News and Information
Friday July 25th 2014
The Independent Business News Network was established in July of 2008. The goal of IBNN is to provide a different view of the local, national and global news and events that happen in the Black communities around the world. IBNN's expectations are to provide a level of coverage and investigative reporting not seen on local mainstream media, while covering Politics, Education, Money, Business, and Community events. IBNN is an affiliate of Black Politics in Minneapolis, Radical Black USA and other African American news sources. Comments, concerns and questions can be emailed to

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Minneapolis’ Department of Civil Rights fails to launch Contract Compliance (updated 6.16 @ 10:08 a.m.)

With the re-appointment of Velma Korbel comes disappointment over the contract compliance procedures in the city of Minneapolis. If Korbel is “qualified,” than why has there be no change in employment in the city of Minneapolis? While Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges talks “equity,” the MDCR must operate at a high level of efficiency to see any type of equity make it to the front of the line.

Listen to the report from Minnesota Public Radio about Velma Korbel and the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

The Dark Side wants to know when the "equity" hits the table. (photo: The Wrong Stuff, edited by IBNN - Fair Use).

The Dark Side wants to know when “equity” hits the table Mayor Hodges. (photo: The Wrong Stuff, edited by IBNN – Fair Use).

By Don Allen, Founder – IBNN NEWS

Minneapolis, Minn. – After several weeks of stopping in on construction projects happening in Minneapolis and talking to project construction managers whose jobs are to get the work done on time, it seem most of them have no idea about the function of Minneapolis’ civil rights department and the need, maybe, to hire, whenever possible a diverse cross-section of workers. As far back as I can remember (2008) the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights has looked the other way in enforcement and compliance.

According to the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7 – Civil Rights, the Contract Compliance Unit (CCU) monitors construction employment and training goals, prevailing wage payments, and affirmative action plans for City contractors. Additionally, the CCU investigates complaints alleging a violation of the ordinances it oversees. The CCU also aids prime contractors in successfully executing their “good faith” efforts relating to employment goals. Good faith efforts assistance includes: (a) linking prime contractors to labor sources of minority and women; and, (b) supporting the development and growth of minority and women owned businesses so they may participate as sub-contractors. The Small and Underutilized Business Program (SUBP) is a program within the CCU,” (Read the full document here in PDF format).

Also, the department has the ability to enforce compliance under Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7 – Civil Rights, which states, “The department will monitor participation on projects to ensure MBEs/WBEs are utilized on the bid or proposals as submitted by the bidder or proposer. Any bid or proposal, where there is or has been a material lack of compliance with the requirements of this chapter, shall be deemed to be an unresponsive bid or proposal by the department and such lack of compliance shall be a sufficient basis for the rejection of that bid or proposal by the city” (423.40. Applicability and enforcement, construction and development projects).

Unfortunately, the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and it’s director Velma Korbel have failed to enforce the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances Title 7 – Civil Rights as it pertains to Contract Compliance and have denied MBE’s and WBE’s possibly thousands of hours in lost wages on Minneapolis projects ranging from construction to professional services. The argument presented in most cases becomes flawed when the word “qualified” is invoked. Qualified is a metaphysical term and does not have meaning unless the user prepares a set definition. The MDCR under the leadership of Korbel has not done their due diligence as it pertains to enforcement. This does not mean “making” prime contractors hire “qualified” minorities to work on projects in Minneapolis; this simply means enforcing the ordinances already on the books.

When it comes to contract compliance within the City of Minneapolis my argument is sound; the current infrastructure of the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights does not have the talent, staff or procedures to fill the gap in compliance. This, after the release of the Minneapolis Disparity Report (2010) that laid out the city’s internal problems in simple clarity:

The results of NERA’s Study (hereinafter the 2010 Study), provide the evidentiary record necessary for the City’s consideration of whether to implement renewed race- and gender-conscious policies that comply with the requirements of the courts and to assess the extent to which previous efforts have assisted M/WBEs to participate on a fair basis in the City’s contracting and procurement activity. The 2010 Study finds both statistical and anecdotal evidence of business discrimination against M/WBEs in the City’s relevant market area.”

The weight of business discrimination against M/WBEs falls clearly in the hands of director Velma Korbel’s leadership ability.

Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges still has time to correct the mistake in civil rights…M.E.D.A. will need a functioning civil rights department to be successful.


The Myth of the Missing Black Father

There are many black father's who are a family, in the home with their wife's. Don't believe the demonization of the black man by the mainstream media and a few of our own sellouts. (photo: black father public domain, fair use).

There are many black father’s in the home with their wife’s. Don’t believe the demonization of the black man by the mainstream media and a few of our own sellouts. (photo: black father public domain, fair use).

