NAACP

Recent Articles

Who’s honing Twin Cities’ media focus? Blacks in management still a rarity in local television, radio news

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Blacks are barely represented on the air and in management at Twin Cities television and radio stations. The MSRrecently examined four local station websites — WCCO (Channel 4), KSTP (Channel 5), KMSP (Channel 9), and KARE (Channel 11) and found:

WCCO: one Black female anchor, one Black anchor/reporter, one Black reporter

KSTP: No Blacks

KMSP: One Black reporter

KARE: No Blacks

The MSR also examined KSTP and WCCO Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Public File Reports for the December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2011 reporting period — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that these reports are publicly available. KSTP-TV filled 38 full-time openings, including two meteorologists and three reporters. The station also reported the Council on Black Minnesotans, the St. Paul Urban League, Minneapolis Urban League, the Minneapolis NAACP chapter and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) as among its recruitment sources. Continue Reading →

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Opportunity and diversity one industry at a time

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator

 

There is a missing component to the national discussion concerning how to strengthen and rebuild the American economy. It is true that high unemployment, a weak national infrastructure, the need for stronger public education, the concentration of wealth and the deficit are all challenges to the nation’s economy, but being left out of the discussion is the continued economic marginalization of racial and ethnic minorities. The American economy has always been strongest when it’s kept the middle class within reach for most Americans. But with White households holding nearly 20 times the wealth of Black or Latino households, and with rising disparities in unemployment, poverty, and income, the future of the middle class has never looked more uncertain. As the country rapidly becomes majority minority, the nation’s economic well-being is increasingly tied to overcoming racial-economic inequality. Continue Reading →

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Blacks: demand economic equity

 

By Marc Morial

Guest Commentator

 

 

President Obama’s decisive victory in this year’s presidential election signaled a shift in both demographics and attitude in America. While 93 percent of African American voters supported Obama, his victory reflected a cross-section of America, including substantial numbers of Whites and a growing number of Hispanics and Asian Americans. African Americans again made the difference in a number of key swing states. In fact, in hotly contested Ohio, the African American share of the electorate rose from 11 percent four years ago to 15 percent this year, with 96 percent of African Americans voting for Obama. Clearly, the president’s small margin of victory in Ohio was determined by an increase in the Black vote. Continue Reading →

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Nat’l NAACP president motivates audience to action

 
Activist makes commitment to help solve problems facing local Blacks
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

National NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous says that Minnesota “is more like Mississippi than it should be.”

Having once worked in Mississippi, a state known for its poor education and high prison rates, Jealous, the featured speaker at the October 12 Roy Wilkins Center’s 20thanniversary dinner at University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey Center, admitted how surprised he was to learn that Minnesota is among the worst in Black unemployment and Black graduating rates, and near the top in Black incarceration rates. “I was a little surprised when I looked at the stats of the state of Minnesota. Black folk here are less likely to graduate than Black folk on the average in the country, more likely to be incarcerated than Black folk on the average in the country and less likely to have a job,” stated Jealous. “These are times for all Americans and Minnesotans to become courageous in reaching out and helping people understand that Minnesota is more like Mississippi than it should [be],” he continued. He believes that the state’s present Black generation must be included to help change things. Continue Reading →

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What if Romney wins?

 

By Raynard Jackson

Guest Commentator

 

With the presidential election right around the corner and most of the pundits saying the race is Obama’s to lose, I have begun to ponder the possibility that Romney might win and the impact that would have on the Black community. Romney has been polling around zero percent of the Black vote. We all know that the usual Black liberal groups have sold out to Obama years ago — Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP, Urban League, etc. Romney, like Bush in 2000, will owe absolutely nothing to Blacks should he win the election. But, unlike Bush, I have no illusions that Romney will surround himself with the number of Blacks that Bush did. Romney will feel compelled to make some token hires, but not much beyond that. This will lead the above-named liberals to complain that Romney is ignoring Blacks and not being inclusive. Continue Reading →

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Poor MPS test scores show leadership’s lack of commitment to students

 

“We exist to ensure that all students learn” is the mission of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson states on the MPS website that she believes “more strongly than ever that our top priorities lie in narrowing the achievement gap and offering all of our students a high-quality education that prepares them for college or a career.”

All of this sounds great, but by the time you get through reading this column you will realize that those are just empty words. In this column I will discuss the 2011-2012 MPS test results. These results have been swept under the rug by the so called “Leadership Council” and their representatives. In 2010, when the NAACP called for parents to remove their kids from Minneapolis Public Schools some people thought that they were going overboard. Continue Reading →

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Park Board leaders, NAACP claim progress

Some employees find workplace still hostile 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Since MSR’s January 5 exclusive article on racial discrimination against current and former Black Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) employees, MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller, Board President John Erwin, and Minneapolis NAACP President Booker T Hodges have met several times and developed a process to address the issue of “inconsistency” in discipline matters. Whether this process and other measures will satisfy disgruntled employees remains to be seen. The MSR article, “Black employees call Mpls Park Board a ‘toxic’ workplace,” reported that after receiving numerous calls from current and former Park Board employees, Hodges initiated an investigation. The NAACP determined that Park Board supervisors used performance reviews “to systematically target minority employees to terminate them from their jobs” as well as moving longtime Black employees “to less desirable positions.”

Following that investigation and MSR’s story, nearly 80 past and current employees received letters inviting them to set up a time to meet with Miller on their concerns. A MPRB spokesperson explained that these meetings were not “grievance hearings,” but simply “meetings.” Even though the individual could bring anyone they chose to the session, no one else was allowed to speak on their behalf as might be the case in a grievance hearing. Continue Reading →

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Democracy is under attack by voter suppression

 

By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator 

 

Far too often in modern elections, sound bites trump substance and voters are left wondering what the candidates really stand for. This is even more acute for issues important to the African American and civil rights communities. That is why, as we have done every presidential cycle for decades, the NAACP is traveling to the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention — to ensure that these issues are addressed by both major political parties. This year the Republican Party met in Tampa, Florida August 27-30, and the Democratic Party meets in Charlotte, North Carolina September 4-6.  These days, voting on who will lead each party’s ticket is largely a formality. But the delegates do have another important objective: choosing their party’s policy platform for the next four years. Continue Reading →

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To The Editor: Saunders elected first Black president of AFSCME

The NAACP congratulates Lee Saunders on his election to serve as the new president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Saunders is the first African American president in AFSCME’s history. “For his entire career, Lee Saunders has been a staunch defender of workers’ rights and civil rights,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “As the first African American president in AFSCME’s history, he will surely continue to build coalitions between AFSCME and the civil rights community.”

“Lee Saunders has been an outspoken ally of the NAACP on issues ranging from fair pay and equal opportunity to voter suppression,” stated Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP sr. vice president for advocacy and policy and Washington bureau director. “We welcome him to his new position at AFSCME and look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Saunders has been working with AFSCME since 1978. Continue Reading →

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