July 19, 2019

Today, I am Proud to be a Minnesotan even though I’m not Proud of my Country.


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The cliché, “Minnesota Nice” is well and good, but I have never been prouder of its truth.

The night that Representative Ilhan Omar was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Minnesota, I remember feeling a sense of gratitude for the place I was born and the city I live in.

I remember feeling so much love and far more pride than I’d expected to feel. It was emotional. Hell, I was emotional. Her story inspires people, but what inspires me is that her story is a true representation of my city that I know and love.

But that sense of pride? That bubbling gratitude and burgeoning joy? That’s now been chewed up and swallowed whole, being replaced by something better. When I first saw this video there were tears falling down my cheeks and—somehow—more pride swelling in my chest than ever before for this place I live and the people who live here with me.

Minnesotans are known to be “nice,” that classic stereotype of courtesy above all and the avoidance of confrontation at any turn. On Thursday we weren’t merely “nice.” We were human beings with hearts larger than our sleeves, voices turned up to 11, and no more fear of confrontation because one of our own was in the range of fire.

Thursday treated me to the sight of Congresswoman Omar being welcomed back home to Minnesota after being the center of a series of seemingly impossible racist tweets and statements from our sitting president. Instead of the chant heard at President Trump’s rally, my fellow Minnesotans welcomed her with the words we knew she needed to hear. We treated her with humanity.

She was home. She is home. And we will fight this good fight together.

Thank you, my fellow Minnesotans. Thank you for the hope.

And to everyone else, come join us. We’re awfully nice and we make a kickass hotdish, just you wait and see.


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