“The black male. A demographic. A sociological construct. A media car­icature. A crime statistic…. Rarely a father. Indeed, if one judged by popular and academic coverage, one might think the term ‘black fatherhood’ an oxymoron.”

Posted by Columbia University PressJune 11th, 2014

With Father’s Day coming up, we’ll be featuring some of our books focusing on, not surprisingly, fatherhood. First up is an excerpt from the introduction to The Myth of the Missing Black Father, edited by Roberta L. Coles and Charles Green. In the introduction Coles and Green take a closer look at the cultural and scholarly misunderstandings that gave rise to the myth of the missing Black father:

The black male. A demographic. A sociological construct. A media car­icature. A crime statistic. Aside from rage or lust, he is seldom seen as an emotionally embodied person. Rarely a father. Indeed, if one judged by popular and academic coverage, one might think the term “black fatherhood” an oxymoron. In their parenting role, African American men are viewed as verbs but not nouns; that is, it is frequently as­sumed that Black men father children but seldom are fathers. Instead, as the law professor Dorothy Roberts (1998) suggests in her article “The Absent Black Father,” black men have become the symbol of fa­therlessness. Consequently, they are rarely depicted as deeply embed­ded within and essential to their families of procreation. This stereo­type is so pervasive that when black men are seen parenting, as Mark Anthony Neal (2005) has personally observed in his memoir, they are virtually offered a Nobel Prize .

But this stereotype did not arise from thin air. In 2000, only 16 percent of African American households were mar­ried couples with children, the lowest of all racial groups in America. On the other hand, 19 percent of Black households were female-headed with children, the highest of all racial groups. From the perspective of children’s living arrangements, over 50 percent of African American children lived in mother-only households in 2004, again the highest of all racial groups. Although African American teens experienced the largest decline in births of all racial groups in the 1990s, still in 2000, 68 percent of all births to African American women were nonmarital, suggesting the pattern of single-mother parenting may be sustained for some time into the future. This statis­tic could easily lead observers to assume that the fathers are absent.

While it would be remiss to argue that there are not many absent black fathers, absence is only one slice of the fatherhood pie and a smaller slice than is normally thought. The problem with “absence,” as is fairly well established now, is that it’s an ill-defined pejorative concept usually denoting nonresidence with the child, and it is some­times assumed in cases where there is no legal marriage to the mother. More importantly, absence connotes invisibility and noninvolvement, which further investigation has proven to be exaggerated. Furthermore, statistics on children’s living arrange­ments also indicate that nearly 41 percent of black children live with their fathers, either in a married or cohabiting couple house­hold or with a single dad.
These African American family-structure trends are reflections of large-scale societal trends—historical, economic, and demographic— that have affected all American families over the past centuries. Trans­formations of the American society from an agricultural to an indus­trial economy and, more recently, from an industrial to a service econ­omy entailed adjustments in the timing of marriage, family structure, and the dynamics of family life. The transition from an industrial to a service economy has been accompanied by a movement of jobs out of cities; a decline in real wages for men; increased labor-force par­ticipation for women; a decline in fertility; postponement of marriage; and increases in divorce, nonmarital births, and single-parent and non-family households.

These historical transformations of American society also led to changes in the expected and idealized roles of family members. Ac­cording to Lamb (1986), during the agricultural era, fathers were ex­pected to be the “moral teachers”; during industrialization, breadwin­ners and sex-role models; and during the service economy, nurturers. It is doubtful that these idealized roles were as discrete as implied. In fact, LaRossa’s (1997) history of the first half of the 1900s reveals that public calls for nurturing, involved fathers existed before the modern era. It is likely that many men had trouble fulfilling these idealized roles despite the legal buttress of patriarchy, but it was surely difficult for African American men to fulfill these roles in the context of slav­ery, segregation, and, even today, more modern forms of discrimina­tion. A comparison of the socioeconomic status of black and white fathers illustrates some of the disadvantages black fathers must sur­mount to fulfill fathering expectations. According to Hernandez and Brandon (2002), in 1999 only 33.4 percent of black fathers had attained at least a college education, compared to 68.5 percent of white fathers. In 1998, 25.5 percent of black fathers were un- or underemployed, while 17.4 percent of white fathers fell into that category. Nearly 23 percent of black fathers’ income was half of the poverty threshold, while 15 percent of white fathers had incomes that low….

Given the increased focus on fatherhood in scholarly and popu­lar venues, what do we really know about black men and parenting? We know more than we used to but less than we should. Scanning recent anthologies on fatherhood still reveals that despite the inter­est in broadening the scope of fatherhood, African American fathers, when discussed at all, continue to be addressed predominantly under categories frequently associated with parenting from afar, as nonresi­dent, nonmarital fathers; see Lamb (1997, 2004), Daniels (1998), Dowd (2000), Tamis-LeMonda and Cabrera (2002). Even books specifically on black fathers concentrate almost exclusively on nonresident fathers (Barras 2000; Hamer 2001; Clayton, Blankenhorn, and Mincy 2003).

