Mainstreet Radio: Hidden Rainbow: The Changing Face of Minnesota - Racism in St. Cloud

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A Mainstreet Radio special broadcast from St. Cloud. Part of MPR's week-long project called "Hidden Rainbow: The Changing Face of Minnesota." A discussion on racism in St. Cloud.

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(00:00:00) NPR's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening. Good morning and welcome to a special Main Street radio broadcast from the campus of st. Cloud State University. I'm Rachel rebe the ethnic landscape of rural Minnesota is changing as more minorities move out state today on our two hour special. We'll talk about how towns across the state are handling this new diversity. St. Cloud once and almost all white rural community is evolving into a more urban ethnically diverse area with the growth has come an increase in reported incidents of racism Our Guest this morning our Rolanda Mason lawyer who's handling a number of racism cases for st. Cloud area legal services tie a red St Cloud. And who serves on the state Council for black minnesotans and Susan any the executive editor of the st. Cloud Times? Good morning to all of you. Good morning. We'd also like to welcome our audience here at Atwood Memorial center on the st. Cloud State University campus and listeners. Our phone lines are open for your questions and comments. You can reach us today at one eight hundred five hundred 75252 that number again is 1-800-585-9396 conversation in the past several years much attention has been focused in this community on the problem of racism. We'd like to start by asking our panel if you feel that any progress has been made. Tell her you want to start with that question from your point of view. Do you feel like any progress has been made in the fight against (00:01:50) racism in the last 20 years. I think there was a time when things were moving up what a big getting better lately in the last six seven years. I think things have been going down the the in fact, I would like to congratulate you for coming to the to st. Cloud search looking for the problem because we tried to talk to the communities to the leadership to the city to the university and to the churches and other organizations people have been running away. They don't want to face the problem as a result. The rest situation has become worse people in the in the in the college age students are scared to death minority. Are afraid to walk around in the city the police harassment last five years ago. We did a survey 87 percent of the African-American population said they were being harassed by the police and things are really growing worse at one time though things were growing better. Even in fact now what I see is I received a letter from the mayor saying that I'll tell the Neo-Nazi shop. I never knew anyone had called shop such a letter comes and then friends of mine get calls saying that the malcontents, you know, the name the name is it shouldn't be that way. What we want them to do is to come and talk. We can't find a solution to the problem together and there is no reason you came here. They could have come here to (00:03:34) Susan any your executive editor of the st. Cloud Times from your perspective your paper is certainly filled with incidents of community people coming. Together to talk about racism. Do you think there's progress being made? Well, I don't have the same perspective as tight does simply because I haven't been in the community 20 years. I've been here two years. So my perspective is a little bit different. I was here when the older mayor was here and Larry Meyer took over as mayor. There was a definite change there as far as what mirror Myers is trying to do. He has reached out to certain groups in the community. He's approaching it in a way that may not satisfy every group out there. He's definitely approaching it from an education standpoint president. Bruce grube from scsu is also taken it on as a mission to do something about it once again, whether it's satisfying all Of the community and approaching it. I couldn't say but it is a topic of conversation. Definitely a topic of conversation. I don't think there is one way to approach it. I think it's going to have to be approached by a lot of different people in a lot of different ways to make any gains and from my perspective from other communities where I have lived. I see a lot more discussion going on in St. Cloud then those other communities and I think that's a positive whether we can go faster do more. Yes. Definitely Rolando your thoughts. Well, I agree with with Susan in that there is increased dialogue and that can only be positive. I kind of fall somewhere in the middle between your other two. Guess I've been in st. Cloud about 11 years. When I when I first came in the first few years that I was here. I think there were lots of incidents of racism. I think there was some real horrible things happening to people but I think that by and large most of the population of st. I was unaware of those instances. So I think that some of the the community sponsored events to encourage people to talk about their experiences is it can only be helpful the more we that the public as a whole is aware the more we can take steps to address that I also agree with Susan and that we probably aren't yet doing enough and that that just because we're talking more and because there are some new initiatives in the community. We can't be fooled into believing we've done now everything that we need to do the statistics and the stories that I relate our are very real and they're very heart-wrenching and as long as those stories persist in our community, we know we're not doing enough it. Although this conversation is taking place on the campus of st. Cloud State University. We do not have a representative from the University of administration with us today. They were asked to be part of our discussion and declined st. Cloud. Mayor. Larry Meyer was also asked to participate in our show and talk about his Initiative for racial Harmony inclusive. And equal opportunity he chose not to be a part of this conversation as well. Our phone number one eight hundred five three 75252. Does it concern you that some of the major players to come together around the table are not here. (00:07:04) I think there is some dialogue as they said that's going on and it does concern me that these major players like the university being the major employer around here is not here and the city that