No due process is business as usual at U of M

It’s a sad way to end an old year and begin a new one

The University of Minnesota and Hennepin County have once again demonstrated their racist and sexist sides by causing social injustice in their handling of the U of M football team’s threat to boycott the December 27 Holiday Bowl in San Diego until charges of sexual assault are dropped against fellow players. The original findings by the Minneapolis Police Department and the county attorney’s office was that the incident was consenting and there was no cause for arrest. The woman and the men even agreed not to sue each other.

Then bias and ugly took over. An “80-page sexual-assault investigation report” was accepted without being fact-checked. The 80-page report changed “the narrative” of the boycott, as prejudice and bias replaced the truth in terms of Black men (obviously guilty) and a White woman (obviously innocent).

As the old warning goes, if they can deny due process to “them” they can do it to “us.” Do we really give up our vigilance?

The later announcement by the county attorney of re-opening the case further reflects the pressure applied by White feminists and others who see this as an opportunity to severely wound the future presence of African American athletes at the University of Minnesota, attesting Black men’s lives don’t matter, only those of White women.

The lies of that 80-page report will eventually come out, but not before young lives have been ruined because of the denial of due process, just arbitrary expulsion, suspension and probation. We are reminded of the U of M campus carnage of 1985, when African Americans were shown there is no place for Black student athletes at the U of M.

In the award-winning book Under the Tarnished Dome, regarding University of Notre Dame football and its football department, the same thing occurred as Whites piled on Black players. Two chapters in the book are about Lou Holtz’s two years at the University of Minnesota. I was quoted as indicating that there was a clear pattern and practice of racism at the U of M, which I covered in Chapter 10 of my 2002 book, about the university: Burying the Truth and Losing Its Soul.

Thus this boycott and aftermath is not the most devastating event in the history of Minnesota athletics as the Star Tribune claims. Once again we are burdened with the ignorance of an angry White newspaper that chose to ignore earlier research and ignore earlier facts despite being archived in the records of Hennepin County District Court, the NCAA, the book Under the Tarnished Dome, and my book.

Unreasonable minds of a group of racists (against Blacks) and sexists (against males) in the U of M Office of Affirmative Action started the denial of due process. The university followed suit: Treat African American athletes as if they are nothing more than property, denying their existence as human beings.

It took great courage for Anton Winfield, Sr., on behalf of his son and the other nine African American student athletes, and Tyrone Carter, one of the most distinguished and respected African American alumni and a football great, to stand tall and ask for justice for these young men. It is a sad commentary that Black leadership, on campus and off, have not, as of the writing of this column, raised their voices above a whisper.

Think of this: The county attorney, who refused to charge a gunman in the shooting death of a two-year-old African American child in the summer of 2016, is now the same chief prosecutor preparing to charge, indict and try 10 young African Americans for whom there is “no cause for arrest.”

Stay tuned.

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