A member of the Minneapolis City Council has taken issue with former Sen. Norm Coleman’s assertion that the large Somali community in the state could lead to “the land of 10,000 terrorists.”
In an op-ed in today’s Star Tribune, Abdi Warsame called Coleman’s commentary “pure fear mongering.”
“How Coleman conflates the actions of six young men to tens of thousands of Minnesotans is beyond any form of rational mathematical reasoning,” Warsame writes today.
He said as a politician, Coleman was adroit at exploiting racial divisions, but his assertions were false.
Let me assure the Star Tribune readers that there are not 10,000 terrorists among us. More than 100,000 Somalis and East Africans call Minnesota home. Nearly all of these people are citizens of the United States.
For more than 20 years, East Africans have found new homes in this great state. We’ve integrated, have contributed to the economy, have educated our children here, and have tried to create a better future for our families and our fellow Minnesotans and countrymen.
We work every day in some the most challenging and lowest-paid jobs in transportation, health care and building maintenance. We do so because we want desperately to be part of the American dream. We are proud, loyal and dedicated Minnesotans and Americans.
But you wouldn’t know that to read Coleman’s words.
Second, Coleman is transparently political. Not long ago, one of his former fellow mayors, Rudy Giuliani of New York, said that President Obama didn’t love America.
It was a coldly and cynically calculated act on Giuliani’s part. He knew exactly what he was doing. Coleman is cynically playing the same trick here — making an outrageous suggestion, knowing full well it is a lie, then sitting back and knowing that he’s accomplished the smear in the public’s mind.
Warsame said there remains plenty of work to do to get the issues involved framed correctly.