has no record for employing any minority like in the police force or out of the 378 city employees having not even one person of color except in terms and they put them up at their model employees. The dialogue that is going on is between themselves. I don't want somebody else to discuss and give me my rights. I want to be part of that discussion. That's where the difference is. If a group of the dominant group, if a group of white people discuss and tell me we're going to solve your problem. How can they solve because they don't know my pains because they don't understand what's going on. They hired even out. Ciders, like hiring had get black people. They don't want to talk to the local people. We have to be able to talk together because as reasonable human beings there is no reason that you know, why we shouldn't be discussing these problems. That is the the difference they want they discuss it among themselves. They have set up committee after committee even after the hearing of minorities, you know what the mayor said? I'm not going to come up with a low the community is going to solve it. These communities don't know what's going on don't understand what's happening among the minority communities. That is where things are missing (00:08:36) easy. - do you agree disagree? Well, I I do agree that any solutions or any progress that we make as a community has to be a community effort and all segments of our community have to be involved and to the extent that that any segment of the community is not asked to the table. I think that puts it pulls into question the effectiveness of whatever that group or committee would try to implement. We're going to go to our phone lines Ray from Clear Lake is standing by Ray. Good morning. Good morning. Your question or (00:09:12) comment? Well, the common basically is it seems like this community. I'm actually just recently moved here and it seems like the community is pretty much. Accepting but it seems they're more reactive than proactive when it comes to racial situations or controversies. I think that if there were something in the news or a serious issue that we could pinpoint the administration would be there in the mayor would be there. And unfortunately, it seems that they're not it's not an agenda until it's not an issue until it becomes an agenda serious agenda for him. That's all I really want to point out. (00:09:54) Thank you for your comment today. We're moving now to Brooklyn Park where Michael is waiting on the phone. Good morning, Michael. (00:10:01) Hello. Yeah, my name is Michael and I'm an academic advisor at a Twin Cities Community College and many of my students. I work with want to transfer to a CSU. But I want to ask the panelists if they think the students of color of mine who I work with that want to transfer to st. Cloud if they'll be safe there. And also I was surprised that NPR didn't ask professors such as Buster Cooper on Michael Davis or student activist. To be on the panel because I think they would have brought a lot of richness to the discussion. (00:10:33) Let's address the question. Do you think students of color would be comfortable coming to st. Cloud to the community and coming to this University? (00:10:42) I would say I would say yes because the more in numbers in st. Cloud the better it would be for all of us. I'm looking at it from a different angle individuals are not very happy. I'm not very comfortable. It is a sad story in st. Cloud the campus though. It is part of the community lives on its own as if it is a camp in military Camp, you know isolated separated from the community, even their professors don't participate and share in the community situations here. But if we get students Michael, I think it would be good because the more in numbers the more of us in st. Cloud's the better it would be because people would be learning and people will stand together, you know, people have to work together because there are some His attacks taking place on the students student the security in the in the in the campus itself is very concerned about it. So (00:11:43) although tie a this is an interesting point. You said that you came here 20 years ago and as we've seen the minority population increase as it has dramatically in the last five or six years the minority population at the public school has almost tripled and yet that's the same period of time where you said things have gotten (00:12:00) worse. This is this is very interesting because people have come from Chicago from Detroit from Milwaukee from northern Minneapolis, you know why they have been running away from bullets. They have been running away from the gangs and drugs. We don't have those as much here. But here what really gets you is the subtle discrimination is the institutional discrimination either inability to get any jobs. We don't have a single person of color in the police force. No no employee in City Hall out of Under people the 378 people. We don't have any look at the schools. We have only two black teachers and one of them was a hydrologist year until now out of 1,000 there was only one black teacher look at the at the Asian Community. They are not participating. They're not being allowed to participate. There is a new bus company coming the flyer bus company all those that have been higher than till now are known people of color is it these are the things this is what so those people run away from the bullet, but it doesn't mean you have to live under operation under subtle discrimination under institutional discrimination in st. Cloud. (00:13:13) I was going to say the caller indicated that his students had a fear for their safety if they came to scsu and when I think about that, I think about their mental safety. I mean things will definitely be different that but their physical safety. It is CSU. I mean from what I remember in the paper there haven't been incidences of people being physically attacked because of their color. I don't think it's that kind of a fear as much as maybe the caller hin ended his students think boozy. Kamala was just joined us you are director for Multicultural services at st. Cloud Technical College. You are a man of color. You also went to this University. So perhaps you could shed some light on this question. The question came from man who works at a community college in the Twin Cities asking for his students that are interested in coming here his students of color. Would they feel safe here? Will they be (00:14:18) comfortable here? Well, thank you. Thank you. Thanks again for