By Ron Edwards
Result for Blacks: shameful loss of jobs and income
My last column of November 18 was Part I of my examination of one of the most outrageous misrepresentations and miscarriages of racial justice (the denial of jobs) in the history of the City of Minneapolis. I refer to the “disparity study” (“The State of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise: Evidence from Minneapolis”) of October 21, 2010 that was presented to the city council on November 4 (I was there).
Clearly, the guardians do no guarding: Minneapolis has not engaged in any “monitoring compliance during performance” in contracts and employment.
This Part II continues the tawdry story of Minneapolis’ open season for denying jobs to Blacks. Recall the City’s infamous and to date still not repudiated statement that Minneapolis can meet its minority compliance requirements without hiring any African Americans. Translation: Give the M/WBE (Minority/Women’s Business Enterprises) contracts to White women and other minorities that are not African Americans.
It was no accident that the Civil Rights Department did not report the disparity study’s recommendations to the city council for how to resolve these outrages against African Americans. On pages 16-17 we read what exposes liberal Minneapolis as an infamous, illiberal house of cards of deceit, misrepresentation, obstruction and lies, enabling the denial of jobs and, thus, the rape of African American economic opportunities (emphases added):
“A critical element of Program integrity and success is the complete monitoring of prime contractors’commitments to utilize M/WBEs. Minneapolis currently does not monitor compliance during performance; contractors’ utilization is reviewed at contract closeout. This is too late to correct any deficiencies and ensure that M/WBEs are treated fairly on the contract. After a contract with M/WBE commitments has been awarded, it is critical that those commitments be monitored and that sanctions for non-conformance with the contract be available.”
The new director of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, Velma Korbel, in response to my columns, talked in terms of the wonderful success in awarding contracts and distributing dollars to communities of color, specifically, the African American community, continuing the decade-long practice by her and her predecessors of lying to the city council and the public at large who, in turn, wink back.
This explains the perception that all is OK, as there have never been any penalties or sanctions for noncompliance. Since 1999, the City of Minneapolis (mayor’s office, city council, and all City departments together) has perpetrated one of the greatest civil rights and contract compliance shams in our history: submitting false monitoring reports in order to hide the denial of jobs and income to African Americans.
As I have asked numerous times in this column since 2005, where did the false numbers used to demonstrate compliance come from, and who is responsible to audit and to authenticate the numbers that have been used to demonstrate “success” for communities of color? What did they use to falsely certify their reported numbers of workers, hours worked, contracts awarded, and dollars paid out?
Reflect again on the statement, “Minneapolis currently does not monitor compliance during performance. That means that during the planning and actual construction, be it the Twins Stadium, Children’s Hospital, Target Center, Light Rail, or any other project, there was never any monitoring, no checks and balances. The numbers about dollars, hours worked, or persons hired were created out of thin air to serve the political landscape.
The report numbers were/are bogus while the dollars being passed through and kicked back are real. The biggest cover up, besides denial of access to jobs, is that the few African Americans that were used were not paid wages or salary commensurate with their White counterparts with the same skills working the same jobs with the same classifications.
This is the tip of the iceberg. The frightening question about how much and how often such false information of “success” was being fed to the general public that cannot be confirmed or verified regarding hiring compliance of African Americans also extends to the question of how many City reports falsely report about programs of interest to Whites.
“Leadership” in the Halls of Black Power and in the Corridors of White Manipulation continues to participate in this sham. Black and White “leaders” have been and are partners in this illusion, creating a great fog to conceal denying and blocking jobs and economic partnership with the City of Minneapolis, which is equivalent to being a violent economic rape of the African American community.
The disparity report reflects the shame that has fallen on the House of Liberalism as it keeps shouting “wait” to African Americans about their dreams.
Will the Civil Rights Commission or the city council call for hearings?
Ron hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers and “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.