After Trump attack, a defense of fellow Minnesotans

MPR file photo: Tim Nelson

Donald Trump’s broadside against Somali immigrants in Minnesota is reminiscent of a similar attack he delivered a few months ago in Maine, an attack that prompted the decent people of Maine to rally around their fellow citizens.

“Here in Minnesota, you’ve seen firsthand the problems caused with faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval, and with some of them then joining ISIS and spreading their extremist views all over our country and all over the world,” he told his supporters inside a Sun Country Airlines hangar on Sunday, referring primarily to the September attack at a St. Cloud shopping mall.

“Everybody’s reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota,” he said.

Those Somalis.

In a Facebook post, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges shoved right back.


Former Mayor R.T. Rybak followed with his own blast…


As did Sen. Al Franken…

Beyond that, however, Minnesota’s response has been comparatively quiet.

On the day after Trump delivered his anti-Somali attack in Portland, Maine, in August, the state’s leading newspaper was not silent on its editorial page.

Mr. Trump can relax. We know who they are. They are our neighbors and our friends. Some of them work in our schools and hospitals. Some are students. Some own businesses. They pay taxes, which are used for, among other things, maintaining the stage from which he spoke.

Among the Portland residents of Somali descent that Trump wants us to fear is Officer Zara Abu of the Portland Police Department. She was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, worked two jobs to get through college, and now protects and serves her community.

Trump tried to suggest that immigrants like Officer Abu are responsible for “many, many crimes,” but he has no evidence to back that up. Every ethnic group includes individuals who break the law, but solid research shows that native-born Americans are more likely to commit crimes than the people who move here from other countries. Trump’s libelous insinuations are just an attempt to boost his standing by dividing the rest of us.

This morning, there is no similar editorial rebuke being offered in any Minnesota newspaper.