Founded by a member of the Ku Klux Klan and now a city where most residents are people of color, Brooklyn Center embodies the challenges and the promise of a rapidly changing America.

Read the article at the Strib. Also worth a read in the Strib: Kim Hyatt and Jeff Hargarten Daunte Wright killing brings fresh scrutiny to Brooklyn Center police department.

Sunday, April 18, from state representative Samantha Vang, whom Bluestem Prairie readers will know from her leadership on environmental issues:

And this:

Tear gas isn't just a "metrocentric" thing

About a week ago, Rilyn Eischens reported in Law enforcement has received $500,000 in Enbridge money for work related to Line 3 at the Minnesota Reformer. On Saturday,  the Intercept's Alleen Brown reported in Local Cops Said Pipeline Company Had Influence Over Government Appointment:

Chief among the law enforcement officers’ concerns about the escrow account, according to emails obtained through public records requests, was a rule in the Line 3 permit limiting how the funds can be used. Sheriff’s offices can use the account to pay for any public safety services “provided in and about the construction site as a direct result of the construction and removal of the pipeline,” but they cannot use it to pay for equipment, unless it’s personal protective gear.

It was widely understood — and a particular source of frustration — that so-called less-lethal munitions, such as tear gas, would not be reimbursed through the account. “We do know for absolute certain that munitions will NOT be an allowable expense,” noted Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake in a November 19 email to fellow members of the Northern Lights Task Force, a coalition of law enforcement and public safety officials set up primarily to respond to anti-pipeline demonstrations.

“So, we can get reimbursed for trafficking but not equipment needed to protect our community’s? [sic]” wrote Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch a few days later, in reply to an email that said Enbridge funds could be used to address an expected increase in human trafficking related to the arrival of hundreds of temporary workers.

The funding gap for less-lethal munitions was important enough that law enforcement officials raised it with Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz. In early October, Walz set up a phone call with the sheriffs along the Line 3 route. Ahead of the calls, Lake, the Carlton County sheriff, distributed a handful of talking points to the group. Among them was the problem of tear gas funding.

“One identified resource we know that will aid in response should the protests become violent and out of control is the use of less lethal munitions such as gas,” the talking points said. “We have been told by the PUC that this absolutely will not be an allowable expense for reimbursement through the Public Safety Escrow Account. Enbridge has said they would not directly reimburse this expense as they have put funds aside into the Public Safety Escrow Account already to be utilized to reimburse public safety for response.”

It continues, “If counties along the pipeline route face mass crowds of violent protests that are prolonged events, the small resources of munitions that we may have will be very quickly depleted. Without these less lethal options, there is an incredibly increased risk for responders, protestors, and the community as a whole.”

The governor apparently offered words of comfort. “Dave’s assessment is that it went very well and he believes that the Governor will figure out the funding piece and the munitions,” Lake said in an email after the call, referring to Dave Olmstead, a retired Bloomington police commander who serves as Minnesota’s special events preparedness coordinator for Line 3, overseeing the public safety response to the project. “It sounds like his staff was already trying to line up a meeting internally for them to discuss it.” . . .

Indian Country's Mary Annette Pember offers some good news in Score one for wild rice;The EPA directs Minnesota to consider wild rice when listing impaired waters:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disapproved Minnesota’s long-standing practice of excluding waterways used for the production of wild rice in the state’s listing of impaired waters under the Clean Water Act.

In a March 2021 letter to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, EPA leaders partially approved Minnesota’s listing of impaired waters. But the state’s decision to exclude waterways with high levels of sulfate, deadly to wild rice, violates the Clean Water Act, according to the federal agency.

“The 11 tribes in Minnesota have consulted with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency for years on the issue of excluding known impaired wild rice waters on Minnesota’s 303(d) list,” said April McCormick, secretary treasurer for the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. . . .

Check out the rest at Indian Country.

Meanwhile in the former Sunshine State

Moving west to South Dakota, the Washington Post published Philip Bump's analysis, Kristi Noem’s posturing on ‘illegal’ immigration spotlights a common misrepresentation:

South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) is ambitious. She’s leaned into her hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic, earning her outsize media attention given the size of her state, though at some obvious cost to South Dakotans. She embraced former president Donald Trump, endearing herself to his base. And she’s been eager to leverage right-wing cultural fights to raise her profile.

On Wednesday, that instinct led to this bit of posturing.

