they have an opportunity to improve their lives but they will become active stakeholders in society also. Micro-lending nurtures the fundamental values of democracy and helps them take root. Therefore, recommendations by the current Administration to cut SBA in half are counter to the values of the real America and counter to progressive plans for helping Blacks raise themselves up.
Businesses based on jobs and profit are the real foundation of American capitalism, not stock market speculation play money or re-regulations that invite wholesale stealing (calling it accounting fraud is way too tame) or all of those working to promote the gambles of the stock market, which, when played properly, can benefit any player (since 1926, it has a yearly average of 10% return).
During the 1980s, Milton Friedman’s theories were popular with the Federal government. Friedman believed it was immoral to pay a person more than $1.25/hour if you could find someone who would work for that amount or less. It is always strange how Christians can apply the law of supply and demand to human beings, for it makes commodities out of them. In reality, it says what people really think of poor people: not much, just commodities, to be used or not used, bought and sold in the labor market if needed or not needed. Fortunately, on this issue, Friedman’s ideas are no longer listened to. The Republicans lost their moral high ground with his positions. The jury is still out whether they will regain the moral high ground back on George W. Bush’s compassionate conservative label. Labels don’t count, only action counts, and the action in this case is what is recommended to be law as compassionate: will it be a “living wage” or not, or what some call a family wage, the amount needed for a family of four to succeed in America.
This gets to the heart of the structural problems in the debate. An economic system which institutionalizes work structures that allows wages to be less than what is required to support a family needs to be changed. There is no moral high ground there. The attitude that nothing can be done about it, and that Friedman’s Fantasy (which I also like to call Milton’s madness) is really reasonable, shows how far we still have to go in terms of fairness, let alone justice.
All major religions ask their adherents to serve each other, to love one another, and to take care of each other. Indeed, the famous Biblical questions, “Who is my neighbor?” and “Am I my brother’s keeper?” are answered by the story of “The Good Samaritan.” In this parable by Jesus, who George W. Bush says is his favorite philosopher, the concept of neighbor is not defined by geography or blood or ethnicity or race, but rather by need. By this account, compassionate conservatism should provide a floor below which the poor do not fall (Interestingly enough, the Republican President Richard Nixon proposed this but the Democrats defeated it: It would have given Southern Blacks economic opportunity, which in turn would have made it difficult to keep them in their place). There is a need for a threshold below which no one should have to fall in this society, in this economy. And here I am talking strictly about people working full time, not those not at work. I might add that there is already a mechanism to use to transition to employers paying more and that is the Earned Income Credit (EIC). For the corporate pirates we have discussed, treating corporations and governments as piggy banks, we have been treated to what these leaders accept as the ceiling: the sky’s the limit. Now we need to see them contribute to a floor.
The good news is that the percent of Americans earning minimum wage has dropped from 9% in 1980 to 1% in 2001. It is still bad news for those earning a minimum wage of $5.15 to $6.64, who number about 12 million workers all told (Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2001, p. A1 and A10), which is still below the poverty line for a family of four. 12 million workers is still a HUGE number and it needs to be addressed. And the obvious: Among Blacks, the percentages are starker. These are both moral and economic issues. How will Minneapolis address them?
I ask you, dear reader, to do the numbers with me and ask yourself: What is fair? The New York Times (June 23, 2002, p. BU4), states that those in the 90th percentile earn $1,440 a week (that’s $74,880 a year). That means that 10% of the population earns more and a whopping 90% earn less. How much less? The same article states that the middle earn wages averaging $646/week, which is $33,592. The low end earns an average of $307/week, or $15,964. Which, dear reader, can you live on?
Nickel and Dimed On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich provides her account of spending several months in different cities attempting to live on jobs paying the minimum wage, including Minneapolis. What she found in Minneapolis in terms of jobs, housing, and a living wage was not good. And she dealt mostly with poor Whites. Read her book. Think Minneapolis. You may be offended, dear reader, by this question, although I do believe you will understand the question, which is: “Is what is happening in Minneapolis as she reports fair for those workers?” Your answer will tell more about who you are as a person and what your view of society is than almost any other question.
