Different view of our state

Kevin R. Tengesdal, Bismarck

Recently, Congressman Kevin Cramer issued a press release where he invited President Barack Obama to make his first presidential visit to North Dakota. As a common-citizen of North Dakota, I chose to rewrite 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 is a place where ultra-conservatives within a super majority 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 is a disproportionate amount of citizens 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 may have been growing jobs in every sector of our economy. Since then, the powers-that-be have made sure the importance of women, Native Americans, the LGBT citizens, and the marginalized are valued less.

Mr. President, you have not seen the headlines mainly because these leaders apparently do not want the story told. Hopefully this invite and your visit might brief you on the denigration of our citizens. It is great that several of your cabinet officials have traveled here.

I and many others believe the significance of the North Dakota story requires a visit from the President himself. And what better way to assure a nation your first priority of diversity than to visit the state creating fear faster than anywhere else?

We want to show you economic production transforming North Dakota’s natural beauty into a wasteland a reality.

We want to show you our agriculture industry and introduce you to the farmers and ranchers struggling in a hungry state.

We want to introduce you to citizens who have lived in Western North Dakota all their life no longer feeling welcome and safe in their backyard.

We want to introduce you to college students unsure if they want to remain here after graduation.

We want to show you how our marginalized citizens are some of the most caring people despite their oppression, and that there is more to North Dakota than just these moralist’s Anglo-Saxon Christian Republican ideal.

Most everyone you meet along the way will have a story to share of hope for the future, and stories about the super majority. Please visit North Dakota to see how great America can be much better than here. Our door is open and waiting. We’ll have the coffee ready.