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Friday May 26th 2017

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Minneapolis Initiatives and Community Love is Fake


Of course positioning for money and sex makes it harder (phrasing); the cultural assimilation of stewardship for black folks in the Twin Cities has fallen into the hand of shame, disbelief and murder.

By Don Allen, Publisher and founder of the Minnesota Institute of Research and Public Policy for the Disparities of Black Minnesotans (MIRPP)

Minneapolis, Minn. – I’m tired of complaining. This year during the legislative session, I took over a plan to eliminate the continued waste of money going to only a few nonprofits tasked to handle black issues in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately, the plan was relevant, but not timely enough for the GOP caucus to take any actions. That’s fine, I know for sure the same people will be signing the same song next year and I will not hesitate to make a difference.

Since 2008, when I started the Independent Business News Network (IBNN), I watched people with the cognitive skills of slug get paid thousands of dollars for other people’s ideas and sweat-equity.

I cannot attack or be upset at EMERGE, or its leader Mr. Mike Wynne for being responsible for $4.2 million dollars and having every vulture in the community at his door step to present a plan for a payday. Mind you, this payday is not for the community – but a continuation of a multiyear, politically-skewed funding stream that accommodates the needs of the few while the needs of the many are left at homeless shelters, welfare lines and the Twin Cities middle-class that live from paycheck-to-paycheck worrying if the drive home will be safe, or if they will become another statistic by a stray bullet from another black man or woman that has lost the luster for life, love and liberty and chosen the streets.

Pablo Freire said, “Who are better than the oppressed to understand the terrible significance of an oppressive society,” (from Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 2000).

The challenge in north Minneapolis as well as other areas of the Twin Cities is that the folks that need to be at the table, are minimized, disregarded and demonized by those currently seeking a payday from the “package” of $35 million awarded to state agencies and a few nonprofits to clear up some generational racism. The dehumanization of black people in the Twin Cities take power…this power is motivated, pushed, distributed and outsourced to a few currently at the table. We already know there is not one black organization, leader or group the white mainstream respects. The power has been gone for a long time and further separates a structure that has been fractured at its core.

One thing remains consistent; Mr. Mike Wynne must have a plan. $4.2 million is just a drop in the bucket. I’m not saying you need money to deal with what’s happening, but if you recall, governor Mark Dayton had mentioned $100 million. I guess my question would be…what happened to the $100 million? Of course, the folks in the community planning marches on rainy days, buying t-shirts and doing some of the most heinous self-promotion are fine with the lesser amount; God forbid they don’t get any of it; all hell will break lose and the race card will be played like an ace in a Blackjack game.

I don’t see any of these community leaders talking about Compensated Work Therapy programs with local hospitals and universities, nor do I see much interactions with the private sector to make these “many ideas” sustainable for the long term. I always thought it was about getting unemployed people employed; uneducated people an education, and making sure the people in the Twin Cities could enjoy choices, not chaos.

There is something to be said about organizations, politicians and community spokespersons who become ingrained in a process of using humans as a way to gain access for funding and dismissing the notion of helping their cash crop to become stable and acquire some type of standardized normalcy.

Author Ralph Ellison wrote, “All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried telling me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory” (Invisible Man). In the Twin Cities some are “told” what they are, where to go and who they can be. This is a sad documentary on defining humanity, culture and identity in 2013. The status quo of poverty in the Twin Cities is to let those in poverty stay lost within their environments, undeveloped, misinformed and of course misguided.

Residents of the Twin Cities, especially those residing in areas with large populations of blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Somali, and the poor have seen a down-tick in proactive engagement and services. In most cases the right process would lift service-dependent clients up from current norms into an abnormal hemisphere of self-sufficiency while stabilizing their foundations into a station of strength, solidarity and forward progress. For that to happen, poverty in the Twin Cities would need to have an expiration date – an elimination of life-disrupting incidents brought on by circumstance, environments and the political infrastructures.

The protagonist blocking the success of the lower one-third and middle-class in the Twin Cities are those who operated in the areas just happen to be the non-profit organizations, and these self-appointed leaders whose life’s-blood depends on the next grant; number of poor, homeless, unhealthy, unemployed, untrained, uneducated and of course poor children. I need to make it very clear; there is a need for these agencies, but not at the current levels. A consolidation of repeat programing could form a cohesive tracking of those in need to the next level of personal success versus the multifaceted referral system, which in most cases has too many interconnected loopholes that leads to missing those who really need the assistance. Perpetual-poverty anxiety, mixed with the promise of a new tomorrow complicates comprehension of the basic needs of humans who suffer. Politics have not been a good bedfellow for those in poverty. In minority-ethnic communities, it is only a few that come to the table or organization, outreach and information.

The usual suspects are encouraged and in some cases make WAM (walking around money) to redirect poverty-stricken residents into hopeless engagement similar to telling them, “If you buy a lottery ticket, you could have the winning ticket.” Over the course of repeated rhetoric, again we have more challenges; bigger issues and the promises – always a promise of hope and change. #northminneapolisdiffered 


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4 Responses to “Minneapolis Initiatives and Community Love is Fake”

  1. KG WILSON says:

    these people are thirsty greedy maggots , trying to remain wealthy poverty pimps by gaining more funding from the same slow and mis-informed funders here in mpls ! these people are sickning and GOD IS WATCHING THEM PLOTTING AND PLANNING GREEDY WICKEDNESS !

  2. Mickey Cook says:

    I’m listening. It is something I have said for a while, that we have all of these organizations wanting us to look at them, but no one willing to join forces and fix things. As a community, grass roots activist myself, someone making zero profit for my efforts, I wish everyone could be like me and the handful of folks over here that want for change in the streets instead of their pockets. So what do we do? If we are upset at the “poverty pimps”, how do we break free from that and still get our point across? The money makers tend to be louder. Do you know how hard it is to get people off of their asses to make a difference when there isn’t something immediately in it for them? I do. In my efforts I find myself darn near pleading for help while I watch the community either sit stagnate in their frustrations or thinking of any excuse they can muster to not step up. Most everyone else wants someone else to do it for them. They don’t want to be the ones to take the time or leg strength to walk the walk on their own. It’s a huge problem over here in North and everywhere else. Until folks stop putting their hand out and instead put their best efforts forward, things will continue to remain as they are ant more will die.

  3. Sharonda Stith says:

    I am relocating to Minneapolis and I’m looking into ways I can be of service. How can I help? It’s the same problem all over the country and we-as in the African American community seem to wait for others to “solve” problems and other issues in our communities. That never works. We are not helpless people but capable and resourceful. Our rich history can attest to that. No one can legislate altering youth perceptions of the the importance of getting an education, a skill or trade and respecting yourself and others.

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