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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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Will Blacks finally get a fair share of work on this stadium?

Chair of stadium authority raises serious questions about past inclusion
 

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), who oversees design and construction of the Vikings’ “People’s Stadium,” told Minnesota Public Radio in an interview on February 8 that serious questions have been raised about the Equity Plan implementation passed by the MSFA that same day. Three City-commissioned studies by two separate research groups support Chairwoman Kelm-Helgen’s observations. The last study was issued on May 15, 2012, by NERA (National Economic Research Associates) at a cost to Minneapolis of $500,000. These studies expose the City’s serious and purposeful noncompliance with Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) utilization requirements. NERA’s report provided evidence that supports the investigative reporting in this column for a decade. Continue Reading →

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President Obama’s visit to discuss gun violence disappoints

 

What joy and excitement energized the Black community, individuals and organizations alike, anticipating seeing and meeting the first African American president, Barrack Obama, in North Minneapolis when he was in town Monday, February 4 to make a major speech on guns and violence in America. Although disappointed in what the president’s administration has not done for communities of color, and skipping North Minneapolis as a campaigner, expectations still ran high until they gave way to high disappointment when his visit turned out to be a PR drive-by, as his motorcade sped to and from the well-fortified police academy building at 41st and DuPont in North Minneapolis, leaving many bewildered and upset. The gun and crime statistics didn’t match ours of columns past nor address the concerns Harry Belafonte expressed at the February 1 NAACP Awards show: that Black Americans are the “most incarcerated, most unemployed, and most hunted in America,” nor the question Belafonte asked earlier regarding why contemporary discussions continue “to ignore decades of urban gun violence.”

The courtesy and respect denied the community in general spilled over to key leaders such as the Assistant Majority Whip of the Minnesota Senate, who received none of the considerations that should be accorded to a man of his political stature (he stands fifth in the line of succession for governor). One wonders how many were behind Senator Hayden being so disrespected by his own. Senator Hayden is known within the Black community for his significant expertise and experience. Continue Reading →

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So much for 32 percent Black participation in stadium construction — When will the State deposit its $50M statutory requirement?

 
 

Vikings People’s-no-new-taxes stadium is unraveling for the African American community. “It’s ours” ballyhoo regarding Minnesota has become “it’s mine” for NFL, the Wizard of Oz behind the Vikings’ curtain. • 32 percent minority participation goals of Minnesota’s State Department of Human Rights Director Kevin Lindsay were pulverized into dust. My estimate of 1-1.5 percent African American participation: too high. Actual and factual: unless there is unanticipated change, less than half of one percent, including employment and contracts. Continue Reading →

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Decision announcement days: January 15 & 18, February 1, 2013

Sports Facility Authority and the Minnesota Vikings
 

Will the “Stadium Powers” (Minnesota Legislature, Minneapolis City Council, Vikings, NFL and the Minnesota Facilities Sports Authority that oversees the stadium construction project), all regarding the Vikings (“people’s” “no new taxes”) stadium, stand up for fairness in employment and equity or hide behind the skirts of a “best effort” calendar? January 15, 2013: The Sports Authority is to file its first annual report to the Minnesota State Legislature’s super-commission. Report only. No public hearing. No public comments. Continue Reading →

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The abuse of Black children in MN’s education system — Highlighting the Mpls. and Bloomington districts

 

 

Thurgood Marshall wrote: “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody — a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns — bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

But what if you have no boots? The chilling reality in education is that some Black children are being denied boots in the first place. The only true way out and up for any child, Black or White, is education. But when purposefully denied, the eventual result is no job, and if no job, no housing for family. 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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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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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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