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Wednesday July 26th 2017

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Alert! KMOJ-FM Board Members Missing – the shocking details

No matter how you look at it, Calvin Quarles must be re-instated to avoid another embarrassment to the black community.

Video: The real KMOJ-FM #BigD #QBear #MichaelShannon #HeatherMurphy #ChicoEdner #Bobby #C-Millionaire #RayS #Gatsby’s

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

What’s happening at KMOJ is reflection on Minnesota’s black communities. We have folks who do not live with us, shop with us or co-mingle with us (except in nightclubs) making decisions they know nothing about.

I attest KMOJ-FM former station manager Calvin Quarles was dismissed by an illegal board. The Center for Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM, per its bylaws is to have 13 community members on its board. A group of five (5) board members, not really associated with the black community, but who might identify as black made decisions, including what some sources say as the illegal termination of the station manager and a program manager.  This bad decision might cost Minnesota the Heart and Soul of the City…KMOJ-FM

The dismissal was led by the same person who was the executive director of the Minnesota Black History Museum (MAAM). That alone should send signals that something is seriously wrong. We still do not know what happened to over $3 million dollars in that situation (Prince is dead now people outside the black community will control archives filled with volumes of his historical legacy). As of today, the Center for Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM does not have a record of any board meeting where decisions were being made about the building, finance and plans for their current home.

Public inspection files are a requirement of the Federal Communications Commission. All existing TV and radio stations in the US, and all applicants for new broadcast stations, are required to keep certain documents relating to the station’s operation and ownership in a file, in a place where members of the public may have free access to it. These files may be maintained on a computer database accessible to the public, or as paper files, which are usually kept at the main studio of the station in question, or elsewhere in the community of license, such as the local public library (FCC, 2016).

I’ve asked and was granted permission to review KMOJ’s records (just as many time as I’ve been refused). They included board meetings that were over 10-years old and nothing past 2002. There was no record of board decisions, ongoing means, or any information that might make KMOJ seem like it’s board was trying to do the right thing.

Neither could I find copies of the following items:

  • FCC Authorizations
  • The Public and Broadcasting manual
  • Citizen agreements
  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Donor lists for non-commercial educational channels
  • Lease/Rent Agreements
  • Financial Documents related to board
  • Deal between KMOJ-FM and the black Council (approval by board)

The board of directors for CCD/KMOJ-FM are responsible for these documents.

The station doesn’t even have the original documents of incorporation. The board that CCD/KMOJ seems to have, invisible, yet vocal is liable for the station accepting $250.00 for political campaign ads from a candidate for senate running against Al Franken. The candidate called the Independent Business News Network and leaked the fact that an employee in KMOJ’s sales force did get a Western Union wire of $250.00. The money was for ads on KMOJ, which by the way is illegal, pursuant to FCC rules and regulations on political advertising.

The challenge with KMOJ goes back when the developer started work on this new building. Nobody on the board knew anything about construction and KMOJ was supposed to show black Minnesotans what ownership looked like. Today they pay their rent to someone else versus owning the building.

Background: In 1989-90 I was the economic development director for the Center of Communications and Development/KMOJ-FM. I wrote a 5, 10, and 20-year plan for the station while bringing in more than the station had seen months before. When I left, went to another job out of state, the station board members got greedy and the money was gone, the plans were cancelled and all of a sudden payroll where being missed.

The board that fired Calvin was/is illegal. The CCD/KMOJ board needs 13 (per bylaws) board members and a host of community navigators to make sure our culture is informed.

If KMOJ followed the plans, today they would be big as MPR with a television station and a newspaper. It’s too bad that some greedy board members continue to mess up the only broadcast outlet that might someday tell Black Minnesota the truth about the shape we are really in. Calvin must be reinstated immediately and an audit must be done.

Remember, the person who spearheaded the changes at KMOJ was the executive director of the Black History Museum and we still don’t know where that $3 million dollars went.

BREXIT shakes the world, but what is it and what does it mean?

