Hey, South Dakota Republicans! If you want a bigoted idiot representing you in Congress (and you obviously enjoy having a bigoted idiot representing you on the global stage, so why not?), you want Neal Tapio!
South Dakota’s own best Saudi coddler lives up to the standards of Russian election meddlers and declares that Somalis, Lutherans, and Catholics have made part of Sioux Falls a “complete disaster” and are causing “the complete destruction of our city.” To substantiate his point, Tapio provides an article about late-night crime in downtown Minneapolis, which mentions neither Sioux Falls, Somalis, nor any religious group.
KELO’s Todd Epp provides the screen cap:
When Tapio screams at Sioux Falls to “wake up!” perhaps he’s just lonely; he posted this bigoted missive at 2:42 a.m., adding weight to my hypothesis that if you’re doing anything other than sleeping or loving at that hour, you’re up to no good.
The article about Minneapolis which Tapio shares comes from mostly anonymous sources and thus, in the era of Russian influence campaigns, should be ignored. Alpha News MN is funded and run by rich Minnesota Republican/Tea Party figures who participate in a right-wing astroturf network that drives “most of the anti-Muslim propaganda in Minnesota” but who decline to take responsibility for their own content. The article does link to an August WCCO report that says that while downtown Minneapolis business owners are complaining about bars clearing out by midnight by people who want to avoid “shenanigans,” the city is “coming off a 30-year low of violent crime.” U.S. News and World Report also notes that in this decade, the violent crime rate in Minneapolis has been lower than it was throughout the first decade of this century.
But here I am pointing out facts, when a discussion of facts was never Tapio’s or Alpha News’s intent. Tapio’s intent was do blow the racist dog whistle and rouse his fellow white supremacists in Sioux Falls or “South Sioux Falls” or anywhere anyone is up to hear his lonely cries in the night about people who don’t look and pray like he does.
Money magazine counts Minneapolis neighborhood Lynnhurst as #46 of the 100 best places to live in America, due to the strong school system, the Minneapolis park and trail system, and proximity to downtown Minneapolis entertainment and jobs. Sioux Falls ranks as #50 on the same list with its parks, “thriving” literary scene, and “safe and family-friendly environment.”
By the way, over the past decade, Minnehaha and Lincoln counties have seen the largest increases in labor force in South Dakota. Tapio’s Codington County (I’m still trying to figure out why he calls Sioux Falls “our city”) had the absolute largest loss of workers. What happened, Neal? Are you trying to scare workers from Sioux Falls back to your city of Watertown?
People from far and near are flocking to Minneapolis and Sioux Falls while rural counties in Minnesota and South Dakota lose population, because they offer bountiful opportunities for living a good life. Minneapolis and Sioux Falls grow because they are not dominated by the bigoted, fact-free stick-in-the-muddedness of malcontents like Neal Tapio.
But hey, Neal, if you think counterfactually tearing down the biggest city in South Dakota is a way to win voters, you go right ahead and play that game. The rest of us will continue to enjoy burning off our Minerva’s lunch on the Sioux River bike trail and watching Dusty Johnson beat you again in the primary.