On Monday, December 7, 2015, the Donald Trump campaign released a press statement that called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Trump’s statement was met with anger, disgust and denounced by folks on both the right and the left.
The St. Paul City Council, less than a month after passing a resolution welcoming refugees, proposed the following resolution that would ban Trump from St. Paul for his “anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant speech”:
“Title: Condemning anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant speech from presidential candidate Donald Trump.
WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul strives to be the most livable city in America for all people; and
WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul has a rich history of accepting immigrants and refugees; and
WHEREAS, the City of Saint Paul passed Resolution 15-2071, Supporting the State of Minnesota and the United States of America accepting and welcoming immigrants and refugees regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or country of origin; and
WHEREAS, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant speech from presidential candidate Donald Trump conflicts with the values of the City of Saint Paul; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Trump’s racist bigotry is not accepted; and therefore be it
RESOLVED, the City of Saint Paul condemns anti-muslim and anti-immigrant speech from presidential candidate Donald Trump; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, Mr. Trump is not welcomed in the City of Saint Paul.”
The proposed resolution was criticized as “Anti-Free Speech,” most notably by a Star Tribune editorial published Dec. 14, 2015:
The first part of the resolution is spot-on — but part two goes too far. In taking a for-the-record stand, the council should stick to denouncing Trump’s remarks by citing St. Paul’s rich history of accepting immigrants and refugees.
Saying that the GOP presidential candidate is “not welcomed’’ in the city reminds this page of some of the protests that have erupted at U.S. universities — including the University of Minnesota — when administrators or students have said speakers with certain views should not be allowed to appear on campus. Free speech is a constitutional right — no matter how much that speech might be loathed by some.
Heeding the critics, the St. Paul City Council amended the resolution, changing the final line to “RESOLVED, the City of Saint Paul condemns anti-Muslim, anti-refugee, and anti-immigrant speech from presidential candidate Donald Trump and others.” The new resolution passed on a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Dan Bostrom casting the lone “nay” asserting that while he may not like what Trump has to say, he supports Trump’s right to say it.