Racist? Or not?

The happy lady at the right is Kim Crockett, a Minnesotan who is running for the office of Secretary of State. I don’t want to rush into any accusations here, but she might be a bit racist. I’ll let you be the judge, and just present the facts.

  • She’s a Republican. I know, I know, but let’s assess the preponderance of the evidence.
  • She’s an election-denier who says the 2020 presidential election was “rigged”.
  • She was dismayed at all the Somalis immigrating to Minnesota. “I think of America, the great assimilator, as a rubber band, but with this — we’re at the breaking point,” she was quoted as saying. “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.” See? She’s not anti-immigrant. It’s fine if they’re coming from Norway.
  • Now she is concerned about who should be allowed to vote in our elections. “So, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that indeed you can help an unlimited number of people vote if they are disabled or can’t read or speak English, which raises the question: Should they be voting? We can talk about that another time.”

Oh, wait. I think maybe “racist” is an inadequate word to cover the breadth of her bigotry. Never mind.

And she’s running for Secretary of State, the office that oversees our elections! Fortunately, her opponent is a competent DFL guy, Steve Simon, who is going to run right over her in November.


  1. submoron says

    The fourth largest immigrant community in Norway is Somali. Perhaps they’d be acceptable to her as they’d be coming from Norway?

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    So, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that indeed you can help an unlimited number of people vote if they are disabled or can’t read or speak English…[Emphasis mine]

    Ignoring the obvious racism for a moment, does she think that disabled people shouldn’t be allowed to vote? I suppose she thinks all those quadriplegics, hearing-impaired people, or mentally handicapped will use their franchise to vote themselves more benefits. I mean, how dare they want help from the government that claims to represent them.

  3. says

    I suspect you could find nativists a century or so back who thought the Minnesota was being overrun by Norwegians, who wouldn’t assimilate into America.

  4. Ed Seedhouse says

    Ah, the old “I’m not racist, you are racist for saying I’m racist” defense. Back to the “good old” days, eh?

  5. raven says

    “So, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that indeed you can help an unlimited number of people vote if they are disabled or can’t read or speak English,..

    This is a strawperson claim.

    How many US citizens in Minnesota can’t read or speak English? It is going to be around zero.

    Do I Need to Speak English to Become a U.S. Citizen?https://www.immigrationfamilylawyer.com › 2016/06/24

    Jun 24, 2016 — In order to become a US citizen, you need to understand, speak, read and write at least some English. Learn more about this requirement, …

    A requirement to become a citizen is a basic knowledge of English. Those Somalias that stand out and vote are going to speak at least some English.

    The only places that have significant populations of non-English speaking US citizens are Texas, parts of southern California, and the Southwest. These are Spanish speaking native born people i.e Mexian Americans.
    It isn’t like Minnesota was once part of Mexico or Quebec.

  6. says

    When my great grandfather arrived in the US, the nice guy at Ellis Island told him “squareheads go to Minnesota” and so, he wound up getting a land grant for 10ac and building a farm, on land that had just had its Lakota inhabitants driven off of it. Sure enough, Norwegian immigrants were treated as less than Americans, by the colonialists who had gotten off another boat, earlier, and driven off the natives on the east coast. Why? Because the squareheads were taking land and jobs, in their imagination.

    The US is a fractal shitshow – the closer you look, the worse it is.

  7. Oggie: Mathom says

    I suspect you could find nativists a century or so back who thought the Minnesota was being overrun by Norwegians, who wouldn’t assimilate into America.

    Many, many, many years ago, our local PBS station did a documentary (three episodes) about immigration. My boss was scheduled to be interviewed but had to cancel due to a death in the family. I found out, at 9:00am, that the documentary film crew would be here in an hour to interview . . . ME?!?!?

    I borrowed a neck tie (I was doing the open-collar-turtleneck thing for my uniform) and tried to figure out what the hell I was going to say. I ended up doing pretty good.

