Newly sworn-in Minnesota Governor Tim Walz emphasized just where his administration’s priorities stand with his first official act. That would be, squarely in line with Democratic orthodoxy on identity politics. Walz signed an executive order on January 9, authorizing the creation of the Orwellian-sounding “One Minnesota Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.”
“Disparities in Minnesota, including those based on race, geography (and) economic status keep our entire state from reaching its full potential,” Walz said, according to the local Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “As long as these inequities impact Minnesotans’ ability to be successful, we’ve got more work to do.”
State of Whiteness?
Progressives have been fixated on the idea that there is a serious racial crisis festering in the Gopher State for some time now. They love to cite supposedly authoritative studies to trumpet the notion that Minnesota is one of the most backward states in the nation when it comes to “racial disparity.”
Walz brought up this commonly accepted progressive theme during his run for governor. His campaign website boldly declared, “Minnesota has some of the greatest racial disparities of any state – that has to change. Let’s create an administration that looks like Minnesota.” Walz touted his running mate Peggy Flanagan’s Native American heritage as a way to help resolve the problem. But according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is 84.4% white. How exactly does having a Native American lieutenant governor reflect the true face of the state? The racial groups of “American Indian and Alaska Native, alone” make up only 1.4% of the state’s population, according to the Census Bureau.
A 2016 Pioneer Press article in the guise of unbiased reporting gave the typical progressive spin on the “racial disparity” hype. “Leaders from communities of color say a few basic factors play a large role, including misunderstanding what immigrants need, failing to invest in diverse communities and disproportionately imprisoning men with black and brown skin,” the article reads.
One interpretation of those remarks could read: Government needs to subsidize immigration, give minorities money just because they are minorities and willingly ignore the fact that certain racial communities have a very high crime rate.
“State data show that while blacks make up just 5 percent of Minnesota’s population, they make up 36 percent of the prison population,” the Pioneer Press reports. This would suggest a serious problem in the black community more than a flaw of Minnesotans at large. After all, as a 2007 article by Minnesota Public Radio details, most of the victims of black crime are other blacks. “Just like 70 percent of my victims are black, 70 percent of my suspects are black,” St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington, himself a black American, said at the time. Harrington blamed the high out-of-wedlock birthrate for feeding the high crime rate in the community.
Do progressives who profess to care so much about minorities address this root cause of the issue? No.
Do progressives who profess to care so much about minorities address this root cause of the issue? No. Instead, they call for a reduction in the incarceration rate after these lost souls commit their crimes against society.
Even more laughably, they cite a lack of diversity among police officers in a state that is overwhelmingly white as part of the problem. When Philando Castile, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a police officer in 2016, leftist media outlets instantly wondered why there were so many darn white people in the state. “While the identity of the officer involved in the Castile shooting has not been released yet, it appears as though they served on a force that has a known problem with diversifying its officers,” Bustle.com wrote immediately after the killing was first reported. “Likewise, the racial breakdown of the state perhaps only exacerbates this problem.”
Oh, but then it turned out the police officer involved was Latino. Progressives who dearly wanted to play up Castile’s death as further proof of their “racial disparity” dogma had to slink away in disappointment.
All About Votes
Of course, Democrats are more interested in harvesting votes from aggrieved racial minorities rather than actually resolving their struggles. Walz’s emphasis on identity politics right out of the starting blocks is perfectly in line with the increasing polarization of the nation being fomented by this type of reckless political practice.
The startling urban-rural divide seen in elections all over America these days is all-too-present in Minnesota. A look at the electoral map for the 2018 governor race shows Walz winning overwhelmingly in the bigger cities – especially the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul – and a sea of red covering most of the rest of the state.
Walz has said his diversity efforts are meant to continue the programs put in place by his Democratic predecessor Mark Dayton. That two-term governor gave the progressive game away with his shocking 2015 diatribe in favor of settling more and more refugees in the North Star State. “Our economy cannot expand based on white, B+, Minnesota-born citizens. We don’t have enough,” Dayton said while addressing racial tensions caused by the influx of Somalis into central Minnesota.
It is somewhat amazing that even in a state whose population is nearly 85% white, Democrats still see identity politics as a winning approach. They truly believe they have secured the winning electoral formula for the future; constantly stirring up racial tension is a linchpin of their strategy. And so it will continue. In Minnesota and throughout the rest of the nation.