Africans in Minnesota

The United States has always been a country of immigrants since its founding days. During the Industrial Revolution of the 1880’s to 1910 the wave of immigrants from Europe made the country have a large white majority. The push back against immigrants during World War I and the Great Depression mostly sealed U.S. borders for decades which only began to change meaningfully in the 1960’s.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 removed the quota system that capped immigration from each country, greatly benefiting non-European countries. While U.S. immigration in the 1960’s was split 75%, 9% and 5% for Europe, Latin America and Asia, respectively, by the 1980’s the continents of origin were 23%, 44% and 26%, respectively.

Africa has not been a major source of immigrants over the past 100 years. In 2018, just over 2 million of the country’s 44.7 million immigrants came from sub-Saharan Africa. While small, this figure has grown rapidly, from 691,000 in 2000 and 130,000 in 1980. The largest number of immigrants comes from Nigeria, the African country with the largest population, followed by Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya.

Many of these immigrants live in the large states, including New York, California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New Jersey. Others have settled into smaller states including Georgia, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia.

But nowhere has the African immigrant population been felt as dramatically as in Minnesota.

Exhibit 1: Black Population, by Place of Birth

State Foreign-born US-born Multiple
Minnesota 27.4% 4.6%        5.96
Washington 6.5% 3.4%        1.91
Connecticut 16.5% 10.0%        1.65
Ohio 16.7% 12.2%        1.37
New York 19.4% 14.6%        1.33
Pennsylvania 14.3% 10.9%        1.31
Florida 15.9% 16.0%        0.99
Indiana 8.9% 9.6%        0.93
Maryland 26.8% 30.5%        0.88
New Jersey 11.7% 14.1%        0.83
Wisconsin 5.0% 6.4%        0.78
United States 9.5% 13.2%        0.72
Tennessee 10.6% 17.1%        0.62
Virginia 11.6% 20.2%        0.57
Georgia 18.6% 33.0%        0.56
North Carolina 9.2% 22.5%        0.41
Michigan 5.8% 14.4%        0.40
Alabama 8.1% 27.4%        0.30
Illinois 4.2% 15.7%        0.27
California 1.7% 7.3%        0.23
South Carolina 5.7% 27.7%        0.21
Louisiana 6.7% 33.5%        0.20
Mississippi 7.3% 38.8%        0.19

As seen on Exhibit 1, overall in the United States, Black people account for 13.2% of the U.S.-born population and 9.5% of the foreign-born population. In southern states like South Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi, Blacks make up a significant percentage of the population, almost all being born in the United States. In several northern states like Ohio, Washington, Connecticut and New York, the Black population born in Africa is significant, surpassing the overall mix of U.S.-born Black people in the state.

In Minnesota, the immigrant population is driven by Blacks from Africa, accounting for six times the percentage of U.S.-born blacks in the state. While Africans account for under ten per cent of the overall US immigrant population, they account for 27.4% of the immigrant population in Minnesota, nearly three times the rate.

Exhibit 2: Foreign-born Population in Minnesota by Continent

Exhibit 2 shows how Africa’s share of the Minnesota immigrant community has grown from 4.3% in 1990 to 27.2% in 2018. Since 2000, it is the only region which has grown its share, reversing the trend even for immigrants from Latin America. It is the only state in the country with this phenomenon.

African-born immigrants have moved to Minnesota at a scale not seen anywhere else in the United States. The percentage far surpasses US-born Blacks and eclipses Latin American and European immigrants. In 2018, they helped elect the first immigrant from Africa to Congress, Ilhan Omar from Somalia. Will their numbers impact future elections as well?

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If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

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Is Ilhan Omar’s Mentor the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has gotten herself into repeated hot water for attacks on Israel and its supporters, as many people have viewed her comments as anti-Semitic. She is emblematic of a new group of alt-left politicians who squarely focus on Israel and any of its perceived misdeeds.

It is a curious phenomenon, not only because Israel is the most liberal country in the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region by far, but that people like Omar pay no attention to their native countries as they attack Israel.

Consider an important point for progressives – the death penalty. Only Israel and Oman had zero executions and zero people sentenced to death in 2017 among the MENA countries. In Omar’s native Somalia, 24 people were executed by the government, almost double the total of 14 in 2016.

Israel is one of only five countries in MENA in which being gay is legal. In several countries, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, being gay is a capital offense, with most gays hung from cranes in the center of the city. In Ilhan’s native Somalia, being gay is punishable with jail time.

The dynamic is much the same regarding women’s rights. Israel is one of only five MENA countries that score in the top half of the world’s rankings for inclusion, justice and safety for women. Ilhan’s native Somalia is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for women. It is estimated that 95% of females in Somalia have forced genital mutilation. It is ranked as the worst country for maternal health.

The problems for Somalia continue. It is ranked as number 180 out of 180 by Transparency International Corruption Index, the worst country in the world. Israel ranked as number 34 out of 180, in the top quintile.

Somalia is considered the worst countries to be a journalist according to the Global Impunity Index of 2017 – worse than even Syria and Iraq.

Regardless of the issue – gay rights, women’s rights, environmental matters, animal rights, freedom of speech, press and religion – Israel performs better than its neighbors. It is in a completely different league than Somalia which is one of the worst counties in the world by every measure.

