Boycott Bemidji - Beltrami County’s vote to ban refugees stirs a backlash from around America

Cruze

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well. I won't, of course, because that would be giving them what they want.


Boycott Bemidji? Beltrami County’s vote to ban refugees stirs a backlash

Almost immediately after the Tuesday vote was cast that established Beltrami County as the first governmental unit in Minnesota — and the second in the nation — to refuse refugee resettlement, a social media firestorm erupted, laden with calls to boycott the tourism-driven community.

Comments from thousands of people across the country poured in on Twitter and Facebook, with many expressing that they would no longer vacation or spend money in the northern Minnesota county because of their disapproval of the Beltrami County Board’s 3-2 vote. The option to deny consent to refugee resettlement was granted to state and local governments under an executive order by President Donald Trump.

One Twitter user posted: “My family has vacationed in the Bemidji area for years. Time to make reservations somewhere else.” Another tweeted: “You have the right to vote this way. I have the right to not spend a dime in your county until this decision is overturned.” Both posts included a “#BeltramiCounty” hashtag, which on Wednesday became a trending topic on Minnesota Twitter traffic. Others have started a “#BoycottBemidji” hashtag.

On Wednesday, Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht wrote in an email to the Forum News Service describing how the county’s vote has “created a lot of negative criticism for our community.” “I have received several calls and messages and City Hall has received calls and messages from people who say they are no longer going to visit or vacation here,” she said.

However, since the county’s politically and socially divisive vote Tuesday, a question of how it will affect Beltrami County’s tourism industry and overall economy has been raised as well as how local officials will respond to the firestorm.

Visit Bemidji declined a request for comment.

“Does the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce support the anti-immigrant action of the Beltrami County Commission,” one parent asked in a tagged tweet to the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. “I would like to know before registering my daughter for summer camp.”

The Bemidji Chamber of Commerce declined to comment to the Forum News Service.

Bemidji City Manager Nate Mathews also said he continues to receive emails and phone calls from the public informing him of a desire to boycott Bemidji. “People who’ve said they’ve vacationed here for years, and they’re no longer interested in visiting a community that can be perceived as not welcoming to newcomers,” Mathews said. “It’s painful to hear that, but we want to tell people who are expressing that to us that we still want them to come here and that our community is a welcoming place.”

https://www.twincities.com/2020/01/10/boycott-bemidji-beltrami-countys-vote-to-ban-refugees-stirs-a-backlash/
 
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GophersInIowa

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well.
Translation: "If you don't think exactly like me, you're a bad person."
 

MplsGopher

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Agreed that we can’t allow isolationist, nativist a__holes to win.
 

LesBolstad

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Translation: "If you don't think exactly like me, you're a bad person."
Yep. More close minded Loony Lefty thinking. We can save tens of thousands of lives if we send the financial and human aid directly to the countries the refugees come from. Instead, we spend over $247,000 on average per family in entitlements for the few thousand we let in.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well. I won't, of course, because that would be giving them what they want.
You mean the Indians? Because ironically, the folks you are railing against are the natives that inhabit Beltrami county.

Broke being Broke again, just another hateful angry old white liberal racist.
 

GoodasGold

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You mean the Indians? Because ironically, the folks you are railing against are the natives that inhabit Beltrami county.

Broke being Broke again, just another hateful angry old white liberal racist.
Indians r the worst. And there are more than a billion of them!!
 

tikited

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well. I won't, of course, because that would be giving them what they want.
Sounds like this isn't the place for you.
 

theczar

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well. I won't, of course, because that would be giving them what they want.


Boycott Bemidji? Beltrami County’s vote to ban refugees stirs a backlash

Almost immediately after the Tuesday vote was cast that established Beltrami County as the first governmental unit in Minnesota — and the second in the nation — to refuse refugee resettlement, a social media firestorm erupted, laden with calls to boycott the tourism-driven community.

Comments from thousands of people across the country poured in on Twitter and Facebook, with many expressing that they would no longer vacation or spend money in the northern Minnesota county because of their disapproval of the Beltrami County Board’s 3-2 vote. The option to deny consent to refugee resettlement was granted to state and local governments under an executive order by President Donald Trump.

One Twitter user posted: “My family has vacationed in the Bemidji area for years. Time to make reservations somewhere else.” Another tweeted: “You have the right to vote this way. I have the right to not spend a dime in your county until this decision is overturned.” Both posts included a “#BeltramiCounty” hashtag, which on Wednesday became a trending topic on Minnesota Twitter traffic. Others have started a “#BoycottBemidji” hashtag.

On Wednesday, Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht wrote in an email to the Forum News Service describing how the county’s vote has “created a lot of negative criticism for our community.” “I have received several calls and messages and City Hall has received calls and messages from people who say they are no longer going to visit or vacation here,” she said.

However, since the county’s politically and socially divisive vote Tuesday, a question of how it will affect Beltrami County’s tourism industry and overall economy has been raised as well as how local officials will respond to the firestorm.

Visit Bemidji declined a request for comment.

“Does the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce support the anti-immigrant action of the Beltrami County Commission,” one parent asked in a tagged tweet to the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce. “I would like to know before registering my daughter for summer camp.”

The Bemidji Chamber of Commerce declined to comment to the Forum News Service.

Bemidji City Manager Nate Mathews also said he continues to receive emails and phone calls from the public informing him of a desire to boycott Bemidji. “People who’ve said they’ve vacationed here for years, and they’re no longer interested in visiting a community that can be perceived as not welcoming to newcomers,” Mathews said. “It’s painful to hear that, but we want to tell people who are expressing that to us that we still want them to come here and that our community is a welcoming place.”


https://www.twincities.com/2020/01/10/boycott-bemidji-beltrami-countys-vote-to-ban-refugees-stirs-a-backlash/
You need to find yourself a safe space and have a good cry
 

howeda7

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The photos from that meeting are something. A lot of angry old men.
 

balds

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Giving control to the cities isn't a bad idea, in my opinion. They know their finances and support system better than all of us. Taking on refugees is a very costly proposition.

