A nation divided, and coming apart at its seams

If you’ve walked the earth for any length of time and have a reasonable amount of intelligence, you have to wonder if we’re witnessing the end of a civilization that was able to keep things together — more or less — for most of the period after April 9, 1865.

The nation is divided. It is coming apart and each day brings new evidence that it may not long endure.

The reaction to Deepinder Mayell’s op-ed in Wednesday’s Star Tribune is as significant as the story he tries to tell about what he says happened to him at a recent Minnesota Vikings game.

Mayell, an attorney and director of the Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee and Immigrant Program, was born in New York and has lived in Minnesota for four years. But he says he was acosted by another fan who demanded to know if he was a refugee.

“He didn’t know that if he were speaking to a refugee, he’d be speaking to someone who feared persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group,” he writes. “He didn’t know that many refugees are victims of some of the worst human-rights abuses occurring on the planet, ranging from being sold into sexual slavery to being killed in mass executions. He didn’t know that being a refugee is a badge of resilience and honor, not danger.”

Other people did not speak up for Mayell, he says. And when he and stadium security confronted the man after he walked away, he apologized.

Mayell didn’t want an apology.

Rather, I wanted him ejected from the stadium because he made me feel unsafe.

The security staff talked with him privately. I don’t know what was said. He was not removed. Apparently, the Vikings do not think that hate speech and racism are removable offenses.

My gameday experience was ruined. I tried to focus on the players, but I continued to take glances at the man who sat just a few yards away. I couldn’t help looking over my shoulder, wondering if he had inspired someone else. It was clear that I would not be bringing my family to a Vikings game.

The hate is a smoke, he writes. It is about to become an unstoppable fire.

Most of the commenters to the op-ed don’t believe it really happened. They didn’t believe the woman who wrote last week of her encounter in a jetway at MSP airport. They didn’t believe that Abdi Mohamed of Minneapolis could have the same dreams for his family — and was entitled to have the same dreams for his family — that other Americans have for theirs.

“Hate speech is free speech, if you do not like it don’t go to the game,” opined one commenter who has never read a story of a Supreme Court ruling.

We were told this week that the Department of Homeland Security is going to soon announce a new terrorism warning system to replace the system that replaced the color-coded system.

If it has any degree of accuracy, it will say that America is currently at Threat Level: Stupid.

Update 8:07 pm The Vikings have released this statement:

Eden Prairie, MN (December 9, 2015) – The Minnesota Vikings first learned of the incident that occurred during Sunday’s Vikings-Seahawks game when Mr. Mayell’s op-ed was printed in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune.

What Mr. Mayell conveyed is disturbing and certainly not within the values that we consistently promote throughout our organization and in the community. Creating a positive, respectful and safe game day environment for our fans has always been paramount to the Vikings. We do not condone discrimination at any level and have implemented many tactics to prevent and/or report offensive behavior, including an anonymous texting system that is permanently displayed throughout TCF Bank Stadium and a full-page fan “Code of Conduct” inside The Playbook, which is free and available to all fans upon entering the stadium.

We have reached out to Mr. Mayell and our Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren is scheduled to discuss the incident with him directly. We are also in discussions with our internal security staff, who were unaware of the situation until this morning and are now in the process of investigating the incident. We will have further conversations with University of Minnesota security to create the most effective infrastructure to ensure an unfortunate incident such as this does not happen again, but if it does, that it is properly reported and handled.

Related (maybe): Fire at Grand Forks Somali restaurant intentional, marshals say (Grand Forks Herald)

Cruz Won’t Criticize Trump, But Offers His Own Plan To Bar Refugees (NPR)

  • Gary F
    • Glynis

      Since when is it a foregone conclusion that the erroris in the list can’t be fixed? And if the Republican’s are now so concerned about those errors why haven’t they done anything about it? Label them terrorists and restrict travel is okay but hold your horses if you want those same people listed as terrorists from getting a gun.

