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2006 Columns
Quarter 1: July thru August ~ Columns #14 - #20

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September 27, 2006 Column #20: The Loss of a Life, The Death of Another Dream

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

Two white police killed yet another young Black man along the 3900 block of Bloomington Avenue South, September 20 th , bearing witness to how tone deaf city officials are about our community. They have no any idea we are aware of the killing facts of what happened.

Minneapolis has one of the most comprehensive plans and protocols in the United States to deal with conflict with the mentally ill. The Minneapolis Police Dept over the past four years has received millions of dollars to develop both a plan and unit, the Critical Incident Team, to make sure the kind of tragedy that took place on the 20th would not happen.

The Critical Incident Team was sent to train in Memphis, Tennessee. They were trained in the best psychological tactics. They were provided with the best physical weapons, such as tasers, bean bags, and other restraint devices. A proportional number is deployed in every precinct in the city. In fact, in the hour leading up to the death of Dominic Fielder, the police department had ample time to deploy a Critical Incident Team. After the 911 call, they sent shooters instead. As a result, 27 year old Dominic Fielder, an African American father of two small children, was gunned down in cold blood. The Critical Incident Team is all white. Is it, therefore, primarily just for whites?

Dominic Fielder was going through the deep pain of mental depression and stress. His doom was sealed once the police shooters arrived. In the minds of the police, deadly force was/is the best option. The Police allege that hand to hand combat took place. According to their version, the 5 foot, 130 pound deceased almost stripped the two burly cops of one of their weapons.

According to their version, based on their superior skill and strength, they were able to break free of this five foot, 130 pound man, who had no gun, and shoot him seven times.

What is troubling is the business as usual aspect of this deadly encounter. For one of the officers, this is his third fatal shooting of an African America male. For the other officer, it is a repeat of his involvement in the shooting of a young African American male along the 3600 block of Chicago Avenue South a couple of years ago, in which the young man, although not fatally shot, was severely wounded by a shot gun blast to his back, even though police had said he had been facing them (were they using boomerang bullets?).

The all too familiar war against the young African American males continues in Minneapolis. We also recall the 14 year old African American shot and killed in North Minneapolis, with bullets to his back and directly through his forehead. The gun the police said he had was 100 feet away from his body. His finger prints were not on it (they must have been jarred lose when the gun was "dropped").

We remember the young Asian this past summer, standing in the doorway of City View Elementary School, shot eight times. A gun was near him too. Also not fired. Also without his finger prints. The MPD officer and the State Patrol Officer involved showed no remorse. We saw remorseless again in the early morning hours of September 21, 2006, at the corner of 39 th and Bloomington, as police officers so insulted the grandmother, aunt, nieces and sisters of their latest victim, that they had to be directed by a Black Lieutenant to redeploy some 40 yards away from the grieving they were insulting.

We seem to be at a tipping point. Victims are now not young men of color with records, but young exemplars of their community. Doesn't matter. We love our sons and will fight to protect them. Do the police want us to literally fight back so they can shoot more of us? There is no doubt in our mind that the police driven decline of race relations could lead to greater acts of violence in our city. Whether believed in or not, prayers needs to be offered for the survival and safety of the African American community in general and the African American male in particular, and that the spirit of peace settle over the Rybak administration and its storm troopers of oppression before they cause even more reversal and nullification.

Remember the father of a young man shot and killed by Minneapolis police three years ago along Franklin Avenue. Unknown officers handcuffed and beat the father September 17, 2006, broke his ribs, and took him to a vacant lot at the corner of Chicago and Lake, indicating that was the beginning of the end of his life and his family. The man, seeking justice in his son's death, became a target of terror. As America offered a prayer for New Orleans and Katrina's victims, it must also pray for the victims of the White and Blue terror storm in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Posted September 28, 2006, 10:35 p.m.

September 13, 2006 Column #19: Continued Betrayal: The Myth of Endorsement

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

Much has been written and said (in Minnesota, nationally, worldwide) about the DFL endorsement of State Representative Keith Ellison for the 5 th Congressional seat held by retiring Martin Sabo. Mr. Ellison would become the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress.