Republicans have been eager to use the increase in migrants apprehended at the border with Mexico to pressure the Biden administration for several weeks. Noem’s statement goes a bit further, claiming that she will object to any attempts by the federal government to relocate undocumented migrants in her state. Even beyond the immediate irony of the White governor of a state in which 1 in 11 residents are Native American proclaiming who is American enough to reside there, there are obvious flaws in the line Noem is drawing.

For one, those who enter the country illegally are almost never able to gain citizenship, as immigration attorney David Leopold explained to The Washington Post in 2016. In other words, undocumented immigrants won’t be able to call Noem when they become American because they probably won’t be able to.

But the more important issue here is the use of “illegal immigrant” as a broad descriptor for whom the administration is dealing with.

There are two directions in which this descriptor incompletely overlaps with the current immigration situation. The first is that many new immigrants to the United States who are here without authorization are not from Mexico or Central America. Many have instead arrived on legal visas but failed to leave when those visas expired. Most new immigrants overall in recent years are from Asia.

The second is that many of those stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border and taken into custody are not in the country illegally. In fiscal 2017 through 2019, about 15 percent of those stopped at the border by the Border Patrol or the Office of Field Operations (OFO, which manages ports of entry) were people seeking asylum. Nearly 300,000 people sought asylum by making a “credible fear” claim on being stopped at the border — or often upon turning themselves in on arrival to the United States. You can see that in the numbers; in fiscal 2019, nearly two-thirds of those stopped at OFO border checkpoints were people claiming asylum. . . .

. . .But think about how the tenor of the story changes if the woman only assumed that they were in the country illegally. Think about what it means if those were just recent immigrants seeking asylum or if they were naturalized. Think about how the story is reshaped if you consider that those maybe-immigrants may have been there with their own children — children born in the United States and therefore citizens.

American politics is often focused on a heavily archaic sense that migrants to the United States from Mexico and Central America necessarily sneaked across the border to take advantage of American citizens. That’s the assumption that Noem is trying to exploit and that undergirds Vance’s story. It’s the assumption at the root of a lot of the discussion of immigration and an assumption that bears more scrutiny than it gets.

But there's more. That "immediate irony of the White governor of a state in which 1 in 11 residents are Native American proclaiming who is American enough to reside there." 

Keloland's Tom Hanson reports in ‘It breaks my heart’: Native Americans take issue with Noem immigration tweet:

 A tweet by Governor Kristi Noem is getting quite the response. It has to do with president Biden’s immigration policies and children applying for asylum in the U.S.

The Governor’s tone on immigration isn’t sitting well with many people, especially Native Americans.

The tweet sent out by the Governor on Twitter at 9:06 a.m. on April 14th reads “South Dakota won’t be taking any illegal immigrants that the Biden Administration wants to relocate.” It ends with the same message Noem posted in this video on her campaign Twitter page. “My message to illegal immigrants, call me when you’re an American.”

Many of her Twitter followers are voicing support, as of this afternoon the Governor’s tweet had more than 28,000 likes.

But the majority of the almost 12,000 quote-retweets are critical of Noem.

National sports radio show host Joy Taylor who wrote: “Was this tweeted on stolen Native land or nah?”

Ruth Hopkins responded with a map showing the Great Sioux Nation and the question “now who’s the illegal immigrant?”

But it is Remi Bald Eagle’s response that has gone viral with almost 100,000 likes.

He said, “I’m going to re-tweet this only to say, you do not know how much this comment breaks my heart. You are on our land. It seems like our problem is love and your problem is hate.”

Bald Eagle is a combat veteran who ran for office as the Democratic candidate for the South Dakota PUC.

“South Dakota has an opportunity to pitch in and help this country solve a serious problem and when we refuse to do that it breaks my heart that other people are taking away the opportunity for us to be able to help others,” said Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle also says he is humbled and grateful to the thousands who responded to his message. We reached out to the Governor’s office for a comment on the reaction to her tweet, we have not gotten a response yet.

We're spending this evening sorting garden seeds and prepping taters for planting after the latest three-day cold snap, then looking forward to the event tomorrow morning we posted about in Concerned about CWD in MN deer? Learn about new research from MNPRO's Peter Larsen:

On Monday morning, 8:30 a.m. the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy will hold an informational hearing:

"Update from Dr. Peter Larsen at the University of Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach on chronic wasting disease research."

We might scrutinize the rote damning  as "metrocentric" of Minneapolis DFLer Fue Lee's omnibus bonding bill, though that may come tomorrow.  

Photo: Tear gas in Brooklyn Center, Kori Suzuki (@korisuzuk1) for Mac Weekly. Full tweet embedded above.

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