A rural Minnesotan speaks out by Java (02/20/12) ⇌ (Anti-anti-fascism)
My parents and I were German and came to live in an area of rural German Catholic communities in Minnesota, not far from Keillor's Wobegon Scandanavians. What 'lutefisk' describes could have been written be me. Anyone assessing communities "resistant to change" could just as easily have described them as "stable."
As I grew into my teens, I experienced around me some negativity toward "Negroes," largely by young men who'd returned from basic training in places they'd never heard of. But it was the '60s, and the times, they were a'changin. Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota were "liberal bastions," as I recall. It was well before Minnesotans found themselves facing a chicken processing in a rural area *, and the racial/cultural impact of Hmong workers and families who'd been transplanted there. There would be more. The journey had begun...
I've wondered whether "Minnesota nice" is why so many Somali Muslims have ended up there. These tight communities and their demands for concessions to Shariah Law continue to be a challenge.
* This is a distinction between a population which raises chickens, and a large plant which slaughters and processes them. When an entirely new population comes in/is brought in to do the labor, at least some friction results. In this case many were refugee families from SE Asian conflicts.
My family was personally affected. People had always fished the river near our property, dangling lines from the shore or bridge and respecting the property line. Their catch was taken home along with any debris. When the Hmong came, they pulled up fence posts, threw "No Trespassing" signs in the river and treated the shoreline as their personal fish-processing plant. The fishing spots become fly-infested dumps. Thus, an example of culture clash that needed work. White racism? Well, there are those who still walk around with eyes wide shut. Sometimes you have to call it before you can fix it.