Editor Notes: Many people of color in the in the United States do not have access to the back story about what’s happening in the UK. I have asked one of the most important people in my social network to explain in simple clarity the implications of the exit to include her own viewpoint that is better than most United States mainstream media accounts of the situation in the UK. Thank you Ms. Steel. 

By Tracy Steel, Columnist - London Correspondent for Our Black News (International Edition-2016)

By Tracy Steel, Columnist – London Correspondent for Our Black News (International Edition-2016)

United Kingdom – The EU referendum is on everyone’s lips, but what was it all about? There were huge arguments for Leave and Remain, and pros and cons for both, along with way too much information that I can’t include here without writing a book. It started with an agreement that the public had no say in.

1973 saw our unelected entry into the Common Market/European Communities, led by Edward Heath, Conservative Party leader.  Then, 1975 there was a referendum to gauge support for remaining which would then be the European Economic Communities (EEC) and this was favoured by 67pc of the UK.

Part of the EU membership means complying to EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which has reformed over recent years. It emerged after WWII due to on-going food shortages, paying subsidies to farmers.  For example, Tate and Lyle, one of the UK’s oldest and largest food manufacturers, Tate and Lyle still buy sugar cane from overseas such as India, processing and distributing via 6 plants throughout the UK. Their operations reduced to a single plant and the loss of hundreds of jobs due to EU restrictions and tariffs designed to protect European sugar beet competitors, yet receives CAP subsidies (top receiver of them). This makes no economic sense to most.

The CAP has proved to be hard on many businesses while others have benefitted from the EU, such as larger companies getting cheap labour.

If you look at the British Steel industry – that was destroyed by the UK Government blocking an EU agreement to put stronger tariffs on steel imports. Had this gone through, the EU would have actually helped our Steel industry. But then, surely the UK Government should have proposed that anyway as they pledged to do everything they can to save British steel, not so apparently.

The NHS, the only institute of its kind in Europe;  Europeans can visit the UK and use the NHS but if I go to Spain and break a leg, yes I get emergency treatment but Spain bills that back to the NHS. There are EU terms that have failed to be negotiated.

Negotiating out of the single currency and keeping the GBP was a wise move.

Our exit from the EU was a close call, and shrouded with fear mongering, unfair mainstream media coverage and misinformation from both the Leave and Remain camps, followed by an overwhelming bad feeling from the public and still, more misinformation and fear mongering.

The Remain Campaign basically told people that the economy would crash, the pound will fall, our IMF rating will drop, and we will be taxed more (which has to happen anyway because of the so called deficit).

The Leave campaign mainstream media coverage was all exposure for the far-right and portrayed racism, and xenophobia. They also made a lot of people think that the money we don’t pay to the EU will go into the NHS but there was never going to be all of that money back as most of it will go into farming and food manufacturing subsidies, it just won’t go via the EU.

As a result, the Leave voters are being classed as racist bigoted xenophobes. Many of us are understandably upset by this. We all tried to make an informed decision among huge swathes of information. Myself, like many people I know, switched off to the MSM and campaigns, and made an informed decision, as did many of the Remain voters.

Leave voters were from all classes, and all cultures. And hardly any that I know of, did it for immigration reasons, it was mainly economic. And a distaste for the neoliberalist elite running our lives. Britain always traded well for hundreds of years and with every country of the world, an exit from the EU means a chance to build better individual trade agreements. It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden, we want to kick out EU citizens, on the contrary, they will remain and immigration will continue.

Unfortunate for Labour,  as their leader switched from Leave to Remain, when majority Labour supporters are in the North of England and they have suffered native neglect of economy for far  too long, plus they do see economic immigration as a threat – although we receive low numbers of these compared to other countries. They also see 350 million pounds a week going the EU as money that should stay in the UK. In reality, as I previously mentioned, we won’t see all of that money back as we will still have to pay subsidies but will handle it ourselves. Who knows what will be done with the remaining amount. Everything is speculation.

The current worrying situation is Britt’s being at loggerheads, social media has been a war zone!

