Crime, cultural transference, Current Events, justice, law, Minnesota, Uncategorized

Joe may be my favorite newspaper reporter…ever! He has a way of cutting to the heart of an issue, like a surgeon, in his commitment to the truth. Yet, he is gentle with those he opposes, (more likely those who oppose him), and has called us to be  our better selves. All this while maintaining a commitment to being a regular, stand-up guy.  In an age that mocks common sense, mom and dad, law and order, it’s a true pleasure to read anything Joe writes! He’s the friend who gives it to you straight when you’re kidding yourself; “Buddy, that’s B as in B, S as in S!”

 

Last week, on a Monday afternoon in broad daylight, a 42-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son found themselves surrounded by a group of six to eight males after she pulled into a parking lot at Mackubin Street and Charles Avenue to make a cellphone call. She believed the group to be juveniles. One of them…

via Soucheray: We are outraged and appalled — but by the wrong things — Twin Cities

 

What if we actually stood on our principles as parents? What if we actually laid it out plain for them? “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1 NIV Lord, hear our prayer, may we love our kids enough to lead them. May we love our neighbor enough to correct our own kid. Will You put the word “No!” back in our vocabulary in Minnesota!

* https://www.biblehub.com/ephesians/6-1.htm

Soucheray: We are outraged and appalled — but by the wrong things — Twin Cities

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20th Century, African American, Black History, cultural transference, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Republican

Francis Appointed Minister to Liberia

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1927

“St. Paul attorney William T. Francis is appointed U.S. Minister to Liberia. His success is the product of an active black professional community in the Twin Cities. Francis had at one time been the chief clerk of the Northern Pacific Railway and had served as a presidential elector in 1920.*

Mr. Francis first found work in the Twin Cities with the Northern Pacific Railroad, working his way up to clerk. By 1904, he had graduated from St. Paul College of Law, and became the chief clerk of the law office of Northern Pacific. This high position made him a powerful leader and advocate for black Minnesotans.**

As was common in this era, he voted and actively participated in Republican politics. (African-Americans, on average, supported Republicans from the time of Emancipation until FDR, shunning the Democratic party for its support of slavery and slave states in the Civil War.) After two failed attempts in local races, his stalwart support garnered him the status of being a most powerful African American Republican west of the Mississippi as well as serving as a presidential elector by 1920.**

His quiet authority eventually paid off when in 1927 President Coolidge appointed him the U.S. Minister and Consul to Liberia. American tire companies had made large investments in the rubber industry there critical to a country in love with the automobile. Francis, always alert for breeches of justice, made a key report that uncovered corruption of major Liberian officials taking bribes for supplying men for forced labor. Soon after submitting his report he succumbed to yellow fever, and died in Monrovia, Liberia on July 15, 1929.**

His death rocked the African-American community of Minnesota, and as a lifelong member of Pilgrim Baptist Church he was given the following eulogy by the mayor of Saint Paul.

“Whereas: The City Council has been officially notified of the death of Wm. T. Francis, U.S. Minister to Liberia…

Mr. Francis was a St. Paul product, a citizen of fine spirit, clean purpose and genuine devotion to the public good, held in high esteem of those who knew him. He fashioned his own career out of courage, determination and ability. Facing unusual handicaps he overcame them all by the quality of his character, and by single-handed struggle forced recognition of his worth. He won high honor on worth alone and earned a wide approval because he was sincere, kindly, human and gracious.

At the time of his death he was on the threshold of a distinguished career, and assured of a commanding destiny among men. His government associates were open in their praise of his achievements. Here in his home city he was respected for what he was- a true brave man, gifted with vision, cheerful and uncomplaining, and devoted to high aims. His untimely death is a tragic loss to his country and especially to his home community. He leaves behind him the memory of one who was unafraid of life, the example of one who was victorious against all untoward circumstances.”***

“…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” I Thessalonians 4:11,12 NIV****

In Your mercy, hear our prayer. We thank You for the stellar example of W.T. Francis. We thank You for gifting him with the tenacity, perseverance, and humility to stay at his task and quietly do so much good for so many. We thank You that his years of trials, like Joseph, prepared him to be the first African-American to be an American ambassador. We thank You that his process of overcoming led to greater freedom for tens of thousands of Africans!

