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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 22nd 2024

‘Something I Said’ Archives

SIS: George Floyd – A Closer Look

SIS: George Floyd – A Closer Look

By DWIGHT HOBBES A article in the series: Something I Said Dwight Hobbes His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Viking Press - 2022) is a strong, Pulitzer Prize winning read by Washington Post staffers Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa. One cannot read this book with your mind already made up. The authors neither fit Floyd for a halo nor do they demonize him. Without letting him off the hook, they place the man in compelling context, calling Houston’s and Texas’ criminal justice system out for their part in his unwitting, hellbent self-destruction.Nothing is simple about enduring institutionalized racism, particularly the truism, White folk are responsible for racism, but, we are accountable to deal with it. Like a lot of African American parents, Larcenia warned her son George that he was born with two strikes against him. Some of us make that third strike count. Most don’t. Viking Press George Floyd was a decent sort, [...]

Something I Said: The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota

Something I Said: The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota

By DWIGHT HOBBES Dwight Hobbes Mention the KKK and your next thought probably is its history of hunting, harassing and hanging black folk. However, it didn’t start there – at least not in Minnesota. African Americans simply became these terrorists’ preferred target (a black woman, Beulah Mae Donald, it turns out, bankrupted the organization in court). Before black people, Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle’s The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota (The History Press) documents, it was Germans. That would eventually include Catholics, Jews and just about everybody who wasn’t them – working class Protestants.Newspapers like the Waseca Herald, Anoka Herald and Owatonna Journal-Chronicle helped things, along with Hollywood propagandist hit film, The Birth of a Nation, (originally titled The Clansman) aiding the cause. Which, importantly, selective law enforcement and slick politicians insidiously empowered. Earle Brown, for instance, qualified on both accounts. As Hennepin County Sheriff, he [...]

Something I Said: Juneteenth

Something I Said: Juneteenth

By DWIGHT HOBBES Dwight Hobbes This month, across America and a few other places around the world, black folk plan to jump for joy at Juneteenth celebrations of freedom from slavery. There’s a bittersweet aspect to that.The sweet, of course, is liberation. Early revelry presented opportunities for political rallies to give voting instructions to newly freed African Americans. Also, baseball games, fishing, rodeos, street fairs and, of course, cookouts. Much later, black people tied the holiday to fighting for civil rights. In 1968, called by Dr. Martin Luther King and, after his assassination, led by Rev. Ralph Abernathy and Coretta Scott King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference made June 19 the Solidarity Day of the Poor People’s Campaign. Nowadays, in addition to a good time outdoors, there’s teaching African-American heritage, arts and literature showcases, and more. As Karen M. Thomas intoned in Emerge, “Community leaders have latched on to to help instill [...]

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