Voters on both sides seem emotional, more so the Remain camp, as they are under the misconception that everyone who voted leave are akin to UKIP. Of course it would be highly upsetting to think that half of your country is full of xenophobic racists. What they fail to see is that Leavers were a very diverse bunch of all classes and background. The voters were not necessarily aligned to whichever politician was campaigning and that point seems to have been completely missed. As I write, I am watching Question Time – a TV programme where a politician is tarring all leavers with the anti-immigration brush. I take that as a personal insult, as do many people I know.

MnDOT says NO! to Minnesota’s Black Women Owned Businesses

The Whole of Zeroness.

The Whole of Zeroness.

In spite of governor Mark Dayton’s black hires, black women and their business cannot catch a break from the brothers and sister “overseers.” Hell, that’s how the plantation is run. See report below this post.

By Don Allen and Lennie Chism. Publisher and Guest Columnist

St. Paul, Minn. – In breaking news, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) awarded $221,420,826 of federally funded contracts from Oct 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016 provided from collected $.184 cents per gasoline gallon (FHWA Funds). Black men (contractors) were awarded $451,772, whereas Black women contractors) were awarded zero (0). The billionaire governor of Minnesota Mark Dayton has made a far-reaching mistake in the hiring and supporting of current state point-persons who are perceived as leaders for economic outcomes in the black community.

Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith hired several high profile Blacks to head the effort to bolster diversity in Minnesota’s workforce and close long-standing racial disparities. These state employees are charged with helping increase the state’s share of minority and disabled workers, improving state contracting with diverse businesses and boosting outreach to communities of color. All were hired because they are BLACK first and foremost as their first qualification, right?

  • Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), while new in her position has not formally introduced any new processes to assist small businesses or communities with large populations of blacks who need a hand up to move forwards. DEED’s “Minn. Pathways to Prosperity” grant rejected proposals from north Minneapolis’ Education Explosion who has been instrumental in putting over 100 community members in college and facilitating a computer lab and GED courses.

Education Explosion’s executive director Angela Edwards told OBN, “Nola Speiser, Director Adult Career Pathways continued to send emails to me. This was all a big joke. DEED never intended to finance, support or collaborate with anything in the black community. I feel they have taken my data and proposal and used it to form new programming because they have run out of ideas.

  • Karen Francois, Assistant Commissioner, Career and Business Opportunity, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – silence is golden.
  • Kevin Lindsey, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights –doesn’t have the staff or the support of the black, Hispanic or Asian community. Lindsey, responsible for changing the requirements of workforce goals in Minnesota to 32 percent, still has not provided any compelling evidence the new US Bank Stadium met or exceeded its goals. If you look at workforce by zip code, (City Data), you will see that zip codes 55411 and 55405, a mostly black community has unemployment levels in the double-digits.
  • Kim Collins, Civil Rights Director, Minnesota Department of Civil Rights (MnDOT), this is a tough one. While we hoped Ms. Collins would be the great replacement for Mary Prescott, Kim’s continued failure to answer emails inquiring about pilot programs and ways to assist MnDOT in reaching expected goals is the norm.
  • Alice Roberts-Davis, Assistant Commissioner, Property and Purchasing, Minnesota Department of Administration, while it is hard to get in to the DFL social club, Ms. Davis has tried hard to change the process within the department.
  • James C. Burroughs, Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota. Burroughs, former Minneapolis Public Schools equity personnel is a safe bet to keep things the same way.
  • Louis Porter, Director, Council for Minnesotans of African Heritage, needs to become more aggressive. His position should enable him to bypass local politicians and go straight to Dayton.

With the end of the legislative session and governor Dayton hoodwinking the black community…you remember: $100 million; then $75 million, then $35 million, when in reality, the agency called EMERGE received funding of $4.2 (est.) million for communities of color in a deal cut by senator’s Champion and Hayden, Minnesota’s black community has been abandoned. It is now time for the type of revolution that Paulo Freire talks about – a revolution that brings better minds to the table to circumvent the chaos currently in charge.

