Minnesota used its internet access to learn about the Black Lives Matter movement this year, according to a new semi-rigorous study from Estately, which found that this state searched that term more than any other during 2015.
On its face, this is an unexpected result. Minnesota has far fewer black residents than many other states, and is fairly low on the list, even by percentage. Beyond that, the major rallying moment for BLM here, the shooting death of Jamar Clark by police, only happened in mid-November.
Then again, we're also the only state where Black Lives Matter protesters were shot by a band of alleged white supremacists.
The study finds Minnesota's two other most-searched-compared-to-others terms were morbid tales with local ties: Scott Weiland, the former Stone Temple Pilots frontman who was found dead in Bloomington, and Cecil the Lion, the Zimbabwean celebrity who was killed by a Minnesota dentist.
Minnesota's googling is far sadder, and more substantive, than that of most other states, though some findings are sad in their own way. Wisconsin unleashed its inner, un-hip white mom side, searching "What does bae mean?" at a high frequency. (Oh, God, Wisconsin. Don't embarrass the Midwest in front of New York!) The easily startled people of Arkansas spent the whole year trying to figure out whether it would be ISIS, Syrian refugees, or the "Blood moon prophecy" that was going to get them killed.
One would think Kim Kardashian had reached a point of saturation, and exhaustion, but her fellow Californians googled Mrs. Kanye West more than any other territory. This seems odd, given that the Kimye power couple is so desperate for attention they will actually come to your home for $50 and the promise of an Instagram like.
Alaska, meanwhile, was most likely to google "Barack Obama," a fact attributed to the state having just learned that a man named Barack Obama has been elected president.
Whether Minnesota's result is a good thing or a bad thing is hard to say; undoubtedly, some of those searches came from the sort of people who populated the 4chan groups that apparently helped trigger the Black Lives Matter shooting. But awareness is awareness, and the local chapter took it as a victory of sorts.
"Thanks to everyone who helped us make a huge impact this year," Black Lives Matter Minneapolis wrote on Facebook. "What would you like to see be Minnesota's top search next year?"
One woman's quick answer — "Racists in Minnesota shipped to the North Pole" — got a few dozen likes in short order. Whatever the answer, let's hope it's not about dead celebrities, dead cats, or protesters lucky to be alive.