“Let’s kill all the lawyers” is a misunderstood quotation from Shakespeare. The character in the play wanted lawyers who would create chaos and unrest so he could become king. The character was referring to killing attorneys and judges who stood for justice in society, those who would follow the law. So what kind of lawyers are “the big three,” Kevin Warren, NFL Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson, and Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal? None protested the violation of the City’s charter requirement that mandates a public referendum for any expenditure of over $10 million for any professional sports facility. Continue Reading →
There was a lot of hatred directed at and rained down upon T.T. Franklin May 10 in that poorly lighted basement at 2717 Bryant Ave. South, away from prying eyes, enabling public safety to once again turn its back on transparently serving the people, enabling public safety officers to engage in another wrongful death as they savagely mutilated and shot to death a young man hiding from them, not burgling. Five SWAT members, all armed, in flak jackets, with a K-9 biting and chewing on T.T. Franklin, would have us believe that multiple shots and almost blowing his head apart was unavoidable as opposed to tasering him. How was that “protecting with courage”? Minneapolis pays millions in wrongful death awards, doesn’t sanction its killers, while institutions that claim they care stay silent. Continue Reading →
Sometime in late March of 2013, an African American construction trade association, Gentlemen of the Round Table, will be looking forward to its meeting with the Sports Facilities Authority to present its members’ credentials qualifying them to work on the Viking’s People’s Stadium. What a difference a plan makes to enable meeting a dream and vision of minority inclusion. This group of 100 Black men in the construction trades, based in Kansas City, Missouri, was formed seven years ago. All are journeymen. Over half own their own businesses. Continue Reading →
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 →
If 2012 is an extension of 2011, there could be hell to pay as both political parties continue their Year of Preparation to obtain the prize each seeks: the presidency of the United States. Each will work hard to defeat the other; that is the American way. Don’t get mad at that. I’m just the messenger to remind all about this American genius. It is not devious. Continue Reading →
When the Monday, November 21, morning edition of the Star Tribune hit the streets, I was amused by the headline: “Preferred Public Works Contracts Get Scrutiny.” I’ve written 20 columns on this since 2005, identifying corruption and criminal malfeasance that has shut African Americans out of programs that were allegedly created to give the African American community a shot at some of the so-called big dollars, such as the $950 million Light Rail Corridor Project and the Gopher and Twins stadiums.
So I welcome the Star Tribune in joining us in scrutinizing the whole issue of how fairness, justice and equality of opportunity for Blacks has been sidestepped by not enforcing disparity/diversity statutes, ignoring them, as politicians and their bureaucratic enablers favor laws/statutes/rules benefiting other groups claiming to be minorities. Had Martha Stewart been a Congress member, she would not have gone to jail for insider trading
But, as the former director of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights infamously said, pointing out how discrimination and exclusion is legal again, “We can meet our minority hiring compliance requirements without hiring a single Black person.”
The danger in this kind of investigative reporting is that there are those who attack you for printing the truth, trying to apply pressure to make your column disappear, as they oppose hope and change in order to keep the changeless status quo and their position in it. But God is a good God: Be patient, persevere, and lay out the facts, and the truth will make a difference. I haven’t taken my eyes off the prize: prosperity for all through education that qualifies boys and girls and men and women for jobs, and then facilitates equal access to those jobs. When the City of Minneapolis released its report last year entitled The State of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, October 22, 2010 (DBEs: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs), I wrote that it contained the evidence, statistics and data exposing the criminal acts against the interests and the future economic opportunity for African Americans in Minnesota. Continue Reading →
In 2002, I wrote the following in my book The Minneapolis Story, Through My Eyes: “The Plan of the movers and shakers of Minneapolis is to move the Vikings out of Minnesota (p. 253). “These powers…have created the false notion that the Twin Cities can’t support four teams. As you will see, they don’t want to. …But the powers do love the University of Minnesota Gophers, so they will be the ones to get a new stadium…[and] the Twins.” (p. 254)
Henry Savelkoul (January 8, 1997), Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission chairman, wrote “The Viability of Four Major Sports Teams in Minnesota,” concluding that “Minnesota can’t afford four major league teams” (p. Continue Reading →