      And you do realize that there are actual terrorists on that list and terrorist suspects who aren’t American citizens but they can get a gun? But ban those refugees even though the chance of the former committing a terrorist act is many times greater than the chance of the latter.

      • Gary F

        Then pass a law to fix first and then we’ll talk. I don’t like bills that take away our rights without having some recourse. You wouldn’t want Bush doing that, why is it OK with Obama?

    • James Matthew

      It seems like the Democrats are setting up the debate question for the GOP hopefuls are they willing to ban Muslims from having guns. An apparently no win question. I have to admit I would like to hear the answers.

  • John

    From being one of the first (if not the first) states in the nation to outlaw discrimination in hiring to this. . .

    When I see this sort of thing it really makes me feel like we’ve fallen a long ways.

    • KenB

      There’s a difference between the state government’s action and individual knuckleheads like the one at the football game. It’s not a continuum.

      • John

        It is not a continuum, but presumably the state government’s actions are driven by what the individual knuckleheads who live in the state tell their representatives they want.

        What I’m hearing people want is not encouraging. I don’t know what my representative is hearing.

        • Xerophyte

          Exactly, and I think even more telling than one lone screaming bigot is the fact that literally everybody else nearby at the game did nothing. Of course, that phenomenon is found everywhere, but having lived in a variety of other places I find it particularly common in Minnesota. I’ve been somewhat flabbergasted to see people simply sitting by at a party while somebody berates their friend or partner, only to talk later about how out of line the berater was (when that person was no longer around).

          Of course, these are simply my own observations; but since no actual research seems to be done on the matter, all we can go by is our own experiences. And it also occurs to me that at least in our current climate, people may sit on their laurels out of fear that the angry screaming person will pull out a gun and start shooting if their views are challenged…

  • BReynolds33

    How does a country fight a Civil War over who we will hate and who we won’t? The Civil War has the distinct advantage of having deeply rooted geographic entrenchments. It seems with our current divide that people everywhere seem to just want to hate and be afraid of anything that isn’t them.

    How in the hell do you fight that?

    • MrE85

      “How in the hell do you fight that?”
      At the polls, on Election Day. We have a chance to show to the world — and ourselves — what kind of a nation we are, or want to be. Don’t blow it, America.

      • Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

        • MrE85

          Heh. There are times when this is all too true.

        • Brian

          We are getting off track… but I find it really interesting that a two party system essentially follows directly from our voting system (winner take all).

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

        • Ben Chorn

          I prefer the South Park view of voting for a turd sandwich or a douche

    • Khatti

      I tend to be of the attitude that the Civil War was only the first one. After all, we’re no really a very old country yet. They’ll be a bunch more to follow.

      • Anthony

        Actually, the US is pretty old compared to other countries. The nations on continental Europe are relatively young, not to mention countries that were created due to decolonization of England and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

        • Khatti

          But the culture of a place like, say Italy, is much older than American culture, and it shapes the way the modern, Italian government works. In fact, I think that Americans should study Italian history–including the Roman Era. The Italians have been everywhere we have been, and everywhere we’re likely to go, twice.

  • MrE85

    I was somewhat aghast (but no longer surprised) by the television news images of people in San Bernardino lining up to buy a gun. Whatever is plaguing this great nation of ours, it certainly is NOT a lack of guns. I suspect it is an abundance of fear and ignorance, the soil in which bigotry grows.

    • Gary F

      President Obama, #1 gun salesman. The more you talk gun control, the more people will want to buy them. So keep it up. It’s a simple as that.

      • MrE85

        Some people are as simple as that. Others are not.

        • Gary F

          I buy them months after the hype, when the price goes back down.

  • MikeB

    The idea that a refugee, recently arrived in this country, would drop big bucks to go to an NFL game (and sit among the drunks), makes a lot of sense as well. Threat level Stupid indeed. Threat Level Abject Panic.

    • Kassie

      Sure, but what about a refugee that has been here 10, 20 or 30 years?

