Ron Edwards

Recent Articles

Promises, promises, promises

What good is an equity plan with no follow through?  
Liberals have become extremely proficient at making promises to the constituent base of people of color. The theme song is “come vote for me so that me and my people get paid to distribute a few tax dollars to you,” not “come fly with me to prosperity.”

Betsy Hodges, our incoming mayor, made the traditional liberal promises last Monday, January 6, 2014, in her inaugural. Under the guise of equity, the constituent base, people of color were told to wait on another five-year plan. The Soviet Union communist five- and 10-year plans were not funny. Continue Reading →

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The Rooney Rule is dead

Next Vikings coach “must” be White
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

With the firing of Leslie Frazier December 30, the NFL is down to two African Americans head coaches out of the 32 teams that make up the National Football League (none were hired in the 2013 hiring cycle; Big Ten: none in the last 10 years). This is not about Affirmative Action; this is about affirmative discrimination. With 65 percent of players being African American and most coaches being former players, statistically, all things being equal, to get the best of the best you would have at least 20 Black head coaches. I’d settle now for 10. Statistically the NFL numbers reflect discrimination. Continue Reading →

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Looking at 2013, through real eyes

We wish to convey to all of our readers and the staff at the Spokesman Recorder all the best for a bright future. Our last column of 2013 ended with “We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites.”

In this first column of 2014, we celebrate another Black man, Barack Obama, who has moved beyond proving that a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites; he proves that a Black man can be president of the most powerful country in history. Although some say President Barack Obama is a lame duck president, a failure with no legacy, we disagree. “Lame duck” is shorthand by ivory tower public policy academics who don’t get out from behind their lecterns but still think they should be in charge. For example, President Obama has succeeded with health care where all, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt, failed (Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter each wrote in their last books that Ted, for his own purposes killed health care under both Nixon and Carter). Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis NAACP on the move?

 

Congratulations to the Rev. Jerry McAfee, newly elected president of the Minneapolis branch of the NAACP, and to the new board members. This is an auspicious time. We just celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, a man who proved a Black man can be a success as president of a country with both Blacks and Whites. Along with Archbishop Tutu’s “ubuntu,” he demonstrated that “truth” and “reconciliation” are more than slogans: they are action paths to unity. Minneapolis needs unity and reconciliation within the Black community and between White and Black people and institutions. Continue Reading →

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A great injustice: the death of T.T. Franklin

Why another farce of a police report?  
When the police version of the circumstances surrounding their May 10, 2013 basement shooting death of Terrance Terrill Franklin was published September 26, 2013, so-called leaders, Black and White, seemed to finally breathe a sigh of relief. Since writing four 2013 columns on Mr. Franklin’s death (May 22 and 29, June 12 and June 19), I have waited to see how protesters and defenders alike would express their opinions. Were opinions expressed truly passionate or just merit badges of protest or defense to wear in public and do nothing else? These protest and defense rituals have been too long the routines in this city and cities across the country. Continue Reading →

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Hallelujah: the project begins

Constructing the new Peoples’ Stadium
 
Hallelujah! The great occasion of the beginning of construction preparedness and building of the Peoples’ Stadium arrived: December 2, 2013. “Mission accomplished” or another December day in infamy? “Success” is to be measured by the language of promises and guarantees in the stadium legislation and by the pronouncements of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). Promised: full participation of all Minnesota’s citizens:

• Nothing but Minnesota workers on the stadium

• All steel produced in the United States, preferably from Northern MN’s Iron Range

• No cost overruns

• Equity Plan and Diversity Plan for Minnesota’s minorities and communities of color. Continue Reading →

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“To the extent practical”

Escape language in legislation allows steel purchase outside Iron Range

 

The Minnesota Sports Facility Authority met November 22, 2013, to sign the contract to put the final stadium construction process and procedures into place. The local daily newspaper’s picture of John Wood of M.A. Mortenson, shaking hands with a colleague, with a large group of people smiling and applauding in the background, shows how well steel facts were withheld as happy faces turned unhappy within 24 hours as people realized not all the steel would come from Minnesota, as “promised.”

The legislative language: “to the extent practical…MN steel” (see Stadium legislation, Section 11, lines 2423-2424) is the escape hatch from “all Minnesota.” This is how the State and City continually get away with not hiring Black Americans on construction projects, using equivalencies of good-faith effort, as we’ve long reported. Now its the Iron Range White man’s turn, as 20 percent of stadium steel will come from steel mines of ArcelorMittal (in the Duchy of Luxembourg, Ruhr Valley, near Germany). After Mittal bought Arcelor in 2006, the Mittal family of India has owned 40 percent of ArcelorMittal. The issue is not where the steel comes from (you want the best so the stadium doesn’t collapse). Continue Reading →

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Is President Obama a ‘lame duck’?

You be the judge
 
In the last 20 days, discussion on both the left and the right has been about the failures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the real name of what both sides call “Obamacare,” long a term of pride for Democrats and one of derision for Republicans, and now one of confusion for both. With the elections of 2014 and 2016 looming, both parties are nervous, with the most scared trying to summarize it all in the term “lame duck.” This is another way for both sides to not address the problems they fear: health care, education, housing, immigration, foreign affairs, entitlement programs, etc. “Lame duck” won’t work. Obama has the courage and determination to persevere. One of two things will happen to the ACA: (1) repealed and replaced, or (2) kept but greatly modified. Continue Reading →

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Chief Janeé Harteau is doing a good job

No need to replace her
 
Minneapolis celebrates the election of its second female in the history of City Government, Betsy Hodges, bringing discussion about her representing diversity balance. Really? How, when for the next four years there will neither be an African American nor Native American on the City Council? This is another reason why it is surprising that less than a week after her announced victory the first rumors about change to emerge from City Hall was considering replacing Police Chief Janeé Harteau with an assistant police chief from Seattle, Washington. Why are she and her advisors so politically tone deaf? Continue Reading →

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Violence grips downtown

One dead, three wounded in night of terror
 
When shots rang out around 11:53 pm, Saturday night, November 2, 2013, at the Epic nightclub in downtown Minneapolis (or 1 am; reports vary as this is written just two days after the shooting) the crowd of over 2,500 partygoers disbursed in panic. The concert featured Yo Gotti, a prominent and legendary rapper. Because of violence associated with his concertgoers, the Minneapolis Police Department prepared for violence outside Epic with pepper spray and riot equipment, but not inside, as there were 40 well-trained security personnel inside along with six off-duty Minneapolis police officers. The assassin was able to approach the VIP section, gun down and kill 27-year-old Tyrone Washington with precision and dispatch, and then leave, unnoticed and unapprehended. Clearly this was not a shooting of random victims (as at schools, theaters and workplaces). Continue Reading →

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