Donald Allen

Recent Articles

Analysis of an American epidemic: Blackness

 

 

By Donald Allen

Contributing Writer

 

According to author Malcolm Gladwell, the philosophy on an epidemic is based on three rules: “The Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, the Power of Context.” Gladwell contends that these rules offer a way of making sense of epidemics. The Law of the Few is a law about the structure of our social network and how messages are passed through word of mouth. The Stickiness Factor is a law about the actual informational content and packaging of a message. The Power of Context is a rule about the environment in which a message spreads. The American epidemic is Blackness. Continue Reading →

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Does Minnesota need a ‘13th’ grade?

 

 

By Donald Allen

Contributing Writer

 

The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in postsecondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year 13th-grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education [if any] in the Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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Mental illness of gun control: Weapons bans make no sense

By Donald Allen

Guest Commentator

 

Never in the history of weapons has a handgun, assault rifle or a sharp blade randomly picked a crowded group of bystanders and killed at will. I think we agree that for an act of senseless murder by weapon, human intervention is necessary. But misguided education on guns and the left-wing political assault on the Second Amendment has clouded the origin of gun violence and replaced it with an abhorrent political platform. Mass shootings has led U.S. lawmakers to introduce new soft-tissue laws that focus on keeping guns out of the hands of felons. Points in case, felons are not the problem. Continue Reading →

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Education versus learning: the war against Black students

 

 

By Donald W.R. Allen, II

Guest Commentator

 

The Minneapolis Public Schools has become a school system that isn’t able to successfully engage and teach students of color, as seen by declining enrollment and low graduations rates with suspensions and expulsions that one could argue skew heavily towards Black students in the district. In finding a solution to an ongoing challenge within an organization, it’s important to get information from the source. In this case, numerous calls to the Minneapolis Public Schools communications department went unreturned. If this were the same quality control the MPS is using for its students of color, this would explain one of many inactive, non-functioning components in the war against Black students in an educational environment. Let’s start by trying to figure out the reasons for suspending a child in kindergarten. Continue Reading →

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