Recent Articles

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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St. Cloud: Desperate need to maintain racism has its costs


By Merle Cooper

Guest Commentator


Recession recovery has been difficult for the most egalitarian, innovative and progressive communities. St. Cloud’s recovery is thwarted as much by area economic conditions and failures as by addiction to racism as low self-image compensation. After 159 years of bigotry carefully driven and exploited by local leaders assuming there’s no tomorrow, St. Cloud has been forced to launch its leaking public relations (PR) lifeboats. Continue Reading →

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Report examines coverage of LGBT issues in Black, Latino media



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer



A new report from The Opportunity Agenda points out that favorable public opinion about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color is slowly growing among Blacks. The national communications, research and advocacy organization released “Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race” in September. It examined Black and Latino newspapers, Black magazines and Black online media over a two-year period (2009-2011), and found several common themes. Among them:

• Black newspapers and online news sites consider LGBT issues newsworthy. • The six main storylines found in Black newspapers, with HIV/AIDS receiving the most attention, include: homophobia, bullying and discrimination, culture, tension between gay rights and civil rights, religion and same-sex marriage. Continue Reading →

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