Minnesota has white people

These are the fine residents of Beltrami County in Minnesota.

Fun fact: these white people just voted to forbid settlement of any refugees in their county.

Another fun fact: This is Beltrami County.

Those big lakes in the center of the county? That’s the location of the Red Lake reservation. Southwest of the county is the White Earth reservation. Leech Lake reservation is just to the southeast.

So this county just voted to ban non-native foreigners. The hypocrisy is hilarious.


  1. nomaduk says

    Yeah, there was a time, long ago, when I considered moving to Bemidji. Wound up in Shakopee, which, being next to Prior Lake, was bad enough, and I didn’t mind leaving one bit. There’s something about Minnesota that made it seem even whiter than the UK or Vermont.

  2. brucej says

    Ridana @2, Sadly, for the moment it is, because of the executive order from the MHSG. Of course it can be challenged in court, but until we evict the white supremacists from our national government it’s always going to be a battle.

  3. wzrd1 says

    So this county just voted to ban non-native foreigners.

    So, native foreigners are acceptable?
    How about foreign native-born US citizens who have darker complexions than they do?

  4. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    [tangent alert]
    good to hear I made a good choice when I declined the offered employment in Shakopee, at that obscure disc drive company known to locals as Seagate. My first visit there was in February when the temperature had hit -20 F the day before, and the Minneapolis airport was covered. Western Digital’s offer in the Bay Area was far more attractive.

  5. davidnangle says

    How, then, will they enjoy their red-hot bigotry, with no real targets? On whom will they blame their misfortunes, which they invariably vote for, every two years?

  6. stroppy says

    What a grim looking crowd of pinheads. One bowling ball and a good hard roll through the middle of them and they’d all go down. Probably just lie there waiting for Fox News to tell them what to do.

  7. Bruce Fuentes says

    As a person with a hispanic last name and a father from Puerto Rico and as a person who has lived in the South(NC) and upper midwest(MN and WI), I can state that there is no more or less racism, hate and bigotry in either area. The difference is in style. Up here in, MN and WI, people are more polite in their manner but ultimately that is even more insidious than the in your face hate of the south.

  8. microraptor says

    wzrd1 @4: They’re not allowed to ban such people at the moment, but they’re working on it.

  9. Mark says

    The article states that communities must opt in to accepting refugees and that non-action is interpreted as a ‘no’ vote. So a vote on their part was actually unnecessary. It was simply an opportunity to express their xenophobia and hate, which is probably all they really wanted. Hate is like a big pot of stew — You slave over a hot stove all day making it — letting it simmer — and you just want it to be appreciated by everyone. With that said, they look like the most boring community on Earth.

  10. PaulBC says


    What a grim looking crowd of pinheads.

    You put it better than I could (I was going for some variation of “sorry bunch”).

    Caption? “We done blowed ’em up real good.” Nah, too cheerful. Maybe “That ought to teach them foreigners.”

  11. jrkrideau says

    That is crazy. While my father’s family were not “exactly” refugees, they got out of Ireland while the getting was good.

    When I was in high school my podiatrist was an American refugee. (AKA draft-dodger).

    I went to class at university with Czech refugees.

    A good friend of mine at university claimed that her parents were good swimmers (I always assumed from the mainland to Hong Kong).

    My local “oriental” food store is run by a couple who were Boat People refugees. Lovely people even if they do laugh at me some times.

    Bloody hell, just for purely selfish reasons, we would be so much poorer without refugees coming to our communities

  12. Susan Montgomery says

    @11 It’s entirely possible that someone called a vote thinking that it would be an easy win.

  13. gijoel says

    @6 Redheads, “liberals”, LGQTBI, etc. Though so long as there are browner people in the world they’ll have something to worry/hate about.

  14. rockwhisperer says

    @6 davidnangle, my experience of my Minnesota relatives (I’m a Californian) is that the city folk are relatively bigotry-free, and the rural folk don’t have red-hot bigotry. It sort of simmers in the background, like a batch of crabapples being slowly turned into crabapple butter on the back of the stove. As @8 Bruce Fuentes points out, it’s pretty insidious.

    (But unlike bigotry, actual homemade crabapple butter can be delicious. Grandma’s knack for creating delicious crabapple butter was only exceeded by her ability to say gentle, offhand bigoted comments.)

  15. chrislawson says

    The hypocrisy goes deeper. The county is named after an Italian explorer and the city’s name comes from an Ojibwe word.

  16. rydan says

    Who would have guessed there were racists above the Mason Dixon line. I always thought it was a myth.

  17. jrkrideau says

    @ 8 Bruce Fuentes
    As a person with a hispanic last name
    Weird. Here in Canada you can have just about any name you want if you speak “Canadian English” or “Canadian French”.

  18. Sean Boyd says

    Wait wait wait, THESE are the ‘fine’ residents? I shudder to think about how bad the not-so-fine residents would be.

  19. Rieux says

    This feels especially sad to me in light of my personal reference point for Bemidji and Beltrami County: I spent parts of four summers during my childhood at one of the Concordia Language Villages, language-immersion summer camps run by Concordia College in Moorhead. The college operates Language Villages all over northern Minnesota, but the heaviest concentration is the five permanent summer camps (where campers learn Spanish, French, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, and the language I took, German) clustered around Turtle River Lake, a few miles northeast of Bemidji.

    The organizing principle of the Villages (an eager, open internationalism and cosmopolitanism) is so diametrically contrary to the willfully stupid xenophobia that these locals exhibit that it’s painful.

  20. quatguy says

    Looks like the place will be a ghost town in 10-15 years, unless this vote was a siren call for other like minded in the country to settle there.