Somalis lead the push against racism in “white cloud”

Would St. Cloud, Minnesota (best known and ridiculed as “white cloud”), be more or less pathologically racist without Somali immigrants? Recently, Somali Technical High School students and their supportive parents demonstrated against persistent disregard for race-based assaults, bullying and taunting. After years of similar harassment being ignored, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division and FBI proved guilt. Punishment was probation.

An agreement to end race/religious targeting has been ignored by White school staff and students. (“St. Cloud schools approve agreement to end student harassment;” KARE-TV; November 28, 2011). Passive peaceful anti-racism demonstrations have precipitated more hate crimes against Blacks in general, Somalis specifically (“Damage found at Islamic faith centers in St.Cloud;” St. Cloud Times, December 4, 2014).

Despite “White Cloud’s” usual state-topping hate crime rates, race-based attacks have increased exponentially. Reports of White boys literally stomping on Black students’ food in the cafeteria implies discipline for racist Whites is nonexistent.

Yet Black students were forced to lay face down handcuffed on Tech floors for merely defending themselves against physical assaults (“Students protest racist taunting from classmates in St. Cloud;” Star Tribune, March 19, 2015; “As tensions rise, more protests at Tech High: Somali students say the school’s officials haven’t done enough to stop harassment by classmates;” Star Tribune, March 21, 2015; “Institutional racism plagues St. Cloud schools;” St. Cloud Times, March 28, 2015).

Even St. Cloud State University’s president admitted, “Safety for students of color is a historic concern.” Ex-Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow said, “St. Cloud and the university have an inglorious history.” No wonder “White Cloud’s” image and economy are easily exploited by a couple of Blacks engineering punishments for community racism.

The social clique parading as St. Cloud’s NAACP excludes local Black jail inmates and Somalis. When criticized for cowering, NAACP members claim they’re “only volunteers,” yet volunteer firefighters manage to reliably confront and extinguish fires.

It was Somalis who changed Electrolux and Gold’n Plump. It was Somalis who prompted FBI investigations of hate crimes. Despite Black children being historically maltreated in “White Cloud’s” schools, it was 25 demure Somali high school girls who exposed blatant racial double standards.

St. Cloud’s no-fight policies covertly punish Blacks for simply defending themselves. White bullies are forgiven while Black intended victims are punished, this in a city where Black court jurors are rarely, if ever, seated, and law enforcement rewards racism.

It was city government’s failure to conceal hundreds of hate crimes with no criminal identifications, much less arrests and convictions that forced the hiring of a Black police chief. Scathing publicity from Somali anti-racism efforts guaranteed damage control-forced hiring of a Black school superintendent.

Four Black group strategies exist for managing “White Cloud” racism: (1) conscientious objectors and cowards in racism’s war; (2) Booker T. Washington “accommodationists,” and house servants claiming to be secretly working through the system; (3) naive but peaceful demonstrators attracting federal and news-media intervention, while enduring retaliation by racists; and (4) a couple of Black militants effectively punishing “White Cloud” racism with tactics dignified Somalis consider too severe.

Without Somalis, “White Cloud” will never change. Class and dignity won Selma, but Ferguson and University of Oklahoma tactics are required for “White Cloud.”

Myrle Cooper is a retired faculty member at St. Cloud State University.

3 Comments on “Somalis lead the push against racism in “white cloud””

  1. Yeah, I just can’t understand why people who have lived in a place for years and years, made it their home, improved it at their own expense are upset by a group of people who expect to be given things without earning them. Somalis are arrogant, ignorant, and given far too many perks by the government. I have seen Somalis stopped while driving without a license several times, and let off the hook because of racial sensitivity. Sop there is definitely some problems in Minesota. How is it that they seem to have so much money in the first place? They drive expensive cars without even knowing that you need a license to do so? They certainly isn’t earn that money if they know so little about the country they live in.

  2. You sound really ignorant Martine. “Arrogant and ignorant” fits you to a tee. How did they get their cars? Hmm…perhaps they WORKED to get them? Black people working may be a novel concept to White Minnesotans—especially since people with your twisted racist outlook have created the worst unemployment and wealth gaps between blacks and whites of any state in the nation—but yes, that’s what Black America does genius. The only problem in Minnesota (and nationally) are racist and privileged white people like you having the nerve to ASSume how blacks and other peoples of color live and where their place in society should be (which is obviously on the bottom). BTW, White America is the biggest beneficiaries of welfare in the history of the U.S. From immigration settlement houses such as Hull House in Chicago, to the New Deal programs that were discriminatory towards Black Americans, to the free educations (GI Bill) and home loans through the FHA (no money down for homes with 3-4% fixed interest over a 30-year period that saw the greatest economic expansion in American history) that were denied blacks, to the interstate system that provided transportation into and out of central cities for white suburban workers, White Amerikkka are the Super Bowl champions of social welfare. And honestly, I’m certain the oppressed indigenous peoples of Minnesota are wondering just who in the hell gave Europeans such as yourself the right to settle on their lands and dictate who is and isn’t a ‘Real Minnesotan’. Got to love Minnesota ICE. The next time you attempt to socially analyze us and (others of color), and who we are and why we live in Minnesota (and this nation), get off your high horse, and conduct some research.

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