Will You bless those who follow his patient path to greatness? Will You bless his progeny, both literal and figurative, to be blessings to their families, neighborhoods, and cities? Will You bless African-American leaders to be imitators of his invaluable contributions to the company, state, and nation he serves?

We ask that You forgive the judgments and jealousies that fell on him from Minnesotans, and by those in his own community. We ask forgiveness of the offense of judging You by judging the success of African-American leaders. We ask forgiveness of You by judging the success of all leaders.

Will You forgive us of judgments based on partisanship, of our own mothers and fathers, across political party lines? In this case, will You forgive our judgments against Republican leadership? We have largely forgotten as a society that slave states were led by Democrats, and that the leadership of President Lincoln and Republican principles of liberty defeated the slavery of African human beings in the United States. W.T. Francis did not forget, but used his liberty to procure liberty of Liberians being enslaved and betrayed by their own countrymen. Will You raise a generation of African Americans in Minnesota that similarly burn with justice for Africa?

We thank You that his inner peace begat external peace. May we receive Your peace in Minnesota, and let it radiate outward. May we work for Your applause just like William T. Francis.

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2017/03/lawyer-civil-rights-campaigner-and-diplomat-life-william-t-francis

*** http://credo.library.umass.edu/view/pageturn/mums312-b048-i368/#page/1/mode/1up

****http://biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/4-11.htm

*****Read deeper on this good man’s life. https://publishing.rchs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/RCHS_Winter2017_Nelson.pdf

 

 

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19th Century, African American, Black History, Civil War, cultural transference, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history, Politics, Social Studies, State Government, war

Civil War Ends

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April 26, 1865
“The Civil War ends after four bloody years. Minnesota has sent 25,000 men, about half the state’s eligible male population, to fight the South. More than 600 are killed in battle; twice that number die of disease. At bloody Gettysburg, the First Minnesota Regiment makes one of the most heroic charges of the war. Close to half the regiment is killed or wounded.” *

Lord, You alone know the heart. Thanks that our state had so many who identify with the cause of freedom and overturning slavery. Thanks for the 25,000 who stood up to injustice. Will You bless them, their generations, dwellings, and property this day in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?

All wars have judgments. Most war propaganda seeks to dehumanize the enemy. As a Minnesotan and a son of a U.S. soldier, I acknowledge to You both the pure and the impure motives of the Civil War. There were political motives to establish the power of the Federal government over the states. There were economic motives that the industrial northeast desired to keep the south dependent its manufactured goods and banking prowess. These are just a few, Holy Spirit, that I can think of today. Will You forgive the bitter-root judgments of pride, views regarding states’ rights, and the economic fears between the Northern and Southern ‘kingdoms’ of the United States during the Civil War?

Then, as now, we are often the toughest on the beloved enemies of our own house. These wounds are so painful because they are mixed with a profound breaking of trust; those we have fully “let into” our lives. May we receive Your grace for all beloved disagreements. Will You give us wisdom to resolve these conflicts before permanent schisms result? You understand the betrayal of a friend; Judas was Your disciple and friend, yet he sold You down the river for about $30 worth of silver!?! Will You replace the character assassinations of our American brothers and sisters with the fruit of Your spirit? Will You restore our memories of our brothers and sisters, and erase our recollections of “beloved enemies”?
* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

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19th Century, Civil War, cultural transference, death, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government, U.S. Government

Bounties and Punitive Expeditions

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“The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.” The Daily Republic, Winona, MN, September 24, 1863

July 1, 1863
“The State reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.” The Daily Republic, Winona, MN, September 24, 1863

“The state of Minnesota places bounties—ranging from $25 to $200—on the scalps of Dakota people. Nathan Lamson receives $500 from the state for killing Taoyateduta (Little Crow). Governor Alexander Ramsey orders punitive expeditions into Dakota Territory to hunt down the Dakota people. Two forces totaling more than 7,000 soldiers are formed under generals John Pope and Alfred Sully. When the Dakota hear of approaching soldiers they flee their camps, leaving valuable supplies. Most of the fleeing Dakota are women and children. Many die from starvation and exposure over the winter.” *

Jesus, I’m embarrassed and ashamed that my state had bounties on scalps, but I’m a product of the 20th century where we only take off the heads of our political opponents verbally or figuratively. It made me curious as to why and who began the practice in the first place. This is a brief snippet of what I found.

