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Recent Articles

Police unions turn to Republicans for help


Rybak administration and Civil Rights Department blindsided

One wonders how long it took the Rybak administration to realize the powerful Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis had turned to the Republican majority in the Minnesota legislature. Unlike Black organizations that do nothing when ignored and are thus taken for granted, the Police Officers Federation, ignored by the City, went to the other party. It’s a White thing Blacks need to learn how to do, which won’t happen as long as they stay self-glued to one party. As legislative lobbyists, special-interest advocates, and legislators themselves keep their supporters informed about legislation that will affect them, I wonder why the two Black state legislators for the City of Minneapolis didn’t give our community a heads up? It could have made a difference, and it could have resulted in the federation taking a softer position instead of setting up the demise of the Civilian Review Authority (CRA). Continue Reading →

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The life of Sally Fitzgerald



Pardon me if I’m not walking straight these days for the first time in my life. I understand now what pain my sons have been going

through since April 2003. Ms. Sally Fitzgerald, 78, my beloved mother, died February 22 during Black History Month. Even though it’s been about two weeks, I’m still in disbelief. She was such a strong and loving mother. Continue Reading →

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Now the real battle for 2012 begins — Let’s hope it doesn’t get much uglier



The ugliness during the Republican primary in Florida provided us a front-row seat in the arena of negative electioneering that has become a hallmark of the 2012 Republican campaign. To say it has been uglier in the past doesn’t excuse it. It will get worse when Republicans vs. Republicans turn their vicious and ugly campaign against Barack Obama, as Republicans train their sights on just a single target: the president. It began to emerge in Iowa. Continue Reading →

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Larry Fitzgerald covers Super Bowl XLVI — his 32nd


INDIANAPOLIS — While attending Indiana State University as a football star back in the late ’70s, I never thought in my wildest dreams, while majoring in radio-TV communications and my teachers talked about cable, satellite, TV, Internet, cell-phones, and digital pagers, that a Super Bowl would ever be played in Indiana. Not where the world’s most famous speed race, the Indianapolis 500, is held annually. Not where universities like Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, Butler and Ball State have grabbed the college basketball spotlight. Indiana is famous more for Gary and the steel mills and things like the Ku Klux Klan and NCAA headquarters. It’s where Timothy McVeigh was put to death and Larry Bird played basketball at Indiana State. Continue Reading →

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The road to re-election—The president’s State of the Union message




The president’s “A Blueprint for an America Built to Last” State of the Union speech, on January 24, 2012, was a brilliant send-off for 2012 voters. The president, well prepared, vision clear, broad and inclusive, offered for discussion to all voters a blueprint for continuing America as “built to last.”
The author of the book on corporations the president referenced, Built to Last, has since written on why “built to last” didn’t. This is why this blueprint is so important for America, so the oldest constitution in the world lasts. In a word, the president was pitch perfect for the group that will determine the election: independents. Whoever wins in November, regardless of party, will use much of this blueprint. Continue Reading →

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NCAA contenders looked like Black colleges

But they were not, nor do Black athletes or 
Black colleges share in the sport wealth

A week ago, tens of millions of Americans (with millions more around the world) tuned into the NCAA BCS national championship football game, played at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. A big game. And a big revenue generator. A great payday for all White colleges eligible to get their cut of the media and game-day millions. A big payday for White coaches dependent on winning records. Continue Reading →

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A good man departs public service — Fire Chief Alex Jackson to step down Feb. 29, 2012



When Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Chief Alex Jackson announced his retirement two weeks ago, it was not necessarily surprising to us in this corner. We saw it coming as far back as April 2010 in the rush to judgment over the April 28, 2010 fire that was used to unfairly yet purposefully undercut Chief Jackson. As I wrote in my April 10, 2010 column, “All the Star Tribune and City Council Member Gary Schiff (DFL, Ninth Ward) have managed to do as shameless, vocal town criers against the department’s Chief Jackson, Assistant Chief Penn, and Fire Marshall Tyner, all African Americans, is get egg on their faces.”

Despite how he has been treated, the good news is that Chief Jackson is leaving for retirement on his own terms, his head unbowed. Due to my long experience as one of the federal court-appointed overseers of the department, I am extremely familiar with the MFD and its demands. It was not always an easy task to convey to the union and the politicians the importance of adhering to the orders of the federal court. Continue Reading →

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We still need help here!

African American children continue to die, and with them our spirits

On Christmas day, December 25, 2011, three-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr. enjoyed Christmas and the love and warmth of his family. By the late evening of December 26, Terrell Mayes, Jr. was dead, the victim of the continuous, senseless violence that is tearing at the soul of our city. By Wednesday, December 28, politicians were trying to put a favorable twist on this tragic story. But there is no twist, no mirage, no Madison Avenue-driven theme, no so-called “closure.” Death is irreversible. And at three years of age, this child’s death will haunt family, friends and community for the rest of our lives. Continue Reading →

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Vikings done, NFL Second Season begins


PHOENIX — It’s over. The worst season of Vikings football since 1984 has come to an end, 17-13 to the Chicago Bears. Back in 1961 when it all started for the Vikings in Minnesota, they beat George Hallas and the Chicago Bears. Well, Sunday at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome the Chicago Bears ended a five-game losing streak and handed the Vikings a 17-13 loss in what could be the last game the Vikings play in Minnesota. What’s sad is that nobody knows the lease agreement between the Vikings and the Metropolitan Sports Commission officially is over. Continue Reading →

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Belated recognition of Augustus surprised no one here


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Seimone Augustus last week became the first Black female and the third Black athlete to be named the Minneapolis daily newspaper’s annual sportsperson of the year since the recognition began in 1998. The paper’s selection of the Minnesota Lynx superstar simply cosigned what the MSR consistently said all throughout the team’s championship season — Augustus’ shoulders carried them. More importantly, the award hopefully finally quells any lingering doubts on her status as a franchise player. Those of us who have followed her not only in Minnesota but also during her four-year All-American career at LSU fully knew this fact. Augustus has rightfully has earned first-name status in this town along with other transcendent Black superstars: Kirby (Puckett), Kevin (Garnett) and Torii (Hunter). Continue Reading →

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