inviting me to be part of this program of this program. That's that's one of the issues. I did not actually hear the question itself. So I'm just taking it from from as you say the issue of safety goes beyond just mental simply because I mean also my personal experiences when I was leaving. I remember I was leaving the education building and this the way to man called me both in league and told me to go back where you came from, but I hadn't done anything to her the point is that human head. I've been angry as I should have and I reacted automatically in other words. I cannot react because already I fretted profitable fit the profile of a man who is black and automatically I'm violent. So it does come to the issue of physical safety because already become a criminal and also in women beat it. I mean the list just coming. Continuum in continuous on the other hand and I would also be the same for the person who's to say that as people of color we've gone through a lot of obstacles and I'm not saying that you should be more being put on but I'm just saying that you should be also being the type of people who I mean that we have overcome the fact that each time I see a black person. Anyway, I say the tough ones made it because you were here because the turf Rachel what you hear is there are some people that have been here for a long time and they tell you things are changing. There are 12 people employed in professional positions in st. Cloud 12 out of 15 hundred out of 2014. Does that mean and then what happens is it's not only individual physical threats that exist around here. It is the Departments. I have letters Bunches of letters will departments discriminate because you are a person of color. I think we might be getting some calls but it is pretty bad. And I know where Robert base was. The president situations were improving in this town. But now the last four years five years, it has been really going bad because they talk a lot. They say we are changing it we are doing this and they publish a lot. But in actuality nothing is (00:16:45) happening Rolanda Mason, you talked about your office handling perhaps as many as a dozen cases of racism at this given time. That's correct. We represent. We have a couple of different projects that deal with racism. The one that I'm personally involved with is the fair Schools project where we represent students and their families in grades K through 12 who may be experiencing racism in the school. And I think that Boosie's comment was it Ugly reflected in a lot of the cases that we see we see students who are daily or regularly subjected to incidences of verbal harassment or very subtle instances of intimidation and ultimately they may react in a way that is more aggressive or violent and then they are perceived as the instigator and the punishments for any kind of violent activity is much more severe than the than the punishments that may be there for verbal harassment, especially if that harassment isn't as identified as racial and so oftentimes we hear from from parents and from students feeling so frustrated because they don't feel protected in the school in terms of the things that are said to them or the way, they're treated between classes or in the halls and yet when they feel compelled them to react to protect themselves, then they are targeted as the one who has acted inappropriately. Our phone lines are open today the number if you would like to join our conversation as one eight hundred five three 75252 I'm Rachel re be in the show is coming to you from the Atwood Lounge at st. Cloud State University. And we do have an audience and they have questions and comments as well. We'd like to talk to Tom rot to Demi who is a professor of human relations in multiculturalism at st. Cloud State sir. Your question or (00:18:32) comment my comment has to do was my work at Saint Cloud State for the last 10 years. I want to first of all thank NPR for doing a superb job with the Crookston North Minneapolis connection. And it's I think you need to do a more exhaustive job in Saint Cloud. But this I want to honor the fact that you're trying to do something and I want to thank Rachel RAV4 that and NPR. Secondly I want to also say the problem that we have here is we don't have owners dialogues on race in st. Cloud yet because if we did the table would have been the people that have power would not define who is reasonable person. Talk to and who is not if both are de klerk later on and the people in this Africana party chose to talk to the NC because they want to solve the problem. There's no reason why people of color who have been fighting for racial Justice on this campus and the people who have power whether it's the mayor or the president of the University cannot get on the table and have an honest dialogue. (00:19:39) And so your situation is that you would like to come to the table. Nobody's invited you to come in with your (00:19:44) opinion and what it is is when it's all controlled. I like I feel control right now is managed what we are suffering from in. St. Cloud is image management and white Terror white error in the sense that racism happens to Children young young and old but we have a whole bunch of image management that has happened in five years and just like an alcoholic family. You've got people who are suffering from alcoholism and who are dying and then you've got the codependence and then you've got the problem children the And children are the whistleblowers Tire data has been defined as a problem child in the sense that he's talked about racism and then he gets invisible lized what I like to see happen and I want to end I know I'm the microphone is being grabbed away from me. So there's control here. But what I want to say happened is an honest Dialogue on racism with a strategic planning to deal with it strategic planning means strategic assessment assessment tools on police harassment. So they're doing a strategic assessment tools on employment strategic meant assessment tools on student retention faculty retention on campus on defining racism not calling it diversity. Everything does discussed is what I've done on campus and that's the problem we have we have a lot of watering down of issues and then save people are called to the table and the definition of safe is people that don't talk about the problem. Thank you. (00:21:06) Thank you so much. I'm our phone number. Again. 