Monthly Archives: May 2013

Persistent thoughts of Lesli got scary for Keith



Lola’s pad truly was tripped out. Not surprising, since she, herself, was a trip without luggage. In a warehouse district, tiny joint, studio-like apartment decked out in retro-activist aesthetic — posters of Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Malcolm X.

In all corners loomed some of the strangest sculpture he’d ever seen, concrete renderings of melted wax faces and figures. The place was black as night. Day-glo lit. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Terrance Terrell Franklin’s police-shooting death — Many questions remain unanswered



Terrance Terrell Franklin died at the hands of the Minneapolis police in the basement of a home at 2717 Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis at approximately 3:30 pm, Friday, May 10. Questions are being asked about the circumstances of his death and the pitched battle alleged in different police versions, including hand-to-hand combat with a K-9 and then with five highly trained officers of a SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team. We raise these questions on May 13 — four days after the shooting — that we hope will eventually be raised by other media:

• What were the real reasons that Mr. Franklin was stopped and questioned after he hit the rear of Squad Car #520? • What really happened during the foot chase after the stop? • What happened when police entered the home at 2717 Bryant Avenue South after being told by the owner that a man was breaking in, had broken in, or was burglarizing his home? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Twin Cities suffers from de facto discrimination



In the Twin Cities everywhere there are signs that the colorblind and just society that some have tried to convince themselves exists in liberal Minnesota is simply a fallacy. It’s a fallacy that allows all the well-meaning folks to sleep well at night. Everywhere one looks there are signs of two Twin Cities, one for the White and well off and the other for the colored and dispossessed. A Twin Cities kept separate and unequal by de facto discrimination is what best describes our race relations. De facto means that, unlike de jure discrimination, it is not ensconced in the law. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Honoring Emil Kapaun should reflect his commitment to nonviolent



Obama presented the nephew of the Rev. Emil Kapaun with the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery. Rev. Kapaun died at the age of 35 in 1951, after spending six months in captivity during the Korean War. President Obama said, “This is the valor we honor today — an American soldier who didn’t fire a gun, but who wielded the mightiest weapon of all, a love for his brothers so pure that he was willing to die so that they might live.”

Is Obama talking about Kapaun’s love for his brothers on the North Korean team that was shooting at U.S. soldiers? Because that is what Kapaun was about; he loved and saw all men as his brothers, and that is why he would not pick up a gun. What Kapaun did is up there with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Henry David Thoreau, the great writer who refused to pay his taxes because of U.S. military violence and went to jail for it. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Tom Joyner’s homophobic message to Black community is sad but no surprise



On May 1, Jason Collins, the 7’-0” center for the Washington Wizards and a former Boston Celtic, came out. His statement — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay” — made the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated. On May 2, three Morehouse College basketball athletes were accused of raping an 18-year-old Spelman College student. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Black women hit hard by chemical dependency


As the weather begins to improve and we plan for all the cookouts, graduations, holidays and birthday parties, one thing that will not be forgotten is the drinks. It would not be a party without them, right? Some of us cannot wait for happy hour to start right now so we can go and get two-for-ones. Do not have any shame in your game. Many of us have been there, needing something to take the edge off from a stressful day. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Tennis program ‘hooks’ kids into learning useful academic skills




One child takes a swing, and the ball hit the net. Another one swings, and the ball sails out of play. Still another takes a swing, and the ball politely touches the court for a hard-fought point. Then the four children rotate spots and the game continues. Yet the most important thing for these Minneapolis grade school youngsters isn’t solely to learn tennis fundamentals, but to carry with them back into the classroom the same principles they are learning and are being taught on the tennis court, serving as an educational GPS as they move along a path that someday, hopefully, will lead them to college. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

NBA Final Four: Spurs and Grizzlies, Heat and Pacers



When the 2013 NBA playoffs began, there were 16 teams positioned to make a run for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Now we are down to the final four — San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. The Western Conference Finals saw the Spurs’ big 105-83 win over Memphis in game one, while the champion Miami Heat will start Wednesday with Indiana in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are in the Eastern Finals for the third year in a row. It just so happens that this is the third year of the decision that brought LeBron James to Miami. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Why should I care about high blood pressure?





















By Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD and

J. Michael Gonzalez-Campoy, MD, PhD, FACE


High blood pressure may cause damage to vital organs over time. Brain damage causes a stroke. Heart damage causes a heart attack. And kidney damage causes kidney failure. High blood pressure may also damage the eyes and blood vessels, causing weakening of the blood vessel walls. If a blood vessel wall balloons out, this is called an aneurysm.  Aneurysms may break and bleeding can happen.  

What causes high blood pressure? The blood pressure is determined by the amount of squeeze created by the circular smooth muscle of the blood vessels, by the speed at which the heart beats, and by the volume inside the blood vessels made up by the blood. The blood pressure will go up if there is too much squeeze from the blood vessels. It will also go up if there is excess volume in the circulation. And it will go up if the heart is stimulated to beat faster or stronger. Adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone, causes the heart to beat faster and the blood vessels to squeeze tighter. Therefore, too much adrenaline, as is the case with stress, can cause the blood pressure to go up. Table salt has sodium. Sodium holds on to water. So, the sodium inside blood vessels will hold on to water. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,