Recent Articles

Donald Sterling and the L.A. NAACP: names forever joined in infamy

The specter of racism has long haunted professional sports. Donald Sterling, owner of the NBA team the L.A. Clippers, is proving how wrong those are who deny racism exists anymore. Having held his race attitudes during his 30 years of ownership — well known to owners, media, players, fans, and sponsors — is Sterling a Rosa Parks “tipping point” for the collective “social conscience” of America, ashamed at the “yassah boss” polite role of “to get money you go along with money,” even plantation money, at the community’s expense? The worst-kept secret is again exposed of how White owner racism has long caused hair chafing at the majority of players being Black, letting Sterling do their ranting. That’s the true infamy. Continue Reading →

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The quest for health equity is lifelong

In 2002, April was designated as Minority Health Month to increase awareness about health disparities that exist for people of color. Even though April 2014 Minority Health Month is now past, we must continue to address health disparities head on every month of the year. Health disparities exist when certain segments of the population have higher rates of preventable diseases and mortality. Many populations are affected by disparities, including racial and ethnic minorities, residents of rural areas, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In a recent report to the MN legislature on health equity, the MN Department of Health stated that although Minnesota is deemed one of the healthiest states, African Americans and American Indians in the state have continued to experience higher rates of preventable disease as well as reduced life expectancy. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – On belonging

“Racism poisons civic life and denies the worth of human beings because of their color,” Michael Eric Dyson wrote. We know that racism destroys a Black man by ignoring his gifts, overlooking his presence, and demeaning his manhood. Larry Holmes, pugilist, said it: “It’s hard being Black. You ever been Black? I was Black once — when I was poor.” John McWhorter echoes Holmes: “Poverty is a tragedy, not a lifestyle.”

The opportunity to advance — in order to escape poverty — is approached through job skills training and education when privilege did not come through the accident of birth, but there is more to discuss in Black culture than poverty. Continue Reading →

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A sports reporter’s spring notebook cleaning

Marlene Stollings’ second hire on her Gopher women’s basketball coaching staff is Nikita (Niki) Dawkins. She is a 23-year coaching veteran who has been a VCU assistant coach the last two seasons and held similar positions at Old Dominion, Michigan and Ohio State, her alma mater. In a released statement, Stollings called Dawkins, whose duties include recruiting coordinator, “one of the top assistants in the country.” She joins Tiffanie Couts, who Stollings named director of basketball operations. Couts was a grad assistant last season at VCU. The women are the only two Blacks on the staff. Continue Reading →

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NBA must come down hard on Sterling

Donald Sterling, the longtime controversial owner of one of professional sports’ longtime losing franchises, the Los Angeles Clippers, has created a firestorm of anger and resentment from the entire sports community with his alarming racist comments to his girlfriend. This has put Sterling on blast from the entire NBA community and many others out raged by his violent, disturbing comments. TMZ broke this story, and the audio recording is clearly Sterling talking to his friend Ms. Stiviano, who is Black.  

On the nine-minute tape recording, Sterling says, “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Continue Reading →

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The 2012 MSP International Film Festival darling returns



They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. The Girls in the Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. Today, there is a new breed of gifted young women taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents. The Girls in the Band is playing at St. Continue Reading →

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Chief Harteau announces dialogue — A public dialogue? Really?



The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops. The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, “Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents”). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. Continue Reading →

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How does racism cause mental illness?

As we closed out the month of May, the DSM-5 was being released. The DSM-5 is mental health’s equivalent to the Bible. There has been a lot of discussion about addressing racism as a precursor to mental illness, more particularly to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Recently, Dr. Monnica Williams wrote an article for Psychology Today on this very subject. According to Dr. Williams, “Similar to rape victims, race-related trauma victims may respond with disbelief, shock or dissociation, which can prevent them from responding to the incident in a healthy manner. Continue Reading →

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The struggle continues — Obama is not proof of a post-racial society



When one compares the 1968 Kerner Commission Report, which chronicled the problems that Black folks were experiencing in just about every walk of life at the time, and the misery index for Black folks today, one finds that the lot of Black folks haven’t changed that much. In a word, we are still an oppressed nationality living in the United States. So it would appear that the struggle for justice and equality continues. Well, at least common sense would dictate that the struggle continues. If Black folks are still experiencing job discrimination and police brutality and an unjust justice system as evidenced by the disparity in sentencing, particularly in drug cases, then the struggle clearly continues. Continue Reading →

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