St. Cloud (“White Cloud”) Mayor Dave Kleis has delirium tremens again as he desperately tries to divert more costly scathing criticism and ridicule of his city’s pathological racism (“Kleis announces new park at MLK Freedom Fund dinner;” St. Cloud Times, January 15, 2017). Despite local NAACP sycophancy, damage control drove Kleis to grudgingly recognize “White Cloud’s” first illegal slaves, Mary Butler and her son John (1857, “Sesquicentennial voices: Slaves no longer hidden in history;” St. Cloud Times, December 29, 2006).
Based on St. Cloud State University (SCSU) Professor Christopher Lehman’s research, Kleis admitted Mary was brought (smuggled) from Tennessee to St. Cloud by Thomas Calhoun. All Minnesota slaves violated Louisiana Purchase “Free State” agreements and the Constitution prohibiting slavery and/or involuntary servitude (“St. Cloud joined the south in permitting slavery,” a quote from “Slavery in the free state of Minnesota,” by Lehman, September 17, 2013)
According to “White’s Cloud’s” first and only abolitionist Jane Grey Swisshelm, as reported by Ambar Espinoza, Mary Butler held her critically ill two-year-old son during the secret night trip up the Mississippi River. Both were denied shelter inside the boat’s cabin. Since blankets were also withheld, Butler “turned up the bottom of her dress to cradle him, but the child died after exposure to the cold weather.” (St. Cloud professor unearths history of slavery in Minnesota;” Minnesota Public Radio, May 7, 2010).
Butler and her second son are being acknowledged only for public relations purposes. We’re not supposed to connect Calhoun, Kleis and “White Cloud” racism with intentional Black child endangerment and criminal negligence resulting in death. That’s why Black revenge-minded whistleblowers purposefully shoot “White Cloud” with its own racist ammunition (“Tensions run high in St. Cloud over race relations;” KARE-TV 11, April 13, 2015).
As part of Kleis’s prestidigitation for genuflecting politically impotent local African Americans, the Butler memorial plaque will be placed along an obscure river bank, “close to the area where Butler would have first arrived in St. Cloud by boat” with her dead first son. Minnesota’s Black residents, Governor Mark Dayton and those insulting Twin Cities news reporters realize how vital racism and xenophobia are to “White Cloud’s” understandably self respect-starved White minions. Kleis, demonstrate enough psychological health to place Butler’s plaque downtown, near those banners you promised in your State of the City propaganda (2015) absurdly proclaiming the “most livable city on the planet?”
Instead of diversionary imagineering and packaged lies about a “cohesive,” “harmonious,” “safe” and “secure” environment in “White Cloud,” contradicted by FBI hate crimes lists and likely prompting the Crossroads Mall incident last September, call a press conference. Tell those threatening Twin Cities news reporters how City Hall will disinfect its local trailer trash (“Anti-Muslim hate crimes up 67 percent, FBI says;” Yahoo News, November 15, 2016)
Then there are SCSU’s deceptive strategies. PR staff and recruiters boast of debates, discussions and lectures about racism, racism everywhere but “White Cloud.” Meanwhile, Black students are lured into a known racially hostile combat zone. (“St. Cloud must overcome identity crisis;” St. Cloud Times, July 16, 2016).
Black enrollment loses forced SCSU to fraudulently inflate Black graduation numbers. “If you include those who built a foundation at SCSU, transferred, then went on to graduate elsewhere,” a 30 percent graduation rate becomes 40 percent (“Tracking and improving success among SCSU’s Black undergraduate students”).
Add the name of Butler’s dead son plus other Black deaths insufficiently explained [e.g. Preston Harmon and Tim Spenser (1988), DeAndre Davis (1998), Renardo Holmes (2007), Russell Williams (2009), Ahmed Farah (2014), Keita Keletiqui (2015) and Dahir Adan (2016)]
Myrle Cooper is retired from SCSU but continues to closely monitor racism and expose a community resisting change. He welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.