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NYT interviews the anti-immigration activists of St. Cloud

St. Cloud’s largest Somali-American strip mall
MinnPost file photo by Ibrahim Hirsi
Restaurants, clothing stores, pharmacies, and other businesses occupy St. Cloud’s largest Somali-American strip mall.

Not our best. Astead W. Herndon at the New York Times visits the anti-immigration activists of St. Cloud: “Every weekday, [John Palmer] sits in the same spot at Culver’s restaurant — the corner booth near the Kwik Trip — and begins his daily intake of news from xenophobic and conspiratorial sites, such as, and articles with titles like “Lifting the Veil on the ‘Islamophobia’ Hoax.” On Thursdays, Mr. Palmer hosts a group called Concerned Community Citizens, or C-Cubed, which he formed to pressure local officials over the Muslim refugees. Mr. Palmer said at a recent meeting he viewed them as innately less intelligent than the ‘typical’ American citizen, as well as a threat. … Kim Crockett, the vice president and general counsel of a conservative Minnesota think tank called the Center of the American Experiment, said she intended to eventually sue the state and challenge the resettlement program in court. … ‘These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.'”

Solving two problems at once. Elizabeth Dunbar at MPR News has some good environmental and energy news: “Pollinator-friendly plantings at large solar energy sites have become common in Minnesota in recent years. Not only do they provide habitat for the bee and butterfly populations people have been concerned about, but they also promote soil health and probably even boost the solar panels’ electricity output on warm days.”

A new hope. John Lauritsen at WCCO-TV has the story of a Health Partners clinical trial that’s showing positive results for people with Alzheimer’s symptoms: “Health Partners doctors believe current Alzheimer’s drugs can lose their effectiveness when they are digested or put in the blood stream. So their solution is a direct shot of insulin spray through the nose and into cells that connect to the brain. ‘Once in the left, once in the right – twice a day,’ Dr. Hanson said. ‘Within 15 minutes of one spray of insulin in the nose, they saw an improved ability to remember words and remember stories.‘”

Job opening at popular stun-gun manufacturer. Andy Mannix at the Star Tribune has an update on the case of a conflict of interest involving the head of Emergency Medical Services at HCMC: “An emergency doctor at Hennepin Healthcare will no longer be permitted to work as the medical director for a popular stun-gun manufacturer, following outrage from elected officials and community members who called the relationship a conflict of interest. Dr. Jeffrey Ho, head of Emergency Medical Services at the Twin Cities safety-net hospital HCMC, has worked as a paid consultant for Axon Enterprise Inc. for 14 years, the past 10 as the company’s at-large medical director.”

In other news …

Remember what happened to the last one who didn’t host town halls: “Critics call on Hagedorn to host more town halls” [Mankato Free Press]

Higher ed: “Regents pass 1.5% UMD tuition hike, but questions remain” [Duluth News Tribune]

Hearts of the Beast: “After years of losses and a call for help, Minneapolis MayDay Parade has record-breaking year” [Star Tribune]

Fixed the glitch: “Delta fixing technical glitch that caused delays” [KARE]

Starfish and coffee:Prince’s Caribbean estate sells for $10.8 million” [Star Tribune]

Put him in a cage: “Petting zoo owner charged with animal cruelty at Minnesota county fair” [Fargo Forum]

Just weeks away: “Vikings set training camp schedule; set new rules for access and autographs” [Star Tribune]

The old “catch and chug”: “MN man catches HR ball without spilling beer at College World Series” [KARE]

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/20/2019 - 01:49 pm.

    The way this reads, you wouldn’t know that Minnpost used to run puff pieces on the Center for the American Experiment.

    Some of us knew what this group was all about even before it got this explicit. Very visible indeed.

  2. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 06/20/2019 - 02:48 pm.

    Very good NYT article on St. Cloud. What is telling is the white guy saying these refugees are less intelligent than whites or words to that effect. But what seems obvious to me with these white racists is their inability to hold a consistent chain of logic without filling in the broken parts with myth, fear and feeling. One person complains, “they aren’t from Norway.” Wow, is that not obviously racist? The other point I take is that it seems that the majority of rural Republicans are racist to some degree whether it is all blacks or browns in general or specifically Somali Americans. I for one have seen none of these white people in this article or in Charlottesville or in a Trump rally that makes me feel proud to be a white guy. Better that I am human and embrace all humanity.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 06/20/2019 - 11:26 pm.

