Newspaper and Internet headlines: • June 30, 1996, New York Times, “Nice City’s Nasty Distinction: Murders Soar in Minneapolis” (cited the city’s “Murderopolis” moniker with 97 murders in 1995). • July 27, 2006, Minneapolis.metblogs.com, “Murderopolis once again.” • November 5, 2010, MinnPost.com, “Minneapolis murders on the rise: Tracking the data.” • December 15, 2010, MinnPost.com, “Minneapolis murders 2010: Not ‘Murderopolis Redux’” (Really?). • February 16, 2011, U.S. News & World Report website cites Minneapolis as number 10 on the “11 most dangerous cities in terms of crime risk” list.
Key number: 61 percent of Minneapolis murders are committed in North Minneapolis, as politicians (Democrats and Republicans), corporations (large and small), and U.S. presidents (Black and White) fail to address the real cures for poverty and crime: education and jobs. According to the 1996 NY Times article, Star Tribune boosters said the Minneapolis “way of life” is ”superior to that in most places on earth,” raising the question of why this “idyllic city is shattered by violence, with gang turf wars and drive-by shootings on streets where children play games of kick-the-can”? Answer: The North Side is continuously left out of real planning by Black and White “leaders.” September 19, 2011: 16-year-old Juwon Osborne, African American teenager, died in a hail of gunfire as African American youth fought amongst themselves in North Minneapolis.
Over 300 Black youth gathered at the location the next day. September 20, 2011: According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a community “leader” says there are not enough “resources” to “stop the bleeding.” Question: How many resources do “leaders” need — another million dollars? $2 million? $3 million? The War on Poverty has spent $33 trillion since 1965 in the U.S. Where did it go? Didn’t it go to self-appointed community and political “leaders” who became self-appointed bureaucratic dispensers/distributors of War on Poverty money to their favored agencies, churches, nonprofits, other organizations, leaving North Minneapolis and its education and job situations what they are today?
The fact that $33 trillion has been spent on the War on Poverty and North Minneapolis and other inner cities are worse in education and jobs reflects the purposeful policy of discrimination by Minneapolis and other city governments and corporations, and their purposeful lack of accounting. Vast resources have poured into the community through the hands of “leaders” who say they are dealing with the problem. Results? Continued poverty, murder and mayhem. As local NAACP President Booker T Hodges suggested in this newspaper a year ago, it’s time for an audit, time to add up the dollars as well as the casualties due to the resources not being used to properly address the community needs of education, jobs and economic development. Too many “leaders” profit from the labor of others, are neighborly and helpful only if paid, whose pretense of good intentions trumps fiscal audit responsibility, silencing efforts for real peace, prosperity, and equality of access and opportunity. Needed is a passionate commitment to young, old and unemployed African Americans instead of the troubling re-birthing of Murderopolis, resulting in the tragic murders of teenagers like Ray Jon Gomez.
There are some within the police department who feel that finding the murderer of Ray Jon Gomez does not deserve attention due to the mistaken belief that this 13-year-old child fired on police officers near 3219 Penn Avenue North on July 25. It was not until Milo Gomez, 18 years of age, was arrested on the 15th of September that police realized that cousins were carrying the same last name, and that the 13-year-old Gomez was not the one terrorizing police officers. Is this why there has been no progress in identifying suspects? The family and the rest of us want and deserve to know. Instead, the family has not been treated with the kind of respect and dignity they deserve. Has “vendetta” by authorities against the Gomez family become a guiding force for police instead of the pursuit of justice? If so, it puts us all in danger, risking a continued escalation of murder and mayhem in Murderopolis.
There are those within the White community applauding the death of young African Americans, a view that can only result in further reprisals and vendettas with the worst possible consequences. Needed is a fierce passion on the part of all, Blacks and Whites, to be totally and absolutely committed to the preservation of our children and all segments of our communities. My columns and website solutions section offer suggestions for planning that can reduce the terrible effects of a renewed Murderopolis that threatens the stability of the society we all live in. Stay tuned. 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.