BY MISHEHARU P. DAWKINS
What does the election of Donald Trump say about us as a nation and us as individuals? First I am going to try and explain what it means to me, and then I am going to try and explain what I believe it means for us as a country. As I watched on Election Day with my family as each state rolled in and Hillary Clinton kept losing state after state, I would not allow myself to believe that Donald Trump would become the 45th president of this country. I want to make it clear that I was no fan of Hillary but if the good people of this nation were watching what I was watching, there was no way Trump would win. That is the heart of the disappointment for me. What I thought we were, who I thought we were becoming had suddenly eroded significantly in one night. Don’t get me wrong, I suffer from no illusions that somehow race doesn’t matter. When former President Obama won there were people from all walks of life, colors and cultures supporting a man and his family who ran for the office of the President of the United States and that family just so happened to be Black. It was an inspiring and unifying moment. I was not suffering from any illusions that all policy differences would vanish and racial animosity would be forgotten, no, I was not delusional. I was optimistic. I saw this country moving forward. Then our old habits began to show up.
BY LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK
Donald Trump’s campaign for president has taken the lion’s share of newsprint and media time, for 15 months, from the time of his splashy announcement from the Trump Tower in New York City. There was a crowded Republican field of 16 candidates, five of whom dropped out before the Iowa caucuses in February, 2016, and another nine who dropped out later in February and March. The final two: Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out in May, following bruising primary fights filled with personal insults and innuendo. This left Donald Trump alone to face the Democratic candidates: Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders who were themselves locked in an intense fight in the primaries. Once Sanders conceded, Clinton had little time left to fully prepare for her adversary and his street fighter’s style of campaigning. Unafraid to cast insults and state falsehoods, Trump whipped the crowds who came to see him into chanting, “lock her up, lock her up!” as he smiled and held thumbs up to them. He called her a liar and a criminal, but all he offered in terms of foreign or domestic policy was to build a wall on the Mexican border, kick out Muslims, and cozy up to Vladimir Putin, president of Russia.
Now Trump has been sworn in as president and his administration begins. It is clear from his continued use of informal language expression and inability to keep to the truth, that this will be a time of weirdness for the American public and the world. It does not take a crystal ball to see the rough days ahead. In American history, when a weak president gets elected, Congress fills in the gaps with a stronger voice, and legislation that can go too far in setting policy for the United States. Then the U.S. Supreme Court may be called to judge questions of constitutionality. The fear is, a rightist court could swing challenges out of the way and even regression could take place. That seems to be one strong hint coming out of the Trump campaign with its slogan of “Make America Great Again.” The slogan is now a dot gov web site and on it four areas named for greatness are defense and national security, Constitutional rights, energy independence, and transportation and infrastructure. One example from the four under Constitutional rights is [to name] “Supreme Court Justices who are committed to interpreting the Constitution and laws according to their original public meaning.” It will be up to Constitutional law professors to interpret what this means, but law repeal does not seem out of the question.
BY LAURA WATERMAN WITTSTOCK
Larry Leventhal died on January 17, 2017 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a well-known attorney who represented people who had been wronged in some way, and he also wrote wills and in the case of my family, represented us in juvenile court as we undertook the adoption of our great grandchild. In contrast to this kind of work, he took on some of the most formidable opponents imaginable, including the United States government.
During his 50-year career in the practice of law, he focused much of his time on the legal affairs of tribal nations and American Indian nonprofit organizations.
During the course of the history of the Indian Education Act, passed in 1972 and released for grantmaking in 1973, Larry represented and assisted numerous schools and tribal nations. Although both Heart of the Earth Survival School and the Red School House are no longer operating, he assisted both with research on changes in the regulations affecting funding opportunities and each year he created instructional documents on changes and emphasis areas. He was an integral part of winning millions of dollars in funding for both of the schools, and including innovative programs such as adult education for men and women in Minnesota prisons, a national law and education conference in California, unique cultural and language programs in the schools, community adult education, pre-school education, and a school within the school program for students in need of small group education. He was also part of the team that created the Circle of Life School on the White Earth Reservation and he assisted Red School House in becoming one of a handful of special focus schools in the United States. He represented Heart of the Earth in the award of funds that had been misjudged ineligible for a funding award and he taught free classes in Indian education at Red School House and NAES College in Minneapolis.
