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Saturday August 19th 2017

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Santa Claus is Black; like Jesus!

black_santaBy Don Allen, Publisher

Minnesota Funnies…I hope you folks haven’t been living under a rock all your lives, like Jesus, Santa Claus is full fledged black man. How to you account for the reindeer names?  Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blixen and Blitzen, with Rudolph; I’m sorry, they’re all brothers (black people’s names).

There have been numerous reports that some members of Minnesota’s mainstream community to include some self-hate minorities do not want their children sitting on the lap of a Black Santa at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota –  a suburb of the Twin Cities.

This is the funniest news ever – in a society that says their colored-blind, having a White Christmas seems to be the only priority.

A Postmodern approach to parenthetical Blackness

In a society where the mainstream media is misinformed about black progress denotes a change in thinking.

In a society where the mainstream is misinformed about black progress denotes a change in thinking.

If we look at Postmodernism, we also need to consider Reconstructivism, which is a philosophical theory holding that societies should continually reform themselves in order to establish more perfect governments or social networks. This ideology involves recombining or recontextualizing the ideas arrived at by the philosophy of deconstruction, in which an existing system or medium is broken into its smallest meaningful elements and in which these elements are used to build a new system or medium free from the strictures of the original.

By Don Allen, M.A. Ed – Publisher Our Black News

Postmodernism is Postmodern theory is a broad and somewhat ambiguous belief system tied to the philosophical and cultural reaction to the convictions of Modernism (sometimes equated with Humanism). Postmodernism is the philosophical proposal that reality is ultimately inaccessible by human investigation, that knowledge is a social construction, that truth-claims are political power plays, and that the meaning of words is to be determined by readers not authors. In brief, Postmodern theory sees reality as what individuals or social groups make it to be (All About World View, 2016).

In a parenthetical black society, one might argue there are those who have not shaken off the preverbal slave dust and only exist to be consequential. While most black people, especially in the United States, knows there are pockets of black communities ruled by self-appointed, consequential Negroes that too are the poorest in American black society, which is chained to the evolution and outsourcing of Jim Crow tactics so that black communities remain untouched by wealth, commerce, employment and education. But why would are own people do this to us?

The protagonist in this situation is a broken black man. The name “Black Man” inserts a certain masculinity, unfortunately the for some, they cannot live up to the physical or emotional expectations of the community or anyone else. Big Daddy (political parties) provides a lens for community members to see a possible example of compassion when they tell the black community it has no reason to be ashamed of being dependent on welfare.  Of course we find out later that Big Daddy has plans and a past and leaves “a lot unspoken.”. The black community, in some cases black men in the United States are like alcoholics; a man living a faux life with a bottle when he rather be with someone else. The cross-cultural and longitudinal perspectives of black male identity between the mainstream and the media, who chastised black men when they the only newsworthy community piece is a black on black killing. This was shadowed in an enigma from mainstream acceptance. The political and social limitations of the black community infrastructure is obscured to say the least –  for only a few who could see into the blind spots.

Looking through the lens of postmodernism as it pertains to color, race, class and more specifically, the African American, it becomes even more problematic to define the modern, postmodern and post-post modernism. Not because we cannot comprehend the meanings, but so few black intellectuals have been indoctrinated with postmodernism in a way that would lay bare to a very clear definition, claims or arguments.

In bell hooks’ “Postmodern Debates: Postmodern Blackness,” she is determined to cut relevance into her view of postmodernism at the sake of not stepping out and defining an apparatus of her own that can be used by black authors and society to make meaning for a ‘modern, post or post-post’ in ‘blackness.’  hooks writes, “I was told by another black person that I was wasting my time, that ‘this stuff does not relate in any why to what’s happening with black people.” (128).

I tend to agree with the other black person on the critique of hooks amazement and have been unsettled by the lack of black literary agents who have not looked to solidify a meaning exclusively to black culture. If hooks and others would look at the examples of modernism to include the post and post-post in black culture, there is an extensive prospect to break the mold set by the white-patriarchal construct as it pertains to having exclusivity in the hierarchy of community, identity and literary devises –  to say the least.

