Anti-Muslim bigotry is 'un-Minnesotan,' says full-page ad in Star Tribune


Minnesota's record of racial and religious tolerance is, for some, a point of local pride. But it's been checkered, of late, with Minnesotans showing a cruel side in anti-refugee rhetoric against vulnerable Syrians or instances of racism against long-settled Somalis in St. Cloud.  

In response, some of the most prominent liberals in the state are getting out the megaphone — and the wallet — in an effort to restate the state's values. 

A full-page ad in the front section of today's Star Tribune appeals to our vanity, invoking Minnesota pride to inspire readers to fight back against bigots. We're supposed to be a people of "everyday, sleeve-worn courage, goodness and kindness."

They left out that we are also good-looking, healthy, and smart. Maybe they just ran out of room. 

If you're a Minnesotan, the ad says, you shouldn't let your friends and acquaintances get away with racist or prejudicial thoughts about "fellow Minnesotans" who happen to be Muslim. The ad makes specific mention of not ignoring offensive social media posts.  

Here it is, in full:


A slew of well-known (or well-off) progressives are listed as signers to the ad, starting with Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. Also supporting the message are all five of Minnesota's DFL members of the U.S. House of Representatives, plus Democratic U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. None of the current Republican representatives signed on, though former GOP U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger did. 

Also listed backing the ad: former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, General Mills CEO Ken Powell, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly, and several members of the Pohlad family, owners of the Minnesota Twins and Go 96 radio station.