My previous post about Nebraska welcoming refugees, reminded me of Mohamed Rage and the Omaha Somali American Community Organization (OSACO) I brought to your attention here in January 2009*. Please go read that post and then see how Rage and CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) linked up last year to pressure Swift & Co. during the Ramadan ruckus over prayer breaks at the meatpacking plant in Grand Island, NE.
If you have been following my series on Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBOs), you know that I believe these are Alinsky-style community organizing outfits usually disguised as organizations to help immigrants find “resources”—that is government lingo for welfare. This ECBO, the OSACO, although it talks a good game, seems purely political when you visit its website here. I see virtually nothing on programs to help refugees find resources.
OSACO is an organization based in Omaha, Nebraska And our mission is to
promote and protect the interest of Somali refugees in the state of Nebraska through social, legal, and economic sphere. We will accomplish this by building links with other non-governmental organizations in the region, and will provide a platform for other concerned entities.
It is pretty much a one man show with Mohamed Rage alone incorporating the group in December 2006. Yet, interestingly, he told the AP back in that January article that he had tossed a coin and come to Nebraska in 2000 to start a “community organizing” group. Wonder what took him 6 years to file simple incorporation documents with the State of Nebraska. He apparently still has not applied for 501(c)3 status with the IRS because there is no record of financial documents anywhere to be found. Who is funding this organization?
And, who are these people? On April 21, 2008, Rage amended his incorporation papers and added these Board members to his file. I did some searching around and although they are listed as residents of Omaha, I found only one whose address I could pin down. They are Paul Gaubesik, Valerie Wright, Nelson Suckor, Reginald Johnson and Tebebe Wolden. I got laughing and wondered if they are ACORN or SEIU activists in Nebraska—does anyone know?
Bottomline, Mohamed Rage came to the US on a student visa and never left. Then he set up a one-man (maybe two including Khadijo B Ahmed) community organizing outfit for Somalis and he is quoted by the press, as he was extensively last year during the meatpacking incidents, as the expert on Nebraska Somalis. I’m seeing a pattern developing here. See my post on how Graen Isse happened to show up in Greeley last year and started a Somali “community organizing” outfit too!
For our new category on ECBO’s go here. Note also that this Somali ECBO is not listed on a master list of others around the country, here. For a post on Somali landlord problems in Nebraska that still gets lots of visitors, go here.
* I see that the lengthy AP story on Rage is no longer available, good thing I got some of the important points posted before it disappeared.