As a black writer, given the examples above, we could argue for a new name, or critical apparatus such as Current Relevatism. The meaning of Current Relevatism is that during our arts, society and literary history (black America), there were moments in the depths that are timely and relevant in our canons that lay bare to likening of Marxism, capitalism, modernism, postmodernism and postmodernity that can only be defined by the current state relevant to the black literary cultures purchase. Hence, while hooks understood what could be labeled as modern, she negates the opportunity to insert a new critical apparatus like Current Relevatism to account for the white-patriarchal construct and what it has used to create meaning and identity for black bodies, literature and culture for far too long. “During the sixties, black power movement was influenced by perspectives that could easily be labeled modernist,” (129).

If black intellectuals cannot idea, create and distribute new meaning in the areas of community, critical apparatus and redefine “us” to define and review for debate, we have not gotten any further as intellectuals then the common household cat. Black Postmodernism and the definitions, which have never been cleared or applied, might just be unnecessary.

Works Cited

Malpas, S. (2001). Postmodern blackness. Bell Hooks. Postmodern debates. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 128-135. Print.

Black America: Why not president-elect Donald J. Trump?

If you think about it, we have nothing to lose. Black America has sat on the sidelines of economic, educational, social and public policy-making hoping for change. We should take this opportunity during this period of political reconstruction and make the most out of it.

By Don Allen, M.A. Ed. – Publisher – Our Black News

So you want to return to the Motherland because of an election of a white president? The United States has already elected 43 white presidents before its first president of color, Barack Obama (#44), in 2008. Of course we’ve had sitting presidents who did not hide their affiliation with the KKK; as noted are McKinley, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Truman. The only real evidence we have on Truman is that he was probably a nominal member of the KKK. With the election of Donald Trump, historically, there has never been so much misinformation, protesting, fake news and the return to seeing color and racism in the United States. Trump was not supposed to win; he was a television reality star; his rural followers are uneducated; white-women, black-women, Hispanic-Latinos and Blacks were not supposed to vote for him.

What happened?

In this post color-blind society that academics professed in their finest pieces of literature, there has been a consistent avoidance of real truths, facts and editorial one-sidedness. Let’s just call it a post-blinder-wearing society; it makes all the sense in the world. In short no, you’re not getting sent back to Africa, they don’t want any Black Americans there either.

For black, white, rich and poor, the United States of America has been a melting pot from people from all over the globe.  People that want to have a place to execute their own visions, ideas and businesses; the U. S. makes that happen each and every day.  But what happened in the case of Donald J. Trump? How did Trump become a part of a hysterical liberal Alt-Left and the GOP suck-ups that were exposed by Trump’s mantle of ground-ready communications and establishment unraveling? We already know that every election cycle some on the left took the votes of black people for granted surreptitiously citing there was no need to focus on Black Americans because the left had some and more; black voters were not important to the DNC. This was also a bigger challenge in the Republican Party of American. Trump exposed what turned out to be a lack of outreach, connectivity and intersectional collaborations with people of color, especially blacks.

While students on college campuses remain in one-party-classroom shock, and president elect Trump popularity grows exponentially, let’s pay close attention to what’s happening within the White-male patriarchal system of checks and balances:

  1. The Stock Market: in a story titled, “Why is the stock market so excited for President Trump?“This wasn’t supposed to happen. In the run-up to the presidential election, everyone was predicting that a victory for Donald Trump would send the stock market into a tailspin. The man is an erratic demagogue who showed no concern for deficits, zero policy knowledge, and was ready to rip up international trade agreements. Surely he’d create a market panic. Yet after some brief jitters following Trump’s win, the stock market has kept marching skyward. The first explanation is that maybe President Trump will be good for the economy after all. This story focuses on the likelihood that Trump and the GOP will cut taxes, spend big on infrastructure, run up the deficit, and cut environmental regulations, all of which will boost growth. This is surface-level plausible, until you look under the hood.
  2. White Women: The mainstream media went on a preverbal witch hunt to deem Trump “unfit, abusive to women, misogynic,” not the one white-male that white women would want in the White House. It turns out that more than half of White Women in the US voted for Trump despite all the “pussy-grabbing” and carrying on. This should send a message that White women are ready to have their white-male counterparts sitting at the top of the social, economic and now presidential food chain (with an estimated 63 percent of White men voting for Trump, it seems like both were ready to take back the mantle of control and identity)
  3. Black Women: In the Salon story, “The colorblind sisterhood fantasy: Black women voted for white women — and white women voted for themselves,” it explains what happen to black females in the 2016 election cycle. “Much of the white feminist struggle since has taken the same strategy with the same goal. For many women of color, white feminism feels less like a unified fight for the liberation of all women, and more like a campaign to ensure white women have the same status, rights and privileges as white men, and thus the corresponding power to oppress black and brown people. This election was a painful reminder, and statistical illustration, of that” (Lasha, 2016, para. 4).

