Somali conflicts in meatpacking towns make the New York Times

Update October 17th:   Read all the comments at the NYT about this article here.

Update:  I have been out all morning and in my travels I picked up today’s New York Times (only the second copy I’ve bought in years) and this Somali story is on the front page ABOVE THE FOLD.  Amazing!


I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this link at the Religion of Peace blog this morning.  It is from the New York Times of all places and it’s a pretty thorough discussion of the tension growing in small town America over the arrival of Somali refugees.   The article entitled, “Somali influx unsettles Latino meatpackers” begins:

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Like many workers at the meatpacking plant here, Raul A. Garcia, a Mexican-American, has watched with some discomfort as hundreds of Somali immigrants have moved to town in the past couple of years, many of them to fill jobs once held by Latino workers taken away in immigration raids.

Mr. Garcia has been particularly troubled by the Somalis’ demand that they be allowed special breaks for prayers that are obligatory for devout Muslims. The breaks, he said, would inconvenience everyone else.

“The Latino is very humble,” said Mr. Garcia, 73, who has worked at the plant, owned by JBS U.S.A. Inc., since 1994. “But they are arrogant,” he said of the Somali workers. “They act like the United States owes them.”

Read it all, it is choke full of all sorts of interesting information.    The only thing missing is any discussion about the US State Department’s role in bringing all the Somalis here in the first place.  See our numbers post here.

And, just as I said in many previous posts, the Somalis have brought in community organizers to try to tamp down the multicultural anger toward the demanding Somalis!

Xawa Ahmed, 48, a Somali, moved to Grand Island from Minnesota last month to help organize the Somali community. A big part of her work, Ms. Ahmed said, will be to help demystify the Somalis who remain.

The New York Times needs to ask the follow-up question.  Who is paying these community organizers?

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