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On Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. award-winning filmmaker Joe Carlini will hold a screening of the film, “Second Change U,” at the historic St. Anthony Main Theaters located at 125 Main Street in Minneapolis. The film tells the “real” story on how Basketball made a difference and how a 2-year college (Minneapolis Community and Technical College), with the assistance of White privilege, shutdown the program in spite of national success. Don’t miss this important screening – if MCTC wanted retention of Black males, the decision to shutdown the b-ball program was the wrong one.
See the trailer below.
Fast Tube by Casper
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/The Independent Business News Network
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN/Movie Screening, Sports, Black Males in College/July 9, 2012)..In the United States, sports has been an vehicle to higher education and the retaining of a protected class and race of people who would, under normal circumstances never get a chance to attend college.
In a brief phone conversation with newly installed Chair of the Board of Trustees for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), Mr. Clarence Hightower, I spoke candidly of the challenges at MCTC and that he and others “should take a deeper look” into the 2-year college. Hightower, a man of great personal integrity, honesty and diplomacy said, “MCTC is in a great location. Our people (Blacks) have easy access because it’s (MCTC) is on the bus line and it’s a good place.” Still my response to Mr. Hightower’s rebuttal was, “Racism is alive and well (growing) at MCTC.”
If the challenge is retention of Black males at MCTC, that dream was shutdown when Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s president Phil Davis and the 95% (est.) White Student Senate made the choice that Basketball wasn’t a priority and shut down a championship program in the name White privilege, bigotry and the acceptance that Blacks, regardless of the majority, were not a priority for the school – and still aren’t in 2012.
The counter offer for cutting the basketball team was installing and paying for a health clinic in the new Helland Building. To some, this was thought of as MCTC promoting illness rather than having a healthy sports program – but then again, we have to look at the fact that any basketball at MCTC benefited Black males, more than their White counterparts…that became a threat to a college that wants to remain visually White and internally unstable.
In a quote from the story in the Star Tribune, “Basketball team No. 1 in nation … and shutting down” (Star Tribune, by Jim Souhan, November 10, 2009), it states the obvious about the damning of Basketball at MCTC:
“Last year (2008), the school’s Student Senate and Student Life Budget Committee decided that basketball was not a high priority, and school President Phil Davis accepted the recommendation to withdraw funding for the program. That silly process — letting students who will spend a maximum of two years on campus decide the fate of a traditionally powerful program run by two dedicated lifelong coaches — leaves the Mavericks renowned yet doomed.”
Eventually, the men’s basketball program was shut down. The student senate pointed at MCTC president Phil Davis – and he pointed back.
If President Davis were really concerned about retention, he would have made sure MCTC kept its basketball team. It’s easy for this college’s administrators to pump hot air and rhetoric.
MCTC has the same challenges Summit Academy, Dunwoody Institute and other training and technical schools have; the marketplace is not hiring many people of color. We also must review the data on successful job placements from MCTC, not only in welding, electrical, and the construction trades, but also in nursing, theater arts, communications and other liberal arts categories.
MCTC doesn’t have a good brand in the community. It’s thought of as “that college you go to and get a check (money).” Students that have attended the downtown college (especially those of color) say, “The College is unfair, covert and racist.” This is based on interactions with administrative personnel. One young woman told IBNN NEWS, “I’ve been trying to get a work study job for two-years, the women in the financial aid office never calls me back. Now I’m graduating – it doesn’t make sense.”
In the Twin Cities, among employers who know MCTC, chances are likely that some applicants may be passed over simply because of the association of the college’s brand. Again, there is no data so this is only an assumption.
Don’t miss the screening – the first of many visual stories about MCTC.