Grand Island: some sort of grand experiment?

Blulitespecial sent us several links from the Grand Island Independent about Grand Island’s annual Multicultural Coalition’s meeting yesterday.   I’m wondering if the “talkers” discussed the New York Times front page story that came out yesterday morning about the discord in towns like Grand Island as Somali Muslims intimidate other minority cultures to stay silent.   See the photo of Somali community organizer here, real friendly looking fellow isn’t he?

Looks like Grand Island might be a focal point for some serious community organizing since the keynote speaker is obviously a well-traveled one.  One story begins:


If the United States is going to bring true justice to all its people, it must start with a very simple task: talk.

That was the challenge Dr. Gloria WilderBrathwaite gave to the Grand Island Multicultural Coalition’s fourth annual One Day Conference on Thursday morning.

“One of the most damaging things that can happen to our nation is silence,” she said. “And it is in the bowels of silence that injustice feeds.”

You know what really ticks me off about this admonition to talk is that she really doesn’t want you to talk unless you talk in politically correct diversity-is-beautiful mumbo-jumbo talk.  The whole tone of this article is meant to shut up anyone who might want Grand Island to go back to a simpler time of midwestern American character.

And she isn’t there just to act as a psyco-analyst for a conflicted town, this community organizer is there to urge people to political action.

“It’s cruel to sit at a church and pack Thanksgiving baskets and then turn around and vote against an increase in the minimum wage after 10 years (at $5.15),” she said.

But the initial step — and the one she commended the Multicultural Coalition for committing to through Thursday’s conference — is beginning honest, open-ended dialogues aimed at understanding one another’s needs and differences.

That, she said, is the most basic way to build the fundamental building block of justice: trust.

“It’s required that we trust each other. It’s required to be part of a community,” WilderBrathwaite said. “And yet, it’s the thing we lose most.”

“Talk,” “justice,” “trust,” “dialogue,” “understanding,”  but only the right sort, forget it and shut up if you don’t want to invite the world to your hometown.  

 “….it is in the bowels of silence that injustice feeds.”   Yup, and I can name something else in those bowels!

More links from the Grand Island Independent  can be found here and here.    African dancing too might help you overcome your concern about Somalis in town.  There is one problem however, and that is that strict Muslims, as the Somalis are, don’t dance.

Just a reminder, the roots of radical Islam were planted in Greeley, CO in 1952 and it was over the obscene practice of dancing!   More here.