We've seen the movie about the modern DFL. New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, LA, SF, .... All doing exceedingly well.
 

Livingat45north

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I guess I need to add Bemidji to my list of places to avoid because they are overrun with racists, bigots, and right wing morons. For that matter, I should probably add the GopherHole OT Board, as well. I won't, of course, because that would be giving them what they want.
I hear San Francisco is a nice place to visit these days. You could head there for vacation.
 

Cruze

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Not all rural Minnesota communities are adopting Bemidji's approach with refugee's and immigrants. If cities and towns are not growing - they are dying. It doesn't matter where they are located or what their size is.


President Trump, Come to Willmar

In 1949 my aunt and uncle moved from Minneapolis to this town in west-central Minnesota, where they started a small steel distribution company. I visited them regularly for 50 years. About 40 years ago, my aunt whispered to me one day that she had been in her local grocery store and had heard someone … “speaking Spanish.”

I never forgot her comment, and, since I’ve been visiting towns around America for the past two years, I decided to go back to Willmar to see how it had changed since my aunt and uncle passed away over a decade ago.

Diversity came to Willmar slowly, gradually — and then quickly. First, in the 1980s and 1990s, came a trickle of Latino seasonal farm workers who mostly went back south for the winter. Then the growing Jennie-O turkey processing plant needed a steady supply of meatpackers, and that led some to stay. And then, about 12 years ago, Somali and Karen refugees to the U.S. got word through their networks that there was work in Willmar and cheap housing. They, too, first came in a trickle, which became a large wave about five years ago — some arriving directly from African refugee camps.

Inclusion happens a lot faster, though, when the demand for workers is so intense. Over at the Central Minnesota Job Service center in Willmar, the office head, Joan Berning, told me: “We have close to 140,000 open jobs in Minnesota. We are getting calls from employers every day saying, ‘How do we find more individuals to work in our companies?’ And we say: ‘Have you looked outside your normal hiring practices, maybe people who don’t have command of the English language but can do the job? Have you looked at people with disabilities or the recently incarcerated?

Willmar’s mayor, Marv Calvin, is exhibit A of why leadership from positions of authority also matters — because so many people in a community take their cues from mayors, principals and agency heads. “We had 1,200 to 1,600 Somalis when I started as mayor in 2014 and now we have 3,500 to 3,800,” said Calvin. “We also have 800 Karen people from Burma.” Add to that over 4,000 Latinos and you have a town of 21,000 that had been virtually all white and Christian its entire existence become nearly half new immigrants in the blink of two decades. And it is pretty clear where this is going. In the public early childhood program, the mayor said, 45 percent of students are of East African descent, 35 percent Latino and 16 percent Caucasian (although a lot of whites send their kids to private schools).

There is still plenty of residual opposition to Calvin’s openness to immigrants. And in Minnesota generally new immigrants will tell you that the front-end integration of East Africans, Asians and other minorities has probably gone more smoothly than anyone expected, but breaking through to the top has been more difficult. There, things have not been so “Minnesota nice.” Rising professionals of color are still leaving Minnesota, on balance, because they don’t feel welcome or have encountered persistent racial barriers to advancement.

Social networks, globalization, climate change, economic opportunity, demographics and war are throwing more people together with more “other” people in more remote places than ever before. What’s happening in Willmar tells you just how deep this is going and why every town in America needs to get caught trying to make diversity work — or it will wither. It’s that simple.

Read complete article at:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/opinion/trump-willmar-minnesota.html
 
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MplsGopher

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The face of Beltrami:


The wrinkled, white, bigoted face that it is.
 

howeda7

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I hear San Francisco is a nice place to visit these days. You could head there for vacation.
Did that last summer. It was quite nice. You should try it. Or you could just believe the scary stories Fox News tells you and go to Backwater, MS instead.
 

MplsGopher

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Did that last summer. It was quite nice. You should try it. Or you could just believe the scary stores Fox News tells you and go to Backwater, MS instead.
Very lovely city to visit, agreed
 

Livingat45north

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Did that last summer. It was quite nice. You should try it. Or you could just believe the scary stories Fox News tells you and go to Backwater, MS instead.
Great, glad you like it. I've been there quite a few times in the past year. It's literally become a sh**hole. I used to like going to the Bay Area, no more. Guess different people like different things.
 

Livingat45north

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Because....?

Did you actually go?
Yes, I have to go there for work, several time a year. It used to be nice, but I'm not into having to step around sh** on sidewalks and having to watch for needles sticking into my shoes.
 
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GoodasGold

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Yes, I have to go there for work, several time a year. I used to be nice, but I'm not into having to step around sh** on sidewalks and having to watch for needles sticking into my shoes.
You’re not nice anymore?
 

howeda7

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Great, glad you like it. I've been there quite a few times in the past year. It's literally become a sh**hole. I used to like going to the Bay Area, no more. Guess different people like different things.
There are areas to avoid, like any place else. I saw no $%% or needles on any sidewalks I was on.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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There are areas to avoid, like any place else. I saw no $%% or needles on any sidewalks I was on.
I think for the most part, SF is okay if you stay above a certain street; I can't recall which street it was, several of the locals specifically mentioned NOT going below a certain street as you go down the hill. But the homelessness and panhandling is just about everywhere.
 
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