So let’s start there, with what we know about nonresident or so-called absent fathers. Studies on this ilk of fathers indicate that generally a large portion of nonresident fathers are literally absent from their chil­dren’s lives or, if in contact, their involvement decreases substantially over time. A number of memoirs by black men and women, sons and daughters of literally absent fathers, attest to the painful experience that this can be for the offspring—both sons and daughter—of these physi­cally or emotionally missing fathers. For instance, writing in his 1999 book Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, award-winning journalist Leonard Pitts wrote of his own father and others:

He was one thing many other fathers were not: He was there. Present and accounted for every day. Emotionally absent, mind you. But there, at least, in body. I know so many men, so many black men, who can­not say the same. So many men for whom the absence of father is a wound that never scabbed over.

Although these anguished experiences are too common, they re­main only one part, though often the more visible part, of the larger fatherhood picture. An increasing number of quantitative and qualita­tive studies find that of men who become fathers through nonmari­tal births, black men are least likely (when compared to white and Hispanic fathers) to marry or cohabit with the mother (Mott 1994; Lerman and Sorensen 2000). But they were found to have the highest rates (estimates range from 20 percent to over 50 percent) of visitation or provision of some caretaking or in-kind support (more than formal child support). For instance, Carlson and McLanahan’s (2002) . gures indicated that only 37 percent of black nonmarital fathers were co­habiting with the child (compared to 66 percent of white fathers and 59 percent of Hispanic), but of those who weren’t cohabiting, 44 per­cent of unmarried black fathers were visiting the child, compared to only 17 percent of white and 26 percent of Hispanic fathers. These studies also suggested that black nonresident fathers tend to main­tain their level of involvement over time longer than do white and Hispanic nonresident fathers (Danziger and Radin 1990; Taylor et al. 1990; Seltzer 1991; Stier and Tienda 1993; Wattenberg 1993; Coley and Chase-Lansdale 1999).

Sometimes social, fictive, or “other” fathers step in for or supple­ment nonresident biological fathers. Little research has been conducted on social fathers, but it is known they come in a wide variety: rela­tives, such as grandfathers and uncles; friends, romantic partners and new husbands of the mother, cohabiting or not; and community . g­ures, such as teachers, coaches, or community-center staff. Although virtually impossible to capture clearly in census data, it is known that a high proportion of black men act as social fathers of one sort or an­other, yet few studies exist on this group of dads. Lora Bex Lempert’s 1999 study of black grandmothers as primary parents found that many families rely on grandfathers, other male extended family members, or community members to fill the father’s shoes, but unfortunately her study did not explore the experience of these men….

A smaller amount of research has been conducted on black fathers in two-parent families, which are more likely to also be middle-class families. Allen (1981), looking at wives’ reports, found black wives re­ported a higher level of father involvement in childrearing than did white wives. McAdoo (1988) and Bowman (1993) also concluded that black fathers are more involved than white fathers in childrearing. However, Roopnarine and Ahmeduzzaman (1993), and Hossain and Roopnarine (1994) find no or insignificant racial differences in the level and quality of married fathers’ involvement. Across races, fathers in married-couple families were about equally involved with their chil­dren, which in all cases was less than mothers.

In terms of parenting style, studies of black two-parent families have found that African American parenting styles tend to be more authoritarian, with an emphasis on obedience and control or monitor­ing, than those of white parents. This style difference is frequently explained by lower income and neighborhood rather than by race it­self (Garcia-Coll 1990; Hofferth 2003). Bright and Williams (1996) con­ducted a small qualitative study of seven low- to middle-income black fathers in two-parent families in an urban area. They found these fa­thers worked collaboratively with their wives to nurture their children and that chief among their concerns were rearing children with high self-esteem, protecting their family members in unsafe environments, securing quality education, and having a close relationship with their children. Marsiglio (1991) also found black fathers to talk more and have positive engagement with their older children.

Finally, and ironically, most absent in the literature on black fa­therhood have been those fathers who are most present: black, single full-time fathers. About 6 percent of black households are male-headed, with no spouse present; about half of those contain children under eighteen years old (see table 0.1). These men also may be biologi­cal or adoptive fathers, but little is known about them. Aside from the contributors to this volume (Coles 2001a, 2001b, 2001c, 2003, 2009; Green, this volume; Osgood and Schroeder, this volume), Hamer and Marchiorio (2002) are the only ones who have researched this group of fathers. Brett Brown’s (2000) study of single fathers included black men, but his .ndings and conclusions did not disarticulate the data by race.

