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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

Phillips, Mpls, America Awake!!!

by Jim Graham, Ventura Village

Discrimination against Native Americans really is an issue for Phillips, as well as a Minneapolis as a whole. Minneapolis, and in particular the Phillips Community of Minneapolis is home to the largest coherent Urban Indian Community in the Nation. It is the birth place of AIM and the Indian Civil Rights Movement. The City of Minneapolis even has been forced to formally acknowledge the historical institutional discrimination of Minneapolis against Native people in a formal document. And in a formal MOU with the Indian community promised to stop doing so and redress the past institutional discrimination.

That institutional and individual bias in Minneapolis unfortunately continues. It continues even in what is supposed to be E-Democracy. This is particularly true with the Minneapolis Issues List where the discrimination continues.

The “powers” at the Minneapolis Issues List of E-Democracy have continued this institutional bias by arbitrarily and without basis issuing a ruling that the issue of racial slurs against Native People IN MINNEAPOLIS is not an issue that is allowed to be discussed on that forum. And more over dropped from membership anyone who dared take issue and think it was a real Minneapolis specific issue.

The term “Redskin” when applied to Native people is a racial slur that would be unconscionable if a similar one was applied to Black people.
Even something as mild as changing the name of the Vikings to something like the “Minnesota Dumb Swedes” would cause a furor and would definitely be a Minneapolis Issue! Yet “Redskins” seems to be accepted by some when applied to Native People even here in Minneapolis.

A demonstration and march to protest this racial slur is planned for the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins. This Phillips and Minneapolis demonstration has received national coverage on pretty much every national televised news service (even those covering football). Of course such a demonstration originating in Phillips and ending six or seven blocks later in the heart of Minneapolis is both a Minneapolis Issue and a Phillips Issue. To think otherwise is both silly and clearly demonstrates at minimum a bias against Indian issues in Minneapolis.

One wonders if the powers that be would have thought the Civil Rights marches in Selma Alabama would have been viewed by them as a “Selma Issue”?

By ruling that it is not a Minneapolis Issue, and discontinuing the membership of any who might want to discuss the issue, the Moderator of the Minneapolis Issues Form has clearly proven that Institutional Discrimination is alive and well in Minneapolis. And this arbitrary ruling has in and of itself become a “Minneapolis Issue” and should be a “Phillips Issue” as well. This institutional discrimination and bias against Indian people not only from the NFL, but in our own Minneapolis should NOT be allowed, and certainly should not stand.

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