The Star Tribune takes sides and it’s not yours

If you were in doubt about the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s objectivity, or whose side they are on, the Jamar Clark case proves that they are neither objective nor neutral when it comes to Black , poor and working people. The interests of the institution that is the Star Tribune lie with the power structure and the status quo. In fact their editorial titled, “Justice, but no comfort in Jamar Clark case” was a rather sleazy attempt to justify the decision not to prosecute the killers of Jamar Clark by the Hennepin County Attorney’s office, despite evidence that makes it clear a trial is warranted in the case. Their defense borders on the criminal.

Anyone with a fourth grade education knows that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision not to indict was not justice. It was rather Freeman’s illegal and immoral attempt to defend Minneapolis cops Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze, to justify the indefensible; murder. In fact it was a cover up.

Furthermore the Star Tribune,StarTribuneBuildingPlaque640_5 along with help from the electronic corporate media lay the ground work by creating and publishing a narrative immediately after Clark’s killing that described him as a: woman beater, criminal, jobless youth who had run from the police before. Thus shedding poor light on his character.

While discrediting Jamar, they created a climate of disfavor toward him that made it difficult for people to sympathize with him, that is see him as a human being; thus making his legal lynching easier to justify. Yes it was a lynching because I believe the 10 year old and the other witnesses who said they didn’t see Jamar resisting, but suddenly heard him shot for no apparent reason.

In an editorial supposedly aimed at smoothing over relations after the power structure allowed the Minneapolis police to get away with murder, the Star Tribune editorial board wrote about Clark’s shooting, that, “the goal is to make them as rare as possible.”

That’s right there were no dog whistles they said the goal is to make them RARE not rid society of these killings all together. They wrote it down so they meant it just as it was written. They aren’t interested in having the police stop killing folks needlessly they are only interested in appearances.

Speaking of appearances, the Star Tribune in their attempt to patronize and detract from the community’s desire for justice used their organ to trumpet about how supposedly transparent the process was, as if people sought transparency over justice. One of the editors who seem’s like a nice enough guy asked me about the importance of transparency, so I asked him if his son were killed in this manner would he be impressed by transparency or would he want justice. He said justice!

And in their effort to make sure that Jamar was seen in a negative light they spared no one. Those of us who have had the temerity to take to the streets in protest were targeted as well. The Star Tribune and a few other big business media outlets early on, continuously tried to make it appear that the activists were just looking for an axe to grind rather than having a real cause. They did this by writing “activists claim Clark was handcuffed and unarmed” rather than witnesses said.

Of course, if activists said it, it’s likely not credible because, of course they are not credible, they are people who just make up things to protest about.

It took several calls to editors before that smear campaign was stopped. Of course the Star Tribune writer who brags about having black children never stopped making the scandalous inference.

In its zeal to make the system’s case, days after the non-indictment, the Star Tribune disparaged the entire Black community with its headline, “Accounts of Jamar Clark’s death show how imperfect memory can be.” According to one so-called expert, “we know that stress and…. trauma can undermine people’s memory… “In particular for members of communities who lack trust and confidence in the criminal justice [system].”

Remove all the flowery language and everyone gets it; Blacks aren’t credible!

If there meaning wasn’t clear, editorial page writer DJ Tice told us that, “the image of Clark in handcuffs turns out to have been a mirage — rather like the “hands up, don’t shoot” tableau involving Ferguson, Missouri’s Michael Brown.” The inference being that ALL of the witnesses were lying and we aren’t going to even let you decide for yourself it’s a “mirage” a lie cause the bosses the masters at the Star Tribune said so!

It appears our friends at the Star Tribune borrowed a page from Hitler’s henchman Joseph Goebbels. Control language and you can control people’s thoughts, tell big lies and never admit the lie but keep repeating the lie and of course vilify your enemies ( the working class in general and blacks in particular).

Cuba has things they can teach us

Obama and Raoul Castro

President Obama’s visit to Cuba and the recent efforts at normalization of relations between the US and Cuba give us a chance to both learn about and appreciate the Cuban revolution and see even clearer the US role in the world.

Cuba like the US was founded by European explorers who subsequently eliminated the native populations and then brought Africans against their will to work the land as chattel slaves.  Cotton was the money crop for the US slaveowners, sugar was what enriched the early Cuban colonists. Cuba like the US started as a colony and fought a war to free itself from Spanish control led by one the most famous and stalwart freedom fighters in Latin American history Jose Marti. Cuba was liberated from Spain in 1898 as a result of losing the Spanish American war but it still remain occupied by the US for years to come.

The US has consistently invaded and interfered with the affairs of Cuba since the Spanish American war and the US’ Monroe Doctrine basically said that the US had a right to control what happens in the Western Hemisphere.

As Obama admitted in his speech, before 1959, some Americans saw Cuba as something to exploit: ignored poverty, enabled corruption. “

Since overthrowing the dictator Falencion Batista in a revolution in 1959 Cuba has been under attack from the US as it strove to make real changes in its society. The Cubans succeeded in bringing education, healthcare and dignity to everyone.

“Every child deserves the dignity that comes with education, health care and food on the table, and a roof over their heads,” said president Obama in his speech.  While Obama pontificated about it Cuba has actually done it.

The Cubans while a long way from building a utopia or panacea or the perfect society have made incredible strides in educating its people in fact while the US continues with a two-tiered educational system that under-educates much of its urban population. The Cubans have excelled.

Obama acknowledged as much in his speech.” Cuba has an extraordinary resource, a system of education which values every boy and every girl,” said Obama.

While the US still struggles with racial inequality which Obama admitted to as well yesterday, the Cubans have made real strides in this area, though old habits have died hard and some Blacks still find themselves ghettoized and Costillian attitudes that view whites as superior to Afro-cubans still remain among some.

While Cuban socialism is built on the importance of the group and the community US society has been built on the so-called rights of the individual.  I say so-called because though humans have the right to food and shelter in the US people go hungry every day and too many make their beds under bridges.

Cubans communalism and internationalism have contrasted with the US. Whereas the US foreign aide is cynical in that is always done with an eye toward influencing and sometimes dominating the country aided. Cuba has practiced a real altruistic internationalism. They have given and sacrificed without expecting anything in return. We took different journeys to our support for the people of South Africa in ending Apartheid

The US president was absolutely right when he said,” we took different journeys to our support for the people of South Africa in ending Apartheid.” The US led by the Reagan Administration actually coddled the racist government at the time engaging in a cynical policy they called  “Constructive Engagement.”. It was the citizens of the US that opposed Apartheid with divestment campaigns community and campus protests in support of a Free South Africa

Also while the president claimed that the US and Cuba responded to the Ebola crisis in West Africa particularly Liberia and Sierra Leone it was Cuba that sent medical personnel. The US sent TROOPS while trying to contain the disease rather than help West Africans eradicate it.

Normalizing relations allows us not to teach Cuba but to learn from the Cubans.