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Twins remove Calvin Griffith statue from Target Field over racist comments

Plus: Calhoun Square changing names; Walz declares Juneteenth Freedom Day in Minnesota, asks for permanent designation; sexual assault in the Somali and Oromo communities; and more.

The statue of former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith.
The statue of former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith.

Another statue. WCCO reports:The Minnesota Twins announced on Juneteenth that they’ve removed a statue of former owner Calvin Griffith from Target Field over racist comments he made in the 1970s. … The Twins say that while they acknowledge the role he played in the organization’s history, they can’t remain silent on racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. During a speech at a Lion’s Club dinner, a reporter heard him say that he brought the team to Minnesota because there were few black people here.”

The shopping mall formerly known as… The Star Tribune’s Nicole Norfleet reports:The Calhoun Square retail center in Uptown will be renamed as its property owners work to disavow the slavery advocate for which the building was originally named. … While leaders of Northpond Partners had contemplated a name change for the south Minneapolis retail building since the Chicago investment firm purchased the property last fall, the police killing of George Floyd and the ensuing worldwide demonstrations and discourse on police use of force and racial equity have pushed the firm to expedite the process.”

Happy Juneteenth Freedom Day! KSTP reports: “Gov. Tim Walz issued a proclamation making Friday Juneteenth Freedom day in Minnesota. … The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when news finally reached African Americans in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves living in Confederate states two years earlier. … Walz also called on the state legislature to make Juneteenth a state holiday.

Taking on a culture of silence. In an important story from Sahan Journal, Mukhtar M. Ibrahim reports: “…On Tuesday, Muna [Ahmed] became one of the first people in Minnesota’s Somali and Oromo community to publicly share her experience of being sexually assaulted when she was a teenager. By Thursday, more than 4,000 people had shared her tweet. All of a sudden, dozens of Somali women across the diaspora broke their silence over the violence they had suffered — sexualt assault by family members, childhood sexual abuse, rape and molestation by teachers. What once was considered a taboo and stigma in the Somali and Oromo culture suddenly was out in the public.

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In other news…

Lots going on:Where to celebrate Juneteenth in the Twin Cities and beyond (June 19-20)” [Spokesman-Recorder]

Lest we forget:Was slavery legal in Minnesota? The history of slavery up north” [KARE]

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Keith Ellison profile:Americans want justice for George Floyd. Keith Ellison is in charge of getting it.” [Washington Post]

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