Black Focus V

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Mpls police killed T.T. Franklin for being Black — Racism, individual and institutional, is alive and well in our fair city


There was a lot of hatred directed at and rained down upon T.T. Franklin May 10 in that poorly lighted basement at 2717 Bryant Ave. South, away from prying eyes, enabling public safety to once again turn its back on transparently serving the people, enabling public safety officers to engage in another wrongful death as they savagely mutilated and shot to death a young man hiding from them, not burgling. Five SWAT members, all armed, in flak jackets, with a K-9 biting and chewing on T.T. Franklin, would have us believe that multiple shots and almost blowing his head apart was unavoidable as opposed to tasering him. How was that “protecting with courage”? Minneapolis pays millions in wrongful death awards, doesn’t sanction its killers, while institutions that claim they care stay silent. Continue Reading →

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Changing of the guard with the T-Wolves


Flip Saunders’ good calculations will replace David Kahn’s poor ones

Because of my November 7, 2012 column (“The smartest White team in the NBA: T-Wolves team return to the 1950s?”), we took heat from those who took exception with our prediction that there would be a “day of reckoning” (being fired) if David Kahn’s “smartest White team” strategy didn’t result in at least 45 wins (it was disastrous; they won only 31). As I wrote in that November 7 column: “Play the best players, whether all White, all Black or a combination. To have the best game possible, Commissioner Stern has insisted on ‘color blind’ drafting/signing. So why not the Timberwolves?” Thus, get the fans “the best players playing so their teams have the best chance to win. It is quite clear that owner Glenn Taylor is of the same mind set.”

My prediction was the fruit of my being a life-long sports analyst/journalist/fan with a deep sense of the game’s history. Continue Reading →

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Update on MPD’s 2012 assault on Ames Elks Lodge — No contact with MPD for over a year



My May 2, 2012 headline was about the April 21, 2012 assault by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on the Ames Elks Lodge. What a shameful MPD disgrace. My subheading: “A 150-year-old Black Fraternal Organization was brutalized by police raid.” It has been 54 weeks since the last contact by the MPD with the persons who were assaulted and brutalized. The MPD assaulted 11 African Americans, male and female, the youngest 50 years of age, the oldest 73: beaten, assaulted with weapons and verbally abused with racial epithets. In a complaint I personally filed, as I was one of the victims, I detailed the events surrounding the assaults by over 60 White Minneapolis Police officers. Continue Reading →

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People’s Stadium in trouble! — Can the funding really be found?



How does “the People’s Stadium” stand at this hour? Answer: wobbly, as we see from the fierce and personal debates within the Minnesota legislature regarding how to pay for the “People’s Stadium.”

Why the silence from the state’s two major newspapers? Their silence raises serious questions regarding their journalistic integrity. Fear of transparency? As I have stated unequivocally before, the financial plan to fund the People’s Stadium was ill conceived, rushed without fully vetting the details. Continue Reading →

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Legislature caught whistling in the dark — Financial problems for Viking stadium construction project



For years I have defined as ill-conceived any planning that mostly serves the planners and their agency/bosses and not those they plan for, that too often leave African Americans out of their equations, purposefully failing or refusing to meet both diversity and equity hiring requirements and appropriate funding or financing best practices regarding construction, education, housing, jobs and public safety. I have long written about the perils of such ill-conceived planning regarding the Vikings stadium. The Star Tribune reminded us of these perils in articles last week, April 8 and 9, perils that could lead to a failed stadium project and loss of the Vikings to another city. There is anxiety in the Minnesota legislature. Read from my over 25 columns on this gathered together in a solutions paper for the Vikings stadium situation, at Continue Reading →

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Congratulations, Tubby!


 Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking

There is no mystery about the well-designed plan to oust six-year U of M Gopher men’s basketball Head Coach Tubby Smith. Well designed, but ill-advised and poorly executed, as seen in various Star Tribune headlines Monday, March 25 through Monday, April 1. 25th: “Firing Smith would be big mistake by Gophers” (Sid Hartman)

26th: “Tubby out, U search in high gear” (Dennis Brackin)

26th: “U: time for a change”

26th: “Tubby’s best not enough”

27th: “Mn in position like sleeping giant”

28th: “Search moves on; Smart to stay at VCU”

29th: “U leaders mold coaching network”

30th: “Stop fretting, Flip [Saunders] is the right fit”

31st: “Flip says no to U”

1st: “Tubby Smith to Texas Tech; Minnesota search continues”

1st: “Minnesota basketball coaching job: Who wants it?”

Have you wondered, as I have, as to why, even when the Gophers were 15-1, the Star Tribune’s little lady from North Carolina [by way of short stints — after graduating from college — at the Boston Globe and the Detroit Free Press] was so hostile in her sports coverage of U basketball? Sources within the U as well as Minneapolis sports scene movers and shakers enable us to connect the dots. The announcement that Tubby found a new job April 1 at Texas Tech was no April Fool’s joke. Continue Reading →

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Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! — Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity



First things first: we join and support the observations made by our longtime friend Sid Hartman in his columns last week that “Firing Smith would be a big mistake for Gophers.”

Once again, the University of Minnesota (1) showed no class; (2) showed no professionalism; and (3) lied, firing Coach Smith just three months after signing him to a three-year extension. They leaked it to the news media before telling Tubby. They tried to cover with “leaks happen” when it kept secret a year it’s extending the contract of its losing women’s basketball coach. They purposefully attempted to humiliate a great coach, a decent human being, and a recognized high-caliber coach with a national title to his credit. Instead, they humiliated themselves, showed their indecency, and exposed the pettiness of self-centered bureaucrats. Continue Reading →

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White unions get $1 million to train workers of color to build stadiums? — It’s time for the B.S. to end



Which legacy for the Vikings Stadium? Only qualified White workers or qualified workers regardless of color? Employment apartheid or inclusiveness? Employment inclusiveness and fairness, or employment apartheid and unfairness? The 100 qualified Gentlemen of the Roundtable of Kansas City, Missouri, journeymen construction workers introduced in a previous column, have since talked with the Vikings. Continue Reading →

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Let the games begin: the selection of stadium construction manager — Fraser, Davis and Tomlin: quota guys in the NFL?


The push-Black-Americans-in-football-to-the-back-of-the-bus games have begun, raising “Blacks need not apply” signs not only for stadium construction jobs but also NFL team head-coaching jobs. This is not about quotas. It is about statistical probabilities not being met due to intentional skewing out of contention a specific group of people. In this case, Black American workers, whether on stadiums or on stadium-field sidelines. On or about February 1, the Sports Facilities Authority will select a Vikings’ stadium construction manager. Continue Reading →

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Still waiting for the Equity Plan for the new Vikings’ and Minnesota’s People’s Stadium


Where is the long awaited/anticipated Equity Plan for the People’s Vikings Stadium, a plan to guarantee inclusiveness (all of “we the people”) in the development, construction and operation of the stadium? Inclusive means diversity (more than just one race). The lack of an Equity Plan mocks “inclusive” and “diversity,” as does stadium legislative language stating all that is required is “a best effort.” If this continues it will be the handwriting-on-the-wall warning of delays to the projected opening of July 2016, suggesting more than slight bumps in the road. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights missed the city-council directed deadline for submitting the Equity Plan. The DCR then outsourced it to two individuals who work for the Metropolitan Council, who are doing it on a moonlighting basis as private contractors. Continue Reading →

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