Donald J. Trump’s win (#landslide), should not have been a surprise to anyone. Inside of our society is a lustful and voyeuristic need for political fantasy. If there was someone to make all of our wet dreams come true, it is Trump. So now, don’t sit around and whine for four-years, it’s time to put the Republican Party to the test. Don’t worry about the re-counts or the fake news hitting the airwaves about some massive turnover where Hillary Clinton wins; it’s all propaganda to keep the mighty media machine from running out of ideas.

LinkedIn: The Social Media Job Connection Lie?

I paid a monthly fee to use LinkedIn and I wish I could get my money back.

Don Allen, Publisher – Editorial Opinion (Don Allen is the publisher of the Independent Business News Network (IBNN) out of Minneapolis, Minn. He welcomes all comments and concerns to ibnnnews@gmail.com)

A few years back I joined the mighty social media, career, job website LinkedIn. I thought it would be an opportunity to get my business name out in the public sphere and maybe gab a few of the consulting jobs floating around. I hear a lot about people leaving Corporate America and becoming experts in marketing, communications, organizational design and social media. Of course, my LinkedIn account would grow to over 1000 connections and intersect with friends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…but what good would that do me? I can contact those same people on Facebook; if they were hiring, they might post it there first – or even call me. If LinkedIn is expected to be this giant career, job and connection website, then (in my opinion) why aren’t people talking more about the successes they had career wise with the website versus posting links to stories you can find on Facebook and Twitter business accounts?

LinkedIn boasts that is the world’s largest professional network. 400 million strong. It says you can “Connect. Find. Be found” – like any other social media website; they say LinkedIn can “Power your career” – I’m still trying to figure out how; and also, “Learn and share.” I don’t know about the learning since there are studies that argue that nobody really cares about your politics or anything else on Facebook and you really can’t change anyone’s mind; ergo Donald Trump.  I like posting photos of the family; it’s a safe bet and you get many likes.

If LinkedIn was a web portal that really assisted in building your professional identity online and one might be able to stay in touch with colleagues and classmates, that means it would really help its users to “Discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures, while getting the latest news, inspiration, and insights you need to be great at what you do.”

The challenge I have with this website are challenges I have with many career, job websites that are structured to do great things, but feed into a narcissistic impulse to “one-up” your many followers…and that is not helpful.

Virtual Job Fairs are an interesting breed of deceit. In a story on LinkedIn, “Virtual Career Fairs are Changing the Way Employers Recruit” (2015), the story talks about traditional career fair and how they have remained relatively unchanged since the 1950’s; except in the 1950’s, you might get an interview on the spot with a person hiring versus the firms public relation guru who in my opinion are only there to hand out stickers, pens, stress toys and business cards; okay, then you’ve heard the phrase, “Sorry, you have to apply online.” (Our Veterans in the United States get hoodwinked with this virtual job fair stuff regularly. It usually comes from local state agencies who want to make it seem like they are collaborating with profession or job seeking soldiers).

This to me is how the LinkedIn process works; post your resume, some pay a monthly fee (or fee and be very limited to a glorified social media site) to chase people who look at your profile (I did…wish I could get that money back). LinkedIn post jobs that look great, but can be found in a number of places with the chance the job ad was a EEOC requirement because the firm from the ad has someone internally.

What’s exclusive to LinkedIn are their colors and logo. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a job directly attributed to LinkedIn, nor do I think I will. In an age where GenerationTech™ can connect with anyone instantly for any reason, is LinkedIn the old dinosaur?

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Minneapolis mayor must Stand-Down when it comes to president-elect Trump

by Don Allen, Publisher-Educator and Conservative 

Minneapolis, Minn. – In a city where the unemployment numbers in many zip codes are double-digits, you’d think the mayor would focus all of offices extra resources on addressing equity, unemployment and economic development in her city; but not Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges. Mayor Hodges is determined to stack the deck of liberal race-baiting and in-fighting that proves the mayor is nothing more than a one-term placeholder and shouldn’t attempt at running for re-election in 2017.

