Winter is Coming: An Open Letter to Governor Tim Walz

I.
Born by The River

Dear Governor Walz,

I am writing this letter as a personal introduction. My hope is to open a direct dialogue between us. I wish to discuss, encourage and appeal to the authority of your governorship in the state of Minnesota. I intended for this correspondence to happen much sooner, unfortunately over the past several months I have been consumed by other community matters. This letter is regarding those community matters but also the future of our country as a whole. As we have seen in recent times, what is local can quickly become global. Minnesota is one of many states in our nation and you are but one of many governors. However, it is now clear officials at the state level will have to take a heroic stand against the federal government to ensure that the integrity of this republic is upheld. The spirit of the people is ripe for revolution. The stench of tyranny is rancid in the streets. I was there when peaceful protest turned into violence outside the 3rd precinct. Violence that erupted into flames and eventually engulfed the 3rd precinct in days to come. I had never seen anything like it. What I saw that day reminded me of riot footage in the Middle East from the 90s and 2000s. It moved me in a way that I have not really found the words for since; just the action. But before I go deeper into that, it’s only fair that I give you some background about myself to help familiarize you with who I am.

I am a Black man. I am a Minnesotan. I was born and raised in the historic Rondo community of Saint Paul. My family is deeply rooted in the Twin Cities. These roots are not just roots of living, but roots of community building and change. For example, my great uncle Alfred Owre gave revolutionary contributions to the world of dentistry in the early 1900s, as the dean of the dentistry school at the University of Minnesota. Those contributions came at great personal cost to him and his career, as is common with revolutionary contributions. Alfred’s work shifted the entire field of dentistry from the previous model to the current model we use today around the world. He was an immigrant from Norway; and a Quaker. I was passed down my ability to challenge the status quo from Uncle Alfred as well as my liking for a long walk. Alfred’s biographical works all detail his love for long on foot journeys. “Having developed a taste for tramping as a child in Norway, Owre was a “walker”. He walked across the United States, as well as taking extensive walking tours in Europe, Russia, Siberia, China, and Japan. He always carried a walking stick and, in his travels, purchased a large variety of canes. The extent of his walking is a matter of conjecture, but it was reported in 1924 that he had walked 120,000 miles.” – (David A. Nash) Uncle Alfred was also an early advocate of proper nutrition, an integrative health model and universal healthcare.

Uncle Alfred wasn’t the only one in my bloodline with a heart for the humanitarian. My great grandparents Francisco and Crescencia Rangel helped build the historic Mexican community on Saint Paul’s West-Side. They were immigrants from Mexico. They assisted other Mexican immigrant families in settling and adjusting to life in America. My grandfather Don Francisco Rangel was the honorary consulate to Mexico. When my grandmother Crescencia passed away, thousands gathered outside Our Lady of Guadalupe church to pay their respects. The Rangel’s were a testament of the hardworking Mexican peoples that helped fortify the sturdy fabric of America.

My great grandfather Milton Pryor was one of Saint Paul’s first Black police officers. My great grandfather Louis White was one of Saint Paul’s all-time great baseball players and athletes. He attended the historic institution of Mechanic Arts High School. He was a father to 7 kids. One of them being my mother’s father Frank White, his oldest. Grandpa Louie was an incredible home gardener with an especially good recipe for jarred pickles. A garden he maintained in the backyard of a modest blue-collar house that his grandfather Firston White built. The house was located on Thomas Avenue in the heart of Saint Paul. Firston moved to Minnesota in 1896. He was an orator, poet and playwright that entertained people at the Hallie Q. Brown community center. Our family was one of the first few Black families to live on that side of University Avenue. Later on in my formative years, Thomas Avenue had become a crack block. The significance of that; when other people had turned to drugs to eat, my grandfather Louis White was still growing his own food in his garden. He lived out his days in that house. He showed me the meaning of patience. A person is not their family and a person’s family are not them, but history is a huge part of what makes us human. I believe the choices we make live on in the blood and spirit of our children. It’s up to the next generation to tap into that goodness. I am proud of my family and the rich legacy of leadership they left behind for me to model. Detailing some of my family history hopefully helps paint a picture of the multicultural blood running through my veins and the spirit of different peoples in my voice. My deep love for Minnesota. That said, I am still a Black man. I am proud to be a Black man. I understand the American system views me as a Black man and that my life, in that way, is not simple at all. So, I write to you as a such.

II.
Quiet Epidemic

My childhood took me across the Twin Cities, touching different communities, interacting and building relationships with people from all walks of life. So much that I consider myself to be born and raised in the Twin Cities as much as Saint Paul. West Saint Paul, South Saint Paul, The Westside, The Eastside, North and South Minneapolis, Hopkins, Richfield, Bloomington, Edina, Roseville, etc… I am a Twin Cities kid through and through. I’m thankful for that and will always consider the Twin Cities home. I was raised not to see color here but growing up I was never naive to the racism that existed in the world around me. I was fortunate to have sound historical knowledge of the racial context here in America, through the books I read, and the oral stories told to me by people who lived through darker times. As I became older and my status grew as an athlete I began to travel more. On these travels I found myself in many rooms where people had come together from all over the country. It was convenient to promote the “diversity” of Minnesota in these rooms. A diversity that mapped onto my own personal upbringing in a multi-cultural family. A younger me fully embraced the brand of diversity Minnesota is still touted for today. Looking back, I feel as though I was bearing false witness in this regard. I now understand there is a stark difference between diversity on paper and diversity in spirit. Minnesota is undoubtedly the place of diversity that it is regarded as. That isn’t the problem at all. The idea that diversity is a natural antidote to racism is the problem. Minnesota is diverse, but so is America, yet racism still thrives.