We might also venture into something some readers may feel is far afield for this book, and that is this: that CEO’s and other top executives should only receive rewards above their salaries based on the performance of the companies under their stewardship, rather than on the performance of the stock that can be manipulated to look good even when the company is doing poorly. Additional rewards, whatever form they take, should only be awarded when the company is actually profitable in real terms and not in creative accounting terms. Think of the opportunities for success in other areas corporations could achieve if this money underwrote that kind of potential growth activity rather than the growth merely of the pirates commanding the corporate ship. Whether real or imaginary, whether Blackbeard or Captain Hook, a pirate is a pirate. When pirates command the economic fleet, be they in corporations or the legislatures, plunder is their game and impoverishing us is their name.
Without equal access and equal opportunity, beginning with education, there can be no life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all; there can be no one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. It is OK for those at the top of the opportunity ladder to enrich themselves as long as it is done fairly, which means it is also fair that those at the bottom of the opportunity ladder not be impoverished by the process that enriches the top.
Fairness and justice are more than cheap slogans in empty patriotic rituals. How we define these terms defines our self-understanding as a society regarding the age-old questions that are at the heart of all societies and their internal and foreign conflicts: Who are we? And how are we to live together? It can only work if we agree to at least a basic common ground on which we can all stand and from which we can work to integrate the negotiations necessary to include everyone. To do that, we need a sense of both individual and group solidarity and sacrifice. I find this missing in Minneapolis. We need a common morality more than we need a common set of bureaucratic rules for standard operating procedures. When all goes well, the latter may work, but when things do not go well, they won’t unless we have the sense of individual and group solidarity.
At this point in any discussion of fairness in Minneapolis, we must remind ourselves of the story of the Good Samaritan and of the Golden Rule discussed in Chapter 2: President George W. Bush’s favorite philosopher, Jesus’ “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, or, as Immanuel Kant put it, “do unto others as you would have everyone do unto everybody.” Certainly this is what the Good Samaritan followed and which the others in the story did not do, including the clergy. It’s an excellent rule. It defines the phrase “preferential option for the poor.” And because the Golden Rule is based on need, not geography or race or creed, we have a better idea of what is meant by those who say preferential option for the poor. So you can imagine how we as young men at Syracuse were wanting to delve more deeply into the concept, especially young Black men trying to figure out why we were not treated with the Golden Rule by Whites, just the Gold Rules. So you can imagine how we likes Kant’s super golden rule much better. I still do. Jesus’ version could conceivably permit exclusion and expulsion. Kant’s can’t be misinterpreted that way. All must be included. It is a more perfect rule. I commend it to Minneapolis. As we shall see, too often the rule is do unto us as we command you while we will do unto you as we desire. That I cannot accept.
The three main issues raised for Minneapolis are these: First: To be fair or not to be fair, especially in education, housing, and economic development (including jobs, living wages, and Black entrepreneurial growth). Second: To determine what the “do” is that we want everyone to do unto everyone else. Third: Are we willing to practice this individually and collectively? In other words, are we willing to treat others in education, housing, jobs, wages, entrepreneurial activity, the way we want to be treated?
If we followed this super Golden Rule, we would not need affirmative action or the Voting Rights Act. That we need these things shows the unfairness that is not only tolerated but also is purposely attempted. Following the Civil War, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were supposed to settle this fairness question. The 13th ended slavery. The 14th guaranteed African Americans equal rights under the law, and the 15th granted the right of all citizens to vote regardless of race color, or previous condition of servitude. However, with full approval of the courts, the South enacted the Jim Crow laws, which created conditions and procedures that essentially subverted these amendments. Again, what is legal reflects the morals of the day. And it was considered then to be moral to block the rights and votes of Blacks. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the comment of the infamous South Carolina Senator “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, who led the South in its racist ingenuity, proudly captured by Tillman’s comment about the black disenfranchisement campaign:
“"We have done our level best. We have scratched our heads to find out how we could eliminate every last one of them. We stuffed ballot boxes. We shot them. We are not ashamed of it."