Mayor Hodges is keen on delivering her versions of spectacles in the form of hideous propaganda such as the letter below:

Mayor Hodges: Trump Team’s Use of Japanese Internment Camps as ‘Precedent’ for Registry of American Muslims Horrifying

November 17, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) —Mayor Hodges issued the following statement:

He doesn't need to be the your pick because he's the president-elect of the United States.

He doesn’t need to be the your pick because he’s the president-elect of the United States.

“Islamophobia in all of its forms is unacceptable, dangerous, and wrong. The suggestion by members of President-elect Trump’s transition team that World War II-era Japanese-American internment camps could be viewed as a ‘precedent’ for a registry of immigrants coming to the United States from Muslim countries is horrifying.

“We have spent two generations recovering from the shame of those camps and asking how we can stop ourselves from being so hateful again. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, signed into law a bipartisan bill that apologized to Japanese-Americans for internment and made reparations to them. The bill, called the Civil Liberties Act, explicitly acknowledged that it was ‘race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership’ that led to the shameful internment. Yet now the Trump team is using the camps as a positive reference point for their scapegoating and hateful idea of a registry of American Muslims.

“I will have none of it. As Mayor, I will instead spend my time and energy on creating jobs, helping youth succeed, supporting entrepreneurs, keeping people and communities safe, promoting livable and affordable neighborhoods, and building community so we can keep moving forward toward One Minneapolis. We will not go backward.”

“Finally, to the Muslim community in Minneapolis, I say once again: I stand with you today, and will continue to stand with you as President-elect Trump takes office.”

# # #

What’s “horrifying” is that a mayor who promised to end veterans’ homelessness; wealth gaps and address the lack of equity inside and outside the city of Minneapolis would idea, publish and distribute such propaganda to the citizens of Minneapolis. How the mayor connects “Japanese Internment Camps” to the current state of terrorism and the election of the new president is a stretch to say the least. Hodges, like the mainstream media are trapped in an alternative universe bounded by sensationalism and driven forward by racism, hate and the ability to capture simple-minded scare-tactics in an effort to cause more marches, blocking of highways and the tainting of young minds that might be better served learning the historical meaning of a Trump presidency, which I’m sure is not a concern in the least.

Above, in Hodges’ statement she says, “As Mayor, I will instead spend my time and energy on creating jobs, helping youth succeed, supporting entrepreneurs, keeping people and communities safe, promoting livable and affordable neighborhoods, and building community so we can keep moving forward toward One Minneapolis.”

We all know this is election propaganda that is too little to late for the citizens of Minneapolis.

Trump presidency brings another period of Reconstruction for Black America

At one time in history, black boys and girls wore suit and ties, dresses and big hats to school. They wouldn’t leave the house without being presentable, respectful and proud of who they were. Once again, we (Black Americans) have been offered an opportunity to use this period of Reconstruction to build, own and grow our brand that has been muffled by local and national liberal politics since 2006.

By Don Allen, Our Black News

History tells us the Union victory in the Civil War in 1865 may have given some 4-million slaves their freedom, but the process of rebuilding the South during the Reconstruction period (1865-1877) introduced a new set of significant challenges. Under the administration of President Andrew Johnson in 1865 and 1866, new southern state legislatures passed restrictive “black codes” to control the labor and behavior of former slaves and other African Americans. Outrage in the North over these codes eroded support for the approach known as Presidential Reconstruction and led to the triumph of the more radical wing of the Republican Party. During Radical Reconstruction, which began in 1867, newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, however, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the changes wrought by Radical Reconstruction in a violent backlash that restored white supremacy in the South; we cannot let radical white, black, red not yellow factions derail us from success; this is not about Donald J. Trump, it’s about Black Americans moving forward in a wondering time.

The election of Donald J. Trump has brought a new era of grief, misconceptions and a shock to a society that created the candidate. While black people who voted for president elect Trump are being called coons, sell-outs and Nigga, the system that put Trump into office has begun to turn the wheels of economics in a direction away from black America while we are being petty with each other.

What does this mean?

