It's difficult to make sense of the conservative nightmare about Minneapolis, and almost certainly not worth trying.
There are two planks to the Fox & Friends' crowd's fearful platform, and they point in opposite directions: On one hand, it's too progressive, more interested in painting bike lanes, protesting, and getting drag queens reading to kids than empowering cops (and/or random citizens) to get the bad guys off the streets.
On the other hand... it's a religious theocracy where Muslims enforce Sharia law and no one speaks English.
Neither's true, though if we're being honest, you're a thousand times more likely to see a drag queen in a bike lane than anyone forcing religion -- of any kind -- on a neighbor. Point is, the idea of Muslims and progressives living side-by-side is anathema to the people who are somehow scared of both.
This peaceful dichotomy was sketched out nicely last night by DFL U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, who helped warm up the crowd for Bernie Sanders' Super Tuesday eve rally in St. Paul.
After dancing on stage for an amount of time that would've unnerved even some Democratic moderates, Omar name-dropped and quoted the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone -- "we all do better when we all do better" -- and connected it to the phrase "fighting for someone we don't know," a favorite of Sanders's.
When Omar was a "proud" member of the AFSCME public employee union and went on strike, it was people she'd never met who donated gift cards to keep members' kids fed. When Jamar Clark was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police in 2015, it was strangers who protested his death at the Fourth Police Precinct.
At this point, you can almost hear your neighbor banging on the side of his oxygen tank. "See?!" he's shouting. "This is what they're all about! Unions! Handouts! Protesting police! Having a clear memory of events that took place in 2015!"
Omar wasn't done. Next she highlighted the "year-long campaign" to keep a gay marriage ban out of the state constitution, and then to legalize it. If the obvious delight Omar took in celebrating gay marriage was, for the Fox viewer, a little confusing, the next part was simply too much of everything all at once.
Referencing the 2014 explosion and fire that killed three people and injured more than a dozen in a neighborhood she represents (and Fox News misrepresents), Omar name-dropped the little neighborhood bar next door.
"I also know in Minnesota, people talk about so-called 'no-go zones,' but the truth is we are an open, inclusive society. Because when a mosque was set ablaze in Cedar-Riverside, their neighbors, Palmer's, the pub next door, came to their aid. And I know some people would find that a little strange, that in a 'no-go zone,' a mosque and a pub would share a building. But that's what we do here in Minnesota."
She's right, this must all sound weird as hell to people who don't live in Minneapolis or visit it. We'd try explaining it, but... at this point, fuck 'em. Their loss.