    • Jim in RF

      Story made it pretty clear he was born and raised in the US.

      • But the “stupid white guy” apparently thought that he possibly WAS a refugee.

    • Jay T. Berken

      My thoughts exactly, plus The Bank is a small stadium. And that does not bold well for the efforts of the security that this jackoff has to put matters in his own hands. Calm down there G.I. Joe, you are not that special…

    • Glynis

      Abject stupidity is calling him a refugee recently arrived in this country.

    • LilAsil

      Read the story?

      • MikeB

        was referrencing the idiot’s POV

  • Anna

    Using fear to gain political power and control is and was the stuff of the worse dictators in history—Hitler, Stalin, Franco.

    Using xenophobia to manipulate the fear of the populace and allowing verbal diarrhea in the form of hate speech is a relatively new phenomena brought about by the digital age.

    None of us would be here if we had allowed hate and xenophobia to rule in the early days of the United States.

    We’ve been down this path before, as you so aptly point out, Bob in your blog post. Trying to eliminate paranoid extremists by refusing to admit all Muslims to the United States is nonsense.

    We did it in WWII with the Japanese and it didn’t make us any safer. We might have thought we were safer but it really didn’t do much to prevent saboteurs and spies.

    I wonder what would happen if all news sites and television and radio were completely shut down for two weeks and we didn’t have 24/7 streaming of terrorist attacks and police brutality news. We would actually have to cooperate with each other and work together to get our daily necessities similar to what happens during a major disaster like Hurricane Sandy or the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.

    It’s amazing how people appear to put aside their “hate” and intolerance to get the job done when basic survival is at stake.

    We are better than this America. Remember that we and our ancestors all came from somewhere else seeking a better life and the freedom to live without judgment and persecution.

    Remember that when you make assumptions about someone who looks different than you.

    Never assume. It makes an a## out of you and me.

    • >>We might have thought we were safer but it really didn’t do much to prevent saboteurs and spies.<<

      It actually did NOTHING to prevent saboteurs and spies. It was just plain unconstitutional.

  • KTN

    I wonder if the Vikings will believe him, and you know, offer him some sort of empty platitude saying “we don’t condone that type of behavior”, except they do accept that type of behavior – its what makes football games football games. Ignorant racist fans and the game go hand in hand.

  • Jane Mobeck Wilson

    “Threat Level Stupid”, not all of us, but too many.

    • BReynolds33

      The dangerous part is? This is also what the stupid people think.

  • chris

    To say the nation is coming apart at the seams is passive. In fact it is actively being torn apart at the seams by people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

  • BReynolds33

    Other than, “because I can?”

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    The notion that we should be accepting nearly a million immigrants every year, many of whom may never fully integrate into American society, is idiotic. We can’t continue to be the release valve for disfunctional, over-populated countries, and growing numbers of Americans already intuitively know that this non-sensical idea of unlimited growth will kill the American Dream for our descendants. American foreign policy should be focused on improving the situation for people in their own countries, as well as keeping Americans secure in theirs.

    Current government policy is certainly going against the will of the American People.

    • chris

      Your Finn, Norwegian, Swedish or German ancestors who were immigrants did not fully integrate either. But their children and grandchildren did. That’s the way it works.

      • Kassie

        I’m still eating lutefisk and meatballs at my in-laws (or whatever you call your boyfriend’s family) for Chirstmas. Not integrated.

      • Jerry

        Do we want people to fully integrate? It is the blend of cultures that make living in America great.

        • Gordon near Two Harbors

          You are correct. We are a mosaic, and not a melting pot. The challenge will always be to make sure that the pieces of the mosaic have equal opportunities and justice under the law. This has been a very tough challenge to meet in our country.

        • L. Foonimin

          That was then, America used to be a melting pot, now we’ve become a collection of Tuperware

          • Jerry

            What? We’re all missing our matching lids and have been chewed up by the dog?