1-800-555-9408. Well phone wasn't being grabbed away from you it. Just being held by our producer which is what we do with the audience participation today. Let's go on with our phone calls. We have Dana in Eagan standing by good morning Dana. Good morning. What I'd like to say is that talk is cheap. You don't even have to go to st. Cloud Minnesota. You come to Eagan Minnesota. You can call it Egan Alabama. We've experienced hate crimes. We have death threats kids throwing their fists to my son's face. So you don't mess with Americans as a Muslim. I am tired of this every day we go outside we go for walks. Go back to your country death to Muslims. My son went to the public school. Even the Middle School puzzle minority principal violated, my son's Fifth Amendment rights and we have proof of it on copy as well as heart audio tape where she says told my son to go get the letter and steal it out of his briefcase and bring it to her the original copy my son. Didn't you want to know something? We took the human rights? We took it to a turn. We took it everywhere eleven thousand dollars in debt. And guess what? Nobody's done anything you Minnesota writes about it. They talk about it. They water it down a great deal. But when it comes to actually Prosecuting people for these crimes, they don't do anything about it. It's just like my son said Minnesota is the best racist state in America and he put that on his test for the when he had him state of Minnesota test in fourth grade my children now go to the Islamic school and the school public school system has done everything to get my son's kicked out of the Islamic school because they want them back so they can make them special ed students not because of their academic is because they want to cover it up. We've been told here in Eagan the white or the writer by the cops. We told yes, it's your kids. It's you guys it's not us. We're not going to come it's you guys you know, what do you see is the solution. What do you see is the loose solution or the beginning of the solution? We need to prosecute these people for the crimes committed. They otherwise they know guess what as on the John radio show a year ago when they had their National hate crime Summit is one of the guest speakers. She said if there's hate crimes in Minnesota, they go unreported. They don't go unreported. They go shoved into dirty little closet. No one wants to talk about what goes on here in Minnesota. They just want to cover it up. I've gone to the I called Carol Lovin when they were talking about what happens in Littleton. Guess what they never call me back no longer Mason address this Rolanda. Let's talk from your position. And again you work with the project that is allowing you and another attorney at st. Cloud area legal services to address these cases of racism with no regards to people's ability to pay. Is that going to help she talks about being eleven thousand dollars in debt and still going no place with this. I certainly hope it's going to help that's that's our intent are. Our office generally represents low-income people. And so there's no requirement that those people pay for our services like any program that's available to low-income Community. There's a ceiling for that and so there are certainly families that that would fall sort of above that that may very well find themselves not being able to access programs such as ours. But what we hope to do is provide representation to people who wouldn't be able to go out and hire that representation and to focus primarily on instances of racism. As I said in K through 12, do you feel like you've made any progress? This is a very discouraging story that she tells about of trying and trying and trying and getting no place and it's a story that I hear repeated daily from the clients that I work with. I think her experience is probably very reflective of the experience of a lot of families in the past in that the systems that are in place are held often in the hands of the the people you're having the conflict with if there are processes available in the school. System to address issues of racism in the school the people who know about that for example are the school administrators who are the people you are in conflict with so it can be a very intimidating process. What we hope to do Through the Fair Schools project is to level that playing field a little bit to give parents and students and access to another source who can talk with them about what that process is to help them access is to help them go through that process and if appropriate if the process that's available through the school system fails them doesn't work then to to bring those redress has to through the court system if that's appropriate. We're talking about racism in the st. Cloud Community with our guest Tyler Etta Rolanda, Mason Souza Nene and Vu Z. Kamalo. I'm Rachel re being you're listening to a special Main Street radio broadcast from the campus of st. Cloud State University. Mpr's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and Meaning we'll be back with more of Main Street after look at news and weather. I'm Lorna Benson on the next all things considered as Rochester's minority population has grown immigrants have endured taunts and violence. I just couldn't take it anymore. And just one of them said something to me and I responded like in a way that I knew I shouldn't respond Rochester city leaders have made an effort to put race on the agenda with mixed results tune in for our series The Hidden rainbow that changing face of Minnesota on the next All Things Considered weekdays at 3:00 on Minnesota Public Radio. (00:26:50) Good morning. I'm Tim pug Meyer with an update from Minnesota Public Radio rescue crews. Got there within 15 minutes of the crash. But us officials say the two American Apache helicopter Pilots were already dead. Today's crash in Albania marks the first US casualties of the Mission Against Yugoslavia. President Clinton says America's prayers are with the families. The president is continuing his efforts to rally the troops for the Kosovo Mission. He stopped at one US base in Germany to give a pep talk today and heads to another to have dinner with the soldiers. It's another painful day of picking up the pieces for tornado victims across the Plains, Texas and Arkansas are the latest states to get hit the Twisters roared through yesterday killing one person in Texas and injuring 11 others more than 100 homes in both states were damaged or destroyed students at Columbine High School are said to be singling out another possible gunman the sheriff tells the Denver Post that Witnesses agree on the identity of the third person who