Minn. Rep. Ellison calls for healing


During a national campaign season tainted with anti-Muslim rumors and racist attack plans, our country is still largely moving forward towards change and healing, says Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in an interview with City Pages. Voters did elect the nation's first black president, after all.

As the first Muslim in Congress and the first African American Minnesotan representative, Ellison says the country is very much moving ahead. He just won reelection Tuesday to his House seat.

"There's no doubt that from a racial front, we've made amazing progress; we've had tremendous progress and it's important to acknowledge it," he said. "The ugly racial incidents represent ideas of a very fearful minority of people and are not the views of most Americans."

On the religious front, the country is still facing a lot of anxiety, particularly over Sen. Barack Obama's background. "It's clear he is a Christian," Ellison said. "It's all based on anxiety and a false assumption that Americans hold a lot of religious bias."

Now that the particularly nasty election is over, our country needs time to heal, Ellison says. Sen. Barack "Obama is the type of leader who can provide that healing," he said.