    • BReynolds33

      The same, “They’ll never integrate” was said about the Irish. And the Jews. And the Japanese. And Chinese. Why do they need to integrate, exactly?

      We should probably stop calling ourselves the great melting pot, and remove the Statue of Liberty pretty soon, if we aren’t the place where people come to escape persecution.

      As for the last line… not true, and not relevant. First, far more people (according to polls, your favorite thing, apparently) are in favor of helping than not helping. And, even if they weren’t, we are not a true democracy. The rule of the mob is not what we do here.

      • Neil

        Not to mention that far from killing the American Dream for our descendants we are actually on the verge of needing more people to work and pay taxes and prop up the Boomers in their retirement (something Germany has already noticed).

        • Postal Customer

          In order to really sustain the economy, though, we not only need more people, but better-paying jobs.

          • Neil

            No doubt, though that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

        • Gordon near Two Harbors

          So, with that in mind, what would be the upper limit of population
          that would keep our country prosperous and our quality of life great? 400 million? 600 million? A billion?

          Something to ponder.

          • Postal Customer

            It all depends on jobs.

          • Neil

            Got me! But we need only look to Europe to see what an aging population and low birthrate can do to developed economies. If we’re not going to make new people, then we’re going to have to let them in.

          • Kassie

            What I know is that native born families are not reproducing fast enough to support the retirees, so we need immigration. We need immigration to fill the jobs that native born people won’t take. We need immigration to bring me delicious new cuisine and cheaper grocery stores. Hooray for immigrants! They are my only chance at retirement and Syrian food in Minnesota.

      • Gordon near Two Harbors

        Americans do, and always will, help people in need. Policies that aid development, some form of democracy, and civil rights should be at the top of our foreign policy (I believe they mostly are). Unchecked migration, however, is not the answer to the world’s problems, and only leads to a backlash that makes the problem worse.

        • BReynolds33

          The only backlash is from people like yourself, who seem to think that migration is unchecked, and that unchecked migration is what got you here in the first place.

          • Gordon near Two Harbors

            I wouldn’t say backlash. I would just ask people to stop and think for a minute about the notion, and impossibility, of eternal “growth” and what that means for our country decades or a century down the road. Actions and policies have consequences.

    • I’m always interested in where people get their statistics from that form the basis for belief, which is why I think it’s important to source our data.

      When data on immigration was first collected — 1850 — immigrants made up 10% of the U.S. population. Presently, according to the ACS, they make up 13 percent of the population. That fell to a low of about 4 percent in 1970.

      It’s important to define immigration. For example, the FY15 refugee total will be about 70,000. The government caps visas for work at 40,000. New arrivals account for about 450,000 “permanent residents” each year, the majority of which were already here. The “green card” is capped at 50,000.

      * Source: Migration Policy Institute

      • We shouldn’t let actual “facts” threaten a perfectly good rant.

        /Thanks for the data.

      • Gordon near Two Harbors

        Here is one source: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/Annual-Number-of-US-Legal-Permanent-Residents

        I think that percentages can be very deceptive. Its one thing when, say 10 percent of the population is foreign born,when your total population is 50 million, but it’s a whole different story if your total population is 320 million. Numbers do matter, and at out current rate of growth (an apparently “puny” one percent, annually), we’ll top 400 million by mid-century–with no end to the growth in sight.

        These numbers do matter, because issues like climate change, resource depletion, pollution, etc. all get tougher or impossible to deal
        with.

        • Brian

          There are reasonably strong arguments that increased immigration will be nothing but good for our economy:
          http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/04/02/298383246/episode-436-if-economists-controlled-the-borders

          Someone needs to make up for our aging population. Resource and pollution issues will mean changes in our lifestyles, but that is going to happen anyway.

          That is a different issue than refugees though. If we have the resources (which we do), we are morally obligated to help. And part of that is welcoming some into our country.

    • Jerry

      I assume that’s exactly the same thing people said about your ancestors when they arrived here, unless you’re Native American.