Besides a healthy view on race and race issues, Minnesota’s diversity did one other critical thing for my development — it primed me for the biggest calling of my athletic career and probably my life — mental health advocacy. With diversity I was able to see mental health across the spectrum of age, race, gender, wealth, etc. Which has continued to anchor my message about mental health.

As I excelled in athletics and reached the level of professional playing basketball, I quickly became known for raising an alarm about the mental health epidemic that was on the rise. I did this by challenging the attitude and policy toward mental health in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Diagnosed at 16 years old with anxiety disorder, drafted at 21 years old to the NBA, I pushed for mental health reform where and when it could cost me the most. My advocacy started with a demand for recognition. What began as a genuine attempt to collaborate with the NBA quickly turned into a dirty political fight. This fight was pigeonholed by the media. In the sports world the media present themselves as an objective source of information (stats & storylines) under the rubric of journalism. But in reality, they’re partners with these pro sports institutions. They report the nuance of business in a way that protects the status quo and subsequently themselves. (Which begs a very important question about a conflict of interest for media institutions with corporate interests.) In this particular instance the media did well to constrain the parameters of my advocacy to professional basketball in an attempt to diminish and detach it from the broader mental health crisis altogether.

How did they accomplish this? Well, they posed a question: Should mental health have considerations in the illustrious and elite world of NBA Basketball? The question was ridiculous in its premise. Is there anywhere mental health considerations shouldn’t have a place? To question the priority of mental health wasn’t an objective starting point between two opposing sides (myself and the establishment). Facts should be the linchpin of objectivity. Especially when it comes to media and information. Especially when it concerns matters of human welfare. The unequivocal priority of mental health is a fact. And the question wasn’t asked to create a reasonable cultural consensus about mental health. The question was asked by a corporate predator, preying on free people looking in another direction. Free People that are usually looking in another direction. It was asked as a device to send a subtle yet clear message: Mental health, like all other issues, will only have a priority in certain venues; which will be selected by us.

I wasn’t challenging the attitudes and policies of professional sports alone. I was challenging something much broader — that categorically included them — and they knew it. The pro sports world is representative of a global corporate community and together with their tangential partners (including the media) make up a global corporatocracy. We live underneath this corporatocracy, not alongside it. America itself is a corporation and so are her United States. In that regard, corporate and state attitudes around mental health are fruit from the same poisonous tree. They both lack a fundamental humanity. The attitude of the corporatocracy toward mental health is paramount. Healthy minds are the necessary cornerstone to building a healthy society. The failure to do so will continue to plummet us all into decadence. I have continued to stress that mental health (The Human Condition) is the greatest social issue humanity faces. The consequences of neglecting it will span far and wide across the social landscape. For saying this I was mocked by the media, fans, other athletes and the establishment. The question I had to step back and ask myself was — What forces stand against this basic idea and where else do they upend necessary progress? Their attempt to discredit me and my character was no different than what they will attempt to do during the legal process of a man that was lying face down in street, handcuffed, with a knee in his neck. His name was George Floyd. SAY HIS NAME!

My fight with the NBA for mental health parity is where I, at 21 years of age, encountered the most brutal form of racism in my life up until that point; the racism of condescension. This type of condescension towards Blacks in America permeates throughout the western ethos. The racism where people say in public “Blacks can be anything they put their minds to…” but privately they despise the very idea of Blacks having a mind at all. They despise any action towards Black advancement. They despise any spirit of Black excellence. They despise any resemblance of Black sovereignty. My advocacy for mental health was never what garnered the contempt of the sports world; how could it be? Everyone in the sports world agreed on the fundamental importance of mental health before my arrival. Isn’t that why sports psychology was such a huge fad? Or maybe they only liked it when it was a fad. Sure, mental health conversations force all institutions to look at ethics and morals with a broader stroke. Of course, mental health conversations force people to look in the mirror. Those types of pushes for change would be met with resistance no matter who the catalyst was. But I wasn’t just any catalyst — I was a young Black man, which carried a different weight. What truly stoked a flame of anger in those who control the NBA was that I, a young Black man, had shunned the morality for money swap that so many Black men have been systematically coerced into. A swap that ironically contributes to the mental health crisis in first order. I did it publicly. I did it in front of my other Black colleagues. I hadn’t spoken out against a single master; I had spoken out against the current state of mastery as a whole. I had set a standard of morality for myself, independent of their system and they were afraid that with too much spotlight, it could become contagious.

