Ft. Morgan gets an African Community Center to benefit Cargill and all will be well

Maybe, maybe not.   Here is another article about Ft. Morgan, Co, a meatpacking town that seems to be opening its arms to African refugees.   Although there are a few glitches—like car accidents—not to worry, they have a ‘community organizing center’ likely paid for by the taxpayer that is expected to make everything go smoothly.   They want to avoid all that bad stuff that happens in Greeley.

So what’s a few car accidents anyway? 

The crash [a deadly crash] has also spurred a new African-run community center to start teaching English and the rules of the road to the new immigrants, including people from Kenya, Congo, and Ethiopia. But some readers of the local newspaper, the Fort Morgan Times, have suggested that the immigrants shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

Fort Morgan’s police department doesn’t keep data on accidents by race, Lt. Darin Sagel said. But Mayor Jack Darnell said it appeared the immigrants are “having a disproportionate amount of accidents,” most of them minor fender-benders.

“And they realize it. They are trying to adjust,” Darnell said.

Sagel said the accidents may be the result of not being accustomed to a new environment.

The environment?  What the heck?  Didn’t they get drivers’ licenses by passing a test?  What the article doesn’t tell you in response to that logical question is that there are massive drivers license scams throughout the US where translators receive payment under the table for “helping” immigrants with a few answers on the written test.

Cargill recruited the Africans with the help of the US State Department and now to help Cargill the African Community Center helps the Somalis and other Africans adjust.

The Africans chose Fort Morgan as their new home largely because of the presence of  Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a Wichita, Kan.-based firm that has hired more than 360 of them, said Ibrahim Abdi, who also runs the community center.

Cargill’s wages start at $12.45 an hour for jobs from cleaning to packaging meat, Ali said. The plant employed about 20 percent of Fort Morgan’s 10,800 residents in 2007. 

Besides the U.S. government, Abdi said Somalis are grateful for Cargill.

“They gave us work, and they gave us a way to live,” Abdi said.

Center volunteers drive people to doctor’s appointments or help them find housing, another big issue. As many as 100 immigrants, most of them single men, stay in motels because there aren’t enough apartments or because they want to get a job before signing a lease, center leaders said.

So, to summarize, the Morgan African Community Center is surely a taxpayer-funded organization that supplements Cargill.  Maybe Cargill should be funding the community center!   Has any enterprising reporter looked into the funding arrangements for what amounts to another Ethnic Community Based Organization, a pet project of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  I wonder if former Kansas governor Sebelius , now Secretary of Health and Human Services which oversees the ORR, was a friend of Cargill?   Remember the Clintons were friends of Iowa meatpackers and that is how we got so many Bosnian refugees.

As Ramadan demands are expected at the Swift plant in Greeley, Ft. Morgan is sure they will dodge the bullet because they now have a “community center.”

Abdi said the center also has acted as a mediator to prevent the kind of discord that arose among Somali Muslims and their employers around the country over prayer rituals.

In Greeley, about 50 miles west of Fort Morgan, the JBS Swift & Co. meatpacking plant fired more than 100 workers during Ramadan last year after evening-shift workers walked out, saying the firm refused to allow their breaks to coincide with sunset so they could pray. At the time, Swift said they had tried to accommodate workers’ lunch schedules by more than an hour.

There have been no such problems in Fort Morgan, workers say.

Yet anyway!

Note to the Ft. Morgan Times:  I still have your editorial of last September at my fingertips.

I’ve written a lot about Ft. Morgan but don’t have the energy to put all the links in here, so just type Ft. Morgan into our search function to learn more.

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