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Old 11-27-2009, 07:19 PM
 
10 posts, read 14,771 times
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Default People in Minnesota/moving there

We are looking into moving to Minnesota from Alaska. My husband's family is still there but when we were there last time it seemed nobody moved away more than 10 minutes from their families and most people had never left the state for any reason, much less left the country. I want to raise my kids where there are open minded people who have tolerance and respect for other cultures, religions and non-caucasians. When we visited, maybe it is just his family that is like that, but I want to make sure to raise my children with a good perspective on life. Are there places in Minnesota (not the cities) that are like that or is all of rural Minnesota very closed minded about others? We travel every year to Europe or Mexico and have given our children a great start on life and want to continue it. Please let me know if you live somewhere like this. Alaska is a very diverse place with lots of people from all over the world and it has just gotten too expensive to live here anymore.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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First, I admit that I don't have any experience living in rural MN, so I can't really speak to that. But I think that while there might be some of that in some places, it's also possible to find rural areas that aren't at all like that.

You could start by looking at college towns; they're going to tend to have more diversity in terms of cultures, religions, ethnic backgrounds, etc, as well as have lots of people with an interest in travel, etc. That's not to suggest that non-college towns won't have that, too, or that non-diverse towns can't share a tolerance for others, I just don't know what ones are the best options.

There's an interesting piece in the Smithsonian magazine about the relatively new diversity in Worthington, MN:
From Brooklyn to Worthington, Minnesota | People & Places | Smithsonian Magazine
Now I've never been to Worthington but I think it's probably symbolic of the changes going on in the state.

But overall, yes, Minnesota is what has been called a low magnet, high sticky state, which means that there's not a lot of new people moving in, and there aren't a lot of existing residents leaving, and that does mean that there are going to be, probably more so in the smaller towns, lots of people who do have deeply established family roots and friends from way back. It's not known as an easy place to make new friends, although it can certainly be done. There do seem to be a lot of former Alaskans around, so you'll be in good company!
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
First, I admit that I don't have any experience living in rural MN, so I can't really speak to that. But I think that while there might be some of that in some places, it's also possible to find rural areas that aren't at all like that.

You could start by looking at college towns; they're going to tend to have more diversity in terms of cultures, religions, ethnic backgrounds, etc, as well as have lots of people with an interest in travel, etc. That's not to suggest that non-college towns won't have that, too, or that non-diverse towns can't share a tolerance for others, I just don't know what ones are the best options.

There's an interesting piece in the Smithsonian magazine about the relatively new diversity in Worthington, MN:
From Brooklyn to Worthington, Minnesota | People & Places | Smithsonian Magazine
Now I've never been to Worthington but I think it's probably symbolic of the changes going on in the state.

But overall, yes, Minnesota is what has been called a low magnet, high sticky state, which means that there's not a lot of new people moving in, and there aren't a lot of existing residents leaving, and that does mean that there are going to be, probably more so in the smaller towns, lots of people who do have deeply established family roots and friends from way back. It's not known as an easy place to make new friends, although it can certainly be done. There do seem to be a lot of former Alaskans around, so you'll be in good company!

------Worthington-----you will find less diversity there since ICE made the raid on ILLEGALS.

You want to find plenty of foreigners in rural Minnesota?
Check where the packing plants and poultry processing plants are located--------Pelican Rapids, Long Praire, Melrose, Willmar, Worthinton, --

Course, if ICE makes a raid before you get there, the # of diverse folks will drop.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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Did the Smithsonian mention the investigative reporting KSTP TV did?

They were doing a report if the state of Minnesota was doing an accurate job when they issued state ID cards.

They discovered there were 16 people issued ID cards in the small city of Worthinton who had the same Hispanic name and the same date of birth and all had different addresses.

When KSTP checked those addresses, the people living there never heard of that name.

Did the Smithsonian,also, mention this in their praise of the--diversity--in Worthington ?
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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While I think I disagree with marmac on a lot of things (I'm guessing that marmac's attitute is what the OP is trying to avoid), I guess it's a good point that some cities are diverse because they have packing plants or other industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor. That doesn't mean that the towns in question are particularly tolerant, although I think Worthington was (at least at one point) a sanctuary city.

I'm assuming if you want more small town diversity at the middle class or upper class levels you'll have better luck at the college towns. Maybe somewhere like Bemidji? Bemidji has always struck me as a nice town, the university there (Bemidji State) has a relatively large number of international students, or so I've heard, and the Concordia Language Villages have a bunch of sites near there (language camps for kids, but they have events year-round). I'm also assuming that a place with a college is going to be easier to break in, socially, as there's generally more movement of people (not just students, but also faculty, administration, etc.) It's a pretty part of the state, too. Lots of woods and lakes. There's a fairly significant Native American population in and around Bemidjii, too.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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By saying that I wanted to live around people who enjoy diversity, I didnt mean hanging out with illegal migrant workers. But it seems that there are many people who seem to be like you marmac who dont even know what the word might mean. I am assuming that you would be a white guy who doesnt get out much either. Just because you are not a white christian does not make you a foreigner. There are plenty of people who live in america who are not white, not christian, who were born in America. I didnt say I wanted to live around people from other countries. I said I was looking for somewhere that had tolerance and respect to other cultures and religions. Maybe Minnesota is not for me.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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There are also plenty of people who don't feel the same way as Marmac, so don't write off the entire state because of one person's attitude. You'll find that differences of opinion (including the view that diversity automatically means illegal immigrants) everywhere, including Alaska.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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The fact of the matter is that overall Minnesota has very little diversity. If you want a diverse environment the only place you're going to find a respectable level is in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Relatively speaking Minneapolis and St. Paul are small cities and do give you that small town feel in alot of aspects, yet have many of the amenities you'd find in any other large city.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:49 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Because of decades-long business & family connections, I am very familiar with Worthington.

Basically, Worthington is a declining rural town of 10,000 people, that has seen a major racial & cultural shift over the past 20 years. It is not something they've done willingly. The town used to be 99.99% white. It is now 30-35% Hispanic, and the school system is over 50% Hispanic.

While there are some of the whites in Worthington that are more or less fine with the "new folks in town," there is also some deeply seated racism and hatred there. There are some people who honestly believe that anybody with black hair and dark brown eyes has to be an Illegal.

It is not a town I'd encourage anybody to move to - white or non-white - unless you have to move there for a job.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:50 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 13,701,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slig View Post
The fact of the matter is that overall Minnesota has very little diversity. If you want a diverse environment the only place you're going to find a respectable level is in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Relatively speaking Minneapolis and St. Paul are small cities and do give you that small town feel in alot of aspects, yet have many of the amenities you'd find in any other large city.
I've never thought of a metro area of 3 million people as being "small cities." But I guess it depends on what you compare the Twin Cities to.
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