Response to ‘Minnesota racism’

When a population is dominant in the kinds of numbers like the ones that exist here in Minnesota (and for now the country in general), it takes extra vigilance on the part of both the majority and the minority inhabitants in order to get along. It is true that Minnesota has a long and storied tradition of championing civil rights through leaders like Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale. However, it is also true that black policemen in Minneapolis have a pending lawsuit against their employer for discrimination. Further Minneapolis-related concerns would include that the city remains under a Federal court-ordered civilian review process, overseen by the Justice Department mediation department. Another would be continuing objections that are raised about the cityâÄôs contract noncompliance with regulations regarding the hiring of minority construction workers and the hiring of minority contractors. In fact, on the issue of individual minority construction hiring and contract awarding, the University of MinnesotaâÄôs own researchers have concluded that there has been excessive noncompliance and a failure to implement proposed changes on the part of the city of Minneapolis. This report stated these activities on the part of the city have resulted in an overall lack of sincerity and an absence of a commitment by leaders to fulfill the mandate prescribed in the Minneapolis Civil Rights ordinance. On the minority side, too many minority males are chasing after the wrong dreams, listening to and projecting the wrong messages, and fighting the system in the wrong way, ending up incarcerated or worse. In addition, too many minority females are taking advantage of the opportunities that our society is giving them without reaching back into our communities to bring others up to their level and beyond. As a minority myself, normally stereotypical comments about our populations in this country wouldnâÄôt be interesting. But there is one that caught my attention given the current economic downward spiral that we are all going through together (even if some minority populations are disproportionately affected). And the comment is that minorities have to be twice as good to get half as much. But perhaps we can look at this in a more positive way. DonâÄôt we have the power to remake who and what we are, not only as minorities in this country but also as Americans? In order to set a good example for other minorities and just people in general, every minority should give 110 percent all the time. In order to get what we deserve on the merits of accomplishment and the content of our character, every minority should serve 110 percent when that opportunity comes. In order to be seen in a better light by the rest of American society and the world, emulated and not scorned, every minority should work 110 percent all the time in their jobs, schools and at home with our children. All while bringing to bear the knowledge of our unique and comprehensive history of commitment and service to this country, especially in the hours of her greatest need. Can you imagine what the dialogue would look like then? Paul Edward Hamilton University student