Letter: The black community isn’t doing enough

by Michael Graves, Originally posted on the Times-News 6.18.16

TimesNews - Fair Use

(photo: Times-News – Fair Use)

I watched at a recent Burlington Housing Authority event where volunteers were being recognized for their work and The Holy Comforter Church had adopted Newlin Elementary School. Newlin is around 95 percent low income and minority and the Holy Comforter is mostly an all-white congregation. Now I think that’s great because all kids are everybody’s responsibility no matter what the race but I did question where were the churches on Apple Street, Those predominately black churches have just as much responsibility for the future of these kids as The Holy Comforter. This is not about race but about responsibility. I saw many black men in their being recognized and I applaud them individually but condemn the black community as a whole and our churches collectively. Not enough!

The only thing that will help our kids, all kids, and what I call the E exchange program is if they offer to lay their guns down and cease all criminal activity including gang activity and in exchange we offer them education, economics and environment.

Quality education is the first key and we must stop debating that, it’s a non-brainer. Let’s move on to that next subject. Next we must offer hope in the form of economics, in short a job. In today’s society kids don’t have patience and they desire all the new gadgets which some families cannot afford so they go out in get it by any means necessary. Again, before some of you get on your high horse and say they should wait some kids are out there hustling just to take care of their basic needs or maybe that of a little brother and in some cases I have seen a child taking care of an entire family.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says we all we try to take care of our basic needs. Next we need to offer a change in the environment that they live. Just because you live in a certain part of town does not mean that side has to be stigmatized or branded with the scarlet letter “H” for “Hood.” By allowing certain things to happen on one side of town that would never be permitted on the other is an invitation to a slow decline of that area, but when the black community figures out that there are voting polls on the east side that are not being used much and then start using them, watch what happens.

Here is the framework of a plan. Now it’s time to execute and implement with people who want change and for those who need it!

Slaves in [SPACE]: The Twin Cities Bill Davis Syndrome

Bill Davis is not the first – and certainly not the last. The Davis Syndrome is ever present in the black community.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

Minneapolis, Minn. – People ask me why do I write about black people and not about white people. The truth is I’m an equal opportunity blogger-investigate reporter…if you quack like a duck, white or black, we need to talk about you. Secondly, how many white men or women have you seen at the Minnesota State Legislature telling lawmakers about the terrible disparities and how their nonprofit agencies are organized to help the poor white-folk in Minnesota? It seems to me they stay in their [SPACE].

Some in Minnesota’s black community are being misled by a political ideology that protects the [SPACE] of corruption. Just because some of our self-appointed leaders work at nonprofit agencies have houses in the suburbs and drive the latest and greatest cars, it does not make them leaders. What’s happening is the current black leadership structure, being above criticism and marginalizing anyone who questions them publically and privately have moved into a [SPACE] of nonprofit-gain privilege. This means like white privilege, they seem themselves much like white folks and wear of cleaver mask of disguise in a [SPACE] created by them, for them and the people who follow close to their [SPACE].

An example of this is the Minnesota African American Museum. Just ask, go ahead – ask anyone of the former leaders about their [SPACE] at MAAM. Ask them how come after $3 million, Minnesota’s black community does not have a history museum even though one was paid for in full? Ask the former Minneapolis Urban League president about the $150,000.00 grant for highway-heavy training…the ask him where the MUL training facility was located – where is the [SPACE]?

Or how about this one: After over $30 million dollars and a Burger King, Tires Plus, and a Dairy Queen (all sold or closed) and a food processing plant, the black community, especially in north Minneapolis does not own a viable work[SPACE] for its residents? This same group is also responsible for petering away over $190,000.00 in a grant from MNSure to make sure black folks signed up for Obama Care.

Now we have Bill Davis. Davis stole monies from the Minneapolis NAACP; His stole money from Pillsbury-Waite. A community stakeholder who has watched Davis for years told me in a phone conversation, “Everything that Bill Davis touched, he took money from.”

But how did black Minnesotans let Davis operate as a Teflon black man? Well, at least this time you cannot blame it on the Minnesota Republicans. Do you realize that Bill Davis had several girlfriends; use the agencies money for hoeing while I’m 100 percent sure someone’s heat was being cut off.