In sum, research on black fathers has been limited in quantity and has narrowly focused on nonmarital, nonresident fathers and only sec­ondarily on dads in married-couple households. This oversight is not merely intentional, for black men are only about 6 percent of the U.S. population and obviously a smaller percent are fathers. They are not easy to access, particularly by an academy that remains predominantly white. We hope to use this volume to fill in some of the gaps and to broaden the scope of what people see when they look at black men as parents. We want to adjust the public’s visual lens from a zoom to a wide angle to view black fathers in a realistic landscape, to illustrate that they are quite varied in their living arrangements, marital status, and styles of parenting.

Gary Cunningham OUT at the Northwest Area Foundation

 UnknownIBNN NEWS Brief

Minneapolis, Minn. – In breaking news longtime Northwest Area Foundation employee Gary Cunningham, Vice President of Programs – Chief Program Officer who joined the Minnesota philanthropic giant in May 2007, who is also the husband of Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges is out.

Sources close to the foundation tell IBNN that Cunningham has taking a downgrade to become the executive director of Minneapolis Economic Development Association in downtown Minneapolis. M.E.D.A is suppose to offer one-on-one business consulting, training, leadership development, government contracting but, in our opinion has not shown any real actions other than acquiring MnDOT contracts for some kind of “minority engagement” has been silent.

Cunningham, also the strategic mastermind behind the ill faded African American Leadership Forum (AALF), who’s numbers have dwindled down to a few bourgeoisie Negroes who still attempt to be relevant in the Twin Cities under the disguise of Black Power agency, which is nothing more that an social clique. Of course for those progressive thinkers and conservative black people, we know AALF is nothing more than an organization to oar black people at the request of the DFL political plantation.

One thing the black community must be aware of…since before 2008 the black community in the Twin Cities has suffered at the hands of those who control wealth, employment, and the justice system. Under Cunningham’s leadership, AALF has not called a press conference to address ANY disparity to their white handler’s.

Cunningham will assume his duties August 18. MEDA Senior Director of Consulting Services and Financing, Jan Jordet, will act as interim President and CEO starting July 1.

Council on Black Minnesotans presents the Power of Unity 2014 Economic Summit, June 27-28

The COBM has been exceeding expectations of local stakeholders and community members. The COBM continues its commitment to ensure that all people of African Heritage fully and effectively participate and benefit equitably from the political, social and economic resources, policies and procedures of the State of Minnesota.

2014 Power of Unity Economic Summit - brought to you by the Council on Black Minnesotans. (photo: Art work by COBM, edited by IBNN NEWS)

2014 Power of Unity Economic Summit – brought to you by the Council on Black Minnesotans. (photo: Art work by COBM, edited by IBNN NEWS)

St. Paul, Minn. – The state Council on Black Minnesotans reaches another milestone with this years COBM Economic Summit under the leadership of executive director Edward McDonald and three-time elected board chairman Patwin Lawrence. “It was a great planning process. Community members volunteered to assist with the planning every step of the way. We expect a great turnout for our two-day event,” said board chairman Lawrence.

The COBM will hold the Power of Unity 2014 Economic Summit on June 27 and 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Carlson School of Management located at 321 19th Ave South on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Special parking arrangements have been made so the first 75 guests will receive free parking in the adjacent ramp on 19th Street.

“This years focus is on black business. We will have panel discussions along with Internet marketing, technology, and business-building seminars presented by the most knowledgeable people in Minnesota. The networking events are meant to put black business owners in the same room with each other,” said executive director Edward McDonald.

This years’ Summit will celebrate African and African American cultural traditions, develop plans for the sustainability and growth of African and African American economic development institutions, build and enhance relationships between private business interests, and expand prosperity for Minnesotans of African Heritage. “There will also be a youth entrepreneur contest to check out up and coming youth in business,” said McDonald.

The Summit is an extension of the Council on Black Minnesotans commitment to ensuring that all people of African Heritage fully and effectively participate and benefit equitably from the political, social and economic resources, policies and procedures of the State of Minnesota since its creation in 1980.

For more information and to RSVP go to  or call the COBM at (651) 757-1751. Limited seating, RSVP today!

The Power of Unity 2014 Economic Summit is brought to you by the Council on Black Minnesotans, “Pushing Onward and Upward to create Success!

Freedom Rider: Police Target Black Children

When white teachers handcuff first graders, or white police throw Black tweens through glass windows, or shoot unarmed youths, it may be because of racially warped perceptions. “Black children are dehumanized to such an extent that they aren’t perceived as children at all,” says a recent study. “In some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old.”

