Minnesota’s Governor Delivers Race Rant On Immigration [Updated]

This story is a week old, but it escaped my notice until now for reasons I will explain in due course.

On October 13, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton attended a public meeting on racial issues in Central Minnesota hosted by the NAACP. The meeting took place at the public library in St. Cloud, and was attended by around 100 people. St. Cloud, located around 90 miles northwest of Minneapolis, is home to a large number of Somali immigrants, and there have been occasional news accounts of racial tension, although no violent incidents to my knowledge.

Dayton is an extraordinarily rich man–I don’t think anyone can even guess how much money he has–and a far-left partisan. He made it clear whose side he is on, as reported in the St. Cloud Times:

From the start of the event, Dayton bluntly stated his opinions on the racial tension in St. Cloud and across the state in regards to immigration.

“Look around you. This is Minnesota,” Dayton said. “Minnesota is not like it was 30, 50 years ago. But, this is Minnesota and you have every right to be here. And anybody who cannot accept your right to be here and this is Minnesota should find another state.”

Dayton said he was aware of some of the racial issues happening in the St. Cloud area and urged participants to take a stand against what he described as “unacceptable, un-Minnesotan, illegal and immoral” behavior.

The audience at the St. Cloud library

The audience at the St. Cloud library

What behavior is he talking about? I have not been able to figure this out by searching for news reports. As noted, I can find no record of any even mildly violent racial incidents in or near St. Cloud. Maybe commenters can come up with one. This and this are as close as I have been able to come. These stories suggest that there is disagreement about the wisdom of importing tens or hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Somalia.

Dayton’s fulminations continued:

“If you are that intolerant, if you are that much of a racist or a bigot, then find another state. Find a state where the minority population is 1 percent or whatever. It’s not that in Minnesota. It’s not going to be again. It’s not going to be that in St. Cloud, or Rochester or Worthington,” Dayton said. …

Dayton said many organizations are providing assistance to those who are arriving in Minnesota. But he said the key reason many immigrants choose to come to Minnesota is because of the jobs Minnesota provides.

Really? The data suggest otherwise:

Even though Minnesota has a good job market, that doesn’t seem to have translated into jobs for the Somali refugees. Minnesota’s state demographer’s office reports that only 41 percent of Somali men are working and 54 percent of Somali women are employed, meaning many may rely on the state’s handouts to survive, and are more susceptible to extremists’ pull.

Minnesota has one of the nation’s most lavish welfare systems. Dayton’s rant continued:

Our economy cannot expand based on, white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens. We don’t have enough,” Dayton said.

Wow. Those “white, B+ Minnesota-born citizens” just can’t cut it anymore. Can anyone imagine a politician of any stripe making a remotely comparable remark about citizens of any other race? And Dayton is talking about his own constituents: over 80% of Minnesotans are white, and the proportion of voters is higher. Dayton won’t run for governor again, so, like lots of other Democrats, he is taking the gloves off.

Like anyone else, I hate to venture into the swamp of race, but if Wikipedia is right, the white population of Minnesota grew by 9.5% between 1990 and 2010. By what standard is that not “enough” to allow Minnesota’s economy to expand? Especially since, if there is a labor shortage in Minnesota, our companies can offer higher wages to lure workers from other states. Do we really need to go to Somalia, of all places, to replenish and, apparently, improve on our population?

Like many liberals, Governor Dayton supports his pro-unprecedented immigration position in two ways. First, he denounces those who disagree with him as racists. This is contemptible. Second, he turns to “economism”–the “reduction of all social facts to economic dimensions.” We need hundreds of thousands of Somalis, dammit, because it’s good for the economy! Even though fewer than half of the immigrants have jobs of any sort, and the vast majority are on welfare.

Does this make any sense? Of course not. If Dayton really cared about Minnesota’s economy, he would urge the legislature to cut our sky-high tax rates. Something else is going on here, something that was revealed when Dayton let the mask slip for a moment and sneered at his own constituents–the 80%+ of Minnesotans who are “white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens.” You can feel the contempt, even though Dayton himself is white and Minnesota-born. But he is also rich–almost unfathomably rich. So he feels no kinship with “B+” Minnesotans. Like Barack Obama, his goal is fundamental transformation, and if you aren’t rich, you are in line to feel the consequences.

Two questions remain: first, what did Dayton mean by the “B+” reference? I think it derives from Garrison Keillor, the leftist who for years has found a home on public radio. All Minnesotans, as Keillor says, are “above average”–B+, in Dayton’s account.

Second, why didn’t Dayton’s racist rant get more publicity? Because not many people read the St. Cloud Times. A great many people, on the other hand, read the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Strib did report on Dayton’s St. Cloud adventure, but its account was carefully sanitized. No “love immigration or leave Minnesota” rhetoric, and above all, no reference to the “white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens” who can no longer sustain our economy. The Strib knows the first rule of journalism: the job of a reporter is to run interference for the Democratic Party.

UPDATE: Reader Dan Shapiro adds:

“Our economy cannot expand based on, white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens. We don’t have enough,” Dayton said.

Oddly enough, there are enough of those folks PAYING TAXES so that Dayton can spend it on welfare payments.

Dayton will retire to his GATED residence. Designed to keep the riff-raff out. Except for the Somali servents who come in the back door.

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