But behind the scenes the DFL plots a betrayal to ensure a different outcome. And not because Mr. Ellison is a Black Muslim but because he is Black. Opposition to his religion is a cover for racism. In 150 years, the DFL has never sent a Black man to Congress, and only 7 to the Minnesota legislature.

Since 1988, when Minnesota DFL women engineered getting DFL co-founder Nellie Stone Johnson off the Democratic National Committee, the DFL has been liberal in name only. Minnesota as home of Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone is now a historic footnote. The DFL doesn't stand for fairness and justice, only for trying to keep us in our place. Minnesota is no longer in the forefront of the liberal agenda of Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, and Kennedy. Not because of Republicans. But because of the DFL's betrayal of liberalism in its Faustian bargain with the devil to win elections. But the devil soon tires and turns on his bargainers.

What better candidate for the DFL than the son of a dentist who would represent the interests of all Americans in the Congress of the United States? He runs at a time when America needs to work to repair its frayed relationship with the Islamic world.

The DFL means to keep its "clean" record of never sending Blacks to Congress. The DFL cockroaches of treachery, betrayal and deceit scurried down the hallways of promise and tradition. These are not anti-Muslim rats. These were the same old anti-colored rats that betrayed Nellie Stone Johnson (off the DNC), Harry Davis (blocked from being Mayor), Elmer Childress (blocked from being Secretary of State), Sharon Sayles Belton (blocked from winning re-election), all of whom trusted and believed the DFL promises only to find them as hollow and false as any uttered by Bilbo: "I love my colored people."

The real DFL, behind the curtain, has unleashed its forces of nullification and reversal against Keith Ellison, as his personal and professional life are attacked in a steady campaign to soil his reputation in what some have admitted are the most vile and egregious actions against his reputation and standing in the community. Most in the DFL know this is happening. But none are coming forward to uphold the dignity and the fairness of the party of Humphrey, Nellie Stone Johnson, Harry Davis, and Elmer Childress. As they look down from the heavens, shaking their heads in disappointment and sorrow, I can hear them saying, "We could have told Mr. Ellison that the Democratic Farm Labor Party of Minnesota has no shame, no boundaries, no limits, in dealing out pain and suffering to snuff the dreams and aspirations of African American candidates."

The Democratic voters of the 5 th Congressional District should recognize Keith Ellison's efforts for them and cast their votes for him.

To repeat: there has NEVER been an African American in the Congress from Minnesota. Religion is being used to cover the reality that the DFL doesn't send Blacks to congress. Why do we continue to play the DFL game when the DFL sabatages our efforts? Just think: none in Congress, and only 7 in our state legislature over 150 years.

This is the DFL's dark, evil side. We pull back its covers. We find a "perfect looking" liberal city that purposefully stays out of compliance with its own statutes as they pertain to Blacks in education, jobs and housing, as we have chronicled. Just imagine all the scheming going on in the Perrier filled back rooms (smoking isn't allowed) to perpetuate the rotting smell of corruption of the DFL that no amount of scented candles and bowls of potpourri can cover up.

Liberalism had one brief shining moment in Minnesota, from 1948 to 1988. That light is out. The DFL no longer practices the liberalism of DFL co-founders Hubert Humphrey and Nellie Stone Johnson. The DFL loves its wretched and broken coloreds only on election day. We saved Minnesota for the Democratic column in 2000 with 45,000 newly registered voters, mostly minorities. Without that, the national outcome in 2000 would not have been as close. We got nothing.

We know why whites kiss our cheeks every two years. In chapter after chapter, our book chronicles our betrayal by the DFL. Current web logs on the Internet reflect how Democrats of Howard Dean hate the Democratic Leadership Council Democrats of Bill Clinton (the only white politician with an office in Harlem). That leaves the real question: why do we Blacks keep voting for Democrats? As they say in New York, throw da bums out. It is time we sent our message. By voting Republican. For example, I'm voting for Republican Richard Stannuck for Sheriff. We need to have both parties fighting over us for our vote or we'll get nothing.

Posted 9-13-06, 2:55 a.m.

August 30, 2006 Column #18: A Permanent Appointment to the Civil Rights Department: It's Time

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

Interim appointments are not good for the city. They require kissing the holy ring of his holiness the mayor. But this is not Rome. City Hall is not the Vatican. And the Mayor is not the Pope.