This is happening in the United States. To bad are black leadership is too busy hustling dollars for their next Cadillac." (photo: hqdefault.jpg - Internet Fair Use posted by IBNN)

This is happening in the United States. To bad are black leadership is too busy hustling dollars for their next Cadillac.” (photo: hqdefault.jpg – Internet Fair Use posted by IBNN)

By Margaret Kimberley, BAR Editor and Senior Columnist – Black Agenda Report (Originally posted Wed, 05/28/2014 – 03:36)

Americans should take a long look in the mirror before criticizing other nations for human rights abuses. The law enforcement system in the United States ranks among the worst in the world in the cruel treatment meted out to its citizens. Even children in this country are not safe if they are black and unlucky enough to interact with the police. Of all the various ethnic and national groups in the United States, only black people have to worry that their child may be pushed through a glass window by officers of the law.

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrated what black people have always known. Black children are dehumanized to such an extent that they aren’t perceived as children at all. They are assumed to be older, less innocent and inherently guilty of some wrong doing. Study co-author Matthew Jackson said, “With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old.” Two recent cases involving the New York City police department show the truth of these words and the perils black people face even in childhood.

Black girls are also at risk of police brutality, as a 15 year-old and a 16 year-old discovered in Brooklyn, New York on March 27, 2014. An altercation between police and a group of teens resulted in one of the unidentified girls being thrown to the ground and another being pushed through a window. There is video evidence of one of the girls with a very deep cut on her face. According to witnesses, the police were not content to push her through the glass and arrest her. They also delayed in providing her with needed medical attention.

Javier Payne was already under arrest and handcuffed when a police officer shoved him through a store window.”

In the Bronx, New York on May 17, 2014, a 14 year-old boy was also pushed through a window by police and came close to death. As first reported by the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, Javier Payne was already under arrest and handcuffed when a police officer shoved him through a store window too. The police added insult to his injuries when they did not notify EMS of a pediatric emergency, instead calling in the case as if Payne were a drunken derelict. When paramedics finally arrived on the scene they pleaded for Payne to be uncuffed so that they might provide appropriate treatment.

Payne’s troubles didn’t end at the hospital where he was still under arrest. As previously reported in Black Agenda Report, the NYPD shackles prisoners to hospital beds and restricts family visits. Javier Payne’s status as a minor afforded him no consideration from this rule, and his mother was told that she could only see her 14 year-old son if she first received permission from the local precinct. These cases show in stark relief the indignities and the dangers every black American faces, regardless of age or gender.

It is easy to express outrage over individual cases but harder to sustain demands for change. Javier Payne’s case came to the attention of Rev. Al Sharpton, who invited the still recovering teenager to attend a press conference. The case certainly begs for media attention and legal action against the officer and the NYPD but Sharpton’s chicanery and role as “King Rat” should not be forgotten at such a critical juncture. Nor should he be allowed to use Payne’s case to get back into the good graces of a concerned community now that his services are no longer wanted at the lame duck White House.

The NYPD shackles prisoners to hospital beds and restricts family visits.”

Police in New York City are certainly not alone in their barbaric treatment of minors. All across the country black children as young as kindergarteners have been hand cuffed and arrested as if they are adults.Adults are killed for little or no reason and the police are rarely held to account. If there were true justice in the world a foreign power would declare a responsibility to protect black people from their government and demand that America’s leaders be tried before the international criminal court.

When politicians and pundits declare that country x is rife with human rights abuses we must first ask how that country compares to our own. No other is as big a jailer and no other allows the cruelty which is accepted here. Does Vladimir Putin preside over police departments that push teenagers through glass windows? Every year more than 1,000 Americans are shot by the police. Is the same statistic true in Russia? If that were so, the media would be sure to tell us all about it.

America leads the world in human rights abuses and that is because of racism. Two New York City teenagers faced this issue first hand, but they aren’t alone. There are so many like them, trying to live as children in a country which denies them that right.


Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)


The Koch brothers have now done more for black youth than the NAACP, Urban League and President Obama combined

When it’s all said and done, the UNCF took the money. Money for black college students is a “Terrible thing to waste.”

Something is terribly wrong when the National NAACP or Urban League cannot donate to help their people. #change

Something is terribly wrong when the National NAACP or Urban League cannot donate to help their people. #change

By Don Allen, Founder –

Washington, DC. – If you’re a child of old cartoons, you know that Scooby-Doo taught us the real monsters are always human in the end.

Because of the Koch’s brothers in-depth affiliation with the Republican Party of America, the mainstream media has downplayed the Koch’s long investment portfolio in support of historical black colleges and university’s for many years.

Last week, the Washington Post announced the Koch brothers had awarded the United Negro College Fund a whopping $25 million for grants. The Washington Post reported, “The money will come from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation, which are headed by the brothers. Most of the money ($18.5 million) will go toward a scholarship program. The other $6.5 million is provided for general support to historically black colleges and universities and the UNCF, $4 million of which will be set aside for loan assistance.”

The UNCF is the nation’s largest minority education group – and yes they took the money because they needed it, more so, black Americans in college need more assistance than ever.

