Since the Mankato City Council’s Aug. 13 hearing on the gay marriage amendment, The Free Press has printed at least two connections made by area citizens between the proposed amendment and the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
On Aug. 14, Dan Linehan ended his story on the City Council hearing by paraphrasing Councilwoman Karen Foreman, who “compared the issue to the hanging of 38 Native Americans in Mankato in 1862.” This week, The Free Press ran a Your View by Herbert Chilstrom of St. Peter, who pointed out the similarities between the marriage debate and a debate from 150 years ago about whether interracial marriages between whites and Native Americans should be legal.
Not coincidentally, The Free Press has taken the same position on both issues in its “Our View” pieces — no position.
Regarding the U.S.-Dakota War, the paper wrote on Jan.10, “There is no great benefit in trying to weigh who was more at fault during the times that led up to and during the conflict.”
Anticipating the City Council hearing on the marriage amendment, the paper announced on July 14, “City Council shouldn’t take sides on gay marriage amendment.”
Time and again, The Free Press re-establishes itself as a frontier newspaper.
What do these two issues have in common? Exclusion.
What do race and sex have to do with one another? A lot.
Nineteenth-Century race theory was obsessed with so-called “un-natural unions,” one idea being that if people of different of colors were of different species, their progeny would turn out infertile.
Guess what? They didn’t.
In the words of Stephen Colbert, “Reality has a liberal bias.”
Take some stands, Free Press.