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Recent Articles

A political Ponzi scheme: The fix was in with 2012 election

 

Shell-shocked Republicans are asking “What happened?” as they lick their wounds and offer recriminations and finger pointing regarding who to blame for losing the election. They are the Bernie Madoff Ponzi-like schemers, losers asking what happened. Were they suckers? Can they get a refund? It was like putting money in a paper bag and passing it to campaign collectors. Continue Reading →

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Vikings bounce back, beat Cardinals 21-14

 

Seven games into the 2012 season, the Vikings forged forward with a 21-14 hard-fought win over the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota is now 5-2 and remained undefeated at home at 4-0. Sunday’s Mall of America Field sellout crowd of 61,068 was the largest of the season. They watched the incredible record-setting Adrian Peterson run for 153 yards and a determined 13-yard touchdown to lead the way. The Vikings bounced back on both sides of the ball from a rough week in Washington. Continue Reading →

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Taxation without representation

Force of contract law needed to ensure Black contractors/workers for stadium
 

 

Action: $34 million contract awarded September 28, 2012, by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (FSFA) and the Minnesota Vikings, their largest stadium contract to date, to HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, Dallas, Texas (they did stadiums for the Colts and Cowboys). My concern is not the sucking sound of Minnesota money being deposited in Texas banks: Money follows expertise, not geography, and Minnesota has not kept up. Concern: as of this writing, still no stadium equity plan as called for in stadium legislation. When I talked with HKS people at their exhibit at the Metrodome, September 7, 2012, I asked them if they used minority subcontractors. They said yes. Continue Reading →

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Status quo fixes won’t stop the frightening violence

 

It is the elephant in the room that people don’t want to talk about: the ongoing street violence affecting so many African Americans in this country due to the dysfunctional institutions, leadership and policies that allow caste-like barriers — bad schools, few jobs, drugs, crime — to remain in place and foster violence. It is alarming. It is frightening. But so long as these dysfunctional institutions, leadership and policies hide behind the lie that they can’t be fixed, they won’t be, even though the fixes are readily in sight: education, jobs, housing. The mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, recently announced that Chuck Wexler and the Police Executive Research Forum would be brought back to Minneapolis to advise on developing strategies to deal with Minneapolis’ violence, as if the extent of the violence is the issue. Continue Reading →

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In Twin Cities, Blacks still need not apply

ronedwards

 

“Twin Cities Still Worst in U.S. for Black Jobseekers” (Star Tribune headline, July 2, 2012). “New report shows little change from 2009 unemployment rates.” — Economic Policy Institute. That is a repeat of the June 18, 2010 report of the Star Tribune of the same Economic Policy Institute report released to Congress showing African Americans 3.1 times more likely than Whites to be unemployed in our metro area. Since 2005, I have written 24 columns on this “worst” in the country and why including my 2005 column, “Black share of upcoming $5 billion in construction: Zero.” I continue to ask, where are the plans and actions to reverse this “Blacks need not apply” reality? It could not exist if the city’s vision included offering a seat at the table of equal access and equal opportunity to everyone, Black and White. Continue Reading →

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A Sports Authority chair who understands the Black struggle

 
 Kelm-Helgen’s civil rights history is a rich one

There are names and families that remain strong in the pantheon of the civil rights struggle for freedom and liberty for all in Minnesota, including such names as Newman, Johnson, Humphrey and Childress. Governor Dayton’s June 15, 2012 announcement of his three Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority members reminds us of another name and family of the Minnesota Civil Rights Pantheon, that of Elmer Kelm. The governor has appointed Elmer Kelm’s granddaughter, Michele Kelm-Helgen, as Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair (Star Tribune, “New stadium head has deep political roots,” June 16, 2012). Michele Kelm-Helgen’s grandfather, Elmer Kelm, managed Hubert Humphrey’s first successful mayoral campaign, was chairman of the Democratic Party when it merged with the Farmer Labor Party in 1944, and had a very long relationship with both Cecil Newman, the founder and publisher of this newspaper, and with Nellie Stone Johnson, one of the great political leaders in the history of this state. Elmer Kelm and Nellie Stone Johnson, with Hubert H. Humphrey’s blessing, were two of the signatories of the Farmer Labor Party/Democratic merger in 1944. Continue Reading →

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Segregation again: Black educators are being purged

 

 

Richard Green was the first Black superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools who later became chancellor of the New York City Schools. He was an educator’s educator. He earned respect and affection of all involved with education, educators, students and parents. He was honored when Central High School was renamed Richard Green Central Park School, now a K-8 school. Green was a native son, born and raised here. Continue Reading →

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Heat and Thunder promise stormy NBA Finals

 

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Miami returns to the NBA Finals stage after finishing off the Boston Celtics in a dramatic game seven (101-88)  to capture their second straight Eastern Conference title. The Big Three — yes, Miami is again knocking at the door of an NBA title as they did last year. We all remember them coming up short a year ago, losing four games to two to NBA Champion Dallas. Because they did not finish the deal and win it in the 2011 Finals, this entire NBA season has been about the Miami Heat; they have been ordained, sentenced, and proclaimed as the 2012 Champion or else. Not much has changed: LeBron James (31 points, 12 rebounds), Dwyane Wade (23 points), and Chris Bosh healthy again (19 points and eight rebounds) in game seven. Continue Reading →

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Tiger ties Nicklaus with 73 career PGA wins

 

 

What a remarkable achievement at age 36 — Tiger Woods, the first billionaire athlete, has caught his childhood dream, Jack Nicklaus, in career wins on the PGA tour at 73. Golf is an incredible game, and what you achieve in it is so satisfying. Golf is an individual mental and physical test of your will to overcome yourself. When it’s over, you have to accept what your score is. No sport has been tougher on Blacks than the game golf. Continue Reading →

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