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A political Ponzi scheme: The fix was in with 2012 election

 

Shell-shocked Republicans are asking “What happened?” as they lick their wounds and offer recriminations and finger pointing regarding who to blame for losing the election. They are the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-like schemers, losers asking what happened. Were they suckers? Can they get a refund? It was like putting money in a paper bag and passing it to campaign collectors. Continue Reading →

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Taxation without representation

Force of contract law needed to ensure Black contractors/workers for stadium
 

 

Action: $34 million contract awarded September 28, 2012, by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (FSFA) and the Minnesota Vikings, their largest stadium contract to date, to HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, Dallas, Texas (they did stadiums for the Colts and Cowboys). My concern is not the sucking sound of Minnesota money being deposited in Texas banks: Money follows expertise, not geography, and Minnesota has not kept up. Concern: as of this writing, still no stadium equity plan as called for in stadium legislation. When I talked with HKS people at their exhibit at the Metrodome, September 7, 2012, I asked them if they used minority subcontractors. They said yes. Continue Reading →

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More than ever, all-Black sports radio’s time has come

 

 

A Spanish all-sports station may soon debut in New York City. Yet there’s still not an all-Black sports radio station anywhere in this country, neither on terrestrial regular radio nor on the nation’s only satellite radio service, SiriusXM. Before the FCC approved the Sirius-XM merger in 2008, we were told that new channels for underserved communities would be established. However, only one Black-oriented channel from Howard University has been added post-merger. There’s a “Mad Dog” sports channel and a fantasy sports channel, but not one channel with Blacks talking sports all the time. Continue Reading →

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Trayvon Martin murder exposes madness of Stand Your Ground laws

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On February 26, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old wannabe cop and self-appointed gun-carrying neighborhood watchman in a gated community just outside Orlando in Sanford, Florida. (No local or gated community rule authorized such an armed role.)

Trayvon was returning from a convenience store three blocks from the home of his dad’s fiancée to get snacks for watching a basketball game. He was essentially shot for SWB (shopping while Black). The 911 tapes (which police withheld until forced to release them by court order) make it easier to understand this latest American tragedy, as it reveals the use of racial hate language. The shooter was told by 911 to stand down and stop trailing the young man. Continue Reading →

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Can Minneapolis taxpayers afford the CRA?

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Is it too expensive for the average citizen?  

The Star Tribune story “New names, old pains on Minneapolis police review panel,” February 20, 2012, reported on what we have reported on for a decade: the slow, continued collapse of the Civilian Review Authority (CRA) and, by extension, the collapse of its parent, the Civil Rights Department (CRD). Thus words in the story were not a surprise to us: “ranks depleted…investigative staff overwhelmed…recommendations routinely ignored,” with the CRA “far weaker” in its investigation “of complaints against the police.”

We know that the quality of professional investigation in the CRA leaves a lot to be desired. We understand why the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Tim Dolan thinks the CRA is incompetent. This is one the dark holes that the Rybak administration needs to be concerned about falling into. Continue Reading →

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Black jobs promised on Vikings stadium construction

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Who will ensure the promises are kept?  

Mayor R.T. Rybak stated in his February 6 press conference that he was pressing hard for the Minneapolis City Council to support his dream of a Vikings stadium near the Metrodome. (Star Tribune, “Flanked by union workers, Rybak pleads for Vikings stadium”)

The mayor’s declaration reminds me of Isabel Wilkerson’s current best seller and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Warmth of Other Suns, a moving, well-researched story of the promises made to Negroes of the World War II era that influenced the great racial migration from the South to the North. Their dream: good employment, good education for their kids, and a good future. The Oct. Continue Reading →

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The NBA is back! Hip hip!

 

 

The excitement, the beautiful people in the house — there’s something about the NBA that draws you in, just like the NFL. This NBA season is coming off of a bitter long lockout by the 30 owners, who demanded mandated concessions from the players. The owners were able to get the players to surrender to their terms, giving up nearly 20 percent annually the leverage they maintained previously to reach a new CBA. The question is will the business profits and growth of the sport be achieved. After 30 games, it’s too early to gauge, but the sacrifices made by the players appear to have saved at least six franchises from drowning in the red. 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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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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