In return, many of these refugees have given Shelbyville the finger!
When I began researching this story about the Somalis, I knew it would be controversial. We were aware that many in Shelbyville were having serious concerns about hundreds of Sunni Muslims moving here. But as I began to talk with officials and others about our new neighbors, I was stunned by the reaction. Practically every person I spoke with locally said they had done everything possible to help out the refugees in adjusting to their new home and were treated very badly in return.
On the other hand, some I contacted for background on this story seemed to be so blinded by political correctness that they would excuse any behavior, no matter how upsetting or disruptive, as “part of their culture.” Did anyone involved in integrating these folks into American society stop to think that many in the heartland of America might not share this overly optimistic and myopic view of cultural diversity?
Unfortunately, the feelings and views of the communities the Somalis move to are almost never taken into account. Indeed, they are expected to simply keep their mouths shut and accept the newcomers without question. Those who protest are labeled “racists” by the various groups involved in resettling the refugees. But many of the problems do not seem to have a basis in skin color. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 2003, when the Somali Bantu first arrived, “many cannot read or write even in their native language. Only in the last few months have most seen telephones, flush toilets and clocks …”
According to Sasha Chanoff, who coordinates the classes for the International Organization for Migration, some Somalis saw a bathtub for the first time and asked whether it was some sort of boat.
“They really don’t have any exposure to modern development,” he told the Atlanta paper.
Suddenly introducing a society that is literally hundreds of years behind the times in the ways of hygiene, mannerisms, culture and the treatment of women into 21st Century America is a recipe for sociological disaster. It is a massive shock to the Somalis and doesn’t do the local communities any favors either.
Indeed — if this was Star Trek — this action would be considered a major VIOLATION of the Prime Directive.
“As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the healthy development of alien life and culture. Such interference includes the introduction of superior knowledge, strength, or technology to a world whose society is incapable of handling such advantages wisely. Star Fleet personnel may not violate this Prime Directive, even to save their lives and/or their ship unless they are acting to right an earlier violation or an accidental contamination of said culture. This directive takes precedence over any and all other considerations, and carries with it the highest moral
It also doesn’t help that the most common image of Somalis in American popular culture is from the Ridley Scott film “Black Hawk Down,” which depicts them as brutal, wild-eyed fanatics slaughtering U.S. troops in the name of Allah and barbaric warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
There are also the stories that come from other communities that have many locals nervous. For example, in October of last year, Said Biyad, a Bantu refugee from Somalia, killed his 4 children in Louisville, Ky., and attacked his estranged wife with a blunt object, then afterwards turning himself into police. He slashed the throats of the children, aged 2 to 8, because his wife “disrespected” him, he said.
A difference in culture, no doubt.
If Shelbyville’s Somali community really wishes to “integrate into different societies to live together and to make our future here,” as Imam Haji Yousuf told me, that process must work both ways. The arrogant sense of entitlement(s) demonstrated by these new (foreigner) additions to Shelbyville must stop.
One can not expect a community to keep bending over backwards to help folks, only to treated with rudeness, disrespect and hostility. At some point… our welcoming attitude and southern hospitality will turn into resentment and distrust.
And as the comments posted on our website demonstrates, that is already occurring, in far greater numbers than we ever imagined. >>Source
UPDATE: A possible “good news” story?? … HERE.
Interviewing the writer of this article HERE
The WAUSAU, WISCONSIN Experience
“In 1984 Wausau’s welcome of Southeast Asians (HMONG) was still bighearted enough, and its relations between cultures congenial enough, for Wausau to be designated an All-American City. Youa Her, an educated, articulate leader of the early wave of Hmong “settlers” (correction – TAX-supported REFUGEES), made one of Wausau’s presentations to the national panel of judges. The thirty-four-year-old woman’s description of Wausau’s generosity reportedly left the panelists with tears in their eyes.
Nobody is exactly sure when and how everything started to go sour. But it was probably around the time of the award—certainly before Youa Her‘s tragic death, in January of 1986, of tubercular meningitis. Newspapers from those years reveal a community increasingly sobered by the realization that what had appeared to be a short-term, private charitable act had no apparent end and was starting to entail a lot of local public costs. Many natives resent that nobody ever leveled with them about costs or where trends would lead, and they feel they were misled by the local media and by federal, state, and religious leaders.” Full article HERE