Every culture group has their [SPACE] of individuals who from time to time go out of focuses and need refocusing. In our culture, Again, with American Blacks the primary retort when some of our spokespersons lose focus is other cultures have done the same thing say, “Why are you signaling out the Blacks people? I am doing so due to the façade being place on their perceived role as leaders. What role model is being provided for those to follow these malign spokespersons?

The black community has many more in [SPACE] like Bill Davis. Step in to any major black agency and ask about a program, grant or why black people don’t have any [SPACE] in the local game and you might get the police called on you. I hate to say it, but some black leadership in Minnesota are not only a threat to themselves, but more deadly than a bullet aimed at the [SPACE] above a black man’s eye. The white mainstream can easily outsource hate, division and marginalization by giving that one sell-out Uncle Tom a little grant to keep the animals looking like they cut a great deal for us (this is in reference to the bogus headlines about Senator’s Bobby Joe Champion and Jeff “Lie Under Oath” Hayden being the “Dynamic Duo” and getting the “package”), which as some of us are finding out are crumbs in are forever crumbling [SPACE] crumb cake.

Don’t forget, you keep voting for these people. Maybe one day, you’ll figure out from the steps of the homeless shelter. It’s time to wake up and shake off the slave dust and take a real look at our community, its assets and resources. Once you learn the State of Minnesota is more comfortable giving $4.2 million to firm lead by white man on behalf of the Negroes (maybe not; it is rumored from sources that he nor his agency were not the communities piggy bank), the more you ask, the closer you will be to defining the subduer and the subdued.

In closing, there are more like Bill Davis in Minnesota’s black community, but hell, we cannot talk about him/her, regardless, they’re hooked into one [SPACE] and one political ideology.

Protection runs deep. Don’t be a slave…LEAD!


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Part I: Northside Achievement Zone: Return on Investment doesn’t add up to success

College ready? Does that mean that all of the “zones” children will go to college? 2035 is far away; bullets and violence are here today.

At the end of 2014, Minnesota Public Radio did a story about Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). The story cites, “An ambitious effort to improve the academic performance of children in north Minneapolis is helping some students in the younger grades make gains, according to a recent assessment of the program. Wilder Research has found that the longer children are enrolled in the Northside Achievement Zone, the greater their improvement. But what happens to parents, families and community members when the research and the data tables tell us unemployment in 55411 and 55405 is up near 40 percent?

Time travel: In 2012, the NAZ annual report cited, “Family enrollment increased 40% over 2011 to 217 families and 584 children. By spring of 2013, enrollment has already grown to 300 families with 830 children.”  In 2014, NAZ told MPR, “The program expects to reach its full capacity of 1,000 families and 2,500 children next year. As of mid-2014, 660 families and 1,640 are children are currently enrolled.”

Again in 2014 – using the formula below, NAZ cites, “The social return on investment in NAZ is $6.12 for every dollar invested, with a net benefit to society of $167,467 per participant. The return on taxpayer investment is $2.74 for every dollar invested. Society gains $200,178 in benefits for the average NAZ participant, but spends only $32,711 to implement NAZ solutions with that participant. These benefits result from: Increased net earnings as a result of increased educational attainment, career counseling, and increased productivity ($147,794) Improved health outcomes ($28,281); Increased tax revenues ($15,943); Other public savings due to lower crime rates, reduced need for special education, and fewer public assistance and child welfare cases ($8,160); The total social gains from NAZ total more than $16.7 million in net.

In taking a closer look at the formula, with the equation spelled out (below), it seems someone has not taken into account the violence in north Minneapolis, nor have they done any diagnostics. If you recall, NAZ granted EMERGE over $300,000.00 between 2013 and 2014. In our opinion, we have not seen an impact on violence within the zone, north Minneapolis or a chance for families in depression to successfully survive in the zone.

