We and our beloved city are faced with a challenging question: Are we committed to the principles and values of decency, trust, honesty, integrity, and transparency of action, or do we, for the sake of a dollar and a color code, embrace and poison ourselves, with that which is evil, dark and decadent that can not only destroy us as a people, but also destroy the society and institutions we share with Whites and others?
We can place no greater hope than on these virtues so as not to get distracted by corruption, misrepresentation, and hypocrisy. And yet many accuse Minnesota’s education commissioner, Dr. Brenda Cassellius, as being somehow irresponsible and a hater for not embracing and advancing the code of Blackness, even for wrongdoing. She would be criticized in this corner had she done anything differently when information and documentation was brought to her attention.
It all started with the exposé in the Star Tribune story, of August 10, 2012: “State examining finances of charter founder’s schools,” and in the Star Tribune August 15, follow-up story, about how the charter school’s founder’s “$273,000 salary raises eyebrows.”
What is even more shocking is that this information and evidence has been in the archives of the Minnesota Department of Education since 2001, under a different administration (we first exposed the education crisis in the chapter on education in our 2002 book). Dr. Brenda Cassellius merely accepted the mantel of responsibility by carrying out the duties of her office.
To even suggest that the due diligence under her supervision should be attacked, maligned and she be removed from office represents the height of hypocrisy, and a continued commitment to the corruption of self-appointed Black leaders that are destroying African American communities across the United States.
She did not invent house flipping, fraud, and other charges and allegations that were brought against individuals doing business in the state of Minnesota and other places across the United States. She did not consort in 2005 with persons from Minnetonka, MN or Cleveland, OH, or Atlanta, GA. She had nothing to do with a plea bargain agreed upon in the district courts of the state of Georgia. What would you do, dear reader, when presented with such information and this evidence?
The attacks on Dr. Cassellius for doing the right thing for our children should bother the African American community.
Too many who call themselves responsible adults sacrifice our kids for their paychecks (one book has called education Death at an Early Age). Had Dr. Casellius not carried out her responsibility under color of law, she would have been fair game for every politician, elected or appointed, especially on the Republican side of the aisle in the state of Minnesota, giving Governor Mark Dayton no choice but to have asked for her resignation.
It is puzzling that those who are identified as having been involved in mismanagement and other questionable conduct have not stepped aside, in good faith, without pay, to await the completion of any and all investigations of allegations laid against them and their organizations.
Regardless, the commissioner of education of the State of Minnesota did the right thing; she placed it into the hands of the legislative auditor for the state of Minnesota to give it separation and to avoid allegations of impropriety on her part. The legislative auditor, Jim Nobles, is one of the toughest examiners in the United States. He is strength of the state.
The malice involved is by those being investigated, not the commissioner and the administration. The victims are not those being investigated but the children in their charge and the taxpayers whose money they received.
I commend the two Black legislators out of Minneapolis for not caving in to those attempting to destroy a public official who did what the law required, taking action supported with facts and documentation. We have no idea in this corner what documentation the Star Tribune has. But we know what we have. What we have clearly demonstrates that Dr, Cassellius acted with the utmost of integrity and commitment and requirements of law.
The attacks on Dr. Cassellius for doing the right thing for our children should bother the African American community. The thoughtless consequences will be bad for our children.
Clearly the one group to benefit is the one we all claim we care about and have great love for, the children of our community, those will be our future and legacy. God accept our prayers for our community during this dark hour.
Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, and hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “Black Focus V” on Sundays, 3-3:30 pm and Thursdays, 7-8:30 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his columns, blog, and solution papers for community planning and development, at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com. Columns are archived at www.theminneap olisstory.com/tocarchives.htm.