Under Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, a whole lot of peculiar things took place: shootings at the polling places, the charge of a tax to vote (which poor Blacks didn’t have), and the infamous voting test: reciting verbatim the Constitution of the United States, something the White obstructionists couldn’t even do. And one of the events would have a very chilling effect on Blacks: following a lynching in Marion, Indiana, there was the march in Indianapolis of over 100,000 Ku Klux Klansmen, the favorite group of White Supremacists. All three of these Presidents were Republicans. This is another explanation as to why Blacks then gravitated to Hoover’s successor, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
That chill stayed that way until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made such taxes and tests illegal and backed with the force of the Federal government. Minneapolis, through its recent redistricting plan (Chapters 12 and 13) returns us to that way of thinking, as the inner city Blacks of Minneapolis are herded into districts in order to disenfranchise, disempower, and impoverish them. “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman would have been proud.
The web site http://www.aclu.org/issues/racial/racevote.html provides more detail, as it outlines how the Southern states, with the complicity of the Federal courts (which is why who is on the bench at every level matters), rewrote their state constitutions to legitimize a host of Jim Crow laws and regulations designed to keep Blacks out of the voting booth and out of government, subverting the 14th and 15th Amendments. Denying Blacks the vote is being attempted again by subverting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (renewed in 1982), which was passed guaranteeing that votes of Blacks meant something by removing those Jim Crow laws. Whites need to get beyond the attempts to exile us internally. Blacks need to get beyond the notion of working to be accommodated. Both Blacks and Whites need to work on fairness in education, housing, jobs, and wages, and let race be incidental, not primary.
The redistricting in Minneapolis (Chapters 13 and 14) is another example of the attempt to dilute, degrade, and render Black votes useless. We have won battles, but the war is not yet won. There are other means to disenfranchise Blacks, which we need to be on the look-out for, so that these methods don’t get used on us too. One in particular is the at-large voting trick to replace district voting.
The goal is to continue the trend away from racism and toward integration, to improve beyond the damaging data and statistics of (1) the long, Star Tribune series (Interlude 1) on racism that ran from June 10-June 24, 1990, a racism that continues today, and (2) the cover story in the Mpls.StPaul magazine of January, 1990, “I’m Not Racist, But....” (Interlude 10). The pace has been slow. It needs to move post-haste.
The Minneapolis economic pie continues to grow but not for all, and certainly not for North Minneapolis. All must have a chance. Good business sense compels corporations to look beyond diversity for pure business reasons: growth and profits, which a wider, and more diverse approach to the market can help.
It is said that one should not complain unless one has a solution to offer. There is still much to be discussed. But let me here offer some solutions in three key areas to show that I still have hope, that I still dream the dream. More importantly, I hope that you the reader can see that what is being asked is not that much, but that it will resolve the problems. I include them here to provide an optimistic backdrop to the negative things I will discuss in more detail in the following chapters on education, housing, development, and government.
We can tell which policies to follow by developing a calculus on what we want and don’t want. Put simply put, let’s agree to policies which support, which say YES to, policies resulting in positive outcomes regarding education, children, and families:
• YES to a better quality of life for ALL citizens
• YES to a better quality education for all students and higher graduation rates for all schools
• YES to first-rate health care
• YES to wider home ownership
Let’s agree to say YES to policies resulting in positive outcomes regarding transportation, energy, and the environment:
• YES to abundant natural resources: clean water and clean air
• YES to highways that keep up with the increase in cars
• YES to energy policies that prevent establishing a California in Minnesota
Let’s agree to say YES to policies resulting in positive outcomes regarding the economy, jobs, wages, and business:
• YES to low unemployment and wages that let full-time workers support their families
• YES to contractors doing business with the government hiring minority workers
• YES to a business-friendly environment
• YES to world class corporate research and world class university research
• YES to rural-metro partnerships, not needless competition
• YES to tax breaks (fair and just) for individuals and for companies
• YES to a respect for property and laws and access to both for all
• YES to equality of opportunity for all races, especially in terms of education and job training
• YES to keeping Fortune 500 Companies headquarters
• YES to once again earning the Most Livable State award
Those are the YESes. What about the NOs? Let’s agree to say NO to policies resulting in these negative outcomes regarding education, children, and families:
• NO to only 17% of our African-American male high school students graduating
• NO to 25% of 4th graders today being unable to read at 4th-grade level (the percentage rises to over 50% for Hispanics and over 60% for Blacks)
• NO to minority students being kept in school systems where they are provided far fewer resources and score much lower than White students. They are our friends and our neighbors, and they too will join us as part of tomorrow’s work force. They should have the same opportunities.
