After Minnesota put Donald Trump in third place on Super Tuesday, it was clear that the relationship between our fair state and the future president wasn’t going to be defined by sunshine and roses.
Not long after, on one of his final campaign stops, Donald Trump criticized the East African communities of the Twin Cities and beyond. He made unverifiable claims about Minnesota’s immigrant population from an airport hangar at MSP. He barely set foot in the state, and he certainly didn’t stop to eat at Fasika (which should be enough to change anyone’s mind on the issue).
Most Minnesotans were none too pleased.
And now that Trump is officially President of the United States, it’s clear that things aren’t going to get any better.
Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges has defied Trump’s authoritarian order on sanctuary cities, as was reported by MPR 1/25/17. Minneapolis won’t drop its policy that blocks police from reporting immigration violations.
And then from St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman across the river,
“Not only has our current police chief, but police chiefs past, and police chiefs across the country have made it very clear that they need to be able to build trusting relationships in immigrant communities,” he said. “We have the ability to make those determinations on a local level.”
And why do we use the word “authoritarian?” Certainly not to be biased; not to join the ranks of media dismissed by Trump, and certainly not to use something the current administration likes to call “alternative facts.”
It comes from another article, written by longtime Minnesota Public Radio correspondent Frank Langfitt, about the anti-information tactics of Donald Trump and co. The “Counselor to the President of the United States” Kellyanne Conway called White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s false claims about the inauguration crowd “alternative facts,” on Meet the Press, and then said that she and host Chuck Todd would have to “rethink” their relationship after he pressed her on the falsehoods.
“The White House seemed to be using the same tactics the Chinese government routinely uses against the foreign press corps: Make false claims to support an alternative narrative. When challenged, threaten reporters — and then try to delegitimize them.”
Which is exactly what Trump, Conway, and Spicer have been doing.
Read more: For journalists who’ve worked in China, new White House tactics seem familiar
Even MPR, which relies on funding from the government Trump is now head of, refuses to sit idly by. But this will come as no surprise to some. Minnesota is known as a “liberal cesspool” by many internet warriors –
– which doesn’t take into account the fact that staunch republican Tim Pawlenty was governor here, and before him Independent Jesse Ventura (his war against the media takes second place only to Trump’s).
But yes, Minnesota leans blue, and has been notably accepting of everything that Donald Trump seems to despise: Governor Dayton has stated explicitly that refugees are welcome in Minnesota and has been a stout supporter of immigration. He also raised taxes on the rich, and raised minimum wage, a move that got national coverage by the Huffington Post.
Aside: If you’ll recall, Trump is no fan of Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.
St. Paul also hosted one of the largest Women’s Marches in the country (especially when compared to population size; 100,000 is approx. 1/7 of the Twin Cities’ total population). And let’s not forget that Minneapolis elected the nation’s first Somali legislator, progressive Ilhan Omar (Representative of Minneapolis’ District 60B), on the same day that Trump was elected. And now state’s two largest city’s of Minneapolis and St. Paul explicitly reject the president’s stance on refugees and immigration.
It’s a tough time to be in the media. It’s a tough time to try and present facts that one or many readers disagree with – they will simply be dismissed as “fake.”
But reporters, journalists, bloggers, tweeters have two choices. One: Give in to Donald Trump and his ilk, or two: Continue to tell the truth. Get the information out there. Refuse to back down. Stay true to the mission.
And me? If you need to ask, you can find me at Fasika.
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