Disaster accelerates gentrification of North Minneapolis

By Ron Edwards

The tornado that smashed its way through the northern part of Minneapolis on Sunday, May 22 unleashed what insurance companies call “an act of God.” This gives our dear leaders a chance to unleash Rahm Emanuel’s famously stated “never let a serious crisis go to waste,” using it for plans to line their pockets and hasten North Minneapolis’ gentrification.

Instead of our recommended Nellie Stone Johnson Plan (provide education that qualifies for jobs that enable buying and repairing a home), we get the Hollman/Heritage Park Plan (forcing Blacks kept poor out, further reducing Black voters in Minneapolis).

Planning for Black exclusion in North Side Minneapolis reconstruction continues what I called in 2003 “a cross between Birth of a Nation and The Wizard of Oz,” labeling racist and classist dispersing of poor Blacks a rainbow.

What is the reconstruction plan? Why aren’t Blacks included in paid planning and paid cleanup? Why this Hollman/Heritage Park moment: Blacks colluding with Whites to scatter North Minneapolis’ poor Blacks without a right of return?

The tornado changed our neighborhoods, but not the behavior of the elite hustlers and fixers from our churches, community organizations, foundations, other nonprofits and City agencies as they plan continuing gentrification, scattering poor Blacks and reconstructing without Black workers.

Star Tribune headline, May 23, 2011: “North Minneapolis tornado toll: $166 million and likely to rise.”

Star Tribune headline, May 26, 2011: “Teams seek a total on tornado toll.”

Star Tribune headline, May 24, 2011: “A dire need for homes. More than 5,000 [with] damage to their dwellings.”

Governor Dayton: Minnesota “will offer whatever help north Minneapolis needs to recover, including a special session to consider disaster aid.” But “consider” is not a plan.

The Minneapolis City Council: They will “request outside disaster declarations and aid.” But “request” is not a plan.

Hennepin County admits to not having a plan for a disaster of “this magnitude.” Not having a plan is a bad plan.

City officials feared the damage to the North Side means “housing options have dwindled.”  “Dwindling options” serves gentrification.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): government assistance only for a percentage of damage. Five thousand homes damaged. “Percentage” means huge boost to gentrification.
Black and White elites began a series of meetings at Broadway Avenue and Fremont Tuesday, May 24 (City officials, City agencies, heads of nonprofits and foundations) conspiring again to falsify information that will claim minority participation in reconstruction (ghosts) with work done without Blacks. Recall the infamous “we can meet our minority hiring compliance requirements without hiring a single Black.”

A list at the May 24 meeting identified MBEs and WBEs (Minority Business Enterprises and Women’s Business Enterprises) already selected and agreed to participate in this criminal enterprise: pass-throughs from nominal minority companies back to major White businesses and construction companies that will do the actual work, all serving gentrification (continuing to do nothing to deal with the steep decline of Black businesses in North Minneapolis).

I’ll be blunt: Numbers will be forged; press releases will announce fake numbers, all to show minority business enterprises and Black workers (mostly ghosts) on the job enjoying the benefits of the proposed $166+ million stimulus package for North Minneapolis.

I have reported this sham that systematically and purposefully keeps Blacks off big construction projects in the Twin Cities, as no monitoring allows refusing to meet diversity compliance. With past as prologue, Black contractors and Black workers “need not apply.”
My most recent reporting on this includes columns of 2009: September 30, November 4.
2010: January 13, April 14, May 5, 12, 19, June 16, August 11, November 17, 24, December 15.  2011: February 9, March 9. All are archived at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.

Does this mean the final solution of the North Minneapolis “round up” plan of my May 4, 2005 column is being worked out in reverse, using the tornado damage to hasten the dispersal of Blacks, not unlike what happened to the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s?
Making African Americans in North Minneapolis an endangered species has long been the plan. Blacks now understand what is in store for them. To believe they will again accept it peacefully is a very risky gamble.

What to do? Attend planning meetings, watch, reports, hold group meetings, prepare. Consider using in preparation for planning discussions with friends, community organizations and City agencies the Solutions Papers #42-46 on my web page.

And stay tuned.

Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm, hosts Black Focus Blog radio, 3:00 pm, Sundays and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 5 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOn TheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his archive of columns, solution papers and “web log” at www.TheMinneap olisStory.com.