The UNCF had been dwindling for many years, with unsuccessful fundraisers, local units being totally dysfunctional (like Minneapolis), and a need to infuse money into one of the only remaining black organizations that stands up for educating black youth. Many naysayers of the Koch brothers, mostly Democratic spin doctors in the black community are telling followers the money is to by votes for Republican candidates across the United States in 2014. Again, the Koch brothers have been long-term supporters of the UNCF, the monsters are the ones who make this $25 million grant seem like a massive vote purchase. (So what, the way the Democrats have been treating black Americans, we should teach them a valuable lesson about the power of voting and put Republican governors in every state possible in 2014. (Remember #jeffjohnson4MNGOV2014)

The liberal mainstream media and left-wing hacks seek to demonize the Koch brothers and their money, but will not provide assistance for many black organizations to be successful. “The donation comes as Democrats have been actively seeking to vilify Charles and David Koch’s influence within the Republican Party in hopes of turning them into midterm electoral bogeymen,” said the Washington Post.

Now, black Americans must turn to the NAACP and Urban League and ask them to stop playing politics for the Democratic Party of America and put on the table what they have done to assist black and minority college students like the Koch brothers. President Obama, who limits black power, black success, black education, and black employment by his chilling silence must use his last days in office to reset the identity of the black American male and female in preparation for his exit and some of the worst racial time ahead.



Open Letter and some counsel to Minneapolis MAD DADS president V.J. Smith

"Please, speak up; say something; our black youth are dying in the street and nobody wants to tell the white folks in city hall, they need jobs, opportunities and education." (photo: Angry black man - "Say Something? Don't stand they with your hands out, pocket full of cash and black boys get shot all weekend.)

“Please, speak up; say something; our black youth are dying in the street and nobody wants to tell the white folks in city hall, they need jobs, opportunities and education.” (photo: Angry black man – “Say Something? Don’t stand they with your hands out, pocket full of cash and black boys get shot all weekend.”)

Editors note: After several conversations with Mr. Ronald A. Edwards about last weeks surrender and vigil, there are some troubling facts on what took place at North Commons Park last week. The black community suffers from the lack of information; in this case the coordinators knew the important information to start the healing process, but chose to be silent and ramp-up deadly emotions in a community that is in need of opportunities. 

Related story from The Mpls Mirror : What Message Was Sent And Received At Nehemiah Steverson Vigil? Pt. 1 

By Don Allen, Founder – (updated 2:46 p.m. 6.7.14)

Minneapolis, Minn. – Men Against Destruction means to take an approach to problem solving issues that will at some point reset community values while taking the opportunity to address a caste of people that have been considered throwaway since birth. Whatever the motivation was for you to make a public plea at last week’s vigil for the killer to “turn themselves in” or ask a crowd of very upset people, “If you know something, say something and please call the police,” must be addressed because things are not how they were presented in this situation. Someone lied to the black community of north Minneapolis; someone was given marching orders; someone wants another contract with the city…

There are some facts we need to look at very objectively before we deem it necessary to pass a vote of “no confidence” on the mission of Minneapolis’ MADDADS chapter:

  • On Tuesday, June 3, with the guidance of civil rights activist, journalist and Minneapolis historian Ronald A. Edwards, the youth who were playing with the weapon that tragically ended the life of Nehemiah Steverson surrendered; walked into the police station with family and Mr. Edwards.
  • Mr. Smith, you had knowledge the shooter, who was a close friend of Nehemiah had turned himself in. You also knew the families knew each other, and at your request, you allegedly asked one side of the family, (also related to a local black elected official), to stand-down and not come to this vigil for young Steverson.

I contacted you via Facebook and left the following message:

Screen capture of conversation.

Screen capture of conversation. Click to enlarge.

“Mr. Smith: It was very irresponsible of you to shout at those kids yesterday at north commons when you damn well knew the shooter and his friends had turned themselves in. This type of behavior by yourself and your organization will not be tolerated anymore in the black community. Its a shame you play like a puppet for your white handlers.”

Your response (V.J. Smith-MADDADS):

(Unedited)…“It’s a shame but you never know what you’re talking about it’s a shame that all you do is put your brothers down it’s a shame did you have the guts Detroit approach me like that brother you know where my office is you know where I live you know who I am you know coming to me personally don’t talk to me on Facebook talk to me to my face.”

Over the years, Minneapolis MAD DADS has been reactive rather than proactive. I understand that city funding is the life-blood of your organization, but at what point do you tell city officials that young black boys need opportunity, jobs, education and a chance to be successful? At what point do you speak up on behalf of the dead babies and youth who will never see their first prom or experience what its like to really fall in love?

The Twin Cities has a long-standing collaboration with the Donald Sterling doctrine when it comes to the black community; “Do what we say and don’t cause any trouble and you will get that money.

