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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:11 PM

School, Community Aim to Quell Minneapolis South High School Racial Issues

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –Classes at Minneapolis South High School went smoothly on Friday, one day after a food fight led to a brawl involving nearly 300 of students that sent four to the hospital with minor injuries.

Minneapolis Public School officials say their goal was to make sure South High on Friday was as normal as possible for students. Still, criminal charges could be filed Deputy Chief Kris Arneson says, as investigators are going over surveillance video.

...

The food fight was not the first incident between African-American and Somali students. Parents and students both say tensions have been high between the two groups for quite some time.

“It’s a racial problem that has been going on and it needs to be addressed, and South High has not been addressing it,” parent Lynette Vizenor said.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/02/15/mpls-south-high-students-may-face-charges-for-melee/

Racial tension between African-American and Somali students?

Is there a misprint in that article or something?

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Reply School, Community Aim to Quell Minneapolis South High School Racial Issues (Original post)
rachel1 Feb 2013 OP
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #1
BainsBane Feb 2013 #2
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #3
BainsBane Feb 2013 #4

Response to rachel1 (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:28 PM

1. I'm guessing its really a religious issue, not racial.

The MN Somali immigrant community (mostly Muslim) has had some difficulty assimilating AFAIK from watching the news reports. Its not surprising its also affecting the schools.



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:51 PM

2. My guess it that is cultural more than specifically religious

We do have some mosques in the area that draw a number of African-Americans. The Imam from the North Minneapolis mosque Masjid An-Nur is African-American. It is true that Somalis are easily identifiable by their facial characteristics, and easily distinguishable from Kenyans or Ethiopians, so hostilities may be perceived in ethnic/racial terms. Somali girls generally wear hijabs, which clearly identifies them as Muslim.

Really I think the problems at South are part of the travails that beset every new immigrant group in a community, and Somalis are the largest group of recent immigrants to the Twin Cities.

That certainly was quite the food fight. South looks like prison. It doesn't surprise me that students end up acting like inmates.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:01 PM

3. Thanks for the input!



I just think the article used the wrong term - "racial" - in describing the tensions. "Cultural", "new immigrants" etc may have simply been too nuanced (unfortunately).

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:10 PM

4. I love that my city is so diverse

We've always been a locus of immigration, from Scandinavia, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Laos and Vietnam, and now East Africa.

The Somalis vote Democrat and even voted to stop the banning of same sex marriage. I canvassed a fair bit in Somali areas/ apt buildings during the election season. It was fun talking to new citizens about voting in their first election.

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