The Los Angeles Times has finally caught on to problems created when many diverse immigrant groups arrive in small midwestern towns lured there by the big national and international meatpackers. Here is a story thanks to Baron at Gates of Vienna that summarizes much of what we have already said about Grand Island, NE and its multicultural woes. (See our category Greeley/Swift/Somali controversy where we have filed all of our Grand Island posts for a couple of years)
There isn’t much new in this article that we haven’t previously reported, but coming on the heels of the Maine Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence announcement that it would use Somali-saturated Lewiston, ME as an example of how town folks can get along with their immigrants, I’m thinking what the heck are they going to Frederick, MD for? Let them go to someplace like Grand Island, NE that will be a real challenge when they have to tell the Hispanics, Somalis, Sudanese and now Cubans that they need to just get along with each other! Maybe its just a matter of reminding them about our magical melting pot!
This really makes me steam! They (the hate violence gang) don’t want to sort out the ethnic conflicts between people of color, they just want to claim white people are racists and need government-funded behavior modification!
Back to the LA Times (rant concluded) here is how the lengthy article begins:
Grand Island, Neb., has long been a revolving door of immigrants, from Vietnamese and Bosnians to Latinos and Sudanese. But with Somali Muslims came a whole new set of conflicts.
The reporter gives the reader a little history about the Hispanics who have been in the town for a long time and then tells us about the raids by ICE. After those raids other ‘legal’ immigrants came to town. One townsperson summed it up well!
“There has been more bigotry,” Fulton said, “because there has just been more and more and more of them.”
Then the Somalis came looking for the meatpacking jobs:
The emotions unleashed by the raid would soon find a new target — Sudanese and Somalis attracted by the promise of work at the meatpacking plant.
The new immigrants, who had been granted refugee status because of strife in their homelands, posed new challenges to the status quo in Grand Island.
They were black, and some were Muslim.
At first the Muslims didn’t make too many demands but then in 2008 they stirred up anger among other ethnic workers (we have all this in our posts from that time period).
That changed in 2008, during Ramadan, when virtually all the Muslim workers began leaving the assembly line en masse to pray. Even Muslims who are not particularly religious often make an effort to pray during the holy month.
Co-workers complained that they had to pick up the slack. Management told the Somalis they couldn’t pray because the plant, one of the largest in the country, couldn’t afford to stop the machines. Five hundred Muslim workers, infuriated, walked off the job.
Most came back after Swift & Co. agreed to accommodate them by changing break times.
But other workers protested that the Muslims had gotten preferential treatment, an idea fueled by a story published in a local Spanish-language newspaper that falsely claimed the Somalis had gotten a pay raise. Fights broke out in the lunch room. Hundreds of Latinos — joined by the Sudanese, who are mostly Christian — walked off the job.
The plant settled down because the meatpacker made accommodations to the Muslims and as we learn later in the article many of the nomadic Somalis moved on to another Nebraska town. However, the LA Times tells us that crime in Grand Island is now out of control!
Major conflict at the plant let up when Ramadan ended. But tensions in town mounted like never before.
At the Autumn Woods apartments on the southeast side of town, police were called several times a day to respond to stabbings, shootings and disputes.
A war was building between the Somalis, who lived on one side of the complex, and the Sudanese, who lived on the other side.
“It’s chaotic anarchy,” Police Chief Steve Lamken said recently.
In late August 2009, a Sudanese man was shot in the head at the apartment complex. Police arrested three Somalis in connection with the killing.Officer Robert Winton blamed the fighting on the Africans’ violent homelands. “They’re at war in their countries and they bring it here,” he said.
Violent crimes in Grand Island have risen in the last two years and the community, surrounded by cornfields, now faces a gang problem.
To top it off the LA Times wraps up by mentioning that 700 Cubans have come to town this year.
I won’t go into it here because this is getting way too long, but the LA Times article also discusses Grand Island’s mayor and the problems she had with the Somalis. I recommend you go back to my 2008 post on how the Somalis demanded that the mayor resign. Also, note in previous posts that the Somalis brought CAIR to town and here.
So, hey Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence, how about tackling the ethnic strife and multicultural hate violence going on in places like Grand Island, NE and leave the good people of Frederick, MD alone.
For new readers:
The US State Department has admitted over 80,000 Somali refugees to the US (this linked post continues to be one of the most widely read posts we have ever written) in the last 25 years and then last year had to suspend family reunification because widespread immigration fraud was revealed through DNA testing. That specific program has not yet been reopened (that we know of), but will be soon.
Nevertheless, thousands of Somali Muslims continue to be resettled as I write this. We recently learned that we will be taking 6000 Somalis this year from one camp in Uganda and as many as 11,000-13,000 total from around the world.