Kevin Tengesdal, Bismarck, letter: Obama wouldn’t like what he’d find in N.D.
By Kevin Tengesdal on Nov 10, 2013 at 1:48 a.m.
BISMARCK — Recently, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., issued a press release inviting President Barack Obama to make his first presidential visit to North Dakota.
As a North Dakota resident, I’d like to write a similar letter to our president.
Dear Mr. President,
There is a place in America where your vision of equality, diversity and fairness is not a fully realized reality. It’s a place where ultra-conservatives within a supermajority rule nearly every day, and where their intransigent opinions proclaim “not welcome” instead of “you matter.”
Yes, it is a place where the energy, agriculture, technology and manufacturing industries thrive, and yet there are a disproportionate number of residents who are working poor. This is North Dakota, and I invite you to see it for yourself.
You campaigned here before you became president, but a lot has changed. While the national economy has been struggling to repair itself, North Dakota has been growing jobs in every sector.
And since then, the powers-that-be have made sure that women, American Indians, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgendered citizens and the marginalized are valued less.
While it’s great that several of your cabinet members have traveled here, I and many others believe the North Dakota story deserves a visit from the president himself. And what better way to assure a nation of your first priority of diversity than to visit the state that’s creating fear faster than anywhere else?
We want to show you how economic production is transforming North Dakota’s natural beauty into a wasteland. We want to show you our agriculture industry and introduce you to farmers and ranchers struggling in a hungry state.
We want to introduce you to people who’ve lived in western North Dakota all their lives but no longer feel welcome or safe in their backyards. We want to introduce you to college students unsure if they want to stay here after graduation.
We want to show you how our marginalized residents are some of the most caring people despite their oppression, and that there is more to North Dakota than just the moralists’ Anglo-Saxon Christian Republican ideal.
Please visit North Dakota to see how America can be much better than here. Our door is open, and we’ll have the coffee ready.