    It was a long, rambling conversation. At one point, the interviewer asked about the new anti-immigration attitudes. I told her it was nothing new. In our area, when German farmers started to move in, the English settlers were horrified that those ‘lager-swilling krauts’ (yeah, I used that phraseology) were coming in. They would never be able to assimilate. And when the ‘whiskey-drinking Papist Micks’ started to come in, the English AND the Germans were horrified. And when it was Polacks, the Irish joined the English and Germans in being horrified. And when it was Italians, the Poles freaked out. Same for the Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Lebanese, Slovaks, and all the other ethnic groups that moved in and, in a few generations, became part of the ethnic stew (not a melting pot!). I knew, at that time, a second-generation Hunky (sorry, Hungarian) who was horrified at these new foreigners. That whole monologue made it into the documentary with few changes.

    So, yeah, I am sure that whoever was in Minnesota when the Norwegians showed up were horrified. This is normal. Awful, but normal. And every group learns the same lesson: shun the newest immigrants to fit in with the extant immigrants.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 4

    Oh, easily. Back when America was “great” the ideal human being were those of Anglo-Saxon dissent. Even other white people like the Irish, Italians Germans, Poles, etc. were considered morally and intellectually “inferior” to those who could trace their ancestry to merry old England.

    Of course, they obviously didn’t know or care that England itself was a melting pot of groups from many of those same hated ethnicities (e.g. Romans, Saxons, Danes, Norse, etc.). Then again, why should history get in the way of one’s sense of racial superiority?

  9. asclepias says

    I’m jealous. Here, Church Gray edged out Tara Nethercott by a very narrow margin. He’s one of those people who believes the election was stolen, wants to go back to paper ballots, yada yada, the whole 9 yards. There were no Democrats running for Secretary of State. The state Republican Party is worried enough that it is trying to find an acceptable independent Republican to run against him in November. There was some good news for us this election–Megan Degenfelder absolutely trounced Brian Schroeder (Trump’s preferred candidate) for Secretary of Education (still not a huge fan, but at least she has teaching experience) and Merav ben-David (an ecology professor from the University of Wyoming) won her run for the state senate. I didn’t get to vote for her, unfortunately (she’s in Laramie, I’m in Cheyenne), but Albany County tends to be a hotbed of liberalism.

  10. StevoR says

    I’m not good at spelling me meself but I flipping ate automobile corrected if only the thing wood walk I’d be infernally grapefruit!

  11. StevoR says

    @ asclepias above ( (Doctor? Obscure Ophiuchus refeence?) & I guess with my spelling I better clarify that, yeah, that was deliberate joking.. ;-)

  12. says

    One of the things that really sucks about the current time is that social media and MAGA have made racists, anti-vaxxers, and people with repugnant politics more comfortable revealing it. Then you have to edit them out of your life or compromise with some bent over backwards justification. One of the neighbors up the street (an older guy retired on a union pension) suddenly started ripping about socialism and how the “left wants to impose communism” because being racist is not cool any more. Uh. Um. I pointed out that being retired on a union pension made him more socialist than I am, but he had revealed himself to be, basically, too ignorant to talk to. My social circle, which was already small, is looking more like a dot.

  13. Bruce Fuentes says

    #7 Also Puerto Ricans. Many have moved from the island and some don’t speak English. They are US citizens so are eligible to vote wherever they have residency in the US.

  14. jenorafeuer says


    He’s one of those people who believes the election was stolen, wants to go back to paper ballots

    Paper ballots by themselves shouldn’t be a problem, though obviously that’s the least of this candidate’s issues. I mean, here in Canada, federal elections are normally done with a paper ballot. Of course, we’re only voting for one thing, and all that has to be on that ballot are the names of the local MP candidates and the party they each represent. You vote by taking a pencil and putting an ‘X’ in the circle beside the candidate of your choice.