“Scalping–cutting off the scalp of a dead enemy as proof of his demise– was common practice throughout North America before colonists got here. It is described in Indian oral histories, and preserved scalps were found at archaeological sites. Colonists learned to scalp enemies from the Indians. (The European custom was to cut off people’s heads for proof/trophies, originally, but scalps are easier to transport and preserve, so the colonists quickly switched to the Indian method.) Once they picked up the technique, the English did a tremendous amount of scalping, both of natives and of rival Frenchmen.” **

Will You forgive Alexander Ramsey, John Pope, Alfred Sully and their expedition into Dakota territory, (now North Dakota and South Dakota) to pursue the Dakota’s out of Minnesota? Release us from the bondage of this inheritance. Will You forgive the understandable bitterness that has entered the hearts of the Dakota people, as You forgive those among their tribes who taught Minnesotans this practice? Will You give them the grace to remove this hook of the enemy from their hearts? I want to live to see Your blessing of the Dakota people! May we honor You, instead, by keeping trophies of conflicts resolved peaceably, and build displays of unmerited favor shown among all families of nations that make up this place.

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** http://www.native-languages.org/iaq12.htm

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19th Century, cultural transference, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government, Treaties, U.S. Government, war

Punitive Expeditions: Massacre at Whitestone Hill

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July 1, 1863

“On September 3, soldiers with Gen. Alfred Sully spot a large encampment of Indians in Dakota Territory who are in the middle of preparing food for the winter. Only some of these Indians are Dakota. Seeing that they are outnumbered the soldiers return and report their find. Aware that they’ve been seen, the Indians break camp, but are pursued by the soldiers. Men, women, and children flee in all directions. The Indian men make a desperate resistance but are soon overwhelmed. At least 150 Indians are captured, and hundreds are killed. In his report Sully gloats “I can safely say I gave them one of the most severest punishments the Indian have ever received.” “ *

Dear Ruah Ha-Qodesh, I’m so thankful that You are the good Counselor. My heart is so heavy as I ponder these memories today. Will You come and bring light and wisdom to pray for this cruel day of July 1, 1863?

My first guidance from You came circumstantially through a video I watched yesterday on YouTube. ** This lesson is from an Elijah House teaching series titled “Healing Trauma” featuring, Prayer Minister/Teacher, Sandra Sellmer-Kersten. In it, she articulates some profound ideas about healing prayer for those who are victims of trauma. 

The concept that struck me the hardest was her intentional prayers for the amygdala portion of the brain. 

“The amygdalae (singular: amygdala; /əˈmɪɡdələ/; also corpus amygdaloideum; Latin, from Greek ἀμυγδαλή, amygdalē, ‘almond’, ‘tonsil’) are two almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep and medially within the temporal lobes of the brain in complex vertebrates, including humans. Shown in research to perform a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions, the amygdalae are considered part of the limbic system.” ***

How fitting that we should minister to the exact part of the brain where memories are stored! I’m no scientist, but it makes sense that as memories form much of the basis of our personality and being, that we should humbly and gently pray for You to take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ. Maybe this is a clue for this meditative journey through history You have me on, Lord; to pray for the amygdala of the collective brain of my broken and wounded culture?

So here I start, today I recognize to You the memory of the Massacre at Whitestone Hill. Gracious G-d, all our offenses are an offense to You first! This day these unnamed soldiers led by General Alfred Sully failed to recognize Your image within the Native Americans living at Whitestone Hill. Whether their punitive actions could be classified at that time as an act of war or simply retribution is unclear. What is clear is that the judgments of the General, his soldiers, the state of Minnesota, and perhaps the U.S. government resulted in the death of innocents. Lord, have mercy on this shedding of innocent blood!

It is apparent by the quotation of Sully, “…I gave them one of the most severest punishments…”, what prompted his heart. But what do You say about this motive?

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” I John 4:18****

How much blood has been spilt on this ground because of one strongman’s fear of another strongman’s fear? How much devastation our home has seen because a General fears a Chief, or a Chief who fears a General? We are incomplete in love, and choose leaders with the same human faults. They have overstepped their boundaries and moved from “protectors” of our culture and society into its’ “avengers”. 

Will You place Your hand on the amygdala of all involved in this massacre? Will You remove the heart of the avenger, and guilt of all military men and their eternal progeny involved in this day? Will You guide the same into Your balanced heart of justice and protection, and heal them of the horrors of war?