For the simple act of reading my own contract in the year 2012, where I found the absence of mental health policy, I was treated like the negroes who were caught reading on certain plantations in early America. The only difference is that in 2012 they were expected to hide their disdain for it. The logic was clear and concise; we needed mental health policy. We needed to embrace a comprehensive health model; mind, body and spirit. We needed to acknowledge that mental health and physical health are equally important — and as a bonus can even increase productivity and profit in the workplace. This was my crime and that is what America is truly afraid of… Black men who are intellectually competent and unmoved by hierarchical tyranny — unwilling to sell out. They hated that I was right.  They hate it when we’re right.

The contempt for me from The Corporatocracy is truly ironic. The issue I was advocating for (Mental Health) plagues white men disproportionately on the most extreme end of the spectrum. White men account for approximately 70 percent of the suicides in America per year. A total of approximately 32,000 people. Which is close to double the total number of homicides in America regardless of (age, race, gender, wealth, etc.) White men are killing themselves in America twice as much as all Americans are killing each other. This includes the Black on Black rates. I included this information to exemplify how sometimes white America will sacrifice its own safety, growth and prosperity in order to keep its knee on the neck of Black people. They couldn’t bring themselves to validate a mental health revolution from me. even if it would potentially save the lives of white men. When observe the same mindset in a different field we see the depth of hatred. There is nothing more symbolic of systemic racism in America than us over leveraging of our economy while suppressing the rise of the Black economy. We create trillions of dollars out of thin air to sustain the traditional power structure, but we have to justify every cent in building up Black America. A rising tide raises boats.

III.
Two Sides One Coin

Hopefully the history of my mental health advocacy gives some context of my own place in this fight for human welfare. A place well established before George Floyd’s murder. Although some still may not understand the significance of this chronological review I am confident that you will. It’s not just some tragic coincidence that George Floyd told those officers he was suffering from anxiety during his apprehension. Though overlooked ONCE AGAIN as noteworthy by the mainstream media. Especially in a time where the cultural consensus is that Black men don’t talk about mental health. That day George Floyd clearly stated he was afraid to be put in the back of the police car (citing claustrophobia). Only to end up with Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck having the air squeezed from his body. Is it really that Black men don’t talk about mental health or is it all of our cries for help get ignored and suffocated? The level of cruelty in Derek Chauvin’s actions would be somewhat unbelievable if we didn’t already know the score for Blacks in America. Imagine somebody saying they’re afraid of heights, only to be taken to the roof of a building, held at the ledge for 8 minutes 46 seconds, and then thrown off. Over a $20 bill? That’s what makes Derek Chauvin a special type of monster. And if Derek Chauvin is acquitted, The State will have the fight of their life waiting in the streets. I can promise you that.

What Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd wasn’t just murder. It was torture and then murder. At the moment George Floyd told those officers he had anxiety; it was their responsibility to see that his mental health was made a priority on the scene. Instead they did the opposite. In retrospect though, George Floyd’s mental health being a priority seems almost absurd since ultimately his life wasn’t a priority. And maybe that’s the real point to be made; maybe it’s time we finally create a higher standard with regards to value of life. From the cops on the streets to the system as a whole. People of color, people in general. In that higher standard, Derek Chauvin should’ve been weeded out as unfit to wear a badge long before he had the chance to murder George Floyd.

Unfortunately, our police departments suffer from the same nonchalant attitude regarding mental health as the rest of this corporatocracy. Police departments who are statistically proven to be afflicted greatly by their own internal suicide and substance abuse rates. When these suicide and substance abuse rates aren’t given heavy consideration in police protocols and use of force, it’s nothing short of institutional negligence. If police officers are ignoring mental health protocols in the field, that is their failure to be held accountable for. If there are no mental health protocols in the department… that is The State’s failure. As an advocate for mental health I regard this state failure as a violent attack on the mental health community. Just as I regard the failure to address judicial predation on Blacks as a violent attack on the Black community. When bodies continue to stack up, the failure of systems and their leadership must be quantified as violence at some point. The systemic violence of authority as well as the actual physical violence of a person like Derek Chauvin. To go back, this horizontal fallout from our negligence with mental health started to peak around the same time I pushed for mental health reform. I was drafted to the NBA in June of 2012 and had taken my fight for mental health public by October 2012. In February 2012 George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the headline case where he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in cold blood. Most people wouldn’t see this as a direct result of our negligence around mental health. And that’s the problem. Does the capacity to kill not begin in the mind? What is a more severe human outcome than murder? What is a more severe outcome than the murder of a child without justice? The psychological is the root of the sociological. Trayvon Martin’s case was a tipping point of pain and trauma boiling over in Black America. His death and the injustice he received from the system was the birth of a new chapter in the ongoing Black civil rights movement; Black Lives Matter. A little over a year later in 2014, Mike Brown was murdered, and the Eric Garner was killed later in 2014. It was then I decided to write a piece titled “I Can’t Breathe Either.” The piece highlighted the convergence of both issues: the crisis of mental health and race issues in America. There I proposed that the mental health crisis is broader even than racism, but it is not uncorrelated. In fact, it seems quite clear that racism, violent racism, often if not always crosses over into the realm of psychosis. The realm where homicide and suicide circle one another. I don’t say that to excuse those who commit violent acts of racism, but to provide a framework that helps view the propensity toward violence or hated as the deterioration of a person’s sane mind. An individual like George Zimmerman lends evidence to this theory. He continues to show signs of psychological instability. In general, a society that is sick in the mind will most often circle back to brute chaos. This chaos can only further damage the wounds of Black people in this country, both physically and psychologically. This is what we saw with the murder of George Floyd. This is what we see with the current state of America. The circumstance of Black people, America and The West are deeply intertwined. As is their future. James Baldwin warned us if this in 1965, during his Cambridge debate with William F. Buckley.