The City Charter places the Police Chief and Director of the Civil Rights Department under the Mayor. The Mayor is ducking this important buck that stops at his desk and is letting his "interim" leaders dangle. We call upon the Mayor to take care of the business of all of the people, and make these two appointments permanent.

This column focuses on the Civil Rights Department.

The Interim Director of the Civil Rights Department is Michael Brown, a 34 year old African American Attorney, a young man with outstanding skills and courage, who is not afraid to speak up for his area of responsibility.

These are not attributes that sit well with our Mayor if you are Black. The Minneapolis Civil Rights Department needs to address the enforcement of the statutes that open the doors for full protective class involvement that would in turn help address city problems such as gangs. The mayor's stance of non-appointment weakens the department, leading to city non-compliance with its own statutes.

Our major theme has always been that many of the problems in society won't be solvable until minorities have equal access and equal opportunity to participate fully in society, which includes the key areas of education and jobs.

As pointed out in our column of April 20, 2005, the African American community is not being considered for a piece of nine big economic pies, including stadiums (Gophers and Twins) and the forthcoming transportation corridor projects of the North Star Line between Minneapolis and Big Lake. And we hear nothing about the Gophers and Twins. The African American community's access franchise will not be protected nor enhanced if the mayor and the city council continue to hold hostage Mr. Brown's appointment as permanent Director, and if Black leadership doesn't speak up (another example of "Black corruption selling out to White corruption," p 147 of our book). Clearly, the strategy is to make Mr. Brown and other Black leaders dance like Bo Jangles, shuffle like Stepen Fetchit, and hug the mayor around the legs like Sammy Davis, Jr.

Not to be callous and disrespectful, but we need to call a spade a spade. This mayor and this council have been so silent on where they stand on the construction of Gophers' and Twins' sports complexes, it borders on the criminal. Even though the land grant University of Minnesota is not exempt from the ordinances and statutes of the City and State, the school acts as if it is exempt from diversity during the construction of the Gopher's football stadium. May the Vikings not follow their lead.

The strategy to create chaos for Mr. Brown and the Civil Rights Department delays action while the all white stadium sports authority awards the contracts to their white associates in violation of all three levels of compliance statutes: city, state, and federal governments.

As the feds and the state are not enforcing, that leaves the city and Mr. Brown. But if Mr. Brown doesn't tap dance and play crazy, then he won't be considered for reappointment. If the city continues to violate compliance, it runs the risk of community civil disobedience to close such sites down.

Historic right of access.

As reported in the PiPress, 4-12-06, minority participation in construction set-aside programs declined from 8% to 1.1%. We call on the State and City to stop ignoring studies showing minority owned businesses don't get a fair share of government contracts, and to follow Federal Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Minnesota state statues (especially Chapter 363A.04, "Construction and exclusivity" and Section 181.59), as well as city compliance statutes (City Charter Chapters 139 and 141), and enforce developers agreements to be free of employment discrimination. Minnesota has more "protected classifications" than other states yet doesn't comply (Office of Federal Contract Compliance).

In memorium of Harry Davis . Harry died August 11. What a wonderful human being and what a contributor fighting for racial progress in our community. When we think of all the grumblings regarding youth today and gangs and the call to turn things over to the police (as we discussed in our previous column), we think of how things could have been so much better had the Demorobcans not stolen Harry from the people when he ran for Mayor in 1971. The DFL betrayed Harry, even though he won the convention endorsement. Had Harry been elected, things in Minneapolis in general and in North Minneapolis in particular, would have turned out differently. That's how consequential he was and, by contrast today, how the DFL leadership on both sides of the color aisle consequentially continue to betray our communities of color. Harry would have had us all at the table together, instead of working to keep us "in our place," as the current administration tries.

Posted 8-30-06, 2:52 a.m.

August 16, 2006 Column #17: City out of control: City endorses racial profiling plan

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

The Mayor hit a very hot "hot button" last Thursday, 8-10-06, when he appeared with Interim MPD Chief Nolan to announce his new "gang suppression" and "gang-fighting strategy" for the North Side: "deploy as many as 40 officers daily to target members of three gangs ... responsible for a large chunk of the violence on the North Side". The 8-10-06 Strib, read on line ( Crowd angered at police strategy for gang problem on North Side )demonstrated how hot this "hot button" is, reporting on its web site that the "Crowd angered at police strategy for gang problem on North Side" story was one of the "Top Read Stories" and the "Top Emailed Story" that day.