may have been involved in the shooting. He says the suspect has been interviewed in Regional news 3 tobacco trial jurors standed divided about thirty thousand dollars to cover Financial hardships, the Minnesota house approved a plan to pay for closure costs lost over time and other fees the jurors suffered during the four-month trial last year State Transportation officials have pledged money and political backing for light rail projects in st. Paul. It's part of an effort to ensure broad support for mass transit in the Twin Cities metro area under the agreement the state would give up to 12 million dollars in federal money to Ramsey County for Transit projects over the next two years. The forecast for the state today scattered showers along with a few thunderstorms, especially in the north highs today mainly in the 60s at last report in Fargo 63 Rochester 65 saint-cloud 61 and in the Twin Cities 62, and that's the latest news from Minnesota Public (00:28:56) Radio. In the past 20 years over nine thousand refugees from places like Vietnam Bosnia Cambodia Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union have moved to rural Minnesota how have they been accepted? We'll talk about that next hour. But first we're continuing our conversation about how st. Cloud is coping with racism our guests for this discussion are visi kamalo director for the Multicultural services at st. Cloud Technical College Rolanda Mason a lawyer who's handling a number of racism cases for st. Cloud area legal services tie a rhetta St. Cloud resident who serves on the state Council for black minnesotans and Susan Eeny executive editor at the st. Cloud times. We are going to go to our phones and then we'll be right back to talk to some students from st. Cloud State University who are in our audience right after Curtis from Minneapolis has a chance to give his comment. Good morning (00:29:46) Curtis. Good morning. I like to know, you know, how can you not know that there's discrimination and racism in All Phases of this system. You have no black people. Hello any person of color in the fire department the police department the administration of the school? Basically, this is a whitewash. You guys got this feel good attitude. I'm originally from Georgia and I even in Minneapolis. I find that black people would go along with the white rhetoric that everything is okay. They'll talk about it saying about it, but there's really nothing that we can do about it because you guys who are white hole that type of power the fear that you command in the n-double-a-cp in the Urban League and all of these places where you are given money to keep these people quiet is what keeps this atmosphere going, you know it I know it basically the whole state of Minnesota knows it all we're doing here is talking we talk in terms of solution. You really don't want a solution. This is the atmosphere and this is how Things are going to continue to go until something actually happen and someone explode but then again if it happened to be a black person or a person of color who explode we get the rhetoric from the white Community about ho this is how they were raised by their blah, but if you're white gunman who murders and slaughtered innocent people we turn around and says gee, you know, this is the product of society the school system didn't work. We find excuses for white Americans hatred of not only black people but of itself because there is that living in denial and fear because they treat (00:31:37) you want to address that your thoughts about what he's saying (00:31:40) is I mean, I I concur with what the caller is saying one of the one of the bigger issues that you find ourselves in is the reality of the fact that people of color should be the ones understanding see how do you ask if I mean a person who's in a big as a victim in this case to understand, how can you ask me? If you come to me your rape me, then you come to me and say then people that Society will come and support you need to understand these people have never seen it. That's that is so rude and that is just that is just crude and I can understand. I mean the pain that comes from that that comes from them because it's something that happens and every time the kind of support that we get. Oh, I hope you understand. I hope you not make a big deal. I hope you're not generalized. Well as the very act in itself, he actually chittim in suggest a lot of generalization that actually that that has occurred one thing that I would like us to encourage ourselves though. I mean, I'll say it's as people of color one of the things that's it. Yes. I mean, let's continue to fight until to find the power and then we all I mean, although I'm arrows they believe in that. I also believe that lets just cut this continue to invest on our own kids and our own people making sure ensuring that our children our children of color as they grow up. They have identity. They know who they are and they're proud of who they are so that whatever happens. In the way, they are they have tools to be able to deal with those kind of situations rather. I mean because we can spend it's good. We can spend all of the time fighting somewhere out there. The other Wing that's invest in our kids. (00:33:10) We're going to our audience now we have re shorter in the audience who is a student here at st. Cloud State University Ray your comment. (00:33:17) Well, I'm a graduate student in the play psychology department is saying called State and for the last year I've for the last year. I've been dehumanized belittled and literally raped of My Mind and Spirit in that department biracial text by white students as well as white faculty in that department (00:33:36) Ray. Let's talk specifically about some of those attacks what has specifically happened to you on the part of students and on the part of (00:33:42) Faculty. Well is it's a whole list of things that has happened in the classroom settings. It seemed like when for one example in one of my classes when I when I told the students I was talking about different cultural perspectives in terms of psychology. And many of the students start to yell at me and telling me they don't care about other cultures. They don't care about what I'm talking about in my point was them if they're not invested in terms of learning about different cultures being they can they can provide therapy with them and I was told that as they continue to attack and yell at me. I mean literally yell at me I decide to get up and leave and my professor Dave let's are told me to