I know most of you heard about the explosion in New York that injured a score of people and led to Trump using it to foment fear and hatred to bump up his poll numbers. We also had an incident in Minnesota, in a St Cloud mall (I’ve been there many times!), where a man went on a stabbing spree, and shouted something about Allah. Eight people were injured, and the guy wielding the knife was killed — which goes to show that it is kind of helpful to get guns out of the hands of these bad people.
But here’s the thing…Minnesota does have a substantial population of Muslims, largely Somali immigrants. They don’t have a violent reputation. But when the St Cloud police chief went on Fox News, of course the Foxites assumed we had a terrible race/immigrant problem here, and tried to stir up some inflammatory racist assumptions and remarks. Chief William Blair Anderson would have nothing to do with it, and actually made a helpful reply.
“I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and now is not the time for us to be divisive,” he said. “We already have a very cohesive community, and I expect that this will draw us even closer together. But at the end of the day, our job is public safety, period.”
Anderson then went on to say that developing relationships with Somalis in his community was vital to rooting out potential extremists.
“We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community,” he said. “We meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause. It’s one of things that makes St. Cloud a wonderful place to live, and I know that might sound corny, but it’s the truth. We have established and maintained a very good rapport with our East African community and our community at large.”
Go away, race-baiters. The less we see of you, the better we’re doing.
That’s also the kind of responsible attitude I like to see in the police.