[Likelihood of depression]*[Impact of ECE on depression rate (step 1)]*[Health care costs of depression]

                      (1+Discount Rate)([Age of impact] – [Age at participation])

Please review the document below. Make sure you do the math. Part II is in progress: “The Zone’s Killing Fields”

Prospective Return on Investment NAZ (PDF)


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 


Matthew Erickson announces his 2016 bid for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District Seat

SAINT PAUL, Minn.May 31, 2016PRLog — Matthew Erickson said, “It’s time make a difference.The people of CD2 have supported Congressman John Kline for many years. I represent the new generation of conservative politicians who respects what congressman Kline did during his tenure and plan to make sure the people of the district are afforded the same respect and unconditional representation.” Local businessman and political activist Matt Erickson will announce his bid for congress in the 2nd Congressional District of Minnesota at 11AM on Tuesday, May 31 in Saint Paul at the State Office Building.

Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District is a battleground district in 2016. Republican incumbent John Kline, who began serving in Congress in 2002, chose not to run for re-election in 2016, leaving the seat open. Several Republicans have formally declared candidacy for the seat: David Gerson, John Howe, Jason Lewis and Darlene Miller. Pam Myhra (R) ran briefly, but withdrew in February 2016. At this time, Angie Craig is the sole Democratic candidate. Her competitor, Mary Lawrence, also withdrew from the race in early 2016. The primary elections will take place on August 9, 2016. The general election will take place on November 8, 2016.(WiKi)

Matt Erickson, candidate Minnesota's CD2. (photo: Facebook - Fair Use)

Matt Erickson, candidate Minnesota’s CD2. (photo: Facebook – Fair Use)

Now, a new challenger has entered the race: Matt Erickson.

Erickson, who last week flooded social and national media about his announcement to run in Minnesota’s 2CD with his campaign slogan to “BUILD AMERICA FIRST!” is set to deliver what Jason Lewis and Angie Craig cannot deliver to the voters; a direct approach to problem-solving keeping in mind that some of the largest employers are headquartered district: Thomson North American Legal, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, 3M, Lockheed Martin, Cambria, and Red Wing Shoes.The district also includes Pine Bend Refinery, the largest oil refinery in Minnesota, owned by Koch Industries.

Erickson said, “We cannot have flip-flop ideas (Lewis), nor a liberal agenda (Craig), that adopt laws that will run great businesses out of the district – and I must also remind you that my district is home to Minnesota’s most important rivers that run through the district: the Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, and the St. Croix River. This means a focused and detailed accountability of our waterways will be top-of-mind in my plans.”

Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district is also home to two private liberal arts colleges: St. Olaf and Carleton, both in Northfield and Minnesota’s largest amusement park Valleyfair, in Shakopee.

Erickson’s appeal also resonates with the district’s Blue Dog Democrats who repeatedly voted for the former incumbent returning John Kline to congress. “I would like to follow in Congressman Kline’s footsteps and depend on the voters of CD2 to put me in office in 2016,” said Erickson.

Matt Erickson is a small business owner and will formally announce his candidacy for Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District seat at the State Office Building press room at 11AM on Tuesday, May 31. Food and beverages will be provided.

About Minnesota’s Second Congressional District:
Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district covers the south Twin Cities metro area and contains all of Scott, Dakota, Goodhue, and Wabasha counties. It also contains part of northern and eastern Rice County including the city of Northfield, and southern Washington County including the city of Cottage Grove. Burnsville and Eagan are the largest cities in the district.

Three of  Interstate highways I-35 E and I-35 W merge in the district in addition to the north-south thoroughfares of U.S. Routes 169, 61, and 52 and the east-west Route 212. The suburban areas in the northern part of the district blend into the rural farmland in the south. The district’s economy includes agriculture, small businesses, and large corporations.

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Dick Gunner Richards

The Confederate Flag is a part of Black History

Truth! (photo: Fair Use. olivierblanchard.net )

Truth! (photo: Fair Use. olivierblanchard.net )

Political correctness is getting us in trouble. There needs to be a very important history lesson on why the Confederate Flag is no more a threat then spilled Kool Aid.

