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Letter: I experienced 'North Dakota Nasty' on a recent trip to my home state

Twenty months ago, I wrote The Forum about "North Dakota nice." My wife and I were pleased with how airline workers in Bismarck handled our lost-baggage crisis and how the Reynolds (N.D.) Grocery and our delightful hosts, Joy and Neil, rescued a wonderful lasagna dinner.

Now, Mike McFeely of Forum Communications writes about "North Dakota nasty" in his column published July 28. He peels back the Band-Aid hiding an unpleasant change — citizens complaining about the cost of refugees, an overwhelming vote favoring Trump's white nationalism, Islamophobia, etc.

Head-smacker of all is the incident between Amber Hensley and a group of Somali-American women in a Walmart parking lot, precipitated by the declaration, "We're going to kill every one of you (expletive) Muslims."

How about the reaction of many—Hensley, fired from her accounting job, is the victim!

Peace prevailed when Fargo Police Chief Todd facilitated reconciliation between the parties.

Unfortunately, I recently experienced something alarmingly similar.

My wife and I had rented a car in Calgary, Alberta. At 8:45 a.m. July 24, we entered Grand Forks, and by 3:30 p.m. July 25, four different drivers, two of them women, tightly tailgated our Chevy Cruze and repeatedly honked their horns.

Granted, two times I slowed to make right turns, but my actions were reasonable under the circumstances.

I was greatly puzzled by these events because nowhere on the trip had anything like it occurred.

The second afternoon, outside the La Quinta Hotel, I rounded the car to secure packages from the trunk. That's when I stared dumbfounded at the red-lettered and red-numbered Alberta license plate. Could it be? I know, I know. Locals will cry out, "But we've always loved Canadians!"

Still, I recall when locals pledged solidarity with Indians and vowed "Fighting Sioux Forever," yet when the DAPL protests occurred, not a single University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux hoodie or sweatshirt could be seen on the TV screen.

So much for "forever."

Beard is a graduate of UND and native of Reynolds, N.D.

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