FREE SPEECH ZONE | St. Cloud: Racism’s “adverse events”


For those anticipating surgery and post operative hospital stays, there are available lists ranking hospitals according to their “adverse events” or deaths and injuries caused by malpractice and preventable medical errors. Similar to authentication of claims by politicians via, St. Cloud racism is easily verified. 

Free Speech Zone
The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases.

Before enrollment at St. Cloud State University (SCSU), whether living on or off campus, the Internet provides articles, current events, investigative studies and news reports about prevailing racism. Unlike more amicable and civilized campus-community relations in Bemidji, Duluth, Mankato, Marshall and even Rochester where campus administrators are more concerned about treatment of people of color, St. Cloud remains Minnesota’s most hostile and racially predatory city. Recent increases of Black residents has encouraged hate crimes and racial targeting rather than acceptance and more multicultural respect, if not welcome.

A few of hundreds more similar news reports cited below depict a sick community. SCSU administrators are unable or unwilling to force city government to create a more accommodating environment for SCSU’s Black students. St. Cloud’s public schools were cited by the U.S. Department of Education for allowing harassment and maltreatment of its Black students. (“St. Cloud schools visit as part of federal investigation into discrimination claim wraps up;” St. Cloud Times, 10/15/2010)

[(a) “Reports: City losing racism battle;” St. Cloud Times, 1/11/2000; (b)”SASSO/Somali community organization building firebombed;”St. Cloud Times,11/17/2002; (c) “Study shows minority drivers [7 to 1] more likely to be stopped;” St. Cloud Times, 9/26/2003; “Minnesota State Race-based Profiling Report: St. Cloud Police Department, Report to Legislature;” 9/22/2003; (d) “St. Cloud ranks high on hate crimes list: City was 2nd in state for number of race-based incidents in 2003;” St. Cloud Times, 9/23/2004; (e) “Enrollment increases but racial problems still exist; University Chronicle, 11/14/2005; (f) “Rapes [occur] 3 times that of nation;” St. Cloud Times, 2/18/2007; (g) “Reported hate crimes up sharply;” St. Cloud Times, 11/20/2007; (h) Sexual assaults double;” St. Cloud Times, 11/24/2007; (i) “Hate group activity flourishes: Movement on rise again, report finds;” St. Cloud Times, 12/21/2007; (j) “Is it safe to send our children to St. Cloud?” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, editorial:  2/7/2007; (k) “Hospital had 6 serious errors;” St. Cloud Times, 1/17/2008, (l) “St. Cloud State’s ‘challenges’ forged strong alumni bonds,” Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, 8/6-12/2009; (m) “St. Cloud’s history of friction with outsiders,” Minnesota Public Radio, 7/30/2010]

The sample list of references to published news reports (above), provides a small but representative example of St. Cloud’s racial and sexual “adverse events.” Since relations between SCSU administration and city government are hypocritical and ineffective, students of color, especially Blacks, are on their own in what is best described as a plantation. St. Cloud courts don’t seat Blacks jurors, meaning your son or daughter could never get a jury of cultural/ethnic/racial peers if either should find themselves in trouble via wrong place-wrong time circumstances. Even Blacks forced to defend themselves are vigorously prosecuted, usually convicted.  

With a literal alphabet soup of local organizations claiming to address local racism in various ways (African Students Association, CARD, CARE, Council for African American Students, Create CommUnity, GRIP, Human Rights Commission, Ministerial Alliance, NAACP, Omeka, SASSO, SCSU’s Faculty & Staff Color Caucus,, one would expect to hear, if only grudgingly, admissions from City Hall, K12 schools and law enforcement that racism is a major problem in St. Cloud.

Earl Potter, SCSU president, told reporters: “We know that when people feel a lack of safety, learning is impaired.” “This hurts the ability to focus and learn.” (SCSU minority student reports ‘Nazi salute;'” Star Tribune, 12/18/2007)

By contrast, little Southwest Minnesota State University (in Marshall), offered many scholarships and possible part time jobs specifically for inner city students along with a more hospitable community environment. (“Food for thought: New program offers full scholarships; Schwann’s is financing an $800,000 plan to lure urban students to Southwest Minnesota State;” Star Tribune, 10/21/2004)

Foreign students are valued as ambassadors for multiculturalism on campuses, but one might dare ask why SCSU offers no scholarships along with “community support packages” to Black students? If domestic Black students don’t qualify, for “community support packages,” why not African, Caribbean and/or Pacific Islands Black students? (“Students go global at SCSU;” University Chronicle, 3/6/2007)

SCSU recruiters prefer Blacks students from other states because they know less or nothing about St. Cloud racism. As consumers of expensive higher education, students and parents should know the potential dangers of race-based “adverse events” so prevalent in St. Cloud. Call it identifying double standards and “truth in packaging.”