      • Gordon near Two Harbors

        People have always migrated. My issue is with the sheer numbers and how well people integrate.

        I think it is critical for people living in one country to integrate, regardless of race or religion, because unity is required for a stable society.

        • BReynolds33

          I’ll ask again. Why do they need to integrate? Where is that requirement?

          • CHS

            I think you’re confusing integration with assimilation. Being integrated into the society means that you are an active part of it, and invested in it. Assimilation means giving up your previous identity. I think it’s right to expect people to integrate into our society, and that sometimes might mean abandoning practices and beliefs that were previously held. Similarly I think it’s right to assume that immigrants will retain their culture and identity.

          • Lindsey

            Exactly. My great-grandfather came into the US about 100 years ago from Germany and none of his children could speak more than a word or two of German. He didn’t tell them stories about his homeland. He didn’t teach them the ways of his ancestors and now, those traditions have been lost. Now, 2 generations later, all I know about him and his family is that he was from Austria-Hungary or Germany.

          • Khatti

            And what exactly does integration entail?

    • jimbrowski

      We are discussing accepting 10,000, not a million a year. Additionally, your “unlimited growth” statement is totally unfounded given we had net negative immigration recently. Get your facts straight, friend.

      • Gordon near Two Harbors

        Negative OVERALL immigration? Where are your facts? Your statement applies only to Mexican immigrants (and only very recently). Overall immigration still tops 800,000 per year. By the way, I have no problem with accepting REFUGEES.

  • Jerry

    What’s really stupid about this current wave of hysteria is that those who are fleeing the Syrian civil war are in many cases exactly those who America should want to immigrate here. Doctors. Engineers. Other highly educated professionals. They are the ones who have the most to fear from a medieval Islamic state.

  • Jeff

    If only Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) or Aaron Rodgers were in the stands. We learned to fight back against hijackers after 911, maybe we need to learn to fight back against bigots of all sorts and defend our fellow citizens.

    • DavidG

      Rogers spoke out form the safety/comfort of a post game press conference, didn’t he?

      I’m a pretty good sized fellow, but even I would be hesitant to confront a belligerent, drunk NFL fan in crowded stands.

  • Veronica

    One thing I’m realizing more and more (and forgive me for just figuring this out)– there are a lot of adults who are “successful”, but just not very smart.

    • Jerry

      Intelligence and ignorance are not mutually exclusive.

  • CHS

    Sometimes the best way to build something new and better is to tear down the existing structure and build new again. These types of periods are inevitable and our success and future depends on how we respond to them, and what comes out the other side. This isn’t the first time our society has been pulled apart at the seams, and it won’t be the last.

    My only real concern comes from what appears to be the silent retreat of the moderate voices in our country. Whether because they are being shouted down, or because they simply can’t stomach the environment anymore, those voices are missing from the debate at large. This isn’t just an issue on the ‘right’ either. Examples like this story show that. Polling shows that SOMEONE nearby this person disagreed with what was happening, but didn’t have the courage to say something.

    I’ve realized with all of these things lately, that you have to be willing to act, not just believe.

  • Veronica

    That’s a good question, one I’ve never really understood– how many guns does anyone need, really? Or why would someone who already own, say, 3-5 guns, get up one morning and decide to buy more?

    • Postal Customer

      Because Obama might take them away.

    • BReynolds33

      To me, that’s like asking why do I need a 1/4″ drive, 1/2″, six point socket, a 3/8″ drive, 1/2 inch, six point socket, a 1/2″ drive, 1/2″, six point socket, and all three of the same in a 12 point socket. All of them serve a slightly different use, or simply feel different in your hand, or you need more torque at one point.

      Do you *need* all of the various sockets? Probably not, no. But they are available, you have the money, and you can. Same reason anyone buys more than one pair of shoes, or multiple pairs of jeans.