continue to walk if you can you to leave if I as I'm walking through the door just continue to walk out and don't come back because I will not allow these white students to start yelling at me like I'm some type of animal or something but though it's been a history of that happened to me all this year in practically. All of my classes is been well documented president knows about it. The Deans knows about it, but no I had to suffer for a whole year and finally now people are thinking about doing something which I still don't know what it is. But my I talk to these people countless amount of times before whole year. I still suffer and to this day it's a lot of retaliation is going on. Is that everyone knows about but there's nothing getting done (00:35:01) and so this conversation about mandatory classes for every st. Cloud State University student to raise their Consciousness on the issue of racism and cards that have been passed out to students say if you see racism taking place. If you see this sort of thing report it you're saying that has not (00:35:19) worked notice that has worked is docu as well document in terms of Applied psychology have a history of it and currently for whole year. Somebody can investigate you find all other all kinds of already got an affirmative action complete as well as other complaints against them, so it's no surprise as out there, but it they have continued even now to retaliate against me as a result of me being a conscious black man standing up and trying to talk about the concerns of perspective of other people of color and not have to be adapted to a white oppressive structure, so I won't allow it, but it's a lot of retaliation and no nothing is getting done about it. They are allowing it to happen. That's why I continue to suffer as a (00:35:56) result. Thanks. Sharing your story we have another student from st. Cloud State University in our audience. Lance Gibson. Good morning (00:36:02) Lance Hi, how are you doing? Let's see. I come from Minot North Dakota and and that place is an extremely racist place and I partially left there to try and not fall into the same trap. And unfortunately, I came to a place that was much worse than Minot North Dakota. Obviously, you can see st. Cloud's investment in dealing with racism. Where's the administration? They're not here. Where's the city officials? They're not here his initiatives about taking care of racism. Well, they've been Neo-Nazi groups up in st. Cloud Distributing Flyers since last summer and just recently a man in the spring semester got attacked by the new assets like $6,000 damage to his car and people are still don't you know, Larry Meyer why have initiatives on race relations? No, he doesn't if he did he'd be here and see we do have something in place at st. Cloud to maybe take care of some of the racism and some of the oppression here. It's called the human relations department and what they're trying to do to that department is destroy it they're like attacking every teacher in the human relations department. During the course is in the requirements and that department is probably one of the structural Frameworks that could work towards eliminating these oppressions and they want to tear it down (00:37:06) and your solution Lance would be (00:37:07) what my solution well, I would like to focus more since I'm a white person there. There's so many complacent white people in Saint Cloud. Everybody does not want to see the racism here. I'll talk to Hale. There's no anti-Semitism. There's no sexism blah blah blah. They want to close their eyes and be blind and just kind of go through the motions and there's there's they have no investment. They think everything is okay. They have this false illusion of racial Harmony and thus they don't think they have to do any work. I will say to you that I think I would actually appreciate the overt racist who can come up and at least say how they feel whereas the complacent white racist who don't say anything and just keep their eyes shut and walk around knowing all this stuff is happening still don't do anything. They're the racist like the administration here like the city. They're not do anything. You got police here that continuously harass people. It's like DW be driving while black you'll get pulled over. You can't go in a store without being looked at. And see people don't understand people think people got to say things to you come up and physically attack you but please don't cut me off 90% of communication is nonverbal. It's body language. Look at (00:38:08) that. Let's see that's give our panelists a chance to respond Lance and Ray. Thank you for your comments boozy. You told me yesterday that the biggest enemy or white liberals. What did you mean by (00:38:18) that? You know, I just sickening to listen to idly, but I was telling me how I should feel about sap about certain things how I should how I should have reacted how I should have demonstrated that I was in pain look here. I've been black all of my life and I know exactly how I demonstrate how I am when I what went on what I'm what I'm feeling. This is not to negate what lens is saying in fact because what is what he's saying but as a matter of fact is true, I mean we do I personally I have no idea why I was saying I was saying Cloud Administration is not here. I don't have no idea why whatever reasons they are they are but I would like I mean it mean since I came to Saint Cloud and started in 90 they've been talking about talking we've been talking about talking and talking and talking and today was still talking about talking about talking and what's he thinking you need to be a good idea to have dialogues? Okay fine and we are talk right now. We're talking having dialogues. You see it's this is not such an attack. I'm just it's just an observation. What is it that will I mean, what is it that were doing? Yes. I've been involved in some other. I mean, excuse me in some other dialogues like I mean, I'm involved in bringing dr. Banks in campus Because we believe in it because I believe it's Multicultural education is essential otherwise people get I mean who graduates they graduate as educated (00:39:40) weaklings? So talking may not solve everything or anything, but you need to keep (00:39:46) talking deliver. I mean, let's let's deliver. I mean we'll be making promises and let's let's let's identify what the issue is. Okay, fine. We know racism is an issue. Let's call everybody in energy. The bargaining table is fun. What the issue how we go about I mean how we go about