Further, Will You remember this day of trauma for those Native Minnesotans who were simply preparing food for winter? Will You vanquish these victims? Will You speak into these hearts and their eternal progeny that they are welcome and wanted at Whitestone Hill, and a beautiful part of of Your good plan for this state? Will You redeem this land? Will You take the pain of this memory, and turn it into a blessing? Will You cause a heart commitment that political practice of acts of love will surpass our political acts of fear? Will you complete us in love? Touch the memory of Minnesota! Heal our trauma! Amen.

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm 

The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-uqtQQmYOA

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amygdala

**** http://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

 

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19th Century, cultural transference, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, Treaties, war

Removal of Dakota Survivors

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November 7, 1862
“Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey declares that “the Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” Dakota women, children, and older men are marched from the Lower Sioux Agency to Fort Snelling. Along the route they are attacked by mobs of angry settlers. Witness Samuel Brown recalled that the streets of Henderson, Minnesota, were ‘crowded with an angry and excited populace, cursing, shouting, and crying. Men, women, and children armed with guns, knives, clubs, and stones rushed upon the Indians.’ “ *

Most of us haven’t experienced “street justice”! We cannot relate to being attacked simply for existing, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. For those of us who have, the anxiety, panic, and sheer terror of being pursued by a mob are hard to erase.

Jesus, will You forgive the city of Henderson, and all those who participated in these actions on members of the Lower Bands of Dakota? May the hatred and fear projected from this town to the Dakota at this time be turned into direct blessing and healing words. Will You give gifts to all Dakota Bands to forgive this bitter chapter?

Will You cover the offenses of the Dakota towards Henderson, and all the lands where their conflict took place? Will You forgive the Dakota their attacks on innocents, and their property? Will You forgive the Dakota their counter-projection of hate and fear onto their neighbors?

Will You forgive those who sowed the seeds of this reaction? Will You forgive those who sowed the root offense of this conflict? Will You teach us to resolve its gross offenses, even deaths, in a life-giving way?

Kind Judge, in this act we have denied, and even attempted to usurp Your justice. We, in common, have acted as agent provocateurs against Your laws and order. We have submitted ourselves to injustice, and participated in base laws governed by revenge-filled hearts.

May the nation of Minnesota here represented, Dakotan, American, Euro-Minnesotan begin the path of blessing: from November 7th, 1862 through to the present. May we receive from You riot-proof hearts; whether against You or our fellow man. May you shield us from the misbelief that we can act as judge, jury, and executioner.

May we practice repentance before You first, and create habits of restoration towards our brothers and sisters for whom You died and rose again. Jesus, we love so poorly and incompletely because we do not grasp Your selfless love. Have pity on us whether Native Minnesotan, or Adoptive Minnesotan!

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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19th Century, cultural transference, government, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, U.S. Government, war

U.S.-Dakota War, First Strike on New Ulm Aug 19, 1862

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August 19, 1862
“On hearing about the Dakota “uprising,” the men of New Ulm quickly go about erecting barricades in the center of town. About 100 Dakota soldiers attack New Ulm at 3:00 p.m. After almost two hours of fierce fighting, the Dakota break off the attack due to torrential rains. Word of the attacks reaches St. Paul. Governor Alexander Ramsey commissions Henry Sibley to lead the response against the Dakota. Sibley gathers his forces, mostly untrained civilians, and heads up the valley in pursuit of the Dakota.” *

Jesus, I recognize the root separations that started this war. Over all, the prime motive for war seems to be broken trust. Often in human history, when the agreements of leaders fail, the innocent’s of their tribe, nation, or state bear the bloodguilt. Their leaders began the cycle of murder with their words, thoughts and actions. Yet, the kind, the unknowing, the innocent pay for their heart-murder!

Lord, will forgive us this offense against You! Forgive how good people on both sides of this issue were emotionally whipped up into an unnecessary frenzy that resulted in sickening cruelties! May town of New Ulm forgive the aggression of the estimated 100 Dakota soldiers. May the Dakota forgive the response of New Ulm and Henry Sibley.

Jesus, I invite You into this attack to remind all of true, self-sacrificing justice. Will You give revelation from this date of August 19, 1862 forward to all the participants, witnesses, and ancestors of the battle, their generations, and their property? We still fail to trust each other. We still do battle when something of ours is threatened. We hate our fellow human and are far from Your forbearing Spirit! Heal us, give us faith in each other, and heal this battle-scarred land!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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