Saturday, December 30, 2017

Don Allen, M.A. Ed., back on the Black Republican, Black Democrat Show: Closing out 2017

Join host Jamar Nelson on iHeartRadio’s Black Republican, Black Democrat Show on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130, FM 103.5 at 6:00PM CST tonight.

By Jamar Nelson (D) - Black Republican, Black Democrat Show

The beginning: Don Allen (Republican), with Jamar Nelson (Democrat) 
Join host Jamar Nelson on iHeartRadio’s Black Republican, Black Democrat Show on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130, FM 103.5 at 6:00PM CST tonight.

Host Jamar Nelson and Patwin Lawrence (on assignment), welcome back former co-host and friend of the show Don Allen (Independent Conservative), as he talks with the old crew about governor Mark Dayton’s new appointments for the Professional Educators Licensing Board, which do not include any Black Americans born in Minnesota.

Allen wrote in a heated missive titled, "A message from Don Allen, M.A. Ed./MAT" - (4.0 GPA)/ Dual Masters (2), Hamline University (MN’s First University)/Teacher – Communications Arts/Lit 5-12. Candidate: Doctorate in Education-University of St. Thomas.

Don Allen, M.A. Ed./MAT on the set of Murder Calls for ID Discovery Telvision 
“Am I wronging to question a surreptitious board of Teaching in Minnesota process that picked a group of Minnesotans that did not include any American-born Minnesotans from the state? How will this board me culturally relevant and/or responsive?  What about the endless machine of testing for new teachers that is set up and mandated for European Americans; should I not question the validity and process sans the adults (black males/females; native American male/females) of the children that are doing the worst failing in school K-12? You cannot do ANY problem-solving. I’m sorry, but on this date and time (2017), this happens too repeatedly not to be the cleverest of #Minnesota #Nice; #racisminMN.”

Allen says, “it’s not the new board members fault in the least, it’s the process from which they were picked. In Minnesota, people in positions to pick and choose, think they are closer to “blackness” by ignoring black Americans in favor of Africans in America to satisfy some sort of guilt, but in the end, it is our children, descendants of slaves who are once again, left out by a political process that favors the governors political party ideology.”

You can also listen online at starting at 6pm tonight.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Black Americans must DELETE the term “African American”

Black Americans or African Americans
(photo: Google Search-Fair Use)
No, this doesn’t mean that Black Americans are denying heritage, but it brings about an opportunity to talk about Blackness and its meanings without inserting another culture that we’ve (Black Americans) have been 20-generations removed. Yes, Black Power; it’s the hour-to-tower!

By Don Allen, M.A. Ed./MAT

Let’s stick to the facts; when did the term African American become the term to identify Black American-born people? That moment unfolded in December 1988, in a lower-level conference room of the Hyatt Hotel near O’Hare Airport in Chicago. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was holding a closed session with the National Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH board and other high-ranking campaign supporters. The meeting was to be an “agenda-setting” session intended to send a signal about Jackson’s future and how he would harness the potential of the coalition he had built during his presidential bid. Anticipation was high from the media, with serious speculation about runs for mayor, governor, senator, or appointment to ambassadorships. The discussions were free-flowing, with most of the attendees wanting to tackle ongoing issues from apartheid and sanctions to labor unions to farmers, and even talk about planning for a third presidential race and what would be needed to make it viable.

After lunch, unexpectedly, the late C. Delores Tucker (best known for taking on rap music and Tupac Shakur) stood up and made a highly passionate argument for the use of “African-American” as opposed to Black. Her reason was clear and simple: “Nobody lives in Blackland!” Everyone has a spiritual and cultural connection attached to a place in the world that their ancestors called home, except black people. “African-American” would give us a connection to our heritage, our past and our future.

Most Black Americans do not identify with Africans and most genuine African-Americans (i.e., people who recently emigrated from Africa to the U.S. or who divide their time between two continents) do not identify with Black Americans. The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie made this point very movingly in a recent talk she gave at the Free Library in Philadelphia as part of a tour she is on to promote her new book Americanah. “American,” Adichie explained in response to a question about what race she had in mind when someone was referred to simply as “American,” “is a mark that culture leaves, never a physical description.” She said that when she came to the U.S. she did not want to be identified with black Americans and even “recoiled” when a man in Brooklyn referred to her as “sister.” I’m not your sister, she thought to herself. I have three brothers and I know where they are, and you’re not one of them!

Many argued that the term African-American should refer to the descendants of slaves brought to the United States centuries ago, not to newcomers who have not inherited the legacy of bondage, segregation and legal discrimination. Dr. Bobby Austin, an administrator at the University of the District of Columbia understood why some blacks were offended when Mr. Kamus claimed an African-American identity. Dr. Austin said some people feared that Black immigrants and their children would snatch up the hard-won opportunities made possible by the civil rights movement (Source).