delivering I think one of them is takes also weeks and we do we spend more time blaming of which yes we can do and what justifiable to a me to blame everybody on the other hand one of blame everybody. Everybody else is so tainted that everybody else is afraid to do anything because they don't want to get me to get involved and I wish people would get a conscious and get (00:40:21) involved Ty rather you want to (00:40:23) do. So this talking thing then I from Egan mentioned it now booze. He's talking about it and people tell you we have to talk who is talking. It's people don't that group only that's talking. Maybe they would have some Uncle Tom's from among our own community. No determined. Home, you know those who agree with them in everything or those that have been brought there is a person hired like a Hired Gun who is going to come and solve all our problems. It was in the news only last week, but she going to (00:40:55) solve you're not impressed with a consultant being hired to figure out what the racial climate is. We think (00:41:00) we are people very reasonable people was is reasonable. I am reasonable everybody else we can talk and solve the problem. There was a person that was that we brought Community judge from Chicago for the Midwest area. He came and told him you have to show a bottom line. You have to show that you have hired policeman who have had teachers you have had company people you are right. Is it? Holy no Rachel. It is so white. It's so glaringly white family. You can't see I mean you did some people of color and this is by right people have worked to develop this country to the label it as it is people run away family server to run away in some cases. You know, I'm not Not saying that they should run away people children in our people have to run away with their chili. So I think the problem the solution would be talk to the families and the families the minority communities and that is the only way you could bring about a change not selectively not by excluding some not by hiring Hired Guns. Anyway, thank you. (00:42:08) I'm Rachel rebe and we are broadcasting from the st. Cloud State University campus. This is a discussion on racism in st. Cloud Pastor Katie Schneider Bryant is in our audience. She is the pastor at the First United Methodist Church, which is very close to the st. Cloud State University campus Pastor Schneider Brian tell us what place the Community of Faith has in identifying the problem and in solving the problem. Well, I think that the Community of Faith has to always come from an attitude of hopefulness and I think as we hear this conversation, we can become so discouraged. That we can't do enough that we can't take stands that we can affect change. So I think first of all his people of Hope gather, you know, as as faithful people that then we begin to make a difference and to listen to each other to be in dialogue. We've talked about talking and talking more talk but one of the things that I'm excited about here in St Cloud and it's a small baby step, but I think it's an important step as I'm working with my congregation and other congregations faith-based communities in What's called the Great River Interfaith partnership and we are gathering across different denominations and Faith communities to say what are the issues in this community that we need to address and one of the first steps was for within those congregations to intentionally have interviews with various people in the community as well as well as within our membership to ask. What are you concerned about? What are you frightened of in our community? What do we need to to address is racism a big issue in the minds of your congregation? Yes. I think it is and I think that what we see is that you cannot simply address it as an issue, but that it's woven into everything and that congregations need to also assess how we are part of the problem and to face it head-on and to talk about it and then to take some actions and this Great River interface Interfaith partnership is part of that first baby step to effect some change you talked about pamphlets being distributed in the neighborhood where the church is located. Yes that was spoken of earlier. I think Lance was mentioning that and there was an outcry within our own congregation people are saying this cannot happen here and tell me what sort of pamphlets came around. What kind well, they they were Neo-Nazi pamphlets that were basically attacking anyone who was not white and saying that, you know join us and and the response was to say not in our town and while there's never enough being done I think for us as people of faith. We are we are saying we have To do something and we will do what we can in small steps and dialogue and working together. Thank you. We're going back to our phones Dave in Blaine is Patiently Waiting by good morning Dave. (00:44:53) Good morning. Yeah. I'm in listening to this dialogue for a little bit and it's you know, I'm astounded how much racism has been, you know going on in st. Cloud, but you know, I come from a different perspective on the Junior at Metro State and you know, we have all these African-American and Asian groups on campus, you know, my perspective is probably much different but in one way you can maybe To advance. I mean maybe European American perspective for giving them their own group on campus. Maybe I noticed with a lot of racial tension that's been spurred is because you have all these different separate groups and they raised that out their own, you know, racial Consciousness, I think would be rational to maybe give it to European Americans have thanks (00:45:46) Lucy. What do you think about that? Do we need to a white group on campus? We already have (00:45:51) them. I like I don't need to say more than that. I don't already have them they exist and the Very fact that were talking about these issues right now. They're in power then control and those are the people that matter what one manipulating all the all the issues that we when we watch are talking about and you also people that are end up talking about on operating on fear. So I don't need to say more on that. It's already (00:46:13) exists. Let's go back to the phone's tunde in Plymouth is standing by good morning, sir. (00:46:18) Good morning. I just have a few points to make and I must commend this program. I am fortunate to have followed halfway, but I just have if you come in to make one is the peaceful approach. I don't know one's fighting now, but let's look at those black leaders who have