      • Postal Customer

        You’re absolutely right. In fact, just today I heard that 12 people died in a jeans massacre at the Levi factory in Guangzhou.

        • BReynolds33

          While I appreciate your sarcasm, that wasn’t the question asked. The question was, “Why does someone who has 3-5 guns need another one.” The answer is, because there are different kinds, that serve different purposes, shoot different rounds, have different actions…

          The answer is: Because a gun is a tool. And there are many similar tools that do basically the same thing, yet there is no harm in owning multiple tools that do basically the same thing.

    • ChrisF

      I’ve a friend with a lot of guns. Even the semi-automatic type. Laid back guy, middle of the road politically, not the image of the hysterical gun-nut type at all. But it’s still weird to me and I asked why all the guns. His response was “I think they’re neat”.

      • Khatti

        I call these dudes the Lionel Train guys. They’re collectors in much the same manner that some people collect toy train sets. They probably most deserve the term “Gun nut” but they are probably the least dangerous owners in real terms. On weekends they make the world safe from empty tin cans. Take it from a guy who owns five swords.

  • Fred, Just Fred

    Whenever I hear liberals lamenting the deep divide in America, I’m always reminded of one of my favorite scenes…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xotWaUIAuC4

  • Postal Customer

    Judging society by what football fans say and people who comment on the Star Tribune say.

    Okay then.

  • John Climber

    What’s also remarkable is the reaction by Mr. Mayell. Why is an apology not enough? Nobody disagrees that the Vikings have a responsibility to keep people physically safe, but emotionally safe?

    • Jay T. Berken

      Let’s turn the spot light on you, would you have liked an apology from the Vikings if you were in Mr. Mayell shoes?

      • John Climber

        No.

        • Jay T. Berken

          At least now you thought about it…

      • John Climber

        Or wait, I should rephrase that. It would be kind of the Vikings to do so, but I don’t think they are obligated to. Mr Mayell suggests they have that obligation.

        • Jay T. Berken

          “It would be kind of the Vikings to do so”

          You are right. The Vikings are a public face to the state of Minnesota, especially since it is the Minnesota Vikings. We have enough vitriol in the country’s discourse to not have the Vikings be put on the spot to say something. It gives a backhanded green light to allow other vigilantes like this guy to put security in their own hands. It is not their job, and they are not trained.

          The Vikings are not the only public face to a fan base that doesn’t get a pass…my beloved Green Bay Packers, except Aaron Rodgers, has not made comment to the moment of silence hatred. Makes me sad.

          • John Climber

            OK, speak more clearly. Are you saying that the Vikings have the responsibility to police the ideas expressed at their games? Which ideas? What mode of delivery? I just want to know where you are coming from.

            Listen, whoever confronted Mr. Mayell is a racist jerk–possibly drunk, but a jerk. But I am surprised that a half-hearted apology for a relatively minor infraction such as this is not enough to resolve the situation. I do not believe that the demand to “feel” safe (in this case, by ejecting the fan) is going to do much to end the vitriol you are concerned about. Or do you think otherwise?

          • Jay T. Berken

            As a public face of a state and its fan base, they should say something that happen on their watch. They have a very public face and just received a half a billion dollars to construct a stadium from the state of Minnesota. Image does matter.

            I am very tired of people and especially our public figures believing that they can spout off vitriol and marginalize a group of people in the name of their right that they can. These actions have consequences. There are other people listening. All they do is marginalize themselves and act as victims. Bunch of cowards.

            The Minnesota Vikings can not control what their fans or spectators do or say. The Minnesota Vikings also can not heal the vitriol that has gone on the this cowards actions of marginalizing Mr. Mayell, but making a statement at whatever medium their PR department feels is a start and hopefully a stop to it happening again.

            Your move Minnesota Vikings (and Green Bay Packers). Make us proud.

          • John Climber

            Fine. I have no more comment on what obligations the Vikings have towards Mayell. I am still struck by his response, which was the basis of my initial post. By refusing an apology he is effectively asserting a right to not be offended. That claim strikes me as extremely misguided.

