For the past couple of weeks I have watched Minnesota’s mainstream media attraction to the Somali community grow into an addiction. I don’t know what’s worse the fact that the news is always negative or that the investigation of these stories have been half-hearted nature and at times baseless. Whatever the case, the combination is lethal and is already having serious consequences on the community who are now fighting discrimination and xenophobia from fellow Minnesotans. I had put up an article on Al Qaeda Cells in MN regarding this issue.
Here’s a great opinion piece I read in Mshale regarding the senatorial vote at the Brian Coyle center and the media reporting after that.
These community volunteers were trained to help elderly Somali men and women vote by translating the ballot. Many of them had taken time off from work to serve the community. Unfortunately, rather than rewarding or recognizing their sacrifice to support the community, Jamal chose to accuse them of engaging in voting irregularities. The motivations of Jamal are curious. Many in the Somali community suspect tribal vengeance or other ulterior motives.
To add insult to injury, despite Jamal’s inability to establish credible evidence or witnesses to corroborate his claims, WCCO, a local TV station, chose to provide a platform for these stories. Worse, relying solemnly on the pure speculations and personal interpretations of Jamal, WCCO aired a doctored and inaudible video.
Unfortunately, no other media house asked why two Republican challengers were present at the Brian Coyle Center while Minnesota laws allows for the presence of only one challenger at the polls. While it is illegal to record ballots in Minnesota, the media has not bothered to find out the motive and the identity of the person behind the camera. Also, it is important for people to realize that Minnesota election laws permit citizens to be accompanied to the voting booth. State statute 204C, articles 5 through 7 clearly state that you are lawfully permitted to obtain assistant should there be a need.
Read the rest of the commentary here.