Minnesota caucus: All Somalian, little American

By Cheryl Chumley

A Minneapolis reporter had trouble knowing what caucus-goers at one local polling site were saying because few spoke English. (Credit: Twitter)
A Minneapolis reporter had trouble knowing what caucus-goers at one local polling site were saying because few spoke English. (Credit: Twitter)

A journalist with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune covering the caucus from one of the region’s event facilities, the Brian Coyle Center, sent out a series of tweets remarking on the crowd size, the number of Hillary Clinton supporters on hand – and the fact that few in attendance spoke English.

One tweet, from Eric Roper, as reported by the Gateway Pundit: “Several Hillary Clinton supporters in this crowd in the center, I learned through a multi-person interpreter.”

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His Twitter account was filled with similar observances.

Roper wrote, above a photograph of a couple of voters: “Muse Farah is here supporting Clinton, likes her experience. ‘She knows what she’s doing,’ he says, via interpreter.”

He also remarked “we’ve got a full house tonight,” noting plenty turned out for the voting, some of which was for local contests.

“Quite a scene here as Omar … and Noor … supporters break off,” Roper tweeted, about the lines forming to vote for local candidates.

Another tweet: “Registered turnout was 513 at Brian Coyle Center. Big Clinton support on prez side.”

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And one more, alongside a video of the local candidates’ giving speeches: “Omar now addressing the room. No English so far in candidate speeches, so I can’t relay what has been said.”

The region has been experiencing an influx of Somali refugees for months and Minnesota in general has become a big draw for those fleeing points in Africa.

In November 2014, the Star-Tribune reported on the increasing Muslim population in the region in a story that included this quote, from the head of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota: “You tend to go somewhere you can connect. Before people even arrive from Africa, they know they are coming to Minnesota.”

The Brian Coyle Center, meanwhile, recognizes this demographic and leases space to the Confederation of Somali Community of Minnesota, or EMERGE, the website Pillsbury United Communities reported.

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