“At approximately 8 p.m., an armed suspect entered the Crossroads Mall. That individual made some references to Allah and we confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before assaulting them,” said St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson.
Recently there was a situation that happened at the local mall of a city I grew up shopping at, worked in, and lived at during my university years. The city of St. Cloud, Minnesota.
ST. CLOUD – In a few bloody minutes, a man rampaged through a St. Cloud shopping mall Saturday evening, stabbing 10 people before being fatally shot by an off-duty police officer. The violence is being investigated as terrorism, federal authorities said.
With out warning there was an attack, people got hurt, and now locals are terrified. Today, days after the attack, people are still fearing for their lives and safety but it’s not because the assailant is still at large. It is because the people of the area are rilled up and angry. I’m worried this will lead to more hatred and crime.
But this is only the tip of issue as to why I’m worried.
Growing up I lived in smaller towns. I was rather isolated and ignorant like many young people who grew up and are still growing up in the more rural parts of the state. The hate I had seen for the local native Americans was appalling. The stigma of growing up on a reservation was that of being poor, an achololic, and uneducated. Even with technology and being able to connect with people all over the world there had still been those who turned a blind eye and believe the hate to be facts. Which sadly is still true today.
But what do I know? I’m just living as a minority in a different country.
People used to refer to St. Cloud as “white cloud.” There has also been a history of racal hate crimes in years past because the people had been fearful when someone different moved into town. And now there is this new crime, which is being reported by news media outlets that it is related to ISIS. Though law enforcement and other government sources have yet to state that as fact.
All the more reason for me to worry about the intolerance of people I have to clam as clans men.
I’m scared. But I’m not scared about the initial attack itself. Should I be? Maybe, but I’m more fearful of the backlash this can possibly, and sadly will for sure, create. I have already told friends and family that I worry about the country that I have to call home. With the craziness of the presidential election, the shooting involving our police enforcement, and the mass killing sprees as of late, everyone has just gone mad.
For many years, St. Cloud has been home to one of the state’s larger immigrant Muslim populations. Tensions have spiked at times between Muslims and others in and around the central Minnesota city.
I hate to think that the United States has become a place that can only manipulate and be shellfish in all of it’s ignorance.
ANDERSON: We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community. We meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause. It’s one of things that makes St. Cloud a wonderful place to live, and I know that might sound corny, but it’s the truth. We have established and maintained a very good rapport with our East African community and our community at large.
Still there is hope.
I hope that those like the St. Cloud police sheriff, William Anderson, will stand up against the evils of blaming those who are different from us. To stand up and fight against the bitterness of hate. To grow as a community that is diverse. Yes, one person did a terrible thing, but can we really blame everyone else for the wrong that they didn’t commit?
With out change and acceptance how can we as a nation ever expect to lead our people and others down the right path? If our people cant make good changes the country is surely to follow in the footsteps of the powerful nations before us, and we shall fall.