By Don Allen, Publisher – Our Black News

In 1865, with the main Rebel armies facing long odds against much larger Union armies, the Confederacy, in a desperate measure, reluctantly approves the use of black troops. The idea of enlisting blacks had been debated for some time. Arming slaves was essentially a way of setting them free, since they could not realistically be sent back to plantations after they had fought. White Southerners were concerned that if slaves had access to firearms, the blacks would turn against them and use those firearms to kill whites.

General Patrick Cleburne had suggested enlisting slaves a year before, but few in the Confederate leadership considered the proposal, since slavery was the foundation of Southern society. One politician asked, “What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?” Another suggested, “If slaves will make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is wrong.” Lee weighed in on the issue and asked the Confederate government for help. “We must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves.” Lee asked that the slaves be freed as a condition of fighting, but the bill that passed the Confederate Congress on March 13, 1865, did not stipulate freedom for those who served. (History.com, 2013).

1860s, black volunteers for the Union army were initially rejected. President Lincoln wrestled with the idea of employing the help of freed blacks and slaves for the Union. For several years, he abstained from this idea for fear that the border states would secede if black regiments were created in the Union. However, in 1862 the number of Union volunteers plummeted and the untapped resource of black soldiers became more and more appealing to Lincoln and Congress.

At first, volunteerism was slow. Abolitionist leaders, such as Frederick Douglass, urged blacks to pick up the cause and fight for freedom. In May 1863, Congress established the Bureau of Colored Troops in an effort to organize black efforts in the war.

By the end of the Civil War, about 179,000 black soldiers had fought for the Union Army out of a total of 2,778,304. This number comprised approximately six percent of the total Union troops. In addition, about 19,000 blacks served in the Union Navy.

If black American slaves fighting for Confederate leadership were fighting for their personal freedom, then what were the Union slaves fighting for?

Former slaves fought in both the Union and Confederate forces; both saw this as a way out from slavery. Many movie portrayals like Glory (1989), gave an historical inside look at what dynamics took place as these once slaves embarked on a path to fight not only for Union and the Confederate, but also their freedom.

The Confederate flag comes in the play as an accurate representation of a time when one group of people did not treat another group in a cordial manner. Slavery, lynchings the killing of innocent black men, women and children and the Holocaust of generational suffrage that has evolved into such things as the achievement gap, mass incarcerations and police killings of black men; let’s not forget the overwhelming number of black-on-black murders every year in the United States.

The banning of the flag in public places such as government office buildings, schools, business signs, logos and t-shirts comes at a time when some in the United States feel the disappearance of the Confederate flag would mean the disappearance of racism, hate, homophobia bigotry and New Jim Crow (Alexander, 2012).

Thinking people know that banning a flag, book, or song has not done anything to change the way people think. This is a liberal attempt to amend history and hide the evolution of Jim Crow in modern day times. If you think about it, the United States still has a system of slavery; black men are killed on a regularly by an armed clan and in some cases, we are treated as less than human. A flag cannot discriminate; hate or kill.

The Black men and women that fought for the Union and the Confederate, including those who lost their lives understood the mighty risk of picking a side. Black people wanted freedom. Fighting for the Confederate Army was a chance at freedom, for some, the last chance. The Confederate Flag represents an ugly time in the United States, but one that must be preserved and researched – but not brushed away because a few politically correct zealots have deemed “a flag” offensive. If the United States (and the liberal zealots) focused child molesters in the church, black-on-black crime, jobs, employment and education, the flag would be recognized as what it really is…a flag…nothing more but a piece of clothe and colors with a history that should be told, displayed and reflected on. Most of the time, “Made in China.”

Black History is far-reaching. If the history of Black people in America were taught correctly in public schools (although I know many great teachers do their best), we would understand the struggle of Cultural Melancholy (Singleton, 2015). With good intentions Black people (former slaves) fought for the Confederate Army paying the ultimate price for freedom under the most intense humiliation and sometimes death.

The Confederate Flag is just as much a part of Black History as the Underground Railroad. Let it be written, let it be told, let it be learned.

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