We applaud the plan to target gangs making life miserable for North side residents. If true, nothing would make the North side happier. But justice means stopping people for whom there is evidence, not stopping young Black men because they are out while being Black. What counts is not youth and skin color but evidence properly assembled and prosecuted in court. The only ones who will be intimidated by racial profiling will be the innocent.

The Mayor has given us a harassment plan, not a gang solving plan. As the Strib reports in an accompanying article (" Police will target 3 gangs on north side "), this "plan" is for only one month (which alerts other gangs to carry on as usual). How are three gangs going to be stopped in one month when for years they have been given a pass? So let's meet, RT and and Chief Dolan, and lets talk about a long term plan to clean up the North side of gangs, including education, jobs and housing. The city was supposed to put a plan together last March with the PCRC, but the Mayor refused.

It sounds to us as if the Mayor is scared. Why focus on "relatively new, small and less organized" gangs, minor league proxy gangs controlled by the traditional gangs, and not on the real problem: traditional gangs and branches from out of state gangs, that use these new, small and less organized as their proxies? If the Mayor really cracked down, gangs might move to the suburbs, and the White voters there don't want that.

The Strib reports City Council Member Barb Johnson saying North Minneapolis residents feel they have "become prisoners in their own homes." But why isn't she doing what will really free residents: provide a top school system for all, not just Whites, and for jobs for kids parents (the Council ignores its own job compliance laws, leaving construction sites mostly White worker sites).

It sounds to us that the Mayor hopes that within 30 days the police will get lucky with the names in their 3 inch binders, haul them off to some kind of incarceration, "reduce" crime (but not gangs), as the real source of gangs are their breeding grounds: lousy schools, lousy job market, lousy housing. The solution is not the subtraction of young Blacks but the addition of real equal access and real equal opportunity.

Like the little boy who ran home mad with his bat and ball, Little Boy RT ran off from the Thursday news conference. But Chief Dolan was man enough to stick around. The Strib reports that the Chief understands why people on the North Side are demanding change and expressed the hope that all voicing opinions would "sit down together and move forward in a unified front." We agree. We have a table for the Mayor and Chief: the table of the PCRC (Police Community Relations Council), established by the Justice Department. But the Mayor ignores us. And he ignores our many invitations to use the "table" concept in our web site " solutions " section, "The Blocks to Construct a Minneapolis Table for All to Sit At Together." So lets get a round table and do as Chief Nolan suggests: "sit down together" to work this out.

Oh! And remember the Constitution. One of the strongest sentiments of anger expressed in the parking lot at Dupont and Broadway Thursday to the Mayor, of which this columnist was a first hand observer, was the anger coming from the perception that city officials were shredding the Constitution and obstructing and violating the Bill of Rights. The Mayor must understand at some point and time in his life that we African Americans feel just as passionately as anyone else that the Constitution protects our rights. RT Rybak sounds like a new Minnesota version of Bilbo and Strom Thurmond, and I gotta tell you, that is not good for race relations.

Demorobcans report . We introduced the concept of "DemoROBcans" in our last column, of a DFL run city while the Republicans looked the other way. The DFL works hard to keep young Blacks "in their place." The DFL robs our Black students of an education and of jobs. And now the DFL would rob our community of a chance to "work this out," preferring sending in police for 4 weeks of intimidation rather than gather at a table to "sit down together" to work it all out.

Posted 8-16-06, 1:40 a.m.

August 2, 2006 Column #16: In the death of Fong Lee, Justice is Demanded

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

19 year old Fong Lee was killed by Minneapolis Policeman Jason Andersen, Saturday night, July 22, 2006. We salute the Southeast Asian community leadership for what they are doing to seek justice for Fong Lee's family. They have exercised leadership that is continually missing in action from our Black so-called leadership, not to mention our look-the-other-way City Council. May our Southeast Asian brothers and sisters be a model for our Black leadership and for our City Council.

