For six days last week, Minneapolis teetered on the edge of what could be called anarchy. Within a six-day period, 15 people were shot, seven were stabbed, three died, and two, as of the writing of this column, are still fighting for their lives. All were African American. Nineteen males, three females, the oldest 21 years of age, with one pregnant.
As of the writing of this column, here is the breakdown:
Friday, August 19, three men stabbed in a confrontation at 38th and Chicago. One dies.
Saturday, August 20, two shot and one, a 14-year-old child, gunned down at 17th and Morgan.
Sunday, August 21, one shot on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.
Monday, August 22, the most violent day of the six: six shot, one stabbed. Two of the six shot were women, one on the North Side (seven months pregnant) and one on the South Side. As of the writing of this column, mother and baby fight for their survival.
Tuesday, August 23, three shot, three stabbed.
Every city knows violence. Media usually keep all informed and aware of the level of violence. Except in Minneapolis, where White media often embargo news of the Black community unless Whites are involved too.
Without knowledge, citizens are at greater risk and peril. News embargoes undermine the credibility of city leaders. I understand the need not to repel tourists and shoppers, but repelling voters will prove to be worse.
Fifteen shootings and seven stabbings in six days is obviously disturbing.
Particularly disturbing is the 19-year-old female shot at the corner of Broadway and Lyndale in North Minneapolis as she stood in a prayer circle offering prayers for the safety of the city.
Yes, that’s correct: This 19-year-old was gunned down as she and 25 others, Black and White, prayed for the safety of the communities of our city.
I repeat what is most frightening about this: The embargo on the publication of the news of these events by the White-controlled Twin Cities media, as if they hope that people being shot and stabbed and killed will go unnoticed.
Once again we get a better understanding of how City officials suppress the magnitude of violence so they can proclaim that violent crime is down. They hope we have our heads in the sand, that it will blow over, and that people won’t know how much of the problem is because the MPD is spending more time on internal activity and less on protection and crime prevention.
Maybe because of the fact that all 22 victims (and the unborn baby makes for a total of 23 human beings) are Black, White media is telling us that Black people are not important. That is a sad and dangerous commentary.
Six days of violence in our American city. This is not Kabul, Baghdad, Tripoli, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm or London. This is our city, our people, our neighbors, and our loved ones.
Think about it my friends: six days of terror for the Black community. Fifteen shot. Seven stabbed. Three dead. An unborn baby fighting for survival. Two African American women in critical condition. All must be part of the shared concern with respect to what is happening in the African American community of Minneapolis.
This is the 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington “I Have a Dream” speech about poverty, social justice, equality, jobs, education, liberty and hope. The symbol of this is a 30-foot statue of Dr. King in the new MLK four-acre National Memorial in Washington, D.C.
This is also the 56th anniversary of the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
Which visions will guide Minneapolis? Peace or violence? Poverty or prosperity? Education and jobs or despair?
The MPD is part of that answer. The energy spent by the MPD to harass and try to ruin Black officers needs to be redirected to protecting the community. Too many Whites want us gone, as we see in the continual and inexorable gentrification removing Blacks from Minneapolis.
Violence update: On Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 9 pm CST, along the 1600 block of Russell Avenue North, a 13-year-old African American was shot and killed, another wounded and hospitalized. An hour and a half later, an adult male was shot on the North Side of Minneapolis, and is hospitalized.
Next update in next column.
Ron Edwards hosts “Black Focus” on Channel 17, MTN-TV, Sundays, 5-6 pm; hosts “Black Focus” on Blog Talk radio Sundays at 3 pm; and co-hosts Blog Talk Radio’s “ON POINT!” Saturdays at 4 pm, providing coverage about Black Minnesota. Order his books at www.BeaconOnTheHill.com. Hear his readings and read his solution papers for community planning and development and “web log” at www.TheMinneapolisStory.com.