Mel Reeves

Recent Articles

Best response to Twelve Years a Slave: Join the struggle

A Political Review

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

 

The much-anticipated release of the movie depiction of the harrowing and horrific experience of Solomon Northup when he was snatched into slavery did not disappoint. I found myself at the edge of my seat somewhat afraid of what may happen next. I felt like I was watching a horror film, and not just your regular fare but a sick, sadistic, psychologically twisted horror film, and was almost dreading the next scene. For all practical purposes, slavery was just that, a horror. How any other description found its way into the American lexicon on the peculiar institution is curious indeed. Continue Reading →

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Philippine disaster an opportunity for racist propaganda

The disaster in the Philippines brought by typhoon Yolanda (their name for Haiyan) exposes the weakness of a civilization built on the principle of profit above people. The system that celebrates the free market — which in reality ain’t so free for the poor folks of the world — is totally inept when our societies have to turn from the business of making money to simply helping humanity. It even exposes the lies that its mouthpieces tell to keep us separated. Is anyone surprised that it has taken so long to get help to the Philippines? In a world in which people are put before profits it would have mobilized immediately. Continue Reading →

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Life is cheap

It makes sense to me that the standards for a society are set by people in the highest positions of leadership and responsibility. So when the folks at the top operate in certain ways it can only be assumed it’s out of their perspective or an acceptable perception. I am always fascinated by the average citizens misunderstanding of what their government is about or up to. I am also always amazed at the naïveté of those who think that the armed bodies of men (and women) that we suppose are here to protect us are our protectors rather than protectors of the status quo. If I were to access the actions by those in charge and in power, I would assume that life is cheap. Continue Reading →

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Crocodile tears for Kenyans just that — crocodile tears

The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →

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Justice demands action — not cowardice excuse making

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am amazed at the amount of cowardice that exists in our community. No doubt we are cowardly! I’m not being too hard. Does anyone really believe that the system that continues to allow injustice and inequality is just going to sit back and let people oppose it without fighting back? And they don’t have to come after you with their uniformed minions. Continue Reading →

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Don’t let the radicals say anything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If there is a theme to the 50th year commemorative marches held in Washington DC and in cities all over the country last weekend, it had to be “don’t let the ‘real’” activists speak. I think the decision not to include people who shared Martin Luther King’s vision that this system that features the triplets of racism, materialism and militarism has to be changed, is indicative of just how far we have not come in 50 years. Of course the radicals ironically were not allowed to speak at the original march either. In fact, the entire thing was orchestrated from beginning to end. Malcolm X called them out at the time. Continue Reading →

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White professionals already cashing in on ‘People’s Stadium’ — But promises that construction will benefit communities of color remain unkept as deadlines approach

 

 

 

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

While there is much talk about possible delays in the construction of the “People’s Stadium,” it appears that the Vikings and MSFA are still confident it will be built. And according to a recent Associated Press (AP) article entitled, “Many already cashing in on Vikings stadium,” lots of white collar professionals have already profited from the proposed stadium. Incidentally, it appears at this point that the only people who may be left out of the benefits are people of color. Despite lots of compelling testimony last Friday at the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) meeting by several prominent African Americans and Somali leaders, it was all but ignored. Practically all of the media outlets in the Twin Cities were in attendance, but none reported [as of yet] or followed up with the testimony of the Black folks who were complaining that it appears that Blacks may yet again be left out of a major development project. MSFA Board Chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who seemed a bit annoyed by the testimony, did respond. Continue Reading →

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Recent rulings an attempt to restore confidence in the system

 

 

 

The recent decision by a judge to limit New York City’s Stop and Frisk program, which targeted Black and Brown New Yorkers, and the decision to reduce crack sentences were neither coincidental nor accidental. The folks that are in charge, the real folks, the monied class, the ruling class, the real bosses recognize that the whole Trayvon Martin tragedy took some of the wind out of the sails of the system. Anyone paying attention had to recognize that the system just doesn’t work. Or that it does work, but only for the wealthy and sometimes White upper-class folks. In the case of Trayvon Martin the system worked. Continue Reading →

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Mayor Rybak,et al prove cowardly ineffective — Is the political leadership’s goal to make Mpls. unfriendly toward Blacks?

 

 

Minneapolis political leaders prove once again that they see the Black community as fools. No one has been deceived by the weak apology and weak response by the mayor’s office and City Councilman Don Samuels to the misbehavior of Minneapolis police officers Thole and Powell in Green Bay recently. In fact, I suspect that the fact that the leadership confined their comments to what they hope would happen is evidence of their cowardice and maybe even complicity. Yes, complicity. At this hour in Minneapolis when it has become more than obvious that there is rogue force, or at least a culture in the Minneapolis police that believes it is above the law, what is needed is decisive leadership. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin tragedy’s lesson: ‘Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed’

 

 

Someone once said, to describe the state of race relations near the end of the 20th century, “Everything has changed, yet nothing has changed.” That may be the best way to sum up the Trayvon Martin tragedy. At bottom, as in the case of Dred Scott over 150 years ago, it’s apparent that Black folks “have no rights that Whites [particularly the system] are bound to respect.”

The Trayvon Martin verdict at bottom is disturbing, beyond the fact that Zimmerman got away with what may have been murder. As it turns out, this whole thing was about the prejudice and bias of the system. The trial exposed a prejudicial judicial system whose prejudice is to prefer White over Black, rich over poor, and native citizen over immigrant. In the case of the trial of George Zimmerman, that same system was now being asked to defend the type of person that it constantly slam-dunks. Continue Reading →

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