Iraqi Refugee gets beat up in Oakland, CA

Just another urban crime in a city apparently out of control.  Refugees just need to get used to it!   From the Contra Costa Times  (link not cooperating, will post it later):

OAKLAND — He grew up under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and lived through three years of Iraq’s chaotic 21st century war.

But it was not until this month, his sixth in the United States, that Khalid first felt the violent blows of another man’s fists and shoes.

A mob attacked and robbed the Iraqi refugee on his way home from work through East Oakland three weeks ago.

He is o.k. and there is no evidence that he was targeted because he is an immigrant, but the experience is going to change his life.

“I just came to the U.S. I’m discovering why these things happen,” said Khalid, who asked that his full name not be published because he fears retaliation. Transit officials confirmed the details of his case, which has not been solved.


I’m trying to find some solutions,” he said. “I’ll get a car, maybe, just to avoid the bus again. No public transportation anymore, especially in Oakland. I’ll change my apartment, no living in Oakland. Or I’ll change my job, no more working in Oakland.”

The other day I mentioned that it isn’t the US State Department that picks “welcoming” cities, it’s the volags (the non-profit federal contractors) themselves.  They rule the roost!    Two months ago we reported that an Iraqi family in Oakland was deathly afraid of venturing into their neighborhood.  This story must confirm to them that their fears were not unfounded.

The city has long been a destination for refugees like Khalid, in part because resettlement organizations have chosen it as a good destination because of the low cost of housing, access to public transit and long history of accommodating new immigrants from across the globe.

But a series of violent episodes that refugees have recently reported to aid groups has caused concern.

The International Rescue Committee representative says they are a “little alarmed.”

Generally speaking, we’re a little alarmed with the number of incidents we’ve heard about recently, mostly on transit systems,” said Don Climent, regional director of the International Rescue Committee.

The aid organization helps incoming refugees adjust to a new life in the Bay Area. Although many of those refugees fled wars and repressive political regimes, the seeming randomness of urban American crime requires a new kind of street sense.

It’s time for the US State Department to take a cue from Khalid, and disallow the IRC from making Oakland a “destination” for refugees.   Besides as we reported in that February post linked above, there are no jobs in Oakland, CALIFORNIA anyway.

Take action and complain* to Obama’s recently designated pick for Asst. Secretary of State in charge of refugees, here, and tell him to stop resettlement in dangerous communities.

*  We had originally intended to do more calls to action when we began RRW, but it kind of went by the wayside mostly because we were lucky to have time to post stories, let alone direct grassroots action.  Will try harder to find opportunities for readers to get involved.