Author Toni Morrison wrote: “Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence. None of those things can take place without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city.” I suggest you take this quote to heart and re-exam the practices that keep young black men and women on the Hennepin County coroner’s table trying to figure out the circumstances of some death of another black child.

No, Mr. Smith, It is not me “putting the brothers down,” it stems from a silence to speak up about critical issues that might upset the dominate political party, overseers and puppets.

I will leave you with this: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Be a friend to the black youth of the Twin Cities, tell your handlers that black youth don’t want hand-outs, they want a hand-up’ opportunities, jobs, education and a chance to change the outcomes for their younger brothers and sisters.

And the Church said, “Amen.”

Minneapolis Urban League, MPS remains silent on 13th Grade initiative

The Minneapolis Urban League 13th grade? Really?

The Minneapolis Urban League 13th grade? Really?

The “13th” grade proposal is problematic because a one-year pilot program is expected to eradicate generations of educational failures in poor minority communities and the parties involved seem not to understand Minnesota’s employability issues and current status of K-12 education in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Public School systems. Secondly, the Minneapolis Urban League and its partners do not have a leg to stand on when using “education-speak.”

By Don Allen, Editor-in-Chief, IBNN NEWS

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Urban League who currently operates the Urban League Academy in Minneapolis has not shown any success in their private educational ventures. The school, according to U.S. News and World Report shows test scores (U.S. News calculates these values based on student performance on state exit exams and internationally available exams on college-level coursework) of 27% reading proficiency with math not reported and college readiness omitted from the report.  It is not educationally sound for an agency like the Minneapolis Urban League to be involved in a venture of this nature when they cannot communicate, represent, or show positive outcomes for the people they currently represent, if any. In 2013, the MUL does not speak for many residents as it pertains to Minnesota’s education system or successes therein.

Just recently, the National Urban League endorsed Common Core State Standards citing an historic opportunity to raise academic standards and better prepare students for college and good jobs. The NUL says, “If implemented effectively, CCSS will help bridge the achievement gap by leveling the playing field so that all students, regardless of race, geography or income, have an equal shot at gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy.” Unfortunately, the NUL might have been persuaded to endorse CCSS by the Donald Sterling doctrine of checks and balances. The promise of cash can bend “The Dream” in any direction as seen by the recent events involving the Los Angeles and National NAACP branches.

The Minnesota House of Representatives have enacted a bill attempting to establish a “13th” grade pilot project based in north Minneapolis. The bill, H.F. 1149 is part of an education and employability solution for young adults who are unemployed, underemployed and not enrolled in post-secondary education. Co-authored by Senators Jeff Hayden (D-SD 62), Bobby Joe Champion (D-SD 59), State Representatives Ray Dehn (D-HD 59B) and Will Morgan (D-SD 56B), the bill is said to potentially impact over 3,000 young adults ages 18-26, placing them on college and career pathways by 2015. It states the commissioner of education shall develop a one-year “13th” grade pilot project, with one site being operated by the Minneapolis Urban League. (Read the bill here.)

There is undeniable evidence the current infrastructure of the MUL cannot handle, nor correct the educational failures in the black community. In March of this year, the Star Tribune reported, “Proposal puts Urban League Academy on short notice to prove itself.” The story is on point: “An alternative school for about 100 students run by the Minneapolis Urban League has flunked a district evaluation of schools for students who struggle in conventional high school.

“Urban League scored at or near the bottom of every outcome, district official Thomas Franta summarized recently. He initially recommended that the district end its contract with the 43-year-old school, which gets more than $700,000 in funding from the district. But the Urban League may have staved off the school closure after its representatives successfully lobbied several board members, and also Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson, who recommended that the district give the Urban League Academy another year to prove itself. The school board is scheduled to vote on new contracts for seven of its alternative schools on April 8” (Brandt/Star Tribune).

It’s time to make sure the Minneapolis Urban League and the Minneapolis Public Schools don’t send our black youth further down the rabbit hole of failure.

Living Openly Black: The Slave Dust Manifesto

Hidden Colors 3: The Rules of Racism | June 26 | 7 pm

Hidden Colors 3: The Rules of Racism | June 26 | 7 pm

Hidden Colors 3: The Rules of Racism will be playing for one-night-only in the Minnesota on June 26. The film will focus on the topic of race, racism, and history within the United States, shown at the Lagoon Theater, located at 1320 Lagoon Avenue, in Minneapolis. The movie starts promptly at 7:00 pm. Purchase your tickets now. Once your tickets are purchased, your name and number of tickets purchased will be added to the guest list. All you have to do is check-in on the night of the event with a valid ID. For more information about Hidden Colors 3 click here.   This event is brought to you by: 4Seen & Perfect Noize Entertainment.

