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I have to address those who consistently say IBNN and it’s stories “tear down the Black community” – this is totally untrue. I don’t speak for anyone, but I do speak on the issues. Those who read IBNN and have an issue with the words is those who actively participate in the disenfranchisement of the Black Minnesotan and have made money pointing out serious and harmful disparities while convincing a few granting agencies they could deal with the challenge if they got the money. You see, I don’t make $100k+ a year working in the Black community, and those who do should feel ashamed at the number of unsolved firing solutions for poverty, jobs, unemployment and foreclosures that you supposedly address. It turns out the disparities are still there and bigger the life.
Now who’s tearing down the community?
by Donald Allen, Editor-in-Chief, Independent Business News Network
Minneapolis, MN (Culture gone astray/November 22, 2012 – 8:35 a.m.)…A community as defined by the Dictionary usually refers to a larger than a small village that shares common values or in human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.
The intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions in the culture of Black Minnesotans have been placed in box. In some instances the box is created by those who look like us that have made a living in our communities based on undeniable disparities and circumstances that present an obstruction in the successful genetic and environmental development of one we call a Black or African-American Minnesotan.
The debate on the issue of community has a long history in Minnesota. In the late 1970s, Black Minnesotans band together in the areas of education, economic development and social services to form a strong foundation for those less fortunate. Today, Minnesota presents a festering sore of missed opportunities that have been ignored by local politicians, educators, and Black professionals who in some cases are aware of shortcomings, but don’t want to engage the current self-appointed leaders because of the ongoing chaos and dumbing-down of community members by inner-circle community leaders who act as overseers for the mainstream.
The challenge is two fold, especially in parts of Minneapolis with large concentrations of Blacks and minority-ethnic people.
North Minneapolis has seen a number brutal Black-on-Black crimes, violent murders, violent robberies, violent rapes and violent assaults – but most re-active leaders in the community have never gotten to the point of being pro-active to solve issues of youth violence and crime.
The city and schools are also complicit in the absence of pro-active problem solving.
In 2012, more Black Minnesotan children have been displaced and homeless. The 2012-2013 school year will represent the largest number of Black school children who are homeless and don’t attend school or have been suspended and expelled in numbers disproportionate to their white counterparts. I would do an injustice not to mention Minnesota’s Native American population who also remain close to in exacts to Black disparities.
If the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” is correct, the “village” leaders only represents a few and the need for massive engagement has been replaced with the need for a certain few to maintain a lifestyle that far exceeds the dreams of the lower one-third of Black Minnesotans.
I’ve been asked “Are you willing to do the grunt work in the community?” My answer would be yes, if it means I get the same benefits of those who have sat idle for more than 30 years. If you really want to enact change in Minnesota and do the work, you’re usually ignored and marginalized. Black Minnesota’s overseers know exactly who to engage to assure that nothing gets done.
In the upcoming month, IBNN will look at a solution-based remedy for disparities in Minnesota’s Black community and engage those who are currently operating organizations to increase the well-being of Black Minnesotans. This will not be an easy task – because some of the “leaders” I refer to, don’t like to answer questions.