Community Meetings: Auditioning for Dollars

Really, what is the African American Leadership Forum doing for/with/to the black community. Let somebody have a party with liquor and dancing…everyone will show up for the party, never for the cause.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

I stopped attending community meetings about two-years ago. The meetings were not productive and most of the time they were used for headcounts in someone’s bottom-line receiving money to address God knows what disparity in the black community.

If you notice, there is a pattern in the Twin Cities black community among it’s leadership and those carrying the torch for some kind of funding to make something go away…supposedly – in the end, nothing is complete, nor is it addressed in a process that would show a successful measurable outcomes…just look at the Minneapolis Urban League’s massive fail on the 13th grade concept; a program doomed to fail from the very beginning.

How does the black community survive these massive fails in education, public safety and economic development sometimes perpetrated by the people that look like us? To start, it will never because some of the usual suspects had a meeting…divisive, exclusionary and an ongoing foundational fail-challenge that has plagued black Minnesotans far too long.

Noted author and race scholar Tim Wise told an audience in St. Paul in 2013, “Just because a group of folk meet about an issue doesn’t mean any action will be taken.”

I lean in agreement with Dr. Wise’ testimony because in the Twin Cities, we have seen, and attended meetings about public safety, economic development, education, diabetes and a host of other black disparities that are out-of-whack with mainstream Minnesota, but yet – there are no visible markers that would denote success. Still today, in a random survey taken by IBNN, the parent organization to Our Black News, over 47 of the 83 black people asked if they had insurance through MNSure said they did not. This is after hundreds of thousands of dollars were directed to black agencies that represented communities, churches and local business to sign up black folk.

In a story from Minnesota Public Radio, the black community criticized MNSure for ignoring the needs of the black community: “Some said MNsure’s initial failure to award grants to organizations that specifically serve African-Americans and Somalis had created mistrust and suspicion. The board has made an extra $750,000 available for more grants.”

OBN attests the $750,000, no matter how it was divided up in the black community didn’t reach as planned – but somebody got one hell of a paycheck (again) for missing the needs of the many.

In the last 24 hours, Minneapolis has seen two murders (if not more), and many shootings in the black community. While the mayor travels, black leadership has been silent about the latest rounds of killings. But hell, there’s always a group who wants to seem important – they will have a meeting.

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