Billboard guilt-trip campaign in Tennessee

Long after the citizens of Shelbyville, TN were kept in the dark about how their city had become a magnet for Somali refugees and long after the local newspaper, the Times-Gazette, ran its now nationally distributed series on the influx of refugees and how they aren’t joining the community, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition begins a public relations campaign to make people feel guilty. 

As if a sign campaign is going to make everything o.k.  Go here and check it out.

New billboards at the entrances to Shelbyville are intended to educate the community about immigrants and their contributions.

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) kicked off its Welcoming Tennessee Initiative in Shelbyville by placing the billboards and is planning other events in the next few months to help bridge the wide gap that exists between the community and newcomers of different nationalities.

TIRRC was formed in 2001 around a campaign to support a bill that would increase immigrant access to driver’s licenses. The group is made up of immigrants, refugees and U.S.-born supporters.

Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator for TIRRC, said the public relations campaign is being done “to educate the Shelbyville community about their new neighbors. There are many things that they contribute, to the economy and the culture and the city in general.”

They just don’t get it.  If tens of thousands of refugees are being settled in the US each year, the communities in which they are to be resettled need to be consulted in advance.  Not guilt-tripped with a sign campaign after everyone is pretty angry.  Oh brother!

Let us know if your state is doing this, and probably with your taxes!

For more on our on-going coverage of Shelbyville, TN, just type Shelbyville in our search function.


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