Council Member Ed Hansen of West Saint Paul just might be a Racist Dick

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Confederate Flag hanging on porch
West Saint Paul Council Member Ed Hansen's porch, sporting a Confederate Flag with the word "Redneck" on it. Ed says this is not a symbol of racism and that anyone who does not get that is ignorant. Everybody else on the planet thinks Ed is a fool.

Everyone knows that the “confederate flag” when flow outside of Dixie is always a racist symbol. (When flown IN Dixie, it is usually a racist symbol.) Everyone knows that “redneck” is a term often applied to intolerant ignorant yahoos who are typically racist. Therefore a confederate flag with the word “redneck” written across it can’t be interpreted as anything but a racist, and/or white supremacy symbol.

Ed Hansen was elected to the West Saint Paul city council in 2010. A short while back he hung the flag on his porch. A neighbor notes that a prospective buyer of an adjoining property shied away from the buy because of this flag, but Hansen insists that everyone is making a big deal out of nothing.

“I’m not a racist, and I don’t think it’s racist. People like to play the race card, though, when they don’t get their way.”

Regarding the prospective home buyer who did not want to live next to a racist yahoo, Hansen said:

Good. I don’t want him for a neighbor then. If people choose to be ignorant, that’s their own fault. They should study history. It represents true sovereignty.

The story is reported here and here. Ed Hansen’s email is ehansen@cityofwsp.org in case you want to drop him a line.

Does anybody know, is this the same Ed Hansen who owns Rocco’s Pizza in Little Canada?

For those not familiar with the local geography: “West Saint Paul” is not part of Saint Paul, nor is it west of Saint Paul. It is a town in another county that is called West Saint Paul because it is on the “West Side” of the Mississippi River from Saint Paul, but because of the squiggly nature of the river here, that means it is south and, in fact, east of much of Saint Paul. Little Canada is not near Canada, but it is little. And, even though there is a “Pizza” place called “Rocco’s” there are no actual Italians in Minnesota.

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29 thoughts on “Council Member Ed Hansen of West Saint Paul just might be a Racist Dick

  1. Is little canada full of maple syrup, nanimo bars and poutine? I get this image of mounties patrolling the streets and a young man walking his beaver on a cool crisp day. Maybe a lone canadian flag somewhere (we always seem to be less flaggy then americans). That’s it! Harper needs to send the ambassador to little Canada and convince them to sing on to confederation! Although this would be a nightmare for locals…. Imagine having to carry your passport with you if you wanted to cut through Little Canada :(!

  2. “People like to play the race card, though, when they don’t get their way.”

    What the hell does that even mean? How does it apply to the situation? I think Hansen is playing the race-card card, and he sucks at the card game.

    They should study history.

    You want a variety of outdated firearms discharged in the direction of your house?

    It represents true sovereignty.

    So does the flag of any nation. Especially those nations which, you know, actually exist. Like France. But you could also fly it next to the flag of another failed regime that was evil and lasted longer than the sad joke of the Confederacy, if that is your sort of thing.

    What it really represents is a yet-living but failed war of secession. It represents inhuman behavior by privileged assholes. It represents multiple forms of backwardness.

    Call that sovereignty, because I don’t. Jackass.

  3. I wonder if Mr. Hansen is a Christian and if so, he is probably a white supremist hiding under the Chrisitan banner. Maybe he is an member of Christian Identity. That would make sense.

  4. Michaeld: I’d say that’s a pretty good characterization of Little Canada!

    As my niece once said “I was on my way to Little Canada but made a wrong turn and ended up in Big Canada.”

  5. The word, “redneck” came about when slavery was abolished, as white slave owners had to actually go out and work in their fields, or lose their crops. The sun beat down on their necks and backs all day, and burned the crap out of them because they had no tolerance for it. Hence rednecks. So taking pride in that word is revealing.

  6. Of course the Confederate battle ensign represents “true sovereignty.” It’s just that it represents a failed attempt at a separate “true sovereignty” from the United States, attempted by a conspiracy of racist traitors. Why would anyone object to that?