          • In his piece, the way the gentleman described his “apology” was in a mocking town, IIRC.

            I know the Twins and, I think, the Timberwolves (there’s so few fans there now it’s hard to know) will kick you out for profanity or, basically, being a jerk and disrupting other fans enjoyment. I don’t know what the Vikings policy is. I know liquor is a big part of the enjoyment and, I suspect, a big part of the problem.

          • John Climber

            He writes: “While he said he was sorry, his apology was uttered in an adolescent way
            that demonstrated that he felt entitled to reconciliation as much as he
            felt entitled to hurl hatred. He wanted to move on and enjoy the game. I
            told him that I didn’t want his apology. Rather, I wanted him ejected
            from the stadium because he made me feel unsafe.” Evidently he perceived it to be sarcastic, but who really knows. At any rate, the Vikings could or should use this to clarify their policy to fans. I still think it’s misguided to assert a right to not be offended.

  • Kubomlis

    Thank you for noticing those horrendous comments and calling them out. I was aghast at what I was reading. Threat level: Stupid indeed.

  • Derek Taylor

    Bob, I’m curious why you have closed the door journalistically in terms of whether this event actually happened as described. I too think what was described was awful and unfortunate, but can’t imagine this passing your smell test without some corroboration. It’s all just too tied up in a bow for me to discount the potential that this was an opportunity for Mayall to stand on a soapbox. That’s not a denial of this type of behavior existing, it’s just natural skepticism in a world full of half truths.

    • KTN

      Are you really saying that it didn’t happen, or that the guy is lying. What possible motivation would there be for a professional to lie about an incident like this. I’m sure the Vikings have already located the security guard to confirm. That conversation went something like this.
      Vikings to the guard “what exactly happened”?
      Guard to Viks’ “well, this terrorist complained about a proud merican standing up for all that is white in the world”.
      Vikings to guard “so nothing then right, other than we won’t see that brown skin here again”.
      Or maybe the attorney is lying, and grandstanding.

      • Derek Taylor

        I’m saying that unless there’s someone who was witness to this event, it all seems a bit munchausen by proxy given his professional background. Who knows. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Lindsey

          Oh yep. Just making it up, because it is so unlikely that someone at a football game, which attracts many types of people, including racists, could possibly confront a person, especially after one too many beers(also common at a football game) and be racist.

          • Derek Taylor

            I didn’t say it was unlikely. That doesn’t mean it happened though.

          • As I wrote. He says it did. And, as I wrote, the way people have processed what he says happened is as intriguing as his assertions.

            The common thread in the “I don’t think it happened” community is that it COULD have happened as he described.

            Why do people think it could have happened who don’t think it likely did?

            That’s the element of this that is fascinating. It’s not so much his words or his claim as much as how we process the claim.

            He’ll be on with Tom Weber on Friday, btw.

            People have been reaching out to the Vikings for comment since the essay was published. They have not yet commented.

          • Jennifer R

            Another instance of “I don’t think it happened” up in Grand Forks this week. A Somali cafe was vandalized with Nazi symbols and then had an arson incident a few days later. Many of the social media comments have been they are sure the Somalis did it to themselves. http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/crime-and-courts/3900128-breaking-photo-video-juba-arson-suspect-released

          • The Vikings have apologized for the delay (they were traveling to Arizona) and issued a statement which is embedded in the original post.

  • Minnesota SGirls

    Story seems fishy. So it just happens that the director of the Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee and Immigrant Program is confronted about being a refugee? Now Minnesota as well as Vikings fans are being labeled as raciest and worse. Listening to him on WCCO it seems like Mayell is milking it for the PR attention. This is turning in to the Dentist story all over again as social media judges something before knowing all the facts. I will wait to see if Viking/Stadium back this story up. Mayell seems very thin skinned in listening to the interview. He says his support has been positive yet the Star Tribune removed the comment section which had 900 comments that questioned the truth of his story.