Fong Lee's family was not notified until 12 hours after he was killed. And then they were told they could not view the body.

The local media besieged the family, writng that Fong Lee was a Dr. Jekyll & Mr Hyde, a good boy by day and a gang member and gun toting convicted felon at night. Why? The police told them. Not satisfied with killing Fong Lee, the police assassinate his character as well. And their lap dogs in the press cooperated with their dissembled disinformation.

If not for the quick action and compassion and caring of the Southeast Asian community leadership, this family would have been further devastated and isolated by the cold and calculated mission - yes, mission -- of coverup and omission.

By Tuesday the Police press had all the ducks put in a row. The Minneapolis police officer shooter was a hero. The state highway patrolman (who didn't fire) was co-hero. Why, if a gun battle followed a foot pursuit, didn't Fong Lee fire a shot? Was it because he didn't actually have a weapon?

The Southeast Asian community went to work, and in a disciplined tenaciousness not seen since the glory days of the Black civil rights movement of 40 years ago, began to dismantle the mission of coverup, deceit, and the hiding of facts and information. First they hired attorneys. It is our understanding that they will retain the services of an independent pathologist to take a look at the physical abuse perpetrated upon young Mr. Lee. It could well be that that an independent medical examination will reveal horrifying facts surrounding the death that was possibly the execution of Fong Lee. Why, in an information age, they attempt such cover-ups, mystifies us. The truth will out.

Thursday's July 27 Star Tribune had to back track about the earlier reporting of Officer Andersen's exemplary record of commendations. Indeed, we are told that at a December 2005 gathering of officers, Officer Andersen spoke with disdain and animus against Asians, Somalis and American Blacks as he used the "N" word as he told tales of being on patrol in the 4 th precinct of North Minneapolis. Finally, some of his own White colleagues asked him to tone it down. Present but ignored was a person of color, a police civilian employee, who was simultaneously offended and terrified by the terroristic threats and terroristic statements made about Asians, Somalis and African Americans.

A supervisor was assigned to the 4 th Precinct to conduct and complete an investigation. The investigator's report allegedly recommended the immediate termination of Office Andersen. That recommendation was overturned by the Deputy Chief of the department. Instead, Officer Andersen was told to write an essay about the use of racially motivated and inflammatory language. And then it was back to business as ususal.

When rumors of a coverup surfaced, it appears that friends of Officer Andersen began to seek the "tattletale." Their attention focused on a young, female, African American officer who has been threatened with possible bodily harm, and who was told to watch her back or she may take one to the head.

This rookie officer has become so distraught by the hostility shown her that she is contemplating resigning from the department. It has already been determined by some with significant knowledge of the internal workings of the MPD, that this officer's life is now in danger.

We see a department out of control, prone to violence, having an animus against people of color, shooting and executing a 19 year old Asian man, beating and assaulting Black funeral goers, as occurred in late June of this year, following the shooting of Tamika Bond, an African American mother of four, whose murder is still unsolved. In fact, there appears to be no attempt to solve it. It is no surprise, then, that a coverup surrounds the events and tragic death of Fong Lee.

DemoROBcans . Does any party control a city as totally as the DFL does Minneapolis? When the robber barons did their thing in the 19th century, they at least gave tangible benefits: canals, railroads, highways, factories, skyscrapers, etc., all of which created lots of jobs. Today, the robber barons of politics, Democrats and Republicans alike, leave no tangible benefits for the inner city, only the tangible reality of robbing poor Blacks students of an education, robbing them of jobs by refusing to follow job compliance rules, and robbing poor Blacks of housing and giving it to upscale Whites. In future columns we will cover how the DFL lives in an echo chambers, swimming against the 21st century tide, isolated from the realty of today, and robbing us The Dream, thus keeping it unfinished.

Posted 8-2-06, 5:40 a.m.

July 19, 2006 Column #15: The Continued Big Lies; Minneapolis at its Worst

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

A couple of weeks ago, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty finalized appointing friends and colleagues to the new Twins Stadium Sports Authority, with plans excluding the African American community in stadium construction, a stadium that will cast its shadow on some of the most acute and outrageous poverty anywhere in the United States of America.