  7. I live in West St. Paul (now and at various times in the past, since 1962). I’m also liberal and gay. I feel like I fit in okay.

    I’d forgotten about Ed Hansen until now. I vaguely recall his statements when he ran for the city council in 2010 (he’s not in my district).

    I’d say he’s racist. Yet in that tea party republican dog whistle kind of way:
    (Page 2, middle to bottom of the article).
    (Wants to make cuts to welfare, section 8. Mentions parasites).

    Okay, he’s not exactly doing a dog whistle, yet a rebel yell. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a Don’t Tread on Me flag up too.

    He makes me sad as he doesn’t represent the community nor most people in it. Which is both true, with his racism as well as him being a council member, he probably won’t represent all of his constituents either.


    Geography: this area is technically on the Mississippi River’s west bank. Though the river takes a long and near 180 degree bend in the area. The river bank is also technically to the south and east at certain points.

    West St. Paul should have also come up with a better name when the western half of South St. Paul, split from S. St. Paul in the 1880s. I’d prefer the local native American name: Kaposia. Though the actual native American settlement was in S. St. Paul. Yet Kaposia as a city name wouldn’t confuse people as much as West St. Paul does confuse people.

    Little Canada was also named for the first French-Canadian settler who built a mill in the area.

  8. we always seem to be less flaggy then americans

    As far as I can tell, everybody is less flaggy than Americans. I’ve seen flag shops on Flag Day that had fewer flags than the average American suburban neighbourhood. Seriously, what is it with all the flags? You worried that you’re going to forget which country you live in if you don’t have half a dozen flags in your eye line every minute of the day? 😉

  9. It represents true sovereignty.

    Somebody should, publicly, inquire from him what specific kind of untrue sovereignty the Stars and Stripes represent by comparison.

  10. turffergy

    Stringing words together (and loon-level punctuation doesn’t help) does not automatically produce a sensible concept. You’re going to have to substantiate that “claim”, or whatever it is.

  11. The word “redneck” is sorta racist or at least grossly stereotyping of usually uneducated white people.

    FWIW, I suspect racism is pretty much an intrinisc and ineradicable part of human nature – although something we are well advised to struggle against and try to overcome.

    This guy? I wouldn’t want to live next door to him myself. Hard to say really since you & I don’t know him. Can we really judge a man by the flag he flies off his porch? Hmm .. maybe we can? Or maybe we can’t?

    Ed Hansen – surely no relation of the climatologist namesake – might possibly perhaps be a really nice, generous, compassionate, charming bloke with a few off beat political views and a well developed sense of sardonic irony although I’d struggle to rate that as very probable. However, the impression you get from this is, yeah, not-so-good.

  12. BTW. “Redneck” is a word we hear in Australia too for instance in this song :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXBHRzlOGAg&ob=av2e

    It is (near?) synonymous with the harsher and ruder term “white trash” applying to white people who are poor, generally uneducated, racist and alcholic “hicks”. I’m poor, white and alcoholic – well educated and not racist though I’ll hasten to add!
    Big question here for me is this :

    What do you think should be done about this?

    Playing devils’ advocate here to some extent but
    its Ed Hansen’s house, his property and he has a right to express himself freely on his own property as he chooses within legal limits.

    Assume for arguments sake that he is racist in his views and being serious not just being self-mocking & ornery. Now I think that racism is a terrible thing & should be socially unacceptable, I’d like to see him voted off the council and for people to tell him that racism is NOT okay with them. However, as long as he’s not harming anyone or breaking any laws – & what he’s doing is “neither picking our pocket nor breaking our bones” – then I don’t think its right to force him out or force him to remove that flag thereby violating his right to freedom of expression however much we may disagree with the sentiments he’s expressing. Is it?

    What are we trying to do / gain from this blog post here? Do you expect people to make Mr Hansen change his views, change that flag? Get forced to move? What?

    I don’t know, I’ve got no answers but I thought I’d raise these thoughts and questions.

  13. PS. I don’t think its fair of Mr Hansen to make others uncomfortable by displaying that flag and seemingly being an nasty arrogant unpleasant racist character either.

