While the political views expressed in Scott Johnson's essay "Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some straight talk for a change?" are wrong and extreme in nature, the ability of Somalis to pushback forcefully and effecively is hindered by the author's unstated premise.
The author's premise is that Somalis are disloyal to America and politically more loyal to Somalia. This view has support in mainstream Minnesota and Somalis re-enforce it with more passion for Somalia politics.
Trying to explain attacks in the essay as part of the broader hostilities towards American Muslims is insufficient. Nor is it sufficient to cast them as general stereotypes held about immigrants.
Minnesota's Somali political situation is unique and must be treated as such. There are set of nuances which sets apart.
For examples, Somalis in Minnesota were engrossed fixing Somalia politics while the author was writing this essay. Insatiable yearning for Somalia politics has led to forfeiting the American political sphere to the likes of Scott Johnson.
In the past weekend alone, two politicians from Somalia General Abdulahi Gafoow and Ahmed Awad were welcomed with red carpet in the Twin Cities and dominated conversation in Minnesota's Somali community. These visits and keen interest by the community re-enforce suspicion of political disloyalty.
The point here is that Minnesota's Somali community chauvinistic political connection to Somalia is handicapping the ability to effectively pushback the views expressed in the essay leading to vulnerabilities to such attacks.
Imagine if Somalis in Minnesota met with General David M. Rodriguez who runs U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) responsible American counter terror efforts in Africa instead of General Gafoow. Meeting with Rodrigues would provide ammunition to burst holes through vicious political attacks.
The most effective way to pushback vicious political attacks such as those expressed in Scott Johnson's essay is to become engrossed American politicss instead of Somalia. When we do this, we will have the tools and the levers to burst them in the infant stage.