• NO to hunger and children living in garbage
Let’s agree to say NO to policies resulting in these negative outcomes for transportation, energy, and the environment:
• NO to highway construction that does not keep up with the increase in cars
• NO to an energy policy that is not adequate for the future
Let’s agree to say NO to policies resulting in these negative outcomes for the economy, jobs, wages, and business:
• NO to having people work full time for wages that won’t support their families
• NO to 25% of our citizens not being able to afford to own their own homes
• NO to companies contracting to government agencies who don’t hire minorities
• NO to maintaining a conflict between rural and metro areas; instead, forming partnerships
• NO to our taxes becoming too high for the return we get in services
• NO to terror and totalitarianism
• NO to not being willing to evaluate programs for their true consequences so that we can be prepared to change policies that result in high pain and low meaning, whether for individuals, schools, or companies
Now let’s look at these YESes and NOs through the lens of young Black men. It is my contention that the redistricting of Chapters 12 and 13 works against the YESes and favors the NOs. It is also my contention that these YESes and NOs will work best for everyone, especially the young Black men who are hemmed in by what I have called the invisible cage in which Minneapolis has put them.
Minneapolis is in Hennepin County. Have you seen the figures on the number of African-American young men arrested in Hennepin County? It is close to 50%. This is outrageous. It is part of the war on young Black men (see end of Chapter 9).
On the other hand, look at the environment the Black organizations and the White power structure have created for these young Black men. All around them they see their housing razed and not replaced, promised jobs that don’t come through, and wages that are purposefully too low. These young Black men are coming to realize that they won’t get hired anyway, so why prepare for work? In taking care of themselves, the adults have sacrificed the next generation, causing the young to lose respect for them. Too many are left with only the alternative of the street.
When a generation loses respect for its elders, the elders can’t do much for them. Which is too bad as these same adults can certainly provide a wide range of adults in the criminal justice and social worker areas to help them deal with their problems
These young men don’t have confidence in the system because it has failed them, beginning with education in Kindergarten or 1st grade and continuing on for a dozen years. That is a lot of negative reinforcement. In the process, they haven’t learned and developed a work ethic, as they have been denied the education and training they needed. You can’t succeed when you can’t stand up for yourself, and you can’t stand up for yourself if you think you are inferior. Minneapolis has become a place that is very discouraging for young Black men.
In the final analysis, though, this is not a matter of tradition, as some conservatives might think, nor a matter of morality, as some Liberals might think, but a matter of law, of legislation, which determines or reflects, depending upon your point of view, both tradition and morality. What will be or what won’t be will be because of legislation. Legislators have enough money to live and retire on because they have made that a matter of law, at taxpayer expense. The came cannot be said about the rest of us.
And that is what is needed in Minneapolis. A change in laws. Minneapolis has done this with its new redistricting, only for the worse, making laws that favor the powerful and wealthy and disempower those without any power or wealth. It continues to try to do in Minneapolis what the South has continued to attempt: to reverse the intent of the Civil Rights laws by changing the ward boundaries of Minneapolis in order to purposefully impoverish, disempower, and disenfranchise Blacks in Minneapolis, all for the same reason as in the South: to preserve the Mastuhs of the plantation, who, in this case, are the rulers of the DFL. Masking as liberals, they are really tyrants. I have watched this for 40 years and lay it all out in
the chapters ahead.
