Attorney General Keith Ellison plans to host a listening session on “white nationalism in St. Cloud” after President Donald Trump addressed the topic of refugee resettlement in the city during his recent visit to Minnesota.
“Next Tuesday evening 10/22 I’m hosting a listening session on white nationalism in St. Cloud. I know St. Cloud gets a lot of attention for this. What gets less attention is the work good folks there are doing to build relationships and bring people together. I plan to lift that up,” Ellison wrote on Twitter.
Next Tue eve 10/22 I'm hosting a listening session on white nat'lism in St. Cloud. I know St. Cloud gets a lot of attn for this. What gets less attn is the work good folks there are doing to build relationships & bring ppl together. I plan to lift that up. https://t.co/xqqYMA3gqn
— Attorney General Keith Ellison (@AGEllison) October 18, 2019
Ellison will be joined by State Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St. Cloud) and author Christian Picciolini, who wrote a memoir called White American Youth on his involvement in white-supremacist groups.
“He now leads the Free Radicals Project, a global extremism prevention and disengagement network, and has helped over 300 individuals leave hate behind,” states an event description for the upcoming “St. Cloud listening session on hate crimes.”
Attorney General Ellison hosted a similar listening session on hate crimes Friday night in Minneapolis with State Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL-Minneapolis), and another on Wednesday at Temple Israel in Minneapolis.
St. Cloud has become ground zero for the issue of refugee resettlement after a group of residents expressed displeasure with the influx of Somali refugees being settled in the community. The New York Times sent one of its reporters to St. Cloud in June to write a profile on the city. In response, the editorial board of The St. Cloud Times berated its own readers as “cowards” for taking issue with refugee resettlement.
Ellison’s announcement of the St. Cloud forum comes after President Trump addressed the issue during his recent campaign rally in Minneapolis.
“I promise you as president I will give local communities greater say in refugee resettlement,” Trump said, as The Minnesota Sun reported. “In the Trump administration, we will always protect American families first and that has not been done in Minnesota.”
“We are keeping terrorists, criminals, and extremists the hell out of our country,” Trump added, claiming he has reduced refugee resettlement by 85 percent. “You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and your own neighborhoods.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “St. Cloud, Minnesota” by GPA Photo Archive. CC BY 2.0.