impacted the lives of minorities in this generation to come and Ella and Martin Luther King. They preached a peaceful approach to accept even those who oppress them, you know, and then the second would be communication and communication will be two ways one amongst minorities themselves in the sense that So many things wrong with the black people themselves in our neighborhoods in our be new but I don't blame what's going on now and look at it as where we are as a stage in life. I've been fortunate to have lived in different countries and different. Different levels of awareness in terms of Education religion, I believe I live in different circumstances so I can see that it's like a journey from what from point A to point Z and I see the black people not in the u.s. Now, I don't see them as being less than the white as people see them. I see them as people going through a phase. If you see the black Souls whose parents were educated or were middle class. They give to the children just as much opportunities and training as rifles do and that impacts their lives and they go on from there. Let's (00:48:11) get a reaction tunde tired. You have anything you want to say about what he's talking about about peaceful Solutions not so peaceful Solutions. (00:48:20) Peaceful Solutions. I wish that was possible not so peaceful solution. I hope it doesn't come what what I'm looking for is for people not Outsiders. We don't even need, you know, somebody big to come here and negotiate for us. We ourselves can talk. The only thing that's lacking is the leadership. There is no leadership among the public figures the churches have been running away. In fact when the pastor mentioned about the gripper the Great River interface, I'm one of the founders we started it to help minorities. How are we helping minorities and at all now there is no it's only to help their own Community congregations and the teachers teachers have forgotten their obligation that they are here for all children. They are not there is a lack of leadership overall and what we To do is I think we are ready to talk for that peaceful solution. We have ready to talk not talk continue talking but to show results so that people will be hired so that people will not Chase would be chased away from their Apartments. So that people will I was doing a survey recently for the federal government. I was stopped by the police. I'm an old man. Is there any reason you know, the situation around here is so bad that people have to wake up. I do have some beautiful friends good friends, but those few that creates those problems are making an because there is a lack the in the school system the superintendent. This is the city hall. The police chief. There is a Consortium that should be leading us. They are living in the wrong direction down to you know down the (00:50:12) drain Donna is on the phone with a she's calling from st. Cloud. Good morning, Donna. Good morning. I just wanted to share I moved to st. Cloud. Oh a little over 20 years ago from st. Paul and my first contact with any Commerce here in town. I went to the Sears store and the person I'd never seen before that was waiting on me welcomed me to town and told me that I would enjoy living here because I would see no dark faces on the street or something to that effect. Well, (00:50:43) I was aghast having (00:50:45) just moved from an integrated area in st. Paul and I just I just think this entire Community is 30 40 or more years behind socially and attitudinally than the rest of the (00:50:59) country and (00:51:01) as people of color are moving in there more more with contemporary times and they're moving in into an environment that just isn't with it isn't with the times. Rolando, would you agree with that? Is this town really experiencing some Growing Pains? We set it in the introduction. This was a rural almost entirely white community. And now we see that increase in the minority population in our people just is the town changing to go along with that or has changed very difficult in st. Cloud change is very difficult in st. Cloud. I think that what because probably because st. Cloud was so homogeneous that people did not recognize in themselves right racism bigotry. I think that oftentimes people think that if there aren't laws that exclude people like the old Jim Crow Laws of the South and it must mean that there's no Prejudice here and of course that's not true. And I think that as a community we've taken a very long time in even starting to recognize the biases that the predominant culture has and brings to bear. So I would agree with the collar. I think we You know, her story is is the you know, the poignant example of how far we still have to come. Susan do you agree with that? Oh definitely as a newcomer. I know how hard changes I've had people email me saying get out of town. You're not welcome here, and I'm not a person of color. I cannot begin to imagine if I were. It's just we have to be more accepting to change we have to be more accepting of people's differences in their perspectives and what they bring to the world. We're all moving toward a more Global Society St. Cloud cannot continue to be isolated the way it has in the past. We've got to move forward and fousey in your nine years. Have you seen any positive changes (00:53:08) here? You know, it makes sense. It makes sense to do a lot of things. I mean to tell one thing. I think that one thing that I would say is good is the fact that there are more people of color that are coming into the city and that is very good and I'm very proud of that. I hope people continue and I hope we continue to contribute in the community (00:53:26) so that will do something to help the change. That's what I'm sorry. We're out of time. We're halfway through this Main Street broadcast from st. Cloud Our Guest this morning have been tie a rhetta a member of the state Council from black minnesotans Rolanda Mason from st. Cloud area legal services executive editor of the st. Cloud Times. An 80 and boozy kamalo from st. Cloud Technical College next hour. We'll turn our attention to rural refugees the people from war-torn countries around the world who have settled in outstate Minnesota. Some communities have welcomed these new residents grateful for additional school students and workers for their businesses other towns have had a difficult time opening their doors to minorities. It's all ahead when we continue our Main Street special from st. Cloud after the news.


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