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Sgt. Pat King moves across the street — Law enforcement officer moves to Henn. Co. sheriff’s department


Last week there was a lot of surprise and concern in law enforcement circles regarding how this new chapter in Cowboy King’s history could take place: being transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), especially in light of his having taken personal credit for destroying the Black Police Officers Association and destroying the career of fellow officers (see my August 29, 2007 column and December 14, 2007 blog essay). In the transfer, public officials again put fellow officials’ career survival/pensions ahead of their sworn oaths to do their duties in terms of public safety. Sgt. Pat King should minimally be censured, not celebrated. In the court transcript of a couple of months ago (I attended every day of that trial), he slandered a significant number of well-respected officers as “scum of the earth.”

Besides the transcript, see my columns of February 22 and May 30, 2012. Continue Reading →

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Vikings bounce back, beat Cardinals 21-14


Seven games into the 2012 season, the Vikings forged forward with a 21-14 hard-fought win over the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota is now 5-2 and remained undefeated at home at 4-0. Sunday’s Mall of America Field sellout crowd of 61,068 was the largest of the season. They watched the incredible record-setting Adrian Peterson run for 153 yards and a determined 13-yard touchdown to lead the way. The Vikings bounced back on both sides of the ball from a rough week in Washington. Continue Reading →

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Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring!

But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan 


At a small, special meeting I attended at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Wednesday, October 10 that included MSFA Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen and Executive Director Ted Mondale, we discussed the so-far nonexistent equity plan for the Vikings stadium that would include African American contractors and workers. The Met Council people present said there was one, online. We noted that is just not true. During the meeting we were told that 32 percent of the hours in stadium construction in the eventual plan will go to minorities and women. Really? Continue Reading →

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Taxation without representation

Force of contract law needed to ensure Black contractors/workers for stadium


Action: $34 million contract awarded September 28, 2012, by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (FSFA) and the Minnesota Vikings, their largest stadium contract to date, to HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, Dallas, Texas (they did stadiums for the Colts and Cowboys). My concern is not the sucking sound of Minnesota money being deposited in Texas banks: Money follows expertise, not geography, and Minnesota has not kept up. Concern: as of this writing, still no stadium equity plan as called for in stadium legislation. When I talked with HKS people at their exhibit at the Metrodome, September 7, 2012, I asked them if they used minority subcontractors. They said yes. Continue Reading →

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Tone down the rhetoric on Black museum’s money problems


Who would ever say that the legendary and renowned Dorothy Bridges would be involved in harming her legacy and imprint on a community bank, Franklin National Bank, which has done so much for the African American community under her leadership? Thus we are puzzled by the attacks on Franklin National Bank (“Stalled museum now battles bank,” Star Tribune, September 1, 2012), and, by implication, on Dorothy Bridges, who was CEO of FNB from 1999-2008 and put all of her energy, her soul, and her vision into making Franklin National Bank the best it could be (doubling the bank’s assets to $116 million). She did more for the African American community than any other bank. During her tenure at Franklin National Bank, we heard about the institution’s generosity, sensitivity and openness, a legacy crafted by Ms. Bridges. Ms. Bridges departed to Washington, D.C. and then returned last year to be a senior VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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Status quo fixes won’t stop the frightening violence


It is the elephant in the room that people don’t want to talk about: the ongoing street violence affecting so many African Americans in this country due to the dysfunctional institutions, leadership and policies that allow caste-like barriers — bad schools, few jobs, drugs, crime — to remain in place and foster violence. It is alarming. It is frightening. But so long as these dysfunctional institutions, leadership and policies hide behind the lie that they can’t be fixed, they won’t be, even though the fixes are readily in sight: education, jobs, housing. The mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, recently announced that Chuck Wexler and the Police Executive Research Forum would be brought back to Minneapolis to advise on developing strategies to deal with Minneapolis’ violence, as if the extent of the violence is the issue. Continue Reading →

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In Twin Cities, Blacks still need not apply



“Twin Cities Still Worst in U.S. for Black Jobseekers” (Star Tribune headline, July 2, 2012). “New report shows little change from 2009 unemployment rates.” — Economic Policy Institute. That is a repeat of the June 18, 2010 report of the Star Tribune of the same Economic Policy Institute report released to Congress showing African Americans 3.1 times more likely than Whites to be unemployed in our metro area. Since 2005, I have written 24 columns on this “worst” in the country and why including my 2005 column, “Black share of upcoming $5 billion in construction: Zero.” I continue to ask, where are the plans and actions to reverse this “Blacks need not apply” reality? It could not exist if the city’s vision included offering a seat at the table of equal access and equal opportunity to everyone, Black and White. Continue Reading →

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Trailblazer Chavers an early beneficiary of Title IX




Editor’s note — June marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon signing Title IX into law on June 23, 1972. Ever since, the law has been lauded for increasing the numbers of girls and women participating in sports at the secondary and collegiate levels. “View” will look at the law in an occasional series, primarily on whether or not it has benefited Black girls and women over the years. This week: a “Title IX baby.”


The Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky on Saturday will wear uniforms with “IX” on the front of the jerseys to mark the actual day, June 23, when Title IX of the Education Amendments became law. Pioneer athlete Tonyus Chavers proudly calls herself a “Title IX baby.”

“We grew up playing with the guys because we didn’t have girls’ teams,” says Chavers on life before Title IX. Continue Reading →

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Heat again lead NBA Finals 2-1



MIAMI — Not many teams win NBA Finals games shooting 37 percent. However, the Miami Heat have rallied; after droppinggame one of the Finals 105-94, the Heat have taken a two-games-to-one lead by calming the Oklahoma City Thunder in the pivotal game three 91-85. History says 85 percent of the teams that win game three when the Finals are even at 1-1 go on to win the championship. As recently as last year, the Heat led Dallas 2-1 in the Finals, yet the Mavericks were one of those teams in that group of 15 percent to rally and win. Somebody long ago said defense wins championships. Continue Reading →

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Two violations of Mpls City Charter in stadium bill


Requirement that stadium builders ‘make every effort’  to hire minorities is a cruel joke 

On the road to creating the Minnesota Sports Authority, the entity that will control and manage the construction of the Vikings stadium, the Minnesota legislature caused a second violation of the Minneapolis City Charter. The first charter violation, this one by the mayor and city council, was not holding a required referendum on stadium costs of over $10 million to the City. The second violation, this one by the state legislature and unopposed by the City, decrees sole authority to the mayor to appoint the city’s two Minnesota Sports Authority members. The charter purposefully states that Minneapolis city government is to follow a strong council/weak mayor model, a perceived strength and cornerstone of Minneapolis democracy that reduces the chance for one-person boss rule. The State, recognizing that the City already violated its charter, knew the mayor and a simple council majority would not protest this second violation (which raises the specter of a potential lawsuit that would further delay construction). Continue Reading →

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