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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights

Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights director Velma Korbel “honored” for fighting Racism? (That’s like saying President Obama supports the Republican Party platform)

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Stop the Press!

It’s clear that White Minnesota is fine with avoiding serious discussions about racism. What happens when the majority turns into people of color? Will White privilege stick its ugly little head out and complain about disparities free of criticism? Democracy is about and deserves a robust conversation. Racism, and conversations about race is never pretty – but it’s long over-due. Velma Korbel, like her counterpart in the Minneapolis Public Schools has obstructed everything in Minneapolis that has a Black voice and a Black conciseness. Oh wait, is that Malcolm X I see rolling in his grave?

by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and Black Politics in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, MN (IBNN NEWS/May 3, 2011)…What started out as a great Tuesday morning quickly turned into a fit of rage and pure disgust.

As I checked some of the Twin Cities best online news sources, particularly MinnPost, I came across the headline, “Khaliq and Korbel honored for fighting racism.” The story by MinnPost.com writer Joe Kimball stated, “The St. Paul Foundation will honor Nathaniel Khaliq and Velma Korbel tonight for their efforts in fighting racism. Each will receive a $10,000 grant to support their anti-racism efforts at the Ambassador Awards event in St. Paul.”

Velma Korbel – Director, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights: Fighting Against Racism? A simple HELL NO will do!

You have got to be kidding me.

This “honor” to Velma Korbel for “fighting racism” is a slap in the face for civil rights activist who have died on the front lines participating in the real fight for equity and a fair playing field. This shameful display of pomp and circumstance is nothing more than a politically positioned piece that has no merit whatsoever. This group, foundation and program that pick Korbel have a severe case of stratification with nothing to under-gird it with. In most cases, these folk have never run a shoe-shine shop.

Black Minnesotan’s should be outraged at this clear attempt to ignore those who have actively marched, fought and confronted issues dealing with race, class and status in Minnesota.

I cannot wrap my mind around why the prestigious St. Paul Foundation is afraid to look beneath the surface and see that there are hundreds of Minnesotans who address racism and thousands more before Ms. Korbel would even start to appear.

The St. Paul Foundation’s President and CEO Said Carleen Rhodes said,“Both Nathaniel and Velma have spent their careers working to advance racial equity in our community. In working to end disparities, these two individuals have demonstrated remarkable dedication, perseverance and commitment to making every member of our community feel safe, valued and respected.”

My question to Said would be, “What community are you talking about in reference to Korbel and are you really on Earth right now?

The true people that fight racism are never honored – it creates too much of a conversation here in the cold Jim Crow.

The number of heinous disparities in the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights under the guidance of Ms. Korbel includes the shredding of case files, documented in a story by Black Focus’ Ronald A. Edwards titled, “Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights case backlog eliminated — by shredding.” (Read more on the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights here)

Mr. Edwards story published on the Independent Business News Network says, “Three Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) personnel who have emerged as heroes in exposing serious ongoing ethical and illegal MDCR breaches. This week, a fourth: Ronald G. Brandon, former chief supervisor of the MDCR Investigative Unit.

His ouster from the department and City of Minneapolis came after his expressions of serious concern to superiors of the tampering with cases under investigation within the department. Some feel it was the case of Glenda Telford and her two children that may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Evidence shows that during the week of February 5, 2010, a very peculiar assignment was given to MDCR investigators: Supervise temporary employees in the destruction by shredding of hundreds of MCDR civil rights complaint cases filed by citizens.”

# # #

Is this ethical violation a true stance that show’s Ms. Korbel and the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights “fighting against racism?” Or is it just a political plantation positioning piece by the St. Paul Foundation who obviously doesn’t have a clue about the real struggle people of color have in Minnesota and those that work daily in a never-ending circle to right the wrongs of Racism.

This superficial fluff is indicative of Minnesota Nice and the avoidance of wanting real conversations about race, racism and the perpetrators who line city hall and keep Minneapolis, “The worst in the nation.

Ms. Korbel has not taken on the fight against racism – her words are kept inside.

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