Just so you know, it’s all connected.
I’ve written about Michele Bachmann’s district before. It is all about winnowing. Imagine a landscape of Norwegian Bachelor Farmers gently orbiting a binary star system. One of the stars, the smaller one, is staid moderation and protected wealth come down from timber and railroads in poorly preserved late Victorian architecture and the other, larger star is progressive socialist liberal activist black clothing drinking brown coffee huddled against the white landscape. At the gravitational edge of this system is the light industrial belt, a concentration of agrarian-supporting activity, power stations, and much of the energy this belt of RV and Boat Sales lots requires is induced from the constant stream of recreationeers and cabin dwellers passing through that belt from city to country side and back. That belt is Michel Bachmann’s district. Concentrated suburban-looking but mostly not really linked directly to the urban core, working class and mostly uninterested in politics. One day the men in this belt, between voting age and about 35 years old, discovered that a hero of theirs, a championship wrestler, was running for governor, most people thinking it some kind of joke. So they went and voted for the first and last time ever and Jesse The Body Ventura became Jesse the Governor Ventura. And somehow every two years for the last several Michele Bachmann, who sometimes pretends to be from here, gets a good size majority of the vote here, because they are the tea party. This is where the tea party was thought up and born and whence it came. If the gently rolling hills of the farmland around Lexington and Concord is the birth-terrain of the American Revolution, and the beer halls of Munich the birthing rooms of the early Nazis and Les Deux Magots the the turn in the road that made The Generation Lost, then the Sixth Minnesota Congressional District is the Big-ass Sow of Nascency that produced the grunting squirming litter we know of as the Tea Party.
And Saint Cloud is the big city in the middle of nowhere, somewhere out there in the Sixth District. Saint Cloud has a not-too-insignificant campus of the University of Minnesota system. Saint Cloud State. It is famous for its on-campus hostility to brown people or anyone else who does not fit the mighty white heternonormative mold. And the local university seems to have been a model for the local K-12 system, where the recent immigration of folks from Africa has caused racism to rear its ugly head in a way sufficient to be noticed by the Federal Government.
And yes, what I’m saying here is that demographic and sociological processes have caused there to be this thing we call the Sixth District which is way more than average racist, mostly white, mostly working class, very supportive of Michele Bachmann and this is the very place where the bane of modern American Progressive Liberalism … the so called Tea Party … was born. (And I have oversimplified the geography slightly… two congressional districts make up the belt and they are not the same owing to their position and orientation.)
Today something interesting is going to happen there. The racists and the people who may or may not be racists but who let all this racism happen on their watch are being forced by outside agencies to do something about it because they could not manage to do this themselves.
The St. Cloud school board is set to approve an agreement that would settle a federal civil rights investigation into the alleged harassment of Somali students at two high schools.
The district [will] make very clear to students, teachers and staff that the harassment of students based on race, color or national origin won’t be tolerated … [and publish] … a statement condemning intolerance, [provide] annual training for staff in anti-harassment policies and [provide] an annual orientation program to students.
The department will continue to monitor the district.