St. Cloud’s raising racism’s ante then losing the pot

 

St. Cloud
St. Cloud

When the St. Cloud Times (Minnesota’s first and only proslavery propaganda rag deceptively called The Union) began “fact checking” Somalis, the community’s racist double standards were obvious. After 161 years of supporting or ignoring local racism, suddenly The Union, St. Cloud Daily Times and St. Cloud Times appointed itself the arbitrary authority and grand inquisitor for Somali acceptance requirements.

Were Somali fact checks designed to enlighten “White Cloud’s” downwardly mobile psychologically ailing racists, or unilaterally determine whether Somalis are eligible to live in Minnesota’s White ghetto? Fact check headlines include: “Survey asks about effect of immigrants on workforce,” “No foot-washing stations at the new Tech High,” “Refugees can become U.S. citizens,” “CAIR not on US terror watch list,” “Students recite pledge,” “How many refugees live here?” and “Students have right to wear hijab.” Those “community support packages” keep Chinese, Indian and Nepalese immigrants pacified so they don’t complain about racism and aren’t “fact checked.”

The racist St. Cloud Times editorial board suddenly calls for a community nondiscriminatory pledge: “The time has come for elected officials and community leaders to confirm to Minnesota and the nation that hateful billboards, vulgar vanity license plates and other attacks on our people because of race, religion or culture isn’t tolerated.” (“Take the pledge to stand up to hate;” St. Cloud Times, February 27, 2016)

The Pledge: “As a resident of the St. Cloud area, I condemn efforts to promote hate, racial injustice and the denial of civil rights. I pledge to promote understanding among all our citizens. I will not support nor work with those seeking to prevent others from pursuing freedoms granted to all residents of this country. I will stand up to anyone who promotes hate or bigotry. I will work to make our community a welcoming place to all.”

The above “pledge” is another conniving strategy by “White Cloud’s” newspaper first promoting slavery, later segregation, then diverting attention from racism as an attempt to spare the city’s brand/image by evading or minimizing escalating racial hostilities. The “hateful billboards” and “vulgar vanity license plates” are minor problems compared with physical “attacks on our [Black] people.”

The FBI calls those “attacks” hate crimes. There have been hundreds of crimes just since 2010, with maybe two arrests. The U.S. Departments of Civil Rights, Justice and FBI have verified such attacks since 1986, when a St. Cloud State University Somali student was held captive and beaten for four hours by local racists. (“Foreign students targets of racial slurs, violence,” St. Cloud Daily Times, December 18, 1986, “Incident of racial harassment leads to conviction of two St. Cloud residents,” University Chronicle, February 20, 1987)

In a community so well founded and maintained by White trash bigotry, the Times said, “To steal a phrase from the gay rights movement, it is time to be loud and proud that St. Cloud doesn’t have room for racism, cultural and religious intolerance and hate.” Most communities of disaffected, downwardly mobile and self-pitying Whites cling to packages of bigotry that include Blacks, gays, immigrants of color, religious scrutiny and women. (“Downtown rally held to support diversity after assaults [on gays];” St. Cloud Times, May 26, 2011; “Watch what happens as Confederate flag-waving man calls college students N-word,” Rollingout TV (video), October 8, 2015; “City rates low on LGBT relationship,” St. Cloud Times, December 30, 2015)

As “White Cloud” Mayor Dave Kleis, carefully ignores racism, the Times realizes devastating community penalties from so much bad publicity and torturous whistle blowing.

 

Myrle B. Cooper

 

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