So why would an immigrant from Somalia to the United States focus so much of her attention on a small country thousands of miles from the United States? Why would a new member of Congress not be concerned with her failed native land? Is it in her constituents’ interests for her to be admonished by fellow Democrats for an obsessive focus on Israel?

As detailed in “Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference,” many Arab and Muslim countries – and their supporters – believe that Israel is an inherently racist enterprise, built on the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinian Arabs and the theft of Muslim holy lands. They believe that the supporters of such evil regime – the United States being the most powerful – are either evil and racist themselves (like Donald Trump), or are being manipulated by Zionist forces.  All of Ilhan Omar’s comments to date seemingly support this viewpoint: the Jewish State is racist and that pro-Zionists are racists and/or are manipulated by racist puppet-masters. Sounds pretty anti-Semitic, no?

Should Omar want to wash the stain of obsessive anti-Zionism which is very much tied to anti-Semitism, there is a simple action she could take: clearly declare that Israel has a right to exist in peace and security. Without such statement, no one will consider anything else she has to say. Other helpful actions would include:

  • Acknowledging the Jewish people’s long history in the holy land going back thousands of years, including being the majority of Jerusalem since the 1860’s
  • Acknowledging that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination
  • Acknowledging that Israel is a liberal democracy
  • Acknowledging Israel’s remarkable contributions to the world in the areas of technology and medicine
  • Acknowledging that all people in the United States have a right to advocate for the causes they hold dear, including the pro-Israel community
  • Considering Israel within the scope of its neighbors, and not pretending it resides in a peaceful neighborhood like Sweden
  • Considering the Israel-Palestinian Conflict within the scope of other territorial disputes, including: Cyprus-Turkey; Morocco-Western Sahara; China-Tibet; and India-Pakistan over Kashmir

No one will ever claim that anyone or any country is perfect; that’s the beauty and shame of being human. In being flawed, there is always room for improvement. Constructive criticism from a friend is an important part of growing. People who love America want America to be better, and people who love Israel want Israel to be better.

However, what is most unwelcome is for someone with no connection and no relationship to the country and who hasn’t shared a positive word, to chastise it on a global stage and urge for punitive actions. How much hatred must such a person harbor to go out of their way and ignore much worse and more immediate issues, to assault a people who have been subject to more hatred and attacks than any people on earth?

Omar tweeted in August 2017 “Syria’s Assad has become an icon of the far right in America,” suggesting that some Americans were interested in murdering hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens. She cannot be surprised if some of her fellow Americans who proudly support the Jewish State compare her and her alt-left comrades to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who seeks a new Muslim Caliphate and the destruction of Israel. This is the echo of Omar’s own words.

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If a Black Muslim Cop Kills a White Woman, Does it Make a Sound?

On July 15, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, a black Muslim police officer shot and killed an unarmed white Australian woman. You would have a hard time learning about the ethnicity of the police officer from The New York Times.

On July 22, the NYT ran an article entitled “Minneapolis Police Chief Is Forced Out.” The article relayed a lot of personal background of key players in the story, including that the chief of police was the first woman to serve in that capacity and was openly gay. It spoke of a a civil rights lawyer that argued that the chief of police “needed to be fired” because the chief only decried the recent killing of the Australian woman only because she was white, while she had always defended the police in past shootings when the victims were black.

With all of that background, you would imagine that the Times would highlight that the police officer, Mohamed Noor, that killed the unarmed white woman was black.

And a Muslim.

And from the Somali community.

But the Times decided not to mention any of those points, even while it described particular details of others in the story, as well as protests from back in 2015 following the killing of an unarmed black man.

The Times would similarly not describe Officer Noor’s ethnicity in its July 21 article “Woman Shot by Minneapolis Officer ‘Didn’t Have to Die’ Police Chief Says,” or in the July 19 article called “Officer Said He Heard Loud Noise Before Partner Shot Minneapolis Woman.

When the Times did cover the fact that the police officer was a black man from the Somali community (it never wrote that he was a Muslim), it did so from the perspective of the Somali Community.

The July 20 article heading “Police Shooting Rattles Somalis in Minneapolis” would make a person think that a Somali was the victim, rather than the killer. The article wrote that the Somali immigrant population in Minneapolis “sometimes expressed frustration with law enforcement.” It added that Somalis felt that police officers used excessive force with its community and that “many Somalis have expressed frustration with their portrayals in the news media, saying reporters have unfairly emphasized stories about terrorist recruitment and cultural differences.

As if the issue was purely one of media bias.

As detailed in “Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota,” the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report in September 2015 flagging the problem of jihadists in Minnesota. Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee said that “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Liberal politicians including Senator Al Franken and then presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledged the findings of the report, while they argued for increased cooperation between law enforcement and the Somali community to combat terrorism.

The Homeland Security report and acknowledgment by liberal politicians was not mentioned by the New York Times. Just that the Somali community felt vilified unfairly by the press, even as the Times called-out “President Trump’s travel ban.”

When a white police officer shoots an unarmed black man, the New York Times repeats the race of each party over-and-again for days. However, when the attacker is not just black, but a Muslim, the Times reorients the story for its readers.

Another edition of the New York Times #AlternativeFacts.


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