Trump’s America represents a phase of reconstruction for Black Americans meaning it is time to actively engage in local politics, economics (buy black campaigns) and education. W.E.B. DuBois told us there were “benefits” in reconstruction. His (DuBois) research shows that the post-emancipation South did not degenerate into economic or political chaos; just like it will not under the Trump administration. Dubois told us that state by state in subsequent chapters, the efforts of the elite planter class was to retain control and recover property (land, in particular) lost during the war. In short, it’s time for us to not only make new wealth, but also create it for the lower one-third of the black communities that were dependent on our brothers and sister doing good so we could offer jobs. It’s that time in history again.

One thing we must be careful of is the mainstream media and race-baiters on the black community that would have one think Trump would send black people back to Africa. What we know today is that Jim Crow has been outsourced to a few black folks with orders to control the black population, they use fear in order to repress black organizations and suffrage, frightened by the immense power that millions of current day black voters would have on the shape of the future.

We have to think about the future during this period of Reconstruction and how we want president-elect Donald Trump to work on our behalf. The longer we remained distracted by petty differences, the longer it will take for us to stand up as a people and push forward in an area where we have been taken for granted over the last eight years.

Confirmed $4. 2 million: Why wasn’t the Minneapolis Urban League asked to take the lead?

Tune in Wednesday, November 2 to the Ron and Don Show on BlogTalkRadio at 8:30pm. We talk about the surrogates spreading bad information to the community.  (Link to program – online radio)

By The Ron and Don Show

Minneapolis, Minn. – Community members who cleverly disguise themselves as activists have been spreading a vile lie throughout the community that “a deal” was cut and the black community was successful in receiving over $35 million from the 2016 state legislature. As of this past Sunday on a local public radio station where the Minneapolis Urban League’s president Steve Belton was being interviewed, Belton made it very clear; the community did not receive $35 million – the lion’s share of the amount was supposedly distributed throughout the state of Minnesota to many cultures and missions. During the interview, the MUL’s Belton corrected the host of the show who seemed not to have his information correct. “The community (Black folks) did not get $35 million; the $35 million was distributed across the state. The north Minneapolis agency EMERGE and its leadership was asked to take the lead on the $4.2 million that was allocated,” said Belton.

Belton went on to insert a narrative about an alleged “collaborative” with the StairStep Foundation (who has yet to explain what happened to over $190,000.00 from MNSure); the Minneapolis Urban League who sources say allegedly own money to another local agency; and Sabathani Community Center, which is probably the best agency to deal with (and to get any finding), that has functioning pieces in their wheelhouse.

Now, let’s look at the big picture:

In June 2016, governor Mark Dayton signed into law a supplementary spending plan that includes $35 million in one-time funding for programs to reduce economic and educational disparities between whites and people of color and adds $17.5 million a year in ongoing funding (Star Tribune, June 4, 2016).

What would even be more interesting is to find out what the cuts will be for the Minneapolis Urban League, StairStep and Sabathani Community Center. This in itself creates an issue because according to the 2016 Legislative Summary July 15, 2016 – City of Minneapolis report, the money has already been allocated as follows:

$4.2 million, EMERGE Community Development Grants:

$1.2 million, Twin Cities Rise Grant

$1 million, Minneapolis Foundation North at Work Grant

$2 million, Minnesota Redevelopment Grant Program

TOTAL: $4.2 Million (Source p.8)

With this information posted publicly, how will the “collaborative” obtain funding? At this point under Minnesota State Law, the agencies listed above would have to issue competitive grant RFP, which means that there (at this point) no money just “tagged” for the “collaborative.”Last but not least, why wasn’t the Minneapolis Urban League, obviously a black agency asked to “take the lead” on the $4.2 million?  Tune in Wednesday night at 8:30pm to The Ron and Don Show for more.

Minneapolis’ Education Explosion assists over 150 clients for a pathway to education

Editor’s Note: I met Ms. Angela Edwards many years ago when she worked out of the Minneapolis Urban League. Her dedication to all in the community should be commended, but also she is a premiere community stakeholder who walks-the-walk. ~Don Allen

By Rick Altorel, Guest Columnist – OurBlackNews.com

Angela Edwards is humble. Today in her modest office on Lyndale Avenue north at Dowling, she sits at her desk peaking around the corner every couple of minutes to see if the clients in Education Explosions computer lab needed help. Surrounded by over 200-nonprofit agencies within an five-square-mile area, Education Explosion sits as one of the best functioning agencies and one of the only that has not ever been funded…for more than 10-years.

