Somali students protest hostile racial school climate

Somalis are under attack in St. Cloud because of their race (they are Black), their religion (they are Muslims), and their immigration/refugee status (they are perceived to be untrustworthy aliens).In the 1990s Somalis began to trickle into the city, and now they are probably the largest Black ethnic group, surpassing the number of Black Americans. Like Black Americans, they also experience intense racial and cultural animus. As compared with the White population, Somalis are sharply different in four categories: race (White European vs. Black African), religion (Christian vs. Continue Reading

Can this man get justice in St. Cloud?

St. Cloud State University (SCSU) student Douglas Tanner is scheduled to be sentenced on first degree assault charges April 16 in Stearns County District Court in St. Cloud. He learned last week that his petition to withdraw an earlier guilty plea agreement was denied. Tanner’s charges stem from a July 4, 2007, incident outside a St. Continue Reading

Black athletes and St. Cloud: SCSU struggles to diversify athletics staff

Although St. Cloud State University (SCSU) continues to aggressively recruit Black student-athletes, there are no Black head coaches in SCSU athletics, and only a couple of Black assistant coaches. “I wouldn’t even say it’s a crawl, but we continue to address it,” admitted John Lewis, assistant athletic director of promotions and community relations, of the school’s progress in trying to hire more coaches of color. Fourth in a series
Lewis has been at SCSU since the mid-1990s, beginning as a graduate student. He easily recalls, “I was the only African American GA [graduate assistant]; then I left and came back and became a full-time assistant coach, and I was still [the only] one. Continue Reading

St. Cloud State not a racial nightmare for everyone

Despite its well-documented history of racial problems, both Rocky Horn and Krystal Scott have found St. Cloud State University to be a good place where their academic and athletic pursuits successfully could be met. Horn, a senior from Melrose, MN, is a member of the SCSU football team. Also a senior, Scott is a member of the school’s women’s basketball team — she is from Rosemount, MN, a Twin Cities suburb. “I’m from a really small town and wasn’t really used to class sizes as big as they are [nor had I] gotten used to not knowing anyone I see walking the streets, walking in the hallways or in the classroom,” admits Horn, who joined the team as a non-scholarship player and was red shirted his freshman year. Continue Reading

Black athletes and St. Cloud: Are they compatible?

According to several St. Cloud State University (SCSU) Black student-athletes, they feel isolated on and off campus and singled out if anything wrong occurs. Because they would only speak with us on condition of anonymity from fear of possible retaliation, we have assigned them fictional names in this story.

Second in a series. Next in the series, we talk with SCSU student-athletes who have had or are having more positive experiences in St. Cloud.

“I’ve seen it plenty of times,” SCSU student-athlete Arthur told us. Continue Reading

St. Cloud profiling exposed

St. Cloud State University (SCSU) students, faculty and staff, and St. Cloud citizens, most of them persons of color, expressed embarrassment, frustration and anger during the October 9 Council on Black Minnesotans (CBM) hearing on racial profiling. An overflow crowd attended the three-hour hearing at the 300-seat Atwood Theater on the St. Cloud State University campus. Continue Reading