      I agree, I have always found the St Cloud area in general not open to diversity and limited experiences with others of different backgrounds. That said, I also have Somali American friends who have commented on not wanting to live in St. Cloud due to the increased crime in general. I wonder if the man in this article conflates increased density and crime with immigrants. He also assumes white guys never cause problems. I often hear some in the area say ‘they need to conform to us’ yet I never understand exactly what people are supposed to conform to–wearing a hijab is no different than nuns wearing veils or Amish wearing caps. I know Somali American Republicans and wonder if some in the article really take the time to focus on what is in common vs what is different.

  3. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/20/2019 - 05:40 pm.

    For the love of God, will Minn Post finally stop running pieces from the Center For The American Experiment???

    What racist drivel from Ms. Crockett. It’s shameful and un-American.

    Every time something from CAE runs, I ask why they are allowed space when they do not reveal their funding sources. But now this, this is beyond the pale.

    Please, just stop giving this hate group space.

  4. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 06/21/2019 - 12:29 pm.

    Black people are very “visible?” That is the kind of “insight” a conservative think tank produces? What racists don’t understand is how “visible” they are. Open mouth, insert foot.

  5. Submitted by Robert Carrillo on 06/23/2019 - 04:39 pm.

    ‘What a horrible joke..

    ..A 20 something – gay – black – man – posing as a ‘journalist’ – comes to St Cloud, to blatantly lie about the seriousness of the anti-assimilation prone Somali problem, lie about the people he interviewed there – including me – and to promote an increasingly dangerous fiction, straight from the land of ‘leftist’ OZ..
    There is not one ounce of integrity in this man’s work here. …’a picture of my WHITE grandchildren’? Really Astead?.. What a disgrace..
    My actual comments offered to him – in addition to multiple articles relating to the documented attacks. and the imported crime and violence now in Minnesota?
    I said.. ..’This is NOT about skin tone Astead’.. ‘This is NOT about some ‘religious’ anything either’. ‘This IS all about BEHAVIOR’.. ..Lousy, crappy, anti-social, violence prone, and anti-American value system, BEHAVIOR..
    I even recounted my bringing to Minnesota many years ago, a 17 year old kid out of the ghetto portion of Asbury Park, New Jersey, who I had known since he was age 6, when I was a college student, and the ‘ice cream man’ in his neighborhood many years ago.. He was, and still, is a black young man, and a good man.. ..He is NOT WHITE at all Astead.. He is a part of our family. He will always be a part of our family.. So, please can the black-white nonsense as the childish foundation for your ‘thesis’.
    His name is ‘Dee’, and he lived with my family for the last two years of his high school career, as he attended Washburn High school in Minneapolis – and excelled – and attended SCSU for a short bit of time afterwards.. He is now over 50 years of age..
    You forgot to mention any of that – conveniently – Astead..
    You sir, are a hypocritical, racist fraud, with a massive and remarkably unattractive – color coated – adolescent chip on your unprepossessing shoulder.
    I am embarrassed for you. I am extremely disappointed in your lack of performance here, given the gravity of this growing problem in Minnesota, and around our country..
    However, I do wish you well as you make any noticeable attempt to gain integrity going forward, if that is possible, and to acquire maturity enough to actually become a responsible adult, and show some hint of becoming a RESPONSIBLE journalist as well..
    Meanwhile, Minnesota and Minnesotans continue to suffer, and YOU sir are now a part of that problem we are ‘left’ to face here going forward. Denial is a dangerous syndrome to embrace my friend.

    Since your flight back to the ‘big apple’, we sad, pathetic, and ‘Islamophobic’, xenophobic, Minnesotans have been forced to endure more countless, and additional attacks of ‘white people only’ on our LRT (claw hammer and pipes used), our Minnesota streets (2 Somali’s use vehicle on a Minneapolis sidewalk to mow down 6 Minnesotans in Omar’s district), arson attacks (Lake Calhoun – ‘Lola on the Lake’ burned to the ground), armed robberies, home invasions, (attempted murder of a 5 year old at the Mall of America) and more.. ..No big deal to you however..

    So, everything is just peachy in the Minnesota paradise you came here to investigate? ”Nothing to see here, just move along’, Astead? Is that right Dave Kleis? Is that right (c)ongressman Tom Emmer? ..Klobuchar?

    ..Thanks for nothing Astead.. Oh, and by the way, and per your article; thanks for sharing the location of the town in Minnesota, in which I live. That should make it much easier for me to receive yet but another threatening note to be left on my door as was true in September of 2017 – AGAIN..

    Sorry that I trusted you, and that I wasted my valuable time.. At my age, I should have known better..

    Please make some attempt in your future to get rid of that ‘chip’ on your shoulder, and grow up a bit, and spare us any more of your literary vomit in the meantime..

    With all due respect,

    Bob Carrillo

    ..As intentionally exposed by Astead Herndon and the NYT: ‘Living in St. Michael, Minnesota’

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