Ron Edwards

Recent Articles

The violence just won’t go away

Mpls, Indianapolis and Chicago at the crossroad

“Murderapolis continues to flourish” was our column headline, September 26, 2011. We, as Chicago, Indianapolis, and other cities, are at a crossroads: Choose between the protection and prosperity for the “helping” bureaucracies or protection and prosperity for those they were established to help?  

More trillions for bureaus or for those the bureaus were created to help? “Murderapolis?” Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis and other cities, or not Murderapolis?  


As the nation’s attention turns to violence involving guns in Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis, among other cities, proportionality is seen: Each city is on par with the level of gun violence per capita. Why won’t the violence go away?  


Common threads:

(1) illegal drugs, especially heroin, an evil driving terrorism in cities like Minneapolis;

(2) a disturbing number of African American males confined to wheelchairs due to shootings and assaults;

(3) attacks on police officers (Indianapolis police officers have been shot at 18 times this year by gunmen firing from ambush);

(4) a reduction in the number of police officers and sheriffs needed;

(5) continue spending of trillions to support the bureaucracies established to help people rather than spending it on helping people excel in education, jobs, and housing; and

(6) all contributing to what seem like policies reflecting a calculated and intentional genocide. Continue Reading →

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We have not waved a white flag!

Why do White and Black leaders assume the Black community has waved a white flag of submission? However, we do raise questions about what is being planned for us as if we had, as seen during the various “summit” decision meetings (see my columns of May 1 and 15, 2014). We are a community under siege: inadequate education, few jobs, no meaningful plans for the future beyond endless planning meetings of Black and White do-gooder talk leaders on how to continue obstructing our access to equality and opportunity, on how to set us aside to make room for others, of how to plan the kind of genocide/extinction “round ups” discussed at decision “summits.”

We celebrated our nation’s independence July 4th. Frederick Douglass, arguably the most famous fugitive slave of his day, asked in a historic speech, July 5, 1852: “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Douglass gave a ringing affirmation of America’s ideals of freedom and liberty, left stalled and unfinished while slavery and racial discrimination existed. Being neither despairing (he was hopeful, due to the principles laid out by the founders in the Declaration and the Constitution that he saw as affirming the truth of liberty and equality) nor was he unduly negative (slavery was a fact and the slow pace of abolishing slavery was maddening). Continue Reading →

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A Civil Rights and faith leader passes from the American scene

As discussed last week, the Rev. Dr. Lillian Anthony was the first Director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, appointed in late 1967 by then Mayor Arthur Naftalin. Dr. Anthony quietly passed from this life at her home in Louisville, Kentucky, June 26, 2014. Her memorial will be in Louisville, July 11, 2014. The Rev. Dr. Anthony’s history, legacy and accomplishments are legendary. She was clearly the right choice to head the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, setting a new tone for race relations in the city. Continue Reading →

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The need for a new Lillian Anthony

First director of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department
 This column provides a timeline to further understand our discussion of the failure of the Civil Rights Department and Commission, including that of current director, Velma Korbel (hence our call last week for her dismissal). We forget these dates and events at our peril:
• June 30, 1963: Mayor Arthur Naftalin, in his Second State of the City address, warned about issues of racial division ripping the city (Minneapolis Star, July 1, 1963). Fifty-one years later they still hold. Mayor Naftalin offered a “Blueprint for Action,” and called for institutions and instruments for the social justice, for a Civil Rights Department and Commission. • July 18, 1965, “Is non-violence wearing thin?” Minneapolis Tribune headline. Continue Reading →

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Velma Korbel must go!

Resignation must be submitted immediately
It is not often that a Minneapolis City Agency Department Director receives separate, negative stories in the Star Tribune on the same day, reporting incompetence and belligerent leadership. Velma Korbel accomplished this June 16, 2014. Star Tribune headlines:

• “Divisive Minneapolis civil rights official in hot seat again”

• “Korbel speech ‘magnified’ concerns about management style”

• “Report: Minority participation in Minneapolis contracts falling”

Compare those with the reporting in these selected MSR columns over the past five years:

• “Toxic and corrupt environment in civil rights department,” April 10, 2014

• “A reappointment that is a mistake: Velma Korbel to again head the Department of Civil Rights,” February 19, 2014

• “Justice for David Cornelius Smith: In spite of obstruction of justice from the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department,” June 5, 2013