IV.
The Great Standstill

Six years after witnessing the “I Can’t Breathe” cries from Eric Garner, the murder of George Floyd was much more than another failure. It was a setback from a progress not yet made. A grimacin reminder to all Blacks in America that there is still so far to go. Yet since the unjust murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and the re-emergence of pro Black activism, we have seen little headway made with the issues of policing or the greater fundamental circumstance of Blacks in America. We have continued to see more Black men, black people, murdered by police. As the ability to livestream takes centerstage and has placed police conflicts in everyone’s pocket. The psychological impact of that alone can’t be quantified in the estrangement between Blacks and America. Minnesota has made national headlines for cop/civilian murders several times in the last six years. Cases such as Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, Brian Quiñones and most recently George Floyd. Every time these moments of tragedy strike, we see a common pattern; a vicious cycle of death, outcry, protest and claims of “reform”. However, the reform never seems to take root. This isn’t the cycle of the last 6 years only, but the last 60 years. The murder of George Floyd is a flashpoint in a society that cannot see itself. Or maybe it just refuses to.

Reform for Black America has been subverted. Change has been subverted. Reconciliation has been subverted. How and why are obviously the trillion-dollar questions? There is no one answer, but there is one answer I would like to focus on. Blacks in this country have been gravely mislead and misrepresented. Many times, by our own people. Some of this misrepresentation has been carried out through a seemingly altruistic Non-Profit industry, where state and federal government are the primary entities granting funds. These Non-Profit institutions are the watering hole of many well intended Blacks with ambitions for social change; but how could a Non-Profit ever truly change a system they’re regulated by? With Non-Profits, The State has setup a controlled opposition. With this dynamic, Blacks must still get the permission, support, approval and acceptance of whites in order to move forward. As a consequence, Blacks with true revolutionary potential are systematically incentivized to capitulate with a more moderate approach to change. An approach that always keeps them in the game but never advancing. An approach that naturally tilts back toward the status quo, drawing them in with it. Sometimes protecting the status quo unknowingly. Under this structure Blacks are constantly jousting with each other for position. Continually given promises that leave us with nothing but a snail-like walk to justice, freedom and access to the American dream. I am encouraging the Black community to exit that merry-go-around. We can no longer stand still under this tyranny. We can no longer run in place. We can no longer hope for change, wait for change or ask for change. We must demand change. When our demands fall on deaf ears, we must become change. That is where we are now. We have hoped, we have waited, we have asked, we have demanded and now we will become change. As a part of this shift, the rules of engagement must change. We are changing the rules of engagement with how we function as a community organization. We are changing the rules of engagement with how we function as individual community leaders. With this necessary effort I am hopeful that elected officials like yourself will be instrumental in supporting the people setting their own sails and steering this ship. Certainly, as it pertains to the health, safety, growth and stability of Black communities across Minnesota. We are aware of the disingenuous alliances that have existed between the state and rent-seeking, snake oil salesmen from within the Black community. These “community leaders” ask all the right questions of the system in moments of crisis, but don’t push the boundaries associated with the answers to those questions. These community leaders are aware that they are the controlled opposition and they are rewarded handsomely to play their role. Their days are numbered.

V.
Enemy of the State

What does it mean to be a political target; or an enemy of the state? To know you face an opponent that makes the rules and changes them when necessary? Too often our judicial system here in America has been used to target certain community leaders. Community leaders who hold the moral high ground. And this is my primary interest in this correspondence with you. I am currently involved with the genesis, organization and thought leadership of 10K Foundation. We are not few, we are many. Our current goal is to facilitate a peaceful renegotiation of the social contract between The United States and The Free People of America. A social contract that reflects justice, freedom and genuine access to the American dream for all. An American dream that is not exclusively brokered through The State. In the long term we are interested in this for all Americans, but we are humble in our expectation to start here at home. We came together in response to George Floyd’s murder to show a thread of peaceful protest amidst a narrative of barbarism that was being portrayed by the mainstream media. Our initial decision to march was not made in opposition to the behavior of “rioters”, but in response to witnessing the escalation of violence by police outside the 3rd precinct. I witnessed the police lob tear gas and flash bangs indiscriminately into the crowd. I witnessed citizens being shot with rubber bullets. I was shot at with rubber bullets. It’s clear from examples like the 3rd precinct conflict that the state has a monopoly on violence and is willing to exercise that monopoly even in times of social or political impropriety.

