Safe streets promoted for White baseball

Selective reporting keeps the true level of violence concealed


George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984 helps us understand Minneapolis granting temporary “Big Brother” status to Major League Baseball for summer 2014’s All Star Game week:  “temporary…and related special event permits will not be approved or issued by the City of Minneapolis without the additional approval of Major League Baseball.” (Star Tribune, May 3, 2014)

Minneapolis granted temporary Big Brother status earlier for the Vikings stadium, although the Vikings didn’t ask for it as did MLB. We want safe streets for all neighborhoods, not just for downtown stadium and lake neighborhoods.

We recognize we live in “1984” in government surveillance, manipulating and falsifying information for “the greater good,” and in newspapers re-writing history to match current party line: “selective reporting:”

• 18 straight days of shootings, few reported

• 18 homicides in Little Somalia over last three years, few reported.

Star Tribune reported May 6 two White girls stabbed May 5 and reported shooting in New Brighton

• 30 days earlier, three young African American females shot and wounded in North Minneapolis, yet unreported

When authorities announced on May 6 the arrest of three young African Americans for the April 12, 2014 shooting and paralyzing of a young African American near the All Star site, the Star Tribune finally reported the shooting. Again: selective reporting.

Last week we reported the “Peace [Gang] Summit” goal to curb violence this summer was not about neighborhood safety but about safety for tens of thousands of baseball fans and MLB and media staffs in July for Major League Baseball’s All Star Week.

The reporting May 5 following the Gang Summit reflects our city’s fears and heartaches, raising lots of unanswered questions, especially about granting MLB temporary “Big Brother” status.

When federal officials met within the safe confines of the Federal Building in downtown Minneapolis, they were given names of gang members reaping terror moments across the Twin Cities. No one was troubled that one specific gang and its members were “forgotten” in the reporting.

And yet despite all the information given federal and local authorizes identifying gang members and their crimes committed, little is done in our communities. Leadership, Black or White, rarely speaks up or speaks out. The county attorney holds few press conferences. The mayor is often silent. Churches and nonprofits look the other way.

“Peace Summit” people pretend they wanted to discuss ending guns in the African American community, but their priority is All Star Game week. Those urging discussing, identifying, and taking affirmative action to stop gun proliferation in our community were told, “Another time.”

A very dangerous pattern is emerging from African American communities as information comes forward, but only in exchange for protection of their loved ones and their gangs, as even gangs want to be Big Brother. That undermines attempts to address the problems of violence for our community under siege, be it violence with a gun, knife, or any other weapon that brings death and mayhem to human beings in our communities.

A segment of White nurses, doctors, and hospital administrators see violence, shootings and terror with their own eyes and sense the feeling of violation we as Black people actually experience, but our violation doesn’t rate the major response White baseball does.

If more White citizens knew about the numerous assaults and acts of violence the Star Tribune does not report, more would be concerned about our safety as well as theirs.

So what will it be? Enable out-of-towners to feel comfortable for one week, or work to enable all citizens of all neighborhoods to feel comfortable year round?

Stay tuned.


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