    The most complicated elections are the municipal ones, where we have to vote for mayor, local councilmember, and local school board member. Admittedly here in Toronto there are four different school boards (English/Public, English/Catholic, French/Public, and French/Catholic), though you can only vote for a representative for one of them. Those are generally done on Scantron sheets where you vote by filling in the break in a line for the candidate; you hand the sheet to the election workers inside a sheath so they can’t see it, and that gets run through a machine to scan it, and that machine reports immediately whether or not the sheet was validly filled in. If it was, you can then leave the building, and all the paper sheets for the votes are still in the machine for recounts.

    A lot of the current mess in U.S. voting is the result of companies angling to get paid to solve problems that really didn’t need to exist in the first place when there were simple existing methods that had already seen success elsewhere. (Combined with the bizarre setup that makes it politically impossible to have all the states use the same election methods. And the fact that you let the winners of previous elections draw the district boundaries and set the rules for the next elections.)

  15. robro says

    @ asclepias re “paper ballots” — I have a very good friend involved in election rights advocacy for many years who makes a very good case for paper ballots: auditing. Without a paper ballot, auditing would depend on the security and integrity of the electronic voting system. He’s often made this case against purely electronic or online voting. We have paper ballots in California. While machines are used to scan the ballots, thus speeding up initial counting, if a candidate demands a recount they go back to the paper…at least that’s my understanding.

    What Chuck is probably really complaining about is mail-in paper ballots because Chump made that an issue. Ironically, Republicans have advocated for mail-in ballots for decades because mail-in appeals to older people who are the bedrock of their base. A main element of the argument against mail-in ballots is people voting more than once. It does happen a little, although all the reports I’ve read of someone voting multiple times they were voting for Chump.

  16. bcw bcw says

    @20. Most States do use hand-marked paper ballots! Some do use ballot-marking-devices (BMD) which in a few States produce hard to read results but this is small fraction. The rightwing scream-machine has confused a lot of people on this.


    Most use optical readers or somesuch to count but as with Georgia’s third recount, you can count them all by hand if you want to. In Georgia, it made no difference.

  17. asclepias says

    I like the idea of paper ballots–something that I can fill out that can’t be changed without someone noticing. However, my disability means that if I have to do anything longhand (or on a computer, since most people are 2-handed typists, and I make do with 1) takes much longer for me, even if it’s just writing an x. Not that I’m complaining. At least I can use this hand.

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Sweden has had på paper ballots since forever and it works fine.
    Why the hell did they introduce voting machines? The distrust and conspiracy theories are not worth whatever tiny savings they make possible.

  19. flexilis says

    @asclepias #12

    The irony! Chuck Gray ran on “The 2020 election was rigged” in a state, Wyoming, that gave Trump his largest winning percentage in that very election. I guess only 100% would satisfy the Trumpers.

  20. says

    I like the idea of paper ballots–something that I can fill out that can’t be changed without someone noticing.

    Many states in the USA still have paper ballots. They’re read and counted by machines, but there’s still all that paper that can verify the machines’ count.

  21. pilgham says

    Picking candidates is simple, but when you get down to ballot initiatives the language is enough to give native english language speakers crossed eyes and a migraine. I can’t object to ESL citizens getting explanations in their own language. I’d prefer it in fact, that they make the best informed choice. It’s hard enough to get people out of the echo chambers without throwing up more barriers to getting information.

  22. seachange says

    @20 robro
    I used to run the local precinct here in California and stopped doing it after 20 years because I couldn’t be bothered to learn the new electronic system.

    Los Angeles County went digital 2020-2021. Part of this is money, and part of this is meeting constituent demands (more likely political party and fake news demands) that results be made more instanter than instant.

    Finding enough volunteers willing to hang around during polling hours, already difficult, has become much harder as the polls are now open multiple days here. What with COVID-19 though we’ve been getting paper ballots. I did stop by the local combined precinct to drop mine off. There was lots of staff there, but nobody voting live. So I guess we’re back to paper now? Although you can log on and go to the polls and have your phone’s QR code scanned, if you like.