When the first ceremonial ball is pitched and the umpire then hollers, "Play Ball!" and "Batter up!" the African American community will still not be standing in the economic batter's box nor looking in from the education's pitcher's mound. There will be no enjoying the benefits of $500 million or better (See our columns of April 20 and December 14, 2005).

As it now stands, there will be no Black contractors, no Blacks called from the hiring halls to pour the concrete, to raise the beams, and to provide for the field of dream. Maybe Kevin Costner can help us. Maybe he could take us back to the days of Nellie Stone Johnson and Cecil Newman, when Black giants and legends would stand tall for the race. But they're gone, and in their place are the semi-pro "players", the wannabees, the Black "players" that will not speak above a whisper for their brothers and sisters (hence our running battle with the NAACP).

When I say "players" I'm not talking about those on the field of competition. I'm talking about those in the tunnels and hallways of power and influence who accept legislative and county board resolutions that talk about "best effort" with a nudge nudge and wink wink, when, in fact, they should be talking about absolute commitment under the color of law to those resolutions.

How we miss the legends of the past. We've got an all white stadium sports authority, and they'll try to make sure the Black community doesn't get a single contract nor a single dime. Just another chapter of "Stadium Games: 50 Years of Big League Greed and Bush League Boondoggles."

Minneapolis: Shutting the African American out of economic picture. Recall our column of 12/14/05 when the City Council crushed Black opportunity by turning its back on the $34 million ramp company, once its ownership changed from white to Black and recall our Column of 4-20-05, when we reported that the Black share of the $5 billion in area construction projects would be zero. And they they want to know why Black youth gravitate to gangs.

The Juvenile Crime line. A week ago, on July 13th, a major front page story in USA Today ("Police tie jump in crime to juveniles") was on the volatile increase in juvenile crime across America. But the real purpose of the story, as reflected on the USA Today 7-13-06 story, page A3 ("Cities grapple with crime by kids"), was to highlight those cities that Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum, who has significant contracts to consult on crime issues to cities, including Minneapolis. In the 6-15-06 Star Tribune (see our 6-21-06 column), Wexler said, "whatever we're doing, it isn't working. It's uneven at best, broken at worst."

Colin Powell's famously said, "if you break it, you own it." The Democratic party political machines run the cities. The Democratic Party's teachers' unions run the public schools. The Democratic party city councils refuse to enforce employment compliance in our cities. Wexler and our Mayor RT Rybak blame guns rather than the party whose convention RT wants to host.

RT says he is addressing hopelessness. But why hopelessness? Because he and DFL have abandoned the youth. RT brags that he has created a special juvinle unit when it was he who disbanded the juvenile unit in 2001 (the one police unit commanded by a Black). RT continues the policies of racism and nullification against the African American community in Minneapolis.

No education means no jobs, means poor housing and a future with little hope (USA Today, 6-21-06 reported that city high school across the USA only graduate half their students, "Big city schools struggle".) Minorities are abandoned and leaft behind in droves, beginning with the poor preparation in the lower grades and ending with many high school dropouts reading at or below the fourth grade level, is on purpose and dropping into the warm embrace of gangs.

Had the USA reporter stayed in town, he would have seen a near riot 7-13-06 at Dupont and Broadway in North Minneapolis (1,000 people, although the Strib reported "dozens"), as the arrogance and the insensitivity and the apartheid policy was displayed against the Black community, as a young African American lay dead in the street, a young African American mother fought for her life at North Memorial hospital, and white police assaulted and insulted a well known Black minister, Jerry Macaffee, and a respected Black activist, Spike Moss. How easy for Wexler and Rybak to blame guns when the real culprit is purposefully not educating minorities and denying them equal access and equal opportunity. This is the Minneapolis that sits on the abyss of a full scale race war. These are the real stories that USA Today totally missed in its July 13th article.

Posted 7-19-06, 6:43 p.m.

July 5, 2006 Column #14: In the matter of Ted Brown, Mpls under siege on two levels

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

An open letter to the Star Tribune

Dear editors:

Why your silence on the outrages of this city's justice system? As of Friday the 30th, you had let 8 days go by without a word of this "siege" of justice, as you ignore a white, guilty former Minnesota Chief Justice's brother getting an Arctic Blast thaw while an innocent Black is kept in the deep freeze of justice, due to racism and prosecutorial misconduct?