However, state monopoly doesn’t end with the order of violence. In our short time as an organization, we at 10K have come to understand that there is a fight for sovereignty ahead of us all. At the individual, community, state, national and international level. A fight to establish reasonable parameters of governance that give real power to the people. The current scope of governance has become too big, too reckless and naturally tilting toward injustice. It is around the matter of civil disobedience where the state is now most in danger of further entrenching itself in the throes of tyranny. Civil disobedience is now the only feasible method of change in a society where The State is so disproportionately militarized. In addition to an abhorrent over-militarization, The State is also able to use the law as a secondary monopoly to insulate itself from change led by the people. Criminalizing civil disobedience until there is no fighting spirit left in the people, regardless of right and wrong. Too often charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, vandalism and unlawful assembly are at The State’s disposal to subvert rightful civil disobedience. We saw this recently in Kentucky as Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond was arrested for protesting on behalf of Breonna Taylor. We are seeing this all across the country. These minor charges rarely end in anything serious, though sometimes they do. Regardless they ultimately discourage a continued involvement from the people with a necessary social process. As Thomas Locke explains, it is the right of the people to revolt when government fails to act in the people’s interest.

There is a boogeyman in the shadows. One that is patently unconstitutional. As a leader in a new grassroots community movement that is currently focused on the prosperity of Black America, I am forced to acknowledge a history of unconstitutional tactics used by our federal government. I am especially forced to acknowledge this history as a leader who is a Black male. It is now a matter of fact that there were unconstitutional federal programs deployed on Black organizations in the past, such as Project Black Desk and COINTELPRO. Not to mention state local run investigations that cooperated with federal jurisdiction. Since then the FBI, NSA, CIA and other government agencies have only expanded their reach. Revealed to us by American hero Edward Snowden. We know that the FBI tried to blackmail Martin Luther King Jr. into committing suicide with a letter allegedly written by Former Deputy FBI Director William C. Sullivan. We know the FBI gained authorization from the attorney general to wiretap Malcom X on unconstitutional grounds. In which case the FBI justified these unconstitutional wire taps by finding the necessary “probable cause” after the wiretaps were already authorized and planted. These unconstitutional justifications included Malcom’s endorsement of rifle clubs for Black activists (legal and constitutionally defended) and also included the “speculation” of espionage between Malcom and communist countries. Which never ended up being proven. But even the premise that an individual citizen cannot have conversations with leaders of another nation without authorization from The State is symbolic of the tyranny. This particular misappropriation of the “Logan Act” in Malcom’s case seems like a dangerous precedent for American citizens in general, given the breadth of international conflicts that we’re currently engaged in around the world. If you couple those conflicts with the amount of international businesses that could be linked to state run industries in foreign countries; we are subject to a revolving door of tyranny from our federal government. And that’s just with the scope of the “Logan Act”. We know the FBI played an instrumental role in the Chicago Police Department’s raid and assassination of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. We know that the Chicago Police Department utilized their rat William O’Neal, from within The Black Panther Party to detail Fred Hampton’s apartment, and even allegedly drug Fred Hampton the night before the raid. In 1965 Federal Bureau of Investigations Director J. Edgar Hoover described The Black Panther as “The greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” In 1967 as The California State Governor, Ronald Reagan signed a bill (Mulford Act) that repealed a law that allowed public carrying of loaded firearms. (I guess the second amendment is only immutable unless you’re Black.) The “Mulford Act” was mostly in response to The Black Panther Party, who had begun patrolling their own neighborhoods. This was deemed “cop-watching” by the federal government. When you’re Black and watch the neighborhood, you’re a threat to national security. When you’re white and neighborhood watch, like George Zimmerman, you’re standing your ground.

As explained to us by Edward Snowden and other government whistleblowers, the system is constantly demonstrating the willingness to move the line of authority in any of its pursuits. Operating in a sort of “shoot first ask questions later” manner. When push comes to shove the federal government doesn’t really need the law at all to assert its hand into our communities. Whether that be with jurisprudential manipulation and/or brute violence.

With a sitting president that threatened to use the military domestically through the “Insurrection Act”, and a former president who allowed the NSA to run various unconstitutional programs such as “PRISM” in the interest of national security, it seems that the fight for sovereignty is not only between The Free People of America and the United States. But a similar fight also exists between each state, the federal government and the executive branch. I am requesting that you, as our Governor, take up the true torch of social change and do the necessary heroic work of clarifying any already established protections provided by the state to its citizens against the federal government. If no such protections exist, I am putting forward a call to action to create such protections with great haste. If such protections do exist, I am asking for an immediate audit of these protections. This is the corner we must turn to re-democratize our nation in a just way. No longer can the meaning of community be undermined by the grandiosity of the federal government. I am confident that our collaboration can result in a new beacon of hope for America. P.S. I was ashamed to welcome my friend, co-worker and brother Stephen Jackson to our home under the circumstance of his brother George Floyd’s murder. Especially at the hands of the Minneapolis police. I was there to support him during his time here. I believe it was my responsibility to do so out of love and brotherhood. I will stay positioned where I am until George Floyd gets justice. Our personal relationship was the spark of my initial involvement but that quickly evolved into much more. This murder has turned our home into the epicenter of a global fight against racism and state tyranny. As a result, we will be the standard by which change in this country and around the world is now measured. So, I and the 10K Foundation will continue to stand for justice, freedom and access to the American dream. We are demanding sovereignty. We are on the right side of history, join us.