    I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable if neighbours were flying, say, a nazi flag or anything like that. I strongly suspect from what you’ve posted here that he’s NOT a nice character. But he’s still a person with intrinsic rights however nasty and messed up his views.

    So, yeah, not really sure what I’m saying here except its perhaps a bit more complicated than it seems here.

  14. Finally, for the record, Midnight oil were a very left wing and politically progressive Aussie band & the lead singer, Peter Garrett, later went on to be the federal Arts Minister in the Labour (left wing) government here – after campiagning for environmental and anti-nuclear groups previously.

    See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Oil

    Just in case folks have gotten the wrong idea from the linked song.

    (Some folks may describe me & /or my family as rednecks – though we’re not really.)

  15. Have you ever been to WSP? it is a pathetic suburb full of idiots who spend all their time whining about their neighbors. The official flag of the city is a giant DERP wearing a dunce cap. With any luck the Mexicans will take it over and turn it into one huge taco stand.

  16. Good. I don’t want him for a neighbor then. If people choose to be ignorant, that’s their own fault. They should study history. It represents true sovereignty.

    Oh he’s not a racist…just a traitor

  17. (Some folks may describe me & /or my family as rednecks – though we’re not really.)

    Of course not. You’re just genocidal and want to go to the moon on the backs of the poor and ethnic. It’s a completely different type of bigotry.

  18. If his neighbor actually lost a sale of his house due to the flag, doesn’t he have grounds for a lawsuit? It’s driving down property values for everyone in the neighborhood.

  19. If his neighbor actually lost a sale of his house due to the flag, doesn’t he have grounds for a lawsuit? It’s driving down property values for everyone in the neighborhood.

    If it’s like my old neighborhood where the town would fine crippled people for not being able to mow their lawn, I’d imagine so.

  20. @22.We Are Ing says:

    (Some folks may describe me & /or my family as rednecks – though we’re not really.)
    Of course not. You’re just genocidal and want to go to the moon on the backs of the poor and ethnic. It’s a completely different type of bigotry.

    Totally wrong and a complete strawman of my views.

    NOT what I think or am about at all.

    Israel has a right to defend itself against thegenocide Iran threatens.

    NewtonGingrich’s moon space policy has appeal and would be benficial for Humanity intothe future – mor eso than anything the other candidates are offering.

    That’s not advocating genocide or abandoning the poor / persecuting ethnics both things I strongly oppose.

  21. I testified at the City of West Saint Paul Council meeting on 2/13/12 about the obnoxiousness of Ed Hansen’s display of the Confederate States of America’s (CSA) battle flag known as the Stars and Bars. I pointed out that as a Symbol – the Stars and Bars battle flag represents a cause to overthrow the Government of the United States of American with Force and Violence – which is a clear violation of the Alien Registration Act of 1940, also known as the Smith Act of 1940.

    This Symbol – representing the overthrow of the American Government – by force and violence – is responsible for the deaths of about 650,000 innocent Americans – which is more American deaths than ALL of the other wars that America has been involved in since 1776 !!!!

    I asked that 4 actions come out of my testimony – 1.) That Mr. Hansen remove the display of the CSA battle flag; 2.) That Mr. Hansen issue a public apology to the residents of West Saint Paul; 3.) That the City Council begin censorship procedures against Mr. Hansen; and 4.) That the City Council begin a Grand Jury investigation into any and all Subversive Activities that Mr. Hansen may be involved in.

    I consider that Mr. Hansen’s pride in the display of the CSA battle flag – is a clear symbolic act of advocating the overthrow of the American Government by force and violence – a subversive act – that is also a violation of the Smith Act of 1940. About 215 subversive Communists, Trotskyites, and Fascists have been convicted under the Smith act – and these subversive folk have paid fines and gone to prison for these subversive activities. Mr. Hansen’s subversive activities need a full investigation !!!

    Robert Allen – a resident in Ward 1 of West Saint Paul, Mn – the ward that Mr. Hansen does a so-called job of representing !!

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