Bluestem's editor has been catching up a with seasonal chores at her new home but wants to thank two journalists for their recent thoughtful considerations of divisive rhetoric in Minnesota.
This American Life
The first is This American Life's Zoe Chace, whose Will I Know Anyone at This Party? aired on October 29 in Minnesota. The head note on the show's webpage states:
One way to understand the split inside the Republican party is to look at immigration. It’s this urgent, emotional issue for so much of the party these days. But why? Over the past year, as producer Zoe Chace has covered the election, she has wondered, why immigration NOW? She had a hard time getting any answers — and then she stumbled upon a small city in Minnesota called St. Cloud.
Zoe connects the anti-immigrant sentiment in St. Cloud with a national network of organizations promoting anti-Muslim views and spreading fear about Sharia law. We hear how the Somali immigrants in town deal with their neighbors’ fears. And then a violent attack at a local mall inflames both sides.
It's well worth a listen; the transcript is here. Out editor is thanked at the end of the show although we're not quoted in the story or any of our posts used as source material--mostly, we pointed Chace to original reporting at other sources that helped her understand the development of anti-Muslim organizing in Minnesota prior to 2015.
This wasn't the main thrust of her piece, however. The strength of the piece in Chace's ability to put together an original, compelling and honest narrative. We learned a lot from her radio segment that we didn't know before.
Lori Sturdevant on placebaiting
In What, us worry? An anthology of thoughts about the election in Sunday's op-ed section at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Lori Sturdevant writes in "In Minnesota, Urban-Rural Divide Is Being Exploited":
A huge regional divide is evident in the Oct. 20-22 Star Tribune Minnesota Poll. Residents of Hennepin and Ramsey counties preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a whopping 33 percentage points. Outside the 11-county metro area, Trump was up by 4 points.
“Place-baiting,” an apt term coined by the Bluestem Prairie blog, risks widening that rural/urban rift. Some Republican candidates in Greater Minnesota are casting the metro area as an enemy encampment to be resented and resisted. Take the flier that GOP state Senate candidate Mike Goggin is distributing in Red Wing, and that’s showing up in a few other districts, too. Goggin’s version criticizes DFL Sen. Matt Schmit for voting “with Minneapolis liberals 95 percent of the time.” . . .
We're grateful for the mention. Read the rest at the Star Tribune.
We're off to prepare for our household's returns watch party.
Photo: The lit piece Sturdevant discusses. We looked at it in SD21: Republican Mike Goggin lit piece hits the "baiting" trifecta: place, race and anti-gay.
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