Some ask, “Why is a newspaper called The Alley? Part of the answer lies in the idea that we still need conversations that happen over the neighbor’s fence, by the garage, shooting baskets, or fixing a bike. Things happen in the backyards along the alleys. Alleys are the place where straight talk happens without pretense.
Others ask, “Where is The Alley Newspaper office”? The Alley Newspaper was named 41 years ago when it began. It hasn’t had an office for over 16 years. It has a virtual office and operates more or less as a virtual organization. The dictionary says: “A virtual office is one where the work force includes a significant proportion of workers using technology to perform their work at home. “A virtual company uses computers and telecommunications technologies to extend its capabilities by working routinely with people throughout the neighborhood, city, and world to accomplish mutually beneficial goals.”
Twenty to forty individuals and organizations contribute information articles, art, and opinions that are combined within the pages of The Alley Newspaper and website each month. There is no one office, but there are many places where people write, draw, use computers and talk to get each issue completed.
The Alley will begin to add another place for direct conversations with the newspaper. We will have “Market Hours” from
4 PM to 6 PM the first Monday of each month, beginning Monday, February 6. You can find us at the Midtown Global Market adjacent to the Backyard Initiative’s Resource Center near the Lake Street main entrance.
Descendants of Mayflower’s John and Priscilla Alden Illness and poverty plagued Anna and Fred Clark centuries later
By Sue Hunter Weir
On January 8, 2017, Friends of the Cemetery lost one of its earliest friends when Bob Clark passed away. Bob was the great-grandson of Fred and Anna Clark who are buried in Lot 101, Block A. I met Bob in the cemetery many years ago when he and his cousin were visiting Fred and Anna’s graves.
Anna was one of the first people buried in the cemetery whose story caught my attention. It wasn’t hard. Anna committed suicide in the cemetery on September 15, 1909, at the age of 53. She shot herself on Fred’s grave. Three suicide notes were found in her purse. Parts of two notes and the circumstances of Anna’s life were printed in the Minneapolis Tribune the day after Anna died.
The first note, written to her daughter Cora, begins: “I am tired of life, dear Cora, and need a rest.” Anna continued by expressing her love and concern for her grandchildren.
The second letter, addressed to her daughter Caroline, was even more heartbreaking: “Do not blame anyone for this I do. I am tired and the sorrow and agony in my heart is too great to bear. Bury me beside papa, if you think I am worthy of it. Good-bye. God bless you, Mama.”
“Papa” was Anna’s husband. Fred Clark had died four years earlier, on July 25, 1905, from progressive spinal atrophy, a neuromuscular disease characterized by muscle weakening and loss of mobility. He was undoubtedly ill for some time before he died.
Our Community has scores of gatherings every year of many kinds. January 2017 began with even more than usual here, nationally, and around the world in response to a turbulent time when there is a sense that a RESET is necessary.
Some of those gatherings are pictured here beginning on the Front Page and continuing on pages 6 and 7.
Gatherings varied; spontaneous, local, world-wide, regularly scheduled, coalesced, and all inviting engagement, unity, and resolution to care for our Community and each other.
1 #NoDak March support of Native Protection of water and land and protest of gov’t violence at the North Dakota Pipeline Site as it closed the East Lake Street Bridge Jan. 27, 2017; pictured within the letters RESET.
2 A Community Festival, “Love, Resistance, Revolution: A Community Festival” held on Inauguration Day to bring together hundreds of neighbors to share a meal, make art, enjoy music, and make their own commitments for social justice for the next four years hosted by Waite House, MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Our Revolution MN, Isuroon, KRSM The Southside Media Project, Navigate MN, NAACP MPLS, Mesa Latina, TakeAction Minnesota, Native Lives Matter, ISAIAH, MN350: Building a Climate Movement in Minnesota, GoodSpace Murals, Living Proof Print Collective, and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater.
3 Women’s March at Minnesota State Capitol looking from high atop State Capitol Jan. 21, 2017. Read the rest of this entry »
Tamron Hall interviews Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II on MSNBC on January 25, 2017, about the Dakota Access Pipeline and President Donald Trump’s memorandum about the project.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was surprised that Trump acted so quickly, but not by his actions
ICMN Staff • January 25, 2017
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.
“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”