Executive Requests: (Fully detailed in their own documents)

  1. State of Emergency: Mental Health
  2. Fred Hampton Act
  3. Operation Black Bank
  4. Clean State Law
  5. State Voting Holiday

We are still waiting on the findings from the full investigation into the 35W bridge incident and truck driver. We are disappointed that The State’s first correspondence with 10K Foundation was concerning the “Free People Game”, a rally/basketball event that brought the community together in unity and love during a time of grief. Yet we have received no communication at all regarding the endangerment of 15,000 plus peaceful protestors on 35W bridge. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Royce Alexander White
10K Foundation

In St. Paul and Minneapolis, hundreds join in second night of protests

By MATT MCKINNEY AND ERIN ADLER , STAR TRIBUNE

Protesters took to the streets for a second night Thursday to decry the release of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd on May 25.

The rallies — one in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis — came on the heels of a march Wednesday night in south Minneapolis that ended when 51 people were arrested near the Police Department’s Fifth Precinct headquarters.

As of 10:15 p.m. Thursday, the rallies appeared to have wrapped up, and no one had been arrested.

At the St. Paul event, dubbed the Secret March, hundreds of people, including family members of Minnesotans killed by police, marched down University Avenue to the State Capitol.

The march was organized by the Justice Squad, Visual Black Justice, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and the 10K Foundation.

Former NBA player Royce White, a march organizer,said its message was “that the state has human lives, deaths, murders, on their hands, and this is a symbol of the state’s authority here in Minnesota. And so we brought our sorrows and pains to their doorsteps to leave.”

The marchers carried signs bearing the names of 100 people killed by police in Minnesota, along with five coffins and a sign that said, “Who will be next?”

“That’s the feeling amongst the people right now,” said White. “Obviously we are extremely dissatisfied with the decision to release Derek Chauvin on bond.”

In Minneapolis, several hundred people gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center for a protest organized by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Black Lives Matter Minnesota and other activist organizations.

Standing on the center’s steps, speakers called for Chauvin to be taken back into custody as Aztec dancers from Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli circled two drum players.

The crowd chanted, “Say his name! George Floyd!” and “No justice, no peace!”

Chauvin shouldn’t have been given the option of bail, the protesters said. They also decried the arrests of people involved in protests over Floyd’s death over the past few months.

After the rally, the protesters marched around downtown Minneapolis, chanting, “Black power!” and “Native lives and trans lives, they matter here!”

Chauvin left Oak Park Heights prison Wednesday after posting bail on a $1 million bond. In anticipation of unrest, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard and mobilized 100 State Patrol troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers to help local law enforcement.

Chauvin, who has been fired, was initially booked into the Ramsey County jail after being charged and then moved to the state prison. He is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

On Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched from the site where Floyd died a few blocks north and then back. Some of the marchers made their way to the Fifth Precinct, where many of the 51 arrests took place.

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said 49 of the arrests were for misdemeanor offenses. The Hennepin County jail log showed many were cited for unlawful assembly. One person was arrested for fourth-degree assault and one other on a felony warrant.

The state Department of Public Safety said 24 of the overall arrests were made by the State Patrol and another 10 by DNR officers.

matt.mckinney@startribune.com 612-673-7329

erin.adler@startribune.com 612-673-1781

Rallies in St. Paul, Minneapolis after former MPD officer Derek Chauvin posts bond

By David Griswold KARE 11

Protesters gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis Thursday evening after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin posted bond Wednesday.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death after bystander video showed him with his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes.

A rally also happened in St. Paul just outside the State Capitol.

Hundreds also gathered at the George Floyd Memorial on Wednesday night and marched through the streets of south Minneapolis. According to Minneapolis police, 51 people were arrested during Wednesday night’s demonstration — 49 misdemeanors, one for a felony warrant, one for probable cause fourth-degree assault.

Chauvin’s bail was set in June at $1.25 million or $1 million with conditions. Court records show he posted non-cash bond of $1 million on Wednesday, Oct. 7. A Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Chauvin was released from custody at 11:22 a.m.

Crowd protests Breonna Taylor decision with march through downtown Minneapolis

By KARE11 Staff

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — A crowd marched through downtown Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon, protesting a Kentucky grand jury’s decision in the police killing of Breonna Taylor. 

It’s one of many protests across the country after the grand jury indicted a single officer, Det. Brett Hankison, with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, and no officer was criminally charged for killing Taylor. 

Protesters march for Breonna Taylor

KAREProtesters brought flowers in Breonna Taylor’s memory.