    • Sue Campbell

      Like Bob Collins….I’ve seen enough comments section to know we have a problem here and all over the country. Having said that I will sayi haven’t followed this particular incident…..and as far as MN goes…some doesn’t mean all.

  • Fred, Just Fred

    The breast pump jetway woman and the unsafe football guy have something very important in common. Both are lawyers involved in “social justice Human rights” issues who want everyone to know they have personal experience on just how very badly their services are needed.

    As we discussed with the jetway woman, I wonder if there is more to this story than has been related.

    • Lindsey

      Yeah, definitely couldn’t have been racism here in Minnesota…

      • Fred, Just Fred

        Bob says there isn’t.

  • raymarshall

    I don’t condone what was said. It was wrong. But the American Islamic community has been largely silent when it comes to the horrors and tortures of ISIS/ISIL and the free-lance Islamic terrorists. Why haven’t we heard more from the American Islamic community condemning such tortures and horrors?
    I can see that individuals not very familiar with the Islamic religion might interpret such silence as being “quiet approval.”

    • When you ask why we haven’t heard more, you imply you haven’t heard enough. But at the same time, you say the community has been largely silent.

      Who haven’t you heard from that you want to hear from?

    • Lindsey

      If you are Christian, do you speak out against every act of violence committed by Christians? If you are white, do you speak out against every act of violence committed by white people? If you are a man, do you speak out against every act of violence committed by men?

      The majority of religions do not condone violence and yet you expect them to both speak out and be covered by the media.
      A group of Muslims have raised over 83,000 dollars for the victims of San Bernandino, but obviously, they haven’t condemned the terrorists enough for you or the rest of the world…

      • raymarshall

        Those are excellent points. But in an age of beheadings on television, the kidnapping of children for use as sex slaves, and the slaughter of non-combatants makes for a different matter.

        And for over one billion Islamic people there is virtually no organized opposition, largely, I imagine, for fear of their lives.

        • Lindsey

          There is organized opposition, but somehow, it’s their fault that the media doesn’t cover it?

          They raise money, they preach peace, they hold moments of silence. They do everything any other religious group does.

          They do not have to speak up after every attack or every act of violence, because they have spoken up before over and over. They have told us that they practice a religion of peace and that they do not condone these acts. What more do you want?

  • Has anyone else read the comments on the Strib website? They are just awful – they detract from the StarTribune website – so much so that I’m considering just cancelling my digital subscription and getting only the Sunday paper version. I see in checking them recently there are 895, but the comments are no longer accessible.

    • Lindsey

      Strib is generally horrific in the comment sections, especially if race or gender is involved in the article.

  • Kevin Kunkel

    Wow, I was worried there for a second but then I saw it was MPR and realized that it was essentially a story from the Onion.

  • gus

    The only way to overcome this is to speak up. It’s not surprising, I guess, that no one did so at a Vikings game, but I hope that’s not the usual case. One only has to reflect on our nation’s history, which includes a regular pattern of the majority denying rights to minorities, to understand that we can’t remain silent while injustice persists.

    • Khatti

      Forgive me if I see you as a Type, but for the purposes of this post I do. You might want to give more thought to fines, jailtime, and institutionalization. You want racial harmony badly enough, it’s time to think about how much head-banging you’re willing to met out in order to get it.

      • gus

        Your reply to what I wrote makes little sense.

  • Tom Johnson

    Minnesota has any number of bigoted racists. The issue is they usually don’t exhibit it in public. It appears the man apologized which is a good start. However, imagine if Mr. Mayell had been wearing a packer’s sweatshirt.

  • Khatti

    Even within the Twin Cities the lives of a lot of guys is: work/drink, work/drink, work/drink, with a lot of resentment about how much time work, (and family, and everything else) takes away from drinking. This eclectic lifestyle doesn’t really allow for careful thought concerning international relations.