One Somali family has moved to Little Falls, Minnesota, prompting freak outs among the more fearful among Morrison County residents.
Meanwhile, the Central Minnesota Tea Party is hosting another talk by anti-refugee speaker Ron Branstner:
You're invited to attend- REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT AND AGENDA 21 By RON BRANSTNER, LITTLE FALLS BALLROOM, 15870 MN 27, LITTLE FALLS, MN, FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2016, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. Mr. Branstner has been traveling the central MN region educating on the cost and effects of immigration to small communities. He believes freedom isn’t free and neither is charity if your hand is in some one else’s pocket.
In Judge people on character, not race or religion, Morrison County Record editor Tom West concedes that perhaps "family of Somali Muslims enrolled seven children in the Little Falls schools" ought not be held responsible for the litany of terrorist attacks he eagerly shared with his readers.
For more than a year, a rumor has been flying around town that up to 1,000 Somalis are moving to Little Falls. This week, the number was 41.
The newspaper has checked repeatedly with city and county authorities, the people who would know, and our conclusion is that it just isn’t true. [See Bluestem's investigation here]
We don’t have 1,000 jobs available, and we don’t have 200 vacant apartments. Every apartment that is under construction has reflamed the rumors, even though the newest apartments usually bring the highest rents. It just doesn’t make sense.
I don’t know when the first Muslim came to the United States, but I feel comfortable in asserting that it was at least two centuries ago. And why did Muslims come here?
For the same reason the rest of our families did; for the chance to have a better life.
It is simply wrong to assume that because someone is of a different skin color or a different religion moves to our community that they are up to no good. Such reactions are born in ignorance and fear.
Every person who moves here, no matter what their background, needs to be treated based on the content of their character. Do they obey the government’s laws? Do they have a good work ethic? Do they contribute in positive ways to civic life?
Just because some Muslims are making war on western civilization, it doesn’t mean that all or even most Muslims are.
The concern that people feel is understandable, but we have to keep it in perspective.
We should assume that this one family has come here to make a better life for themselves. We need to give them a chance to do so, same as anybody else.
If we don’t, if we greet them with hostility and anger, they will be isolated. But then what? To quote from Proverbs: “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity.”
The fact is, we have sat back and done little while drug dealers have brought meth, heroin and other poisons into our community.
Why get up in arms over one Muslim family? The only thing they have done so far is bring the school more than $30,000 in state aid.
At this point, we suspect that Minnesota's anti-refugee folks enjoy the emotional rush they get as they expose and fondle their fears, sharing that emotional flooding with their like-minded neighbors.
As for Branstner's Agenda 21 conspiracy theories, we located the source of his handout from his Baxter event back in January. See our post Unpacking Ron Branstner's Blandin Foundation bashing & fact checking his Baxter handouts. Another background resource? The Southern Poverty Law Center's posts about Agenda 21.
Photo: Ron Branstner in Baxter.
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