you win this round, olmsted county

one of the things rochester has on st cloud? it’s got a lot less hate. 

in rochester, there are so many different kinds of people because of the clinic, and they all get along, so it seems.

i remember the first few months in roch wondering what was so weird about the town, and it was because all the people looked incredibly different from each other – even the white people. this was kind of a shock coming from central minnesota, where everyone looks at least vaguely german. features were a lot more sharp, pointed, almost severe in rochester. and it was nothing to be at any given store and here a different language come out of a white person’s mouth. 

there is quite a mix of different people down there, instead of one or two large ethnic groups in addition to the white people. a lot of students at the college were west african-americans, and there were a few muslim students but they weren’t necessarily somali. a few latinos, a few asian-americans, and it was a healthy mix of peeps.

up here, there’s a large somali population, and the white people don’t like the change in their town. they don’t like change in general. and this is big change. 

so because of the somali civil war that’s been going on for decades, refugees went to camps, then there was a deal struck with catholic charities to place somali refugees when they were legally able to come to the US. CC has an office in st. paul and one in st. cloud. so a lot of them end up here. and a lot of the conservative curmudgeons wail and screech about welfare and their taxes. i tend to think they’re using this “fiscally responsible” excuse as a front for their racism, but that’s just me.

what’s really disgusting is reading the comments on the local news outlets’ facebook posts and page comments. it really shows how backwards and selfish a lot of people in this area are.

good thing it has a lot of lakes and it looks good. haha

anyway, last week’s “this american life” talks about divides within the republican party, and the issue of immigration came up. at this point, i was somewhat interested. then the interviewer started talking about st. stinking cloud. what?? i haven’t finished the whole episode yet, but at LEAST 30 minutes of it focus on the somali hatred up here and it’s REALLY interesting. i recommend listening to it.

so, yes, olmsted county, you win the hate round. two points to you (non-parking lot traffic and less hate).


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