The march was organized by the 10K Foundation, a group that formed after the killing of George Floyd. 

“Today I’m out here as you are covering 10K but I’m also out here as a Black woman that knows that that very well could’ve been me,” said Bridgette Stewart, who works for KMOJ and is also part of the 10K Foundation. “We’ve gotta start recognizing not just the woman but the Black woman.” 

The march was called “Red Sunday.” Organizers said they left a trail of washable red paint on the streets of downtown Minneapolis to represent the blood that’s been shed without justice. Flowers were also placed on the streets for Breonna Taylor.

Taylor was shot and killed in her home on March 13 when Louisville Metro police officers served a no-knock warrant related to a narcotics investigation.

The three officers identified in Taylor’s death are Hankison, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove. All were placed on administrative reassignment following the shooting. Hankison has since been fired for his actions the night of Taylor’s death. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on administrative reassignment.

According to the Associated Press, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove were “justified in their use of force.”

Cameron said that six bullets struck Taylor. The fatal shot was fired by Det. Cosgrove, Cameron said.

Hankison, the officer who was indicted on wanton endangerment charges, fired his weapon 10 times. Cameron said no evidence shows his bullets struck Taylor.

Ndow said about the decision, “It’s sad to say that we didn’t get it [justice] but that’s why we’re here. We’re going to keep doing it until we get that change.” 

‘Red Sunday’: Marchers Take To Minneapolis Streets to Demand Justice For Breonna Taylor

By Kate Raddatz CBS4 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Demands for racial justice and equality echoed through downtown Minneapolis Sunday, as hundreds turned out in support of Breonna Taylor.

Louisville police shot and killed the 26-year-old woman in March, when officers went to her home looking for someone else who wasn’t there.

As a fan less U.S. Bank Stadium hosted a Minnesota Vikings game Sunday, there was a call for justice just across the street. The rally and march sought to place attention on the importance of Taylor’s life, and the importance of Black lives. Mason Ndow was one of the participants.

“All my friends, they’re watching the game today, so it’s like I gotta be the one to make change,” Ndow said.

The event was organized by the 10K Foundation. Royce White is one of the group’s members.

“I think people have to really decide here and now what they want their lives to be individually, and what their vision for America really looks like, and then decide what it will take to achieve those things,” White said.

The event comes four days after it was announced the police involved in Taylor’s death would not face murder charges.

“The decision seems somewhat of a mockery,” White said.

The protest began with chanting, music and speakers. A woman named Heather brought her family along, including her two children along.

“I think it’s really important we show up united about reforming our justice system, and I think it’s more important that white people show up and ally ourselves with what’s changing in America,” Heather said.

The crowd made their way down 7th Street to the iconic First Avenue concert venue, where flowers were placed on the road. Organizers called the day “Red Sunday.”

“Today is going to represent blood spilled without justice,” White said.

The march stopped at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis with a die-in. Protestors said they would not give up on justice for Taylor.

One of the officers involved in Taylor’s death does face three counts from the raid, for firing into an adjacent apartment.

March for Breonna Taylor: Red Sunday

September 27th (March and Protest) – The Attorney General of Kentucky has announced the dismissal of charges for 2 of the 3 officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor. The last officer was charged with reckless wanton (A class D felony). She was murdered in her bed… in her home… on a no-knock warrant… served to the wrong address. ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY NOT! THEY GOT US FUCKED UP!
——
We have seen the face of tragedy. It is the face of a beautiful black woman named Breonna Taylor. SAY HER NAME! We have seen the face of injustice. Badges, Suits and Robes. We are not going to accept Breonna Taylor’s death, being made a mockery by our justice system. By The State! If you are here in Minnesota and attending Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings football game… shame on you. Follow the mobile stats while you come join us in the pursuit of justice.
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We are demanding that state officials such as Gov. Tim Walz, Attn Gen. Keith Ellison, Minneapolis Mayor, Saint Paul Mayor, Minneapolis City Council, Saint Paul City Council, etc. show up on the frontlines with the people they swore an oath to serve.
——
Event: March & Protest
Purpose: Breonna Taylor’s Justice
Meeting Time: September 27th, 2020  2PM KICKOFF TIME
Meeting Location: US Bank Stadium
Kneeling Locations: US Bank Stadium, First Avenue, Federal Reserve (Die-In)
Preferred Attire: All Black
Activities: Protest, Free Food, DJ, Live Music, Etc.
Public Health: Wear a mask, PPE supplies available
——
#breonnataylor #sayhername #redsunday

10K “Back to School Giveaway and Car Show for Justice” Press Release

 

Sunday, September 6, 2020 –  The 10K Foundation partnered with Justice Squad, The Minnesota Freedom Fighters, Nasybcue, SAW ENT., Gifted and Qualified, Twin Cities Stand Together, Love Promotions, and MN Black Love to host a back to school giveaway and car show for justice.

Back To School Giveaway –

In the days leading up to the event, several organizations and community members graciously donated school supplies such as backpacks, pens, pencils, art supplies, folders, notebooks, calculators, and rulers to give to students in need. 10K volunteers filled approximately 200 backpacks with the donated supplies.

