If you live long enough, you see history repeat itself. (Data on unemployment provided by The System Scientist)
By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News
Headline seekers, poverty pimps, self-appointed community spokespersons, and the most disheartening, young people being led by a few who think they have the only answers for black people in Minnesota – not so! Terrance Franklin and Jamar Clark are dead; still we have a situation in Minneapolis where the data tables show unemployment in some zip codes exceeds 40 percent. If you are still alive and want to see positive change, then you need the vision to realize that those who get major honorariums for speaking engagements from these new moments don’t give a damn about your future.
Since Hennepin County attorney (and all around fair guy) Mr. Mike Freeman released all the data surrounding the Jamar Clark incident, witnesses, people directly involved and others have started to tell many untruths. By reading the transcripts from the scene, we know the young women involved is back stepping her story. This young woman should not be afraid; she is the absolute victim in this case. I know she is getting pressure from stupid people that are trying to make the police look like they’re lying, but the fact remains, she said what she said, girlfriend or not.
The paramedics put Hayes into a ‘stair chair’ to carry her down the stairs. As paramedics carried Hayes out of the building, they saw Clark standing outside crying and ‘acting kind of odd.’ As they walked past Clark, Hayes said, ‘That’s the guy who did this to me’ (Star Tribune, 2016). Today, Hayes hardly knows Jamar Clark.
Meanwhile, the November incident has become circus packed with clowns, high-wire acts and of course elephants. Even the fourth estate published stories with illustrations as if they somehow had a reporter on the scene. One thing to note: There is not a lion to be seen. If there was someone; a person, a visionary, they would see the circus is a distraction from the more important issues of life, freedom, equity and the future for black Minneapolis.
Now let’s refocus and look at the real story; the story the Star Tribune will not publish. It’s okay to post selfies of you participating in a protest, but now it’s time for you to use your computer to look up the data tables.
In some instances, the unemployment rate was as high as 40 percent in some of the neighborhoods within the 55411 zip code where the population was majority “black” in 2013* according to city-data.com. (*Best available current data.)
Although the 55401 and 55405 are only partially in the 5th Ward, whereas the 55411 resides completely in the 5th Ward, the data in this table can still provide us with some inference and intuition between the respective zip codes. In other words, the 55401 and 55405 zip codes reside in multiple wards.
As the data illustrates, there was a clear distinction between the three zip codes. Whereas the 55401 and the 55405 expressed an unemployment percentage comparable to the General Minneapolis System (GMS) in 2013, which started off at 5.2 percent early in 2013 and decreased to 4.3 percent late in the year as Table 2 illustrates, the 55411 system experienced an unemployment reality three to four times higher than its neighbor zip codes. Clearly from these two pieces of data and the simple systems’ behaviors that represent them, a person in the 5th Ward, depending on where they lived, more than likely experienced a much different reality compared to other residents of the 5th Ward. Why might this be?
History indicates a much different experience for “black” Americans than it does for “white” Americans. Whereas, “white” Americans have benefitted from a plethora of economic, political, social, and ecological resources, “black” Americans have been much less fortunate. And many times, this has had to do with redlining policies at the local and federal level, which segregated “blacks” into certain, undesired neighborhoods. In many ways, Minneapolis is still reflective of this past.
Like Terrence Franklin, in six-months Jamar Clark will fade from all tables of conversations. This is normative history of Minneapolis. The question is will you be a part of a system that addresses the community’s disparities, or will you continue a boutique protest that certainly cannot help Franklin or Clark?