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Violent rioting broke out on Saturday during the Minnesota DFL (Democrat Party) endorsement convention. A video posted by journalist Andy Ngo shows burka-garbed attendees storming the stage, slamming tables, and taking bullhorns to disrupt the proceedings.
Per the local CBS News affiliate, multiple people ended up in the hospital as objects and punches were being thrown by the supporters of challenger Nasri Warsame. Those caught up in the chaos said that the violence broke out as Aisha Chughtai, the incumbent, was set to address the crowd.
Rioting broke out at the Democrat @MinnesotaDFL endorsing convention for Minneapolis’ city council Ward 10. Supporters of opposing candidates clashed on stage. Many of the attendees were from Somalia, where political violence is routine. pic.twitter.com/mk36FjFA93
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) May 14, 2023
Saturday’s Ward 10 DFL Convention in Minneapolis was supposed to end with a candidate endorsed for city council. Instead, it ended with multiple people in the hospital and police on the scene – and no endorsement.
Prior to incumbent Aisha Chughtai’s time to address the crowd, supporters of challenger Nasri Warsame approached and eventually took the stage.
The moment, captured on cell phone video, lasted for several minutes and forced the convention to end abruptly.
“It was a disruption, it was chaos,” said DFL volunteer Quentin Wathum-Ocama. “I’ve never seen anything like this, and I’ve been doing this close to a decade.”
Wathum-Ocama, who volunteered as a co-sergeant of arms for Saturday’s convention, attempted to break up the dispute before eventually being overrun by Warsame’s supporters. Then, his main focus was on getting Chughtai to safety.
“I was very fearful for her in that moment that folks were going to come and put hands on her,” he said. “People were trying to throw things at me, throw punches at me from the well of the auditorium.”
To be clear, Aisha Chughtai is not a Republican. She’s not a moderate Democrat either. She’s a radical “progressive” socialist. That would lead me to believe this wasn’t so much about policy as it was about racial tensions within Minnesota’s Ward 10. Chughtai is the daughter of Pakistani parents.
Meanwhile, Warsame, a former refugee from Somalia, describes himself as “a community advocate” who is “actively working to improve the lives of my Somali community.” That’s the first clue as to what went wrong here.
This kind of violence is the inevitable end of ignoring basic cultural assimilation and pushing racially divisive messaging in order to win elections. Warsame doesn’t even hide the fact that he’s only running to advocate for the Somalis in the area. With that strategy, he has built up a base of support from one specific group that has a history of not assimilating into American culture.
This issue is not about race. It’s about what is seen as culturally acceptable or not. If someone who is from France, a country notorious for political rioting, brought that behavior to the United States, it would be right to criticize them. The same applies here. Somalia is a destitute, chaotic country. Political violence is common there. It is not common in the United States, and we should be pushing refugees to recognize that and assimilate, not leaving them to their own devices.
For its part, the DFL in Minnesota is now threatening expulsions from the party. We’ll see if they have to guts to follow through.
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