Do a google search on the term “African-American” if you want to see how many black Americans feel about it. Check out the Facebook page “Don’t Call Me African-American,” or Charles Mosley’s guest column in in the February 12, 2013 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “By using the term ‘African-American’ to refer to black people,” Mosley writes, “columnists, readers, TV hosts and commentators perpetuate and embrace Jim Crow racial stereotypes, segregation and historical distortions. … Africa is not a racial or ethnic identity. Africa is a geographical identity.” In fact, you almost never hear blacks refer to themselves as “African-American,” unless it is to please a white audience, and there is a good reason for that: They do not think of themselves as African-American. They do not identify with Africa, at least not until we remind them, by referring to them as “African-American,” that they are supposed to (Source).

Black Americans are at a crossroad; when an African immigrant with no history or experience of racism or slavery associates with the mainstream, they are treated as model citizens. When Black Americans engage the mainstream system, we (in most cases) are considered “less-than” our African immigrant brothers and sisters -  its been that way for a long time. The suggestion would be that Black Americans take back the power of being Black in America and call us what we are: “Black Americans.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

Part I: Are Black Minnesotans better off on the Bottom?

Don Allen, M.A. Ed. (photo: D. Allen, chair surfing a
Hamline University)
If you don't have my phone number to call and speak with me, you don't know me. My agency in this story is to shake you into understanding a new leadership caste must rise in Minnesota before black Minnesotans are cast back to the days of "White Only" drinking fountains. 

By Don Allen, Editorial Columnist

I’ve been called a “coon, sellout, and white-boy,” by black Minnesotans that feel like education will not get them any further than they are today. Mind you, this is not a pity-piece missive, nor does this have anything to do with feelings; but it is my opportunity to explain that something is wrong when every other group (in MN) can look at you and know for sure that your race, color and socioeconomic status, education and housing option are on the bottom in this great state.

While many of “us” do not identify with Minnesota’s black community (unfortunately) and prefer social circles that avoid the lower one-third of the community, it has also set a trend for those who participate with an illusion of agency as another race, not black people. At the end of the day the mirror never lies, so no matter who you hang out with friends and associates; if you are black in Minnesota, you’re consistently qualifying yourself because from your “cover,” you’re not qualified until deemed so by some with less…and these are the black folks.  

I’ve sat by and poked the bear when I watched Minnesota lawmakers put more money and concern into Walleye fishing than homeless school children. I tried to get involved when governor Mark Dayton showered (literally) a dozen white-led agencies with over $100 million dollars to end Minnesota’s veteran homelessness challenge. The majority of the homeless veterans are of color and because I wanted to be paid for consulting and making a plan in those days, I was marginalized by Dayton’s veterans guy and basically never called upon. But still there are hundreds of homeless veterans, families and school children that never get touched by local or state funding that remain in a perpetual loop of nothingness. Unfortunately, and this is not a generalization, in Minnesota, the people I talk about are people of color: Black Minnesotans.

I have a friend who posts stuff on Facebook then says, “trigger,” which I think is absolutely incredibly hilarious; so when you ask what was my motivation, or “trigger” for this missive, you only need look at the photo above of the 2018 Minnesota Super Bowl committee sans any black Minnesotans, male or female.  Of course I don’t want to dismiss the fact that I see no Asians, Hispanic-Latinos, Somali or more importantly for Minnesota, Native Americans; the fact is “surplus with exceptions” seems to be the true meaning of Minnesota Nice. This leads be to ask have people of color in Minnesota not arrived? Is it too easy to outsource racism, exclusion and marginalization via someone in that race-construct? It seems that way.

Examples: 1) In 2016 the Minnesota Department of Human Services spent over $59 million on overtime pay. Our sources tell us that more than 95-percent of the people who receive this pay were white men and women. This could never happen at a black Minnesota lead organization, the overseers have eyes and orders to hover.

The Education Gap is so wide that each year we
wait to address it - it will take five more years to fix
2) A WCCO-TV report, “Minnesota Ranked 2nd-Worst In U.S. For Racial Equality, (2017)” citing that the latest 2017 numbers from the Minnesota Department of Education found that in grades three through eight and tenth, the amount of white students who met the standard for reading and math was about double that of black students. This report also talks about the double-digit gap in household income.

3) From the Politico story, “Something Is Rotten in the State of Minnesota,” the Twin Cities it turns out, are also home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country. In metrics across the board—household income, unemployment rates, poverty rates and education attainment—the gap between white people and people of color is significantly larger in Minnesota than it is most everywhere else. Earlier this year, WalletHub used government data to measure financial inequality among racial groups in each state and found that in 2015, Minnesota ranked dead last overall.

Enough is enough!

I guess my question is, where are the black community leaders; self-appointed or otherwise? How does Minnesota (the state) keep operating in a vicious circle of neglect and malfeasance and nobody black, male or female that has contact with policy makers says a word? Also, what happened to more than 500 Super Bowl tickets scattered out in the Twin Cities? Who received them, why?

With the clear and present danger of not enough black school teachers, college professors, housing nonprofits, where are black Minnesotans headed?

Part II: Still N***a (Jay Z, 2017).

About Don Allen:
"Donny" is an educator in St. Paul and continues his education currently at the University of St. Thomas taking the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) and the Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.). He is also a motivational speaker for topics of black children, teacher licensing in the education system. To contact him, email

EXCLUSIVE: Did a Minnesota construction firm build sub-standard Housing in Haiti?

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