This past Saturday, the DFL and Zach Dorholt staged a protest against racism. This St. Cloud Times article didn’t even get the basics right. To reporter Ben Rodgers’ credit, he was right in saying that this fake protest was held at “the Stearns County Courthouse.” After that, facts weren’t part of Mr. Rodgers neighborhood.

Rodgers wrote that Dorholt, the DFL and the AFL-CIO gathered “to protest an anti-immigration speaker who visited St. Cloud.” They identified that “anti-immigration speaker” as Bob Enos. It’s fiction to call Mr. Enos anti-immigration. I wrote about Mr. Enos in this post. I included a video of his presentation to the Willmar City Council in the post. Mr. Enos’ presentation was solely about the federal refugee resettlement program. Specifically, he was worried that this ‘federal’ program was stretching the budgets of state and local agencies. It’s a legitimate thing to worry about.

Here’s the video of Mr. Enos’ presentation:

Jane Conrad admitted that Mr. Enos isn’t anti-immigration:

Jane Conrad, a field representative for the East Central Area Labor Council, planned the rally after Bob Enos, of Willmar, appeared at an event booked at the Veterans of Foreign Wars speaking out against refugees and Sharia, the Islamic law.

Here’s part of Enos’ presentation to the Willmar City Council:

We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.

The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.

We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.

I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.

The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.

Nowhere in Enos’ presentation did he mention Sharia law. Zach Dorholt said this in continuing the DFL’s façade:

“When people come to St. Cloud with the intent to divide us and spread hate and anger we here in St. Cloud are simply going to ask for peace, love and happiness,” Zach Dorholt said. “St. Cloud is always going to stand for peace, love and understanding over the fear and hate that those who don’t live here are trying to incite.”

In other words, Dorholt thinks that worrying about city and county finances is “spreading hate and anger.” Enos has talked about doing a moratorium on the refugee resettlement program until an audit is done to determine the local impact of the program.

If that’s Dorholt’s definition of racism, then it isn’t surprising that he sees racism everywhere. Speaking about things that aren’t surprising, it isn’t surprising that the Times got the lede information wrong.

3 Responses to “Dorholt, DFL, AFL-CIO see racism everywhere”

  • Margaret says:

    The St Cloud Times is so rabidly biased they probably never listened to Mr Enos’ talks.

    From my experience, the blame for “the intent to divide and spread hate and anger” here in St Cloud cannot be blamed anymore specifically than on them. They seem incapable of seeing two sides in the refugee resettlement issue. You only need eyes and ears to know what is happening and yet they keep denying it. You cannot keep calling a stone an apple and not expect to break some teeth.

  • Heather says:

    We need more people talking about this and the future of what St. Cloud will be in 10years. The economic impact is important!

  • Gary Gross says:

    I agree but I especially think that it’s important that younger moms speak out about how the resettlement programs might negatively affect their children. Frankly, this program is unsustainable at current rates. Frankly, they aren’t sustainable even without a significant reduction in the resettlement program.

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