• “Will Blacks finally get a fair share of work on this stadium? Chair of stadium authority raises serious questions about past inclusion,” February 20, 2013

• ”Minneapolis Continues its fairy tale of compliance. Only painful sanctions will make these tales come true,” December 15, 2010

Director Korbel does not meet the administration/management responsibilities entrusted to her office, nor does she follow the agency’s responsibility to fight discrimination and civil rights violations. Continue Reading →

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The tragedy of guns in the streets

Another senseless death

Maya Angelou passed May 28. She had her finger “on the pulse of morning.” She had her “caged bird” sing a prayer of freedom to rise above the “bitter, twisted lies” people of color must contend with, for, as she wrote, “Still I rise.”

The caged bird sings in classic Black gospel fashion, lifting up a prayer through its tears, yearning to be free. May our leaders raise their song for freedom too, rather than acquiesce to the gun songs that cage our young people or the bureaucratic dependency programs that cage their parents. A 17-year-old was shot and killed June 1st on the 1600 block of Newton Avenue N. His death fosters another round of talking about solutions but not attempting to open cage doors. Unless you have lost a child to violence, its hard to know and understand the feeling. Continue Reading →

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Keefe file now open to the public

Sgt. Michael Keefe waits his day in court

“A profile in courage and integrity: Lt. Michael Keefe,” is the headline of my August 29, 2007 column. Lt. Keefe “would tolerate neither racial animus and discrimination nor departmental abuses under his command.” The closing two sentences of that column were, “Will the mayor and MPD chief act with the same courage and integrity? How they act will reveal the real heart of this administration and its police department.”

Retaliation included demotions and transfers, despite significant performance and command ratings. Although I had never talked with Lt. Keefe, I wrote several columns about this and filed a civil rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department and then-Mayor RT Rybak and then-Police Chief Tim Dolan. Continue Reading →

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Returning to an old order after 30 years

A retreat for Black leaders to plan actions to enable Whites to feel safe

What horn will midnight hear? The Calvary bugler sounding retreat from battle? Gabriel’s trumpet leading the Halleluiah chorus? The morning wake-up horn calling retreat members to begin discussions for addressing violence in the community? History reveals good and bad leaders and shepherds, and the shifts that occur from heroic sacrifices to keep eyes on the prize (as during slave and Jim Crow days), to becoming paid bureaucrats of “solution organizations” that “look the other way” to maintain the status quo. Continue Reading →

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Equity in light rail postponed again

The Star Tribune ran stories last week about light rail in the metro area. The real interpretation: purposeful denial, again, of light rail equity for North Minneapolis. Star Tribune reported, May 12, 2014, that African Americans believe North Minneapolis is “not getting its fair share of transit amenities, despite having a heavily transit-dependent population,” and that there is a “drastic difference between service and amenities in other parts of the city like Uptown and the south side.” In other words, jobs for White city plantation bureaucrats and White construction workers, and more transit for White areas. We need action, not more talk. Back in 2008 and 2009, Black legislators and leaders were talking about a big public-works project involving light rail in North Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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Safe streets promoted for White baseball

Selective reporting keeps the true level of violence concealed

George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984 helps us understand Minneapolis granting temporary “Big Brother” status to Major League Baseball for summer 2014’s All Star Game week:  “temporary…and related special event permits will not be approved or issued by the City of Minneapolis without the additional approval of Major League Baseball.” (Star Tribune, May 3, 2014)

Minneapolis granted temporary Big Brother status earlier for the Vikings stadium, although the Vikings didn’t ask for it as did MLB. We want safe streets for all neighborhoods, not just for downtown stadium and lake neighborhoods. We recognize we live in “1984” in government surveillance, manipulating and falsifying information for “the greater good,” and in newspapers re-writing history to match current party line: “selective reporting:”

• 18 straight days of shootings, few reported

• 18 homicides in Little Somalia over last three years, few reported. • Star Tribune reported May 6 two White girls stabbed May 5 and reported shooting in New Brighton

• 30 days earlier, three young African American females shot and wounded in North Minneapolis, yet unreported

When authorities announced on May 6 the arrest of three young African Americans for the April 12, 2014 shooting and paralyzing of a young African American near the All Star site, the Star Tribune finally reported the shooting. Again: selective reporting. Continue Reading →

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