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On Saturday, July 3, 2010 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., join co-hosts Ronald A. Edwards and Don Allen for their special 90-minute call-in radio program “ON POINT!” This week’s program, as always, we invite listeners to participate by calling the toll-free number 1-(877) 572-4288. On this show will announce a new program in the Twin Cities focused on Early Childhood Learning – and again the Black community of the Twin Cities was never at the table. More national and local news.
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and USA Radical Black
Minneapolis, MN (July 1, 2010/IBNN NEWS)…No press conferences, no meetings with the mayor no marches or rallies. More importantly, no official statements by Ward 5 Minneapolis city councilman Don Samuels (W5), who you would expect to be performing an exorcism of north Minneapolis by now. The real question is, where is congressman Keith Ellison (MN5CD), State Representatives Bobby Jo Champion (58B) and Jeffery Hayden (61B)?
Our Black elected officials have slipped into the woodwork making them invisible to the naked eye.
On Monday, June 28, 2010, IBNN NEWS was the “first” local news outlet to report on the shootings on that day with an exclusive interview with 4th Precinct commander Mike Martins. No other mainstream media outlet bothered to report on the shootings. A full two days later, the Star Tribune posted a story, “Seven hours, seven victims in north Minneapolis…Despite a sobering night on the North Side, the number of shootings hasn’t risen dramatically this year” by staff reporter Matt McKinney.
The point the Star Tribune makes is correct. Technically, the shootings have not risen dramatically – but the reasons why the shootings are happening have grown exponentially with no advice, suggestions or a plan of action from Black elected officials in Minneapolis…Why?
Sources tell IBNN NEWS that State Representative Bobby Jo Champion was in a north Minneapolis coffee shop meeting with a young woman seeking some information. Our source also approached Rep. Champion and asked, “What do you think about the Bloggers and radio programs that say your haven’t said enough?” Rep. Champions reply, “Those guys are pointless.”
Well in that case, I guess we have to visit what “pointless” really is.
IBNN NEWS contacted Minnesota 5th congressional district candidate Barb Davis White (D) who is running against Ellison in the DLF primary, to get her overview on the current situation in north Minneapolis. Ms. White said, “It’s a shame, babies are being shot with BB-guns, multiple murders and Congressman Ellison has nothing to say. These kids have no jobs, no futures with no direction always makes for bad outcomes. Minneapolis deserves better from its African-American elected officials. If power to the people is important, then when do the people get the power?”
The statement by Davis White resonates throughout Minneapolis. Toni Kupka, a retired social worker, who now lives and works with the homeless on Portland Avenue and Franklin in south Minneapolis says, “I’m a old White woman working with the Black homeless population in this area. The police call everybody criminals including me. We can’t get any assistance from our elected officials cause their always at some coffee shop talking about the problem and offering nothing.”
Another challenge Black Minnesotans has is addressing the “disappearance” of the Council on Black Minnesotans. The CBM is a policy-oriented agency that uses a community mobilization and involvement model. Prior to the creation of the Council, there was no state or local agency with the responsibility for advising and educating policy makers, researching and analyzing the broad spectrum of issues affecting Black Minnesotans, and advocating on their behalf. And, there was also no agency or organization with the responsibility to educate and reeducate Black Minnesotans regarding specific policy issues and the value of political and policy participation. The Council’s advice to policy makers must be well founded, accurate and representative of the will of its constituencies.
Not to our surprise, there is still NOT an agency that uses a community mobilization and involvement model – nor is there accurate information flowing to policy makers.
The Black community in Minneapolis has become a “pivot man in a circle jerk.”
Join us for “ON POINT!” with Ron Edwards and Don Allen this Saturday for a special 90-minute show.
(iPhone and Blackberry users can listen to the show by going here.)