Al Franken's Senate Announcement Video


You should have refused to drive them anywhere, claiming that their dress insulted your religious beliefs. I would have died laughing had that shown up in the paper.

That’s pretty lazy. I mean, how long does it take to learn English anyway? A couple weeks? And these SOBs made no progress over the course of an entire summer. Or if they did, they failed to properly notify their cab driver. So: lazy and/or rude.

“and showed no inclination to assimilate.”

“failed to properly notify their cab driver.”

You know what? I could really care less. There have been immigrants and entire immigrant communities with “no inclination to assimilate” in this country since before it was a country. Some of them are probably your ancestors (and mine, and Matt’s, and most everyone else’s). There were entire towns and communities in upstate New York, where I live, that spoke only German in the 1700s and 1800s. And yet, America is still here. Clearly, foreigners with foreign ways living in America is not the crisis that people today seem to think that it is. Because historically, it’s always been that way.

How on earth would they have shown you an inclination to assimilate during their cab ride? Recited the Pledge of Allegiance? Offered you some apple pie? Played some baseball in the back seat?

Not to beat a dead horse or anything.

When I was a kid, during the 70’s and early 80’s, the US was admitting a lot of refugees from Vietnam, and Cambodia. The church (in the liberal tradition) I went to at the time sponsored a Cambodian family. Of course there were the stories, hey the family doesn’t know what to do with disposable diapers - or some other cultural misunderstanding. But, you know what? They did just fine. Most of the south east asian refugees (I know that there are some issues with the Hmong diaspora) from the 70’s and 80’s, and their kids are now productive, tax paying members of society. People assimulate in their own way. I work with alot of people who are either the children of refugees or refugees themselves. You never know what the guy in the next cube over went through.
The book “First they killed my father”
is great account of some one who survived the genocide in Cambodia. Luong Ung left Cambodia through a refugee resettlement program and settled with her older brother in Vermont, where he was working as a tech at IBM.

So when I see the Sudanese refugees, I think of my early experiences with refugee resettlements. I know that most of these refugees in time will be productive members of society. Some already are. Salva Dut was a “lost boy” from Sudan. He’s now a clerk at a local church, and has a charity that provides for wells in Africa.
20 years from now, my nephew’s will probably have good college friends who are the children of these somali refugees.

The refugee program is one thing that we as a country does right. The investment pays off. Maybe one day when you have an American doctor of Somali descent taking care of you as an elderly medicare patient you’ll think twice.

edit - Link to IRC (International Rescue Committee)

In the big picture, what the fuck does the assimiliation issue have to do with Al Franken? If you read his books or listened to his talk show, or even view his video, his platform is clearly focused #1 on middle class economic insecurity, and #2 on the Bush foreign policty disasters, with as far as I can tell, all other issues in a distant 3rd place and down.

Besides, even if the assimiliation/immigration issue were a big topic in Minnesota, what the fuck is the difference between the parties? The Republicans have had a strong majority in all 3 branches of government, including the executive and both houses of Congress, for 6 years and they have done absolutely jack, squat and nothing about the assimiliation / immigration type issues.

I gotta say, that comment is a telling one about Cindy Sue. Basically the fact that these brown skinned people wear traditional Islamic dress bothers you so much thats the only issue you bring up?

What about Norm Coleman’s laughable record of failing to do ANY oversight while in the Senate on the massive problems we have with Iraq, reconstruction, corruption and so on? What about Coleman’s rubber stamping of the anti-middle class bankruptcy “reform” bill? What about Coleman’s continued and repeated votes for tax cuts which disproportionately benefit the wealthiest few % during a time of war and massive deficits? What about Coleman’s rolling over for the most secretive, most over-reaching and most-wanna-be-monarchist executive branch since Nixon (hell, maybe worse than Nixon)?

Also, I am pretty sure Minnesota has serious local issues: importing drugs from Canada has to be big there, environmental issues have to be big, the decline of blue collar bargaining power in the meta-economy has to be big, plus Im sure many local issues I don’t know about. In Franken’s writing’s hes taken progressive but IMO quite reasonable stances on these issues, and Coleman is just a Bush-ass-kissing rubber-staming nothing IMO.

There’s heavy issues of substance to be discussed so why in fucking hell do I care about some poor-ass Somalis who like to wear robes or what-have-you?

Are you from the state?

No but Senate is a national office, with Senators voting on national issues including national taxes, which I pay. So although I don’t have a vote, I have a right to an opinion. And I want the office to be decided by some substantive debate not somebody’s opinion on traditional robes.

Make of this what you will, but apparently current senator Norm Coleman is more popular than Al Franken and would win handily in 2008.

I’d like to see Al win, if only for the novelty factor of having a comedian as US Senator; it seems somehow appropriate.

This far out that poll is just name recognition, I wouldn’t make too much of it.

I found Franken’s message pretty compelling.

I was just curious if you were from Minnesota.

Not to derail the thread, but my wife works at a center which teaches English as a second language, primarily to immigrants. Many of them are Somali, and based on what she’s told me, they as a group tend to be very hardworking and dedicated to learning English and learning how to assimilate to our society.

So I find the claim that CindySue’s cab fares “showed no interest in assimilating” somewhat dubious. Not that either my wife’s students nor Cindy’s customers represent Minnesotan Somalians as a whole.

Anyway, to get back to Frankin: I completely expect a very competitive race between him and Norm Coleman. Although our Republican governor barely squeaked out a re-election victory, the state is pretty fed up with the Bush administration, and Coleman is desperately trying to change his image as nothing but a rubber stamp for the president.