I am writing this early Wednesday morning. I spent 15 hours yesterday at two Minneapolis precincts doing election protection. (More)
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The precincts were less than a block apart on the campus of Augsburg college next to the University of Minnesota. Each had 12 election judges. In the morning precinct 4 of the twelve election judges were young Somali women. They were all recent college graduates, a couple with masters degrees. After a bit, I said to three of them sitting nearby that I thought it was so great to see them there but that I worried about them getting backlash from Trump’s comments at the airport. He definitely trashed Minnesota’s Somali community.
One of them said they weren’t worried because he was a flash and they were Americans for the long haul. I am sure that they, like me and another judge wearing a white pantsuit were convinced that Hillary would win.
The second precinct had two more Somali women and one man as election judges. All the Somali judges wore buttons that told Somali voters that they could serve as translators if needed.
So yesterday I got to see what kind of engaged citizens our newest immigrants are. They are educated and involved. They are wonderful citizens with wicked senses of humor. Minneapolis elected a Somali woman to the state legislature yesterday. It was a first.
These Minneapolis precincts are way more integrated and multicultural than the rest of the city. Maybe it’s the colleges, maybe it’s the professors who live there, or maybe it’s just a glimpse of the future.
As I think of a Trump win, I think of these Somali citizens and election judges. The youngest white judge was at least in her early 40s. If white folks are really so determined to hang onto power, why aren’t they becoming election judges? Does white privilege excuse white people from civic duty?
So, now I find myself worrying about the Somali community and their future. They are doing lots of the right things to be very good Americans. I hope they continue to thrive and grow.
We don’t deport American born citizens, do we?
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.