Trouble brewing between black Americans and African refugees in Roanoke, VA

Update!   Thanks to reader “Bill” I had this story happening in Richmond when it really was happening in Roanoke!  

Uh oh,  we have heard anecdotal stories about tensions brewing but this is the first news account we’ve seen.  Look at this story today in the Roanoke Times.   It’s not clear where the fault lies but things seem to be out of hand.

The small barren courtyard that separates the apartment buildings of Dwan Dillard and Mohamed Adin in Northwest Roanoke might as well be an ocean, so deep is the dislike that the American-born black woman and the Somali Bantu refugee have of each other.

“That out there is a war zone,” said Dillard, whose four children live with her at Maple Grove Apartments, a blighted complex of four buildings with a total of 40 units on Pilot Street near Melrose Avenue. “The African children attack ours. They throw rocks.”

“I have a gun. If they hurt my kids, I’ll use it,” said Tricia Arrington, an American-born black woman with five children. Interviewed Monday outside her apartment, she said, “My 9-year-old daughter came in from riding the school bus with those Africans and they had spit all over her face. I ain’t about to let them keep doing that.” Further complicating the issue and this story is the reference to the cheap rundown apartments in which the  Catholic agency places refugees.   That part of the story is not new!

Further,  the rundown apartments in which the Catholic resettlement agency is placing refugees may be a contributing factor—nothing new there.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s Refugee and Immigration Services office in Roanoke has been placing families from Africa and other countries in area apartments for years, with low rents being a key factor in settling them.

Maple Grove has been a favored destination for refugees from Somalia and other African nations since 2003, said Beth Lutjen, the agency’s director. “They have become a community here,” she said, walking around the complex Monday after receiving several complaints from her clients. “But now the tensions between the Africans and the American blacks have reached a crisis point.”

A contributing factor of late is the worsening physical conditions of some apartments and the public laundry room. Roanoke city code enforcement officials have cited four apartments as needing repairs since March 19, and one was condemned and ordered vacated.

I guess we have a malfunctioning melting pot situation.  I wonder do all those who get warm feelings about the joys of multiculturalism ever have any doubts when they read stories like this one.   By the way, can’t call this racism now can we.

Brian Mosely of the Shelbyville Times-Gazette has posted on this story today here.

Beware of Rohingyas

Today we get news that 60 asylum-seeking Rohingyas set fire to a camp in Malasia after being rebuffed for third country resettlement by the UN.   These Burmese Muslims have been admitted to Canada and we know that the US is considering admitting them, or perhaps already has.

Here is the entire article from BBC News this week:

More than 60 immigrants from Burma have set fire to a building at a Malaysian detention camp after their request for asylum was refused.

The migrants – who claim refugee status – torched the administration building of the camp in the central state of Negeri Sembilan, according to police.

More than 200 security personnel were called in, but there were no injuries.

Police said some detainees grew angry when they were not selected by the UN for entry to a third country.

About 800 men and more than 200 women had been housed at the Lenggeng detention centre, but they have now been moved to other camps. The authorities said the rioters would be charged with arson.

Disputed status

Malaysia does not recognise political refugees and asylum seekers, and treats them as illegal immigrants, who if caught are detained and can be caned and deported.

But the UNHCR is allowed to send refugees to a third country.

It says around 39,000 registered refugees live in Malaysia, most of them from nearby Burma.

Of the total, about 13,000 are members of Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority, and another 12,000 are members of other minority ethnic groups.

The Rohingyas arrived in Malaysia in the 1990s, but the Burmese government disputes their origin and refuses to let them return to Burma.

See our coverage of Rohingyas here.   I’ve been wondering if the murder suspect in the rape and murder case of the little Burmese Karen girl in Utah is Rohingya, but no one is talking.

New York Times: More on the Iraqi refugee drumbeat

Everywhere you turn these days, there is a new op-ed on the Iraq displaced persons issue.  It is part of an organized campaign to continue to tell the public that the Iraq War is horrible, Bush is incompetent, and now we need to bring tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands if they had their way) of so-called Iraqi refugees to live in your neighborhoods. 

Judy wrote on the Washington Times Op-ed here yesterday.   And, now here is one from the New York Times.   These are not spontaneous articles but part of an organized campaign and they begin with this theme.

They are clustered not in camps but in overcrowded urban neighborhoods, crammed into dark, squalid apartments. Many have been traumatized by extreme violence. Their savings are dwindling; many cannot afford to pay for rent, heat and food; few have proper medical care.

Then they inevitably say it’s our moral duty to bring them to the US now, nevermind that most are Muslims who have a duly elected Islamic government in Iraq thanks to the US.  Oh, and there is never any mention of the truly persecuted Christians.

Incidentally, one of the authors here, George Rupp, Pres. of the International Rescue Committee has a taxpayer funded salary greater than the Vice President of the United States or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  See the post I did last fall on the subject of beating the drum. 

This is big business, refugee resettlement, and there is money to be made as long as they can keep the hype going, and the refugees flowing in.

See our “Iraqi refugee” category if you want to have a greater understanding of this issue.  We have written 137 posts on the subject.