Update 2/18/08: See the letter here from Chris Coen of Friends of Refugees adding more to this story.
That’s the title anyway of another refugee puff piece story in the Tennessean today. I’ve seen so many of these articles I know just what they will say before I even read them. The reporter, Janell Ross, has bought the template story hook, line and sinker. It starts out all kind of warm and glowing with a refugee success story (they all do!) In reference to Nashville’s multiculturalism, one refugee gushes:
“When people come out here from California, they can’t believe it.”
(Translation) Oh, we in Nashville are so cosmopolitan, so California.
Then she gives us the usual statistics.
The State Department says it plans to admit up to 70,000 refugees this year. And refugee resettlement agencies working in Nashville have been asked to prepare to resettle a small number [wait, what happened the “wave” in the headline to this article].
Nashville already is home to an estimated 3,000 Somalis, 4,000 Sudanese and 5,000 to 7,000 Kurds.
A trip along some of south Nashville’s major streets reveals stores that sell African garments, and Southeast Asian beauty products, as well as grocery stores where indoor and outdoor signs are written in Arabic. Nashville is also home to four mosques.
In the area of southeast Nashville some call “Little Kurdistan,” it’s not uncommon for people to speak Kurdish, for women to wear traditional Kurdish garments and for 3,000 people to attend a single Kurd’s funeral.
She does throw in a little of the dark side, but it’s all about the bad things those white racist rednecks are doing. Or, how the refugees just aren’t getting all the taxpayer benefits they deserve.
But, one wonders if these lazy reporters know how to google anything. Did she not know about the Kurdish gangs in Nashville or the Somali Center director being arrested, or all that controversy in nearby Shelbyville?
Lookout Nashville, TN, Muslim mayor by 2015 in the heart of the Bible belt?