POCI Caucus Statement on Right-Wing Backlash Against Immigrants in St. Cloud
St. Paul, MN – Minnesota’s People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus today released the following statement in response to yesterday’s New York Times article that found pervasive Islamophobia and racism in St. Cloud and central Minnesota:
"Yesterday's coverage from the New York Times shined a light on persistent bigotry, intolerance, and fear mongering against our neighbors. The statements from St. Cloud elected officials and those who claim to be community leaders demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge of the many contributions immigrants - from Somalia to Norway - make to our state, and must not be tolerated.
"The POCI caucus is resolved to continue our work to root out hate and to create a more inclusive Minnesota - because we know that all Minnesotans contribute to the prosperity and success of our communities."
The article included a quote from Kim Crockett, vice president and general counsel of a conservative think tank, saying, "These people aren't coming from Norway, let's put it that way. These people are very visible."
According to the article, an anonymous woman claimed she felt uncomfortable with a Somali-American presence explaining, “They were just —” she said, searching for the words to describe the offending behavior of the Somali-Americans. “They were just walking around.”
The People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) Caucus includes Reps. Jamie Becker-Finn (42B), Aisha Gomez (62B), Hodan Hassan (62A), Kaohly Her (64A), Mary Kunesh-Podein (41B), Fue Lee (59A), Alice Mann (56B), Carlos Mariani (65B), Rena Moran (65A), Mohamud Noor (60B), Ruth Richardson (52B), Samantha Vang (40B), Jay Xiong (67B), Tou Xiong (53B), and Sens. Melisa Franzen (49), Foung Hawj (67), Jeff Hayden (62), Bobby Joe Champion (59), and Patricia Torres-Ray (63).