It’s more powerful than a gang shooting; more violent that black-on-black crime. No police involved shooting can match the power of opportunity violence in Minnesota Nice and the obstructions and denial of economic, educational and life success.
By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News
Killing a dream is a slow death – it takes many shapes and sizes and must be calculated by those who hold the power to do such. On Friday, July 8, 2016 in the early afternoon hours two babies where shot. Minneapolis police are investigating a shooting involving two toddlers, one of whom has died. A 15-month old was expected to live (Star Tribune, 2016). On July 6, Mr. Castile, a 32-year-old school cook from St. Paul, was killed by a St. Anthony police office during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights Wednesday night. His final minutes were live-streamed by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was a passenger in the car (with a child in the car) (Star Tribune, 2016).
While physical death is horrifying be it at the hands of police or black-on-black crime. At this point it’s hard to determine what could be worse – living knowing there are systems, people and political processes that do not want black people to be successful, or taking a bullet? I say both kill us and both must stop.
Opportunity Violence (OV), is a term used to describe a situation where a group of people, class or culture (in this case black men and women) are cast into the assumption complex, which is a predetermined set of parameters that lock away any chances for that group to achieve equity, justice or economic freedom. Examples of this can be seen in both the city of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the state of Minnesota, private sector businesses and many disciplines in human resources that will hire a Chinese or Hispanic person just to avoid that black man or woman; the murders continue.
Real-time examples of OV: A black man applies for a position with the state to work on a board on behalf of the community; the board is mostly white career board members who do not want black-thought anywhere near the current process because reform and equity might be on the agenda. A black woman is interviewed by a white male. It’s not her resume he’s looking at, but an opportunity to exercise is white-privilege and power over this black woman hoping that a sexual favor-for-favor is agreed upon. If that black woman is hired, she then becomes invisible “property” of this white-male who now has the power to pay her, or reject her, ergo, no job, no money.
From a political standpoint, Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges; Minnesota governor Mark Dayton and their continued mishandling of black people in Minnesota is substandard, inferior, unsatisfactory, inadequate, and deficient. Hodges campaigned using the slogan “equity.” After she was elected, there were a few town hall meetings, but mostly for show – there can be no equity in the city of Minneapolis with a broken civil rights department.
Minnesota governor Mark Dayton doesn’t get it. He is so far out of touch with the core of the black community that he single-handedly has promised, un-promised, and promised again an end to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MNDOT) generational fails in contract equity with black contractors that OV has become second nature by the agency. This can also be seen in the Metropolitan Council, the MN Department of Human Rights and the current elected lack of action and oversight be three state elected officials who ride the coattails of Dayton and his inept administration.
Opportunity Violence has murdered more black Minnesotans than any bullet from a police officer’s gun. OV has been the cause of black-on-black crime and the main reason why black Minnesotans have been locked in a generational-hybrid of exclusion by skin color. This is not racist, this is reality!