By Don Allen, Founder – IBNN NEWS

Jim Crow troubles Black America with issues that stem from slavery; carried forward; and divisionism outsourced to black leaders in our community who are leading under the Donald Sterling doctrine. We (blacks) have not seemed to escape the stereotypes placed onto our identities by people who do not look like us. Still there exists a middle ground of activists who have taken to many platforms using social media, which in fact builds popularity, but for the most part will never produce a march or rally about an issue, many issues that concern the black Americans have been swept under the rug by blacks.

Under the current black circumstances we might want to take a tip from Stokely Carmichael who said, “It is a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.

Our card has been called out by every other race that has decided to deal in unity to thwart white privilege. Dr. Farrah Gray wrote, “While he fought to sniff behind the White man, the Black man has had the opportunity and every right in the world to do the same, but he chooses to indict people like me for not hiring him over my own brothers. For me to do this would be foolish and that would not be Asian love. In contrast, the Black man will fight for the right to be up under everyone else other than other Black people who he should feel the most love for. If our indifference to their situation make us racist, then what would you call the Black man’s indifference to his own situation?”

Now, what you going to do?


The Black Church, Money Pastors and a Poor Flock: Using Christianity for Cash…Oh, Lawd!

Am I wrong to ask the questions that others walk away from? If a church member is sick, hungry, in need of a financial lift, why is it the only lifts available are to the church leaders? Is it the church members responsibility to make the car payments on a $100,000.00 vehicle?

Church pews are empty because there is no one to stand up for what is right. (photo: IBNN)

Church pews are empty because there is no one to stand up for what is right. (photo: IBNN)

By Don Allen, Founder IBNN

In the New Testament it is written in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.” Does this mean because you believe, you must give your last cent to a pastor that drives a $100,000.00 car while members of his/her church cannot pay their rent and unemployed?

It happens.

Money focused churches tend to be run on cultic patterns. One of these cultic patterns is the division of the church into exclusive rings: the all-powerful pastor perched at the center, the inner-ring of sycophants around him consisting of the pastor’s lieutenants and the church’s privileged class (the rich, the famous and the very pretty), and the outer-ring of the ordinary folk who would love to be in the inner-ring, but are not. The power of those in the inner-ring is determined by the amount of favor the pastor bestows upon them.

To get more favor the inner-ring will employ many favor-currying measures, one of which is a scam called “Honoring the Pastor”. It works this way, the inner-ring will figure out what the pastor would like, say for his birthday. Then the inner-ringers will squeeze the outer-ringers for the money to buy this item.

Using this method pastors have been “given”: diamond rings for their wives, cash gifts, jet skis, luxury cruises, motorbikes, cars, holidays, boats, and a myriad of other expensive luxury items.

Are the pastors complicit in this game?

Goat the congregation into giving what they don't have.

Goat the congregation into giving what they don’t have.

Of course they are. They couldn’t demand the gift openly themselves, but seek plausible deniability by having their inner-ring lieutenants do the work. Of course they could refuse the gift when it is presented, and make it clear that they don’t want the Lord’s money spent on such things again, but they never do. These pastors exchange their favor, for cash from their congregation.

Speaking on how the black church and its operatives use Christianity can be exemplified in this story: Financial Juneteenth reported via the Los Angeles Times that Leon Jenkins, former president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP, was willing to forgive Sterling for his latest set of racial sins, all for a modest fee. Using God, Christianity and the bible as cover, Jenkins goes back to the foundations of why black people were fed religious beliefs that teach us to bend in fear in the midst of battle, even if others have declared war on us.

During the decades of slavery in America, slave associations were a constant source of concern to slave owners. For many members of white society, Black religious meetings symbolized the ultimate threat to white existence. Nevertheless, African slaves established and relied heavily on their churches. Religion offered a means of catharsis… Africans retained their faith in God and found refuge in their churches. However, white society was not always willing to accept the involvement of slaves in Christianity. As one slave recounted “the white folks would come in when the colored people would have prayer meeting, and whip every one of them. Most of them thought that when colored people were praying it was against them”.

Since the colonization of Africa, Christianity has been used to control, misinterpret and condemn those who would not follow a certain person or path of self-righteousness. At the center of the black church is very prosperous pastor, and a very poor flock, sometimes mistaking the leader as a lord. This following has led to the mass departure of black people from the black church in search for something that has never left.

Derryck Green, M.A. in Theological Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing his doctorate in ministry at Azusa Pacific University wrote in the Rockland County Times, “I’m angry and sad that a community whose heritage and dignity once coalesced around the lordship of Jesus and his church has allowed itself to come to this. This apparent timidity of the black pulpit — in not properly teaching the gospel of truth and not holding congregations to a higher standard of personal and communal morality — has had disastrous effects on the black church.”

Remember, the church is you, not the building.


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