“It’s me…all me. I care about the community and work two different jobs just to keep this place open. I’ve been doing this for the community for over 10-years and never took one grant or donation from anyone,” said Edwards.  Education Explosion is going through some growing pains, a large number of residents seeking assistance from far away like Saint Cloud and right here in north Minneapolis depend on “Mother Angie” to keep these doors open to print up resumes, fill out online applications and to be in a safe and culturally relevant surrounding while applying for school or a job. Edwards sees the need to expand her real-time working model to get her clients GED’s and into local community and trade colleges hoping for the best in an area that has unemployment numbers sometimes in the double-digits.

“I have clients being referred to me from prison reentry programs, local nonprofits and word-of mouth, but I’m their last ditch effort of some kind of normalcy before some of these young men go back to the streets. I have applied for local grants with everyone from Wells Fargo, to DEED,” said Edwards with a postscript that DEED officials came and visited her operation and have engaged her – but to what extent is unknown.

“It looks hopeful, but I want to know what I have to do to get funding that would help the many people I see each day in search of a new way of life, chasing a dream, or deciding the streets are not enough and an education is the best way to move forward for them as an individual and their families…that’s what’s important, them kids,” – firmly stated by Edwards.

In June 2016, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton signed off on more than $35 million dollars to assist the black community in their efforts of training for jobs, education and proactive, positive community engagement. Year-to-date, there has been no sign of the money, nor has there been a top-of-mind and sight of a change for people of color in the area of Education Explosion.

Edward spoke with tears in her eyes: “My office is right next door to a liquor store; I count hundreds of black men and women at all hours of the day going in and out of the liquor store. I just want to provide an alternative to medicating poverty with liquor in our community. I’ve always done the right thing and I hope karma is real because we are dying out here.”

Governor’s $35 million for MN Black community hits the streets Friday!

Something is very wrong and nobody is asking questions or getting answers. Essentially, disparities created by unequal treatment in the past persist today because much of the Civil Rights Movement has not progressed beyond legislative and social issues into the arena of economic empowerment through entrepreneurialism and financial literacy.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Surrogates for local agencies listed to receive pieces of the $35 million dollars are now saying the money was never there and that agencies did not receive any money based on the governors push to end generational disparities in Minnesota’s black community. On last Sunday, a local public radio community program publicly stated that agencies in north Minneapolis did not get the $4.2 million dollars as listed by the State Legislature and on the City of Minneapolis’ website.

This become a challenge with unemployment at an all-time high and real community stakeholders have been forced to deal with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Developments (DEED) hyperbole on the Pathway to Prosperity; the same tripe the Minneapolis Urban League tried to launch under its former president Scott Gray. The real question is where did the money go? Did the Somali, Asian and Native American agencies get their piece of the pie? If they didn’t, we certainly don’t hear any voices of protest at this point.

If billionaire governor Mark Dayton is doing so well with Minnesota’s economy, then why don’t the narratives of success match? As we head into the fourth-quarter, it seems like the usual suspects might be benefiting from trickles of money (a sighting at a local night spot was reported), but the big bucks have yet to make change or for that matter show successful measurable outcomes for black people in Minnesota.

According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau ACS study (see charts here) 27% of all African American men, women and children live below the poverty level compared to just 11% of all Americans. An even higher percentage (38%) of Black children live in poverty compared to 22% of all children in America. The poverty rate for working-age Black women (26%) which consists of women ages 18 to 64 is higher than that of working-age Black men (21%). Poverty rates for Black families vary based on the family type. While 23% of all Black families live below the poverty level only 8% of Black married couple families live in poverty which is considerably lower than the 37% of Black families headed by single women who live below the poverty line. The highest poverty rates (46%) are for Black families with children which are headed by single Black women. This is significant considering more than half (55%) of all Black families with children are headed by single women (BlackEconomics.com).

No, the money is not hitting the streets on Friday, and if it has, not too many people know what it is doing. One thing for sure, we know that DEED is sitting on multi-millions of Minnesota cash and has become the dog-trainer in this thing called grants to cure generational disparities. If you put first-things-first, you’ll realize it is impossible for the same group who created MNSure to assist in a Band Aid for the black community.

