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7-7-14: Will Mayor and Chief walking in street lead to substance or just more show?

Will they inspire a pause for when the Major League All Star Game is in town?

Tuesday, July 2, 2014, at noon, the Minneapolis Mayor, with the Chief of Police, will walk the streets of North Minneapolis. They are welcome during this period of significant violence and tension, as Minneapolis has just experienced two days of mayhem and : 9 shot, 2 killed, 4 injured, all within a period of 12 hours (see Star Tribune, 7-7-014, Aggravated assaults rise in Minneapolis). Friday and Saturday night groups of 75-100 African American young men squared off and fought each other. See my column of May, 15, 2014 #20 (“Safe streets promoted for White baseball. Selective reporting keeps the true level of violence concealed”). What was planned, if anything, at the May 1, 2014 “Gang summit in Minneapolis. Preparing for summer 2014”?

7-7-14: Mannifesto of Peace: a community response to community mayhem and city hesitancy. The Community Standards Initiative will hold a meeting Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

The spectre of violence that has been haunting Minneapolis that we have warned about in our various platforms (column, books, Blog Radio show, public access TV, will need more that a prayerful “Please Jesus, help us” (the ministers have disappeared). It will need more than a brief PR walkathon by the Mayor and Chief of Police. Needed is not urging people to put down their guns but to give them a reason as to why they should act peaceably. We’ve come a long way since 1995 designation of Minneapolis as Murderapolis. But we still have a long way to go.

Needed instead are non-violent peace programs that prepare young people for a peaceful and prosperous future through educations, training, and jobs, and not discrimination, drugs, and desertion. Blacks in the suburbs are as afraid as are the whites. When will Twin City safety net organizations (corporate philanthropies, churches and charities, non-profit and non-government organizations, and state, county and city safety net agencies, going to stop their carousel of conventions and meetings and instead develop a frontal forward assault in order to fight the status quo that seeks to keep Blacks dependent because of mediocre education, increasing not reducing unqualified blacks, and lack of living wage jobs, as too many whites still too often hang out “blacks need not apply” signs, as seen in how few Blacks are working on major construction sites as roads, commercial buildings, and, most angering, not only a lack of jobs for Blacks on the new Vikings Stadium but a lack of any attempt to make such hires.

My suggestion: start with these 47 Solution Papers, with suggestions for reducing the city’s average of 43 homicides a year.

Sunday July 6, 2014

In Memorium
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Anthony
By R. A. Edwards
Colleague, Friend, And Fellow Civil Rights Movement Advocate
Mentored by Lillian Anthony

As saddened as we are by the passing of The Rev. Dr. Lillian Anthony, June 23, 2014, we celebrate with joy and thanksgiving her life in the active efforts for civil rights, social justice, and reflective programs in the Presbyterian Church, USA, which celebrates her life in a service July 11, 2014..

Lillian Anthony was ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church USA, July 25, 1993, serving the national staff until retirement as Associate for Affirmative Action and Equal Employment. History will remember Dr Anthony as a visionary, as a tenacious fighter for civil and human rights, and, for forty years, a person of conscience on behalf of the Presbyterian Church, USA. She was known across the wider Presbyterian Church USA for her work during and for her commitment to justice and advocacy.

I remember the first time I met Ms. Anthony. I was a young eager beaver, 28 years old, about to become the Vice Chair of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission due to her support of me against those who opposed my appointment. I have been forever grateful for her friendship, fellowship and over all support and wise guidance, which allowed her active Civil Rights Department and my Civil Rights Commission to make a difference carrying out the direction and dream expressed by Mayor Arthur Naftalin in his historic address to the Minneapolis City Council, June 30, 1963.

But it took 5 years of tireless work on her part and that of the Mayor to obtain the implementation of the ordinance to establish the department and the commission. The resistance she and the mayor overcame remains today, as do principles stood for, her commitment to the advocacy of justice and civil rights, clearly continuing action points for those seeking to achieve full social justice and an end to purposeful discrimination on the basis of color. Those of us she mentored continue to work for this end.

She was honored February 20, 1990, for her role in the development of he Minneapolis Ordinance on Civil Rights and the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Lillian Anthony had a significant hand in the drafting of the Minneapolis Ordinance, which also established the Department of Civil Rights and the Civil Rights Commission.

I also remember how awed I was when I first saw her home museum of Black History. She understood the need to remember our history and to keep our memories clear and not take our eyes of the prize of full freedom. The mini-museum she built in her home helped her and all of us who saw it to literally keep our eyes on the prize of freedom.

Dr. Anthony’s life, including her mini-museum, remind us of the need in every community -- and, dare we suggest it, every major church – a museum that helps us to remember and not forget. If the history of our struggle is not remembered, it didn’t exist. If it is not understood, it won’t be ended. As a member of the board of directors of the Association of African American Museums recently stated, in discussing the new, major museum in Atlanta, “We're going backward, not forward with the civil rights movement. … The whole future of this country is for different communities who care about social justice to get together, and work together.” Dr. Anthony would shout a hearty “Amen!”

For Dr. Anthony, the question of race and social justice remained at the top of her list of priorities, especially as she brought that method to the Presbyterian Church, USA. All her life she worked to help the church make a difference working for social justice.

Dr. Anthony understood the principles of compassion and fairness. She knew the importance of not forgetting our history. As she stated at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Slave Memorial at Mount Vernon, VA, September 18, 1993, “The memory of our ancestors who are buried here is a tribute not only to the survival of a people but a tribute to our continued gifts to the world.”

The Rev. Dr. Anthony has now embarked on her final journey We all pass this way once in life. We look at her journey with pride, and remember her wisdom and compassion that inspired others to take that journey as well.

May God’s hand be upon Dr. Anthony’s shoulders and ours, and may we applaud her achievements in the name of all.

July 11 2014, 8:45 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

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