Over 100 families attended throughout the day. Children excitedly picked out their new backpacks and were invited to stay for activities, music and food. Activities included hula hooping, bubbles, football, and arts and crafts.

All backpacks that were not donated the day of the event were dispursed to various schools throughout the Twin Cities area.

Car Show for Justice – 

Car Show for Justice was held by Gifted and Qualified. Approximately 200 cars participated.

Around 8:00 PM, the cars along with several change makers took to the streets as part of a peaceful protest. Participants drove from DeLaSalle High School through Downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Police Department attempted to put a stop to this protest by opening the fire hydrants in Downtown Minneapolis and flooding the streets.

Several media outlets wrongfully described the protest as “drag racing”. This was a slow, safe, and peaceful march, no drag racing took place.

10K “DAMN! AGAIN?” Press Release

Photo by Sam Rode

Sunday, August 30, 2020 – 10K Foundation in association with The Minnesota Freedom Fighters and Twin Cities Stand Together hosted a peaceful protest in response to the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake, a father of three, in Kenosha, WI.

Thousands of change makers met on Sunday at the U.S. Bank Stadium and marched through downtown Minneapolis, filling the streets with music and chants. Javonta Patton led the group in song as they departed from U.S. Bank Stadium. Participants carried signs demanding justice for Jacob Blake, and held their fists up to show solidarity with the Black community. Die-ins were performed outside of First Ave and The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to visually symbolize the thousands of men and women who have fallen victim to police brutality.

Powerful speeches were made by Jonathan Mason and Tayo Daniels, inspiring and motivating the thousands of change makers in attendance.

The march ended at U.S. Bank Stadium with music and hot food provided by Twin Cities Stand Together.

There was no police presence at this event. The event occurred without incident, giving those who participated a safe, peaceful enviornment to come together, show support, and demand justice.

10K Foundation’s Next Event will take place on October 1st. Leader and organizer Royce White will be walking from George Floyd Square to The White House. All funds collected for this walk will be directly donated to George Floyd’s children.

10K “10K Weekend” Press Release

Friday, August 21st, 2020 – Sunday, August 23, 2020- The 10K Foundation in association with Justice Squad, Hybrid Nation, and The Minnesota Freedom Fighters hosted 10K Weekend in order to keep the awareness and attention on building community and coming together after the murder of George Floyd.

Friday, August 21, 2020 “Free People Game” – To kick off the weekend, dozens of professional and college athletes along with other community leaders came together to host a basketball game in Loring Park to promote community healing.

Saturday, August 22, 2020 Golf Tournament Fundraiser- The 10K Foundation hosted a Golf Tournament at Theodore With Golf Course. Several individuals participated and donated. The money raised was used for community resources such as water, food and clothing for people in need.

Sunday, August 23, 2020 Bde Mka Ska March – To finish the weekend, 10K Foundation hosted a protest to stand in solidarity with the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as they work to renegotiate social contracts with the state. The march was attended by change makers who peacefully walked from the boat launch of Bde Mka Ska through Uptown Minneapolis.

All events took place without incident, giving the community a safe space to come together in solidarity and healing.

10K “Walk To The White House” Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Former NBA Player and MMA Fighter Royce White to Walk One Thousand Miles to the White House
Activist White Will Walk from Minneapolis to Washington DC 


Minneapolis
 – (August 12, 2020). White, who has since transitioned to Mixed Martial Arts and will soon make his professional debut, has made headlines nationally since the murder of Floyd in May, by leading thousands in peaceful protests across Minneapolis with 10K Foundation.

The walk will commence at 38th & Chicago (George Floyd Memorial), carrying a message from the Free People of America to the Head of State. The message will be a Declaration of Sovereignty and a Reparations Act. The march will cross the battleground states, through Madison, Chicago, Gary, Akron, Pittsburgh, in a projected 25 days. White hopes to complete the journey by meeting with POTUS regarding a new social contract between the Free People and The State, which will include reshaping the economic infrastructure of Black America.

“This is one of the most important moments in this country’s history,” said White. “My time here in the epicenter of this movement has been fruitful and given me perspective. Before any return to athletic competition, I feel it’s necessary to further expand the scope of my personal contribution and sacrifice toward the issues facing black America,he added

The 10K Foundation came together organically when a group of community members in Minnesota orchestrated events of protest, peace, and solidarity shortly after George Floyd was brutally suffocated to death by Minneapolis police officer (Derek Chauvin) on May 25, 2020. This heinous act that was captured on video ignited a string of protests in the Twin Cities and across the country. The 10K Foundation held its first peaceful protest on May 29, 2020 through the streets of downtown Minneapolis. The event was a success, with approximately 8,000 people gathering peacefully to protest without incident. Over the following two weeks, the 10K Foundation organized three more peaceful marches with nearly 50,000 citizens in total participating.

White, in partnership with 10k Foundation, is currently recruiting paid staff and raising money to fund this message. To learn more and join Royce white visit HERE

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