Somali-American, Minnesota Politics, African Immigrants, Ilhan Omar, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Don’t Tell Trump: Minnesota Is About to Elect a Pioneering Somali-American Muslim Woman

John Nichols | The Atlantic

It matters that Ilhan Omar will be elected to the Minnesota state legislature on the same day that Minnesotans reject Donald Trump.


Donald Trump went to Minnesota Sunday, seeking a “path to victory” in a state that has not voted for a Republican for president since 1972. It was an absurd turn on the campaign trail, which appears to have been motivated by the racism and xenophobia of the Republican presidential nominee and his team rather than any political logic.

The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to the nation’s largest community of Somali Americans, and Trump came in hopes of turning their neighbors against them.



Minnesota (Listeni/ˌmɪnᵻˈsoʊtə/; locally About this sound) is a state in the Midwestern United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Its official motto is L’Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 21st most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 60 percent of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the “Twin Cities”), the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota is known for its progressive political orientation and its high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. Until European settlement, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe. During the 19th and early 20th Centuries, the large majority of the European settlers emigrated from Scandinavia and Germany, and the state remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, and Latin America has broadened its historic demographic and cultural composition. Minnesota’s standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation.


CONTINUE READING @  | The Atlantic