Here are the documents to check, in my hands, obtained from the public record: State vs. Ted Brown , Mille Lacs County, Court File No. K9-03-1442, and State vs. Joel Blatz , Mille Lacs County, Court File No. K6-03-183.

Our October 19 and June 14, 2005, columns discussed your "due process" double standard: You accused Black Vikings players of that February 2, 2004, Arctic Blast "party" on your front pages until the two main culprits were found, the White back-up QB and the White VP, and it then disappeared from your front pages.

For 38 long months, the former outstanding Vikings running back Ted Brown has been left twisting in the wind as his life has been turned upside down by the discretionary indictment on November 5, 2003, for criminal sexual conduct in the first and third degree.

You can help right this wrong, Strib and Pi Press, by casting your journalistic light to reveal the hope shown last week on the morning of June 23, 2006, in the Mille Lacs County Court House. There, at least for the moment, the dark veil of injustice was pulled back to shine the light of justice on this matter as Ted Brown's case was filed before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Will you help keep that justice light lit?

Joel Blatz is the brother of Kathleen Blatz, who was chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court when Joel was arrested. As Ted Brown's attorney, Stephen J. Meshbesher, points out in his memorandum filed in court June 15, 2006, while Joel Blatz was receiving maximum consideration, Ted Brown's legal rights and franchise were being shredded by the prosecution. The Minnesota Supreme Court sat quietly by.

As Stephen Meshbesher points out in his argument to the Supreme Court, there are three disturbing Blatz vs. Brown disconnects: Blatz is White vs. Brown, a Black; Blatz sexually violating a Native American woman vs. Brown having consensual sex with a Caucasian woman who only later accuses; and Blatz the younger brother of then-chief of the Minnesota Supreme Court vs. Brown unrelated to a judge.

7th Judiciary District Court Judge Michael S. Jesse overruled the prosecution, noting there was no compelling explanation for the difference in the treatment of Blatz and Brown, and thus "dismissed charges on the grounds [they were] prejudiced by clear abuse of prosecutorial discretion and/or prosecutorial misconduct." The prosecution appealed.

Astoundingly, the Appellate Court reversed Judge Jesse, ordering Brown to stand trial and sending a chilling message to all African Americans of Minnesota: Justice is more easily dreamt about than an actual fact in practice during one's waking hours. In its raping of the law to cover up this prosecutorial misconduct, scars will be left on our legal system for many years to come.

We will continue to watch this very closely. Will you, Strib and Pi Press ?

North Minneapolis under police siege

The State of Emergency in the White imaginations of Minneapolis becomes Black reality. On Friday, June 30, for the second time since 2003 the powerful state police, sometimes referred to as the State Highway Patrol, made its presence felt in North Minneapolis. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty gave the "distraught" and "unsafe" Minneapolis of Democratic Mayor R.T. Rybak $2 million to fight crime and keep the city "safe" for the downtown crowd from the suburbs.

This is the consequence of those meetings in the governor's mansion when Minneapolis Council Member and Public Safety Chairman Don Samuels is told that, when the governor is discussing White folks' business, "You can't come in."

Hey Don, what you should have done, mindful of the 1948 Broadway play Open the Door, Richard ," was knock harder, be more persistent, and, as in the musical satire, hollered out, "Open the door, Tim."

Tough break for Don. And a tough break for Black folks. Soon over 120 will have "the experience." Is the next force being readied, the Minnesota National Guard? Are curfews and raids the next order of the day? The code name for this military-style operation is SSA: Stop, Search, and Arrest.

Gitmo prisoners get constitutional protection; will Minneapolis' African Americans? Why are Democrats so exercised about our military in Iraq but not in Minneapolis? And it is obvious that the Strib 's "the North Side has suffered more than its proportional share of homicides in recent weeks" refers to White deaths, not Blacks'. And that is the most disturbing and sad part about this story.

Posted 7-5-06, 11:58 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

Permission is granted to reproduce The Minneapolis Story columns, blog entires and solution papers. Please cite the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and for the columns. Please cite for blog entries and solution papers.

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