Open letter to the City of Edina, Minnesota: Don’t be a part of Black Chaos

Critical thinking and white guilt don’t mix – but someone wants them to. It’s evident in Minnesota for over 10-generations, neither create wealth nor prosperity for Black Minnesotans…what’s next? It’s self-evident that Black, Asian, and Middle Eastern men and women ought to take pride in their identities and fight for their group interests, so it follows that White people have that same right. Right?

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News (OpEd)

Edina, Minn. – Let’s face the truth; Edina is convenient. If a Black man, women or child had their civil rights violated in Ball Club, Minnesota (between Grand Rapids and Deer River) and it was videotaped and went viral, there would be no connection to the group of protesters that became nuisance by protesting in the streets of Edina last week (Geography is a tendered bedfellow).  Country music mega-star Kenny Rogers wrote: “You have to know when the hold them; know when to fold them; know when to walk away, know when to run.” In the matter of the Edina police officer who did harass a Black American pedestrian, evident by a video that went viral on social media, I’m telling you to pull up your collective boots straps, stand tall and hold.

Many years ago I lived on the fringe of Edina near Lake Harriet. Edina is a city that has figured out how to engage the state, federal and local tastemakers to maintain its rich city infrastructure while creating opportunities in that city for its more than 50,000+ residents. Current City of Edina Mayor Jim Hovland and past mayors have maintained Edina as a generationally-wealthy, white Southwest suburb free of the many economic blights that have covered many parts of the Twin Cities for more than five generations. The challenge begins when a white law enforcement officer is clearly caught obeying his mandate, but violating what seemed to be civil rights of a person that does not fit the profile of city residents. This is not the first time it has happened and will not be the last time, so don’t let your white guilt feed into a process of protest that appears to make you look bad when bad always has two sides.

The incident in Edina became a distraction for more important issues in the black community like the announcement that police officers involved in the Jamar Clark shooting would not be suspended not disciplined. No… Jamar Clark should not be dead; then again, he shouldn’t have been used as the poster boy to move certain people’s agendas while they looked the other way when our black youth shoot and kill on a daily basis. Agendas are very important in Black culture (but that’s for another story about the new Vikings and TCF Stadium).

Edina; over this weekend in the Twin Cities there has been multiple assaults, domestic violence, robberies, and shootings…this is just a snapshot of what happens within the city borders of any given weekday or weekend. The people that now protest, more specifically the leaders of those protests I attest want you to fold and bow-down to outrageous demands while people who look like them in the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are suffering from high (double-digit) unemployment, homelessness, health disparities and a number of political knots that have kept residents in a Petri dish of poverty that lends itself to community leaders (people that look like me and others), to have a huge sample-rate of every disparity possible to gain access to funding. But if you look down the rabbit hole, you can see that while some things remain the same, nothing really changes for Black Minnesotans in this static circumstance – despite Pathway to Prosperity grants from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and exaggerations from local agencies that promise game changing events but deliver half-truths and always are inches from the goal post.

Let me be very clear, racism does exist in Edina, but also in Minneapolis, St. Paul and on a global level. Your city has become victim to a mechanism that forces white-guilt to fund meaningless adventures in Tom Foolery dependent on Jim Crow politics and need to keep “Minnesota Nice” in full working order. The real chaos happens when agent provocateurs (BLM/NAACP) organizers who in some cases have some grandiose agendas of fame, money and cable-network television coverage lose track of the mission of Civil Rights and what Black Minnesotans really need in favor of $5000.00 speaking fees, travel and hotel rooms to talk about how they managed the north Minneapolis Fourth Precinct shutdown and how race is at the center of all disparities. Do we have to mention all of the forgotten who have been killed or had their civil rights violated by law enforcement in the Twin Cities?  I know, that’s old, and the new-new is better fodder than the old-old – but still someone died and a group who say they want hope and change looks more like they want the change-$$.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves. We will not come together in a big circle and sing Kumbaya, neither will some Black community stakeholders allow these community organizer, or Witch Doctors to continue this stratification of Blackness with nothing to undergird it with.  The City of Edina could teach many in the Black community about wealth, real estate and community building – but hey, that doesn’t get on television or in the newspapers until the groundbreaking ceremonies, plus is seems too right. My best advice to Edina city leaders is talk to different Black people, like the ones that live in and work in Edina – ask them what to do. The stories will be worlds apart because one group wants to build, while the other wants Black Chaos.

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