The City of Bloomington’s Human Rights Commissioner Anita Smithson called a Bloomington Back the Blue Rally “fascist radicalization.” While Smithson’s Twitter account is private, a member of the Bloomington Patriots Facebook group was able to provide screenshots of the tweets she sent regarding the event. Smithson tweeted out that “these people stuck in a cycle of fear and division don’t define us and don’t speak for us.”
Smithson also posted a photo of several attendees at the rally who are all running for public office in Bloomington, saying “they are showing us their values. (Not aligning with mine!).” One of her followers replied saying that they wish they were “surprised” that there was a “Hispanic person” supporting them and Smithson tweeted back that “his profile cover photo on FB is a trump rally.” Smithson also claimed that there were “only 50 people” in attendance.
In a comment to The Minnesota Sun, Becky Strohmeier, the chair of the Bloomington Patriots, said that she considered the event a success.
Strohmeier said, “We had probably 200 people come and go throughout the course of the event. It was very positive and people were really appreciative of us hosting it. Different from last year, the vibe was upbeat and energetic. We had no hostile opposition, and some [Bloomington Police Department] officers even came by to chat with people and give some goodies to the kids.”
The Bloomington Patriots Facebook group posted that “Commissioner Anita Smithson is in direct violation of the United Nations Human Rights Declaration, specifically Articles 2, 18, 19 & 20.”
Strohmeier said that the reason they are so concerned about Smithson’s tweets is because of her position.
“As a human rights commissioner, it is her job to ensure that everyone has a voice. That we all have the right to think, speak and assemble freely. Calling us fascists and white supremacists for supporting our police is completely out of line for a human rights commissioner. If she were just a private citizen it would be different, but she is supposed to be defending the rights of Bloomington residents, not trying to stifle them,” she said.
When asked what she believed should be done about the situation, Strohmeier said that in her opinion, “Commissioner Anita Smithson needs to be removed from her position on the human rights commission. She is far too biased in her personal beliefs to be suitable for the job.”
The Bloomington Patriots group asked their supporters “to contact the MN Human Rights to report discrimination” and to “contact the mayor and city council to demand Commissioner Anita Smithson’s removal from the Human Rights Commission.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Anita Smithson” by Anita Smithson.