October Postscript: Who Won The Civil War?
The September 30, 2002 U.S. News and World Report, asks this question on the cover. The inside heading was: "The Better Angels: We are still fighting over who was right and who was wrong in the Civil War".
I found this cover question stunning, and had an “aha!” experience. The antebellum and pre-civil war South knew how to keep Blacks “in their place:” as slaves. The abolitionist North said their place was as any other human being: at society’s table as equals, as free men and women, although they had no plan for how.
I had heard of the German argument that there are Gemrans who deny that the Hollocaust in Germany during World War II ever took place, that yes a few Jews were killed, but it wasn’t many and there certainy wasn’t a systematic plan to exterminate all of them. Now dear reader, I know that you, like me, have seen the pictures, photographs and film of the concentration camp liberation scenes. Like me I am sure that you have read at least an article if not a book or two about it. We know it happened.
So now I receive great insight from the U.S. News and World Report article: many in America today, including in Minneapolis, are in denial about the Civil War. Talk to college kids today and they will tell you slavery was tacked on at the end, that it was really about economics and trade. I’ve long wondered how this could be. Now I know. Even the liberals of the left in the universities are in denial.
Even our park bureaus which tend the Civil War battlefield parks have been neutral up until lately, concentrating on the valor and heroics, tactics and strategies, as if these were merely like Sunday afternoon professional football games. Even Colonial Williamsburg was long sanitized, showing no existence of slaves at all, and the few Blacks in costume were shown as servants, not slaves.
This is important. If all that counts is valor and heroics and tactics and strategies, then any and all fighting is good, any and all war is cool, and that in the current War on Terrorism we should just all sit back and relasx and enjoy the heroics and valor and chess board moves of the combatants of each side, and think nothing more of it.
But it is not the fight that counts. It is what is fought for that counts. As we shall see in Interlude 16, what quite often happens is that the result of the battles fought by opposing sides is often nothing like what they fought for.
Let me be as clear as I can: the Civil War was about slavery in general and about freeing Blacks from slavery in particular. All who fought for the South and defend the South today essentially still believe Blacks should be put in their place at the back of the bus, bottom of the stairs, on the straw mats on the dirt floor in the servants’ quarters. The Germans have had to deal with their Nazi past. Whites need to deal with their slave past. Saying “I never owned slaves nor did my family” is not enough. What we need to hear is: lets end all Jim Crowism, invite Blacks to the table, and provide equal access and equal opportunity to end the vestiges of the Civil War and the antebellum South once and for all: by delivering freedom to the inner city residents and following the YESes and NOs of Chapters 5 and 17.
One side felt slaves were a part of the natural order, especially if they were Black, and therefore should be so for life. The other side said slavery was wrong and should be ended but had no plan and had no given thought to Blacks then actually moving to where they were. So one side fought for a physical, material way of life in which it road the saddle on the backs of slaves, and the other side fought for the idea that it was wrong to ride on other’s backs but still haven’t figured out how to remove the saddle from the backs of the slaves and let them roam the plains free with everyone else. Now is the time to do that.
The famous Confederate General John Mosby, of “Gray Ghost” guerilla warfare fame, said this:
We went to war on account of the thing we quarrelled with the North about.
I never heard of any other cause of quarrel than slavery.
Men fight from sentiment. After the fight is over they invent some fanciful theory on which they imagine that they fought for.
The huge casualties on both sides created a bitterness Blacks are still paying for.
Its time for a new Reconstruction for inner city America.
To order The Minneapolis Story, through my eyes, and/or its follow-up, A Seat For Everyone, click here.
Ron Edwards hosts "Black Focus" on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!" Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at http://www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his columns, his solution papers and his "Tracking the Gaps" web log. Formerly 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 to help mold a consensus for the future of Black and White Americans together of Minneapolis.
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
Home | All Solution Papers » | All Columns » | All Blogs »