Star Tribune, stop profiling Somali community as terrorists

TryingMyBestsquareIn October, the New York Times reported that the Justice Department “prosecuted only five people from 2011 to 2013 for the crime of attempting to travel abroad to aid terrorists.” This “only five” number is a nation number and not a Minnesota number.

There is no boogie man within the local Somali community. The Star Tribune has moved into the surveillance business, monitoring and hovering over the Somali community, violating their rights to privacy; the Star Tribune’s approach has become invasive.

Minnesotans do not have the right to know, or need to know, everything that goes on within the Somali community. The Star Tribune has appointed itself the official babysitter of our local Somali community. Over the past 20 years, there is no evidence of a Minnesota Somali hurting or killing anyone abroad.

The most recent front page Star Tribune story on our Somali community (11-15-14) shows young Somali American men from the Twin Cities saluting the American flag after signing up for the U.S. armed forces.

The Star Tribune is using a demeaning punish-then-reward approach in all of this — after more than a decade of articles on the phantom existence of a terrorist pipeline coming from Minnesota to fight abroad, they now run this demeaning article as they treat Somalis in Minnesota like children: saying look, look at the progress they are making, how well-behaved they are becoming, saluting the flag and joining the military, instead of a terrorist organization.

Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.