This is a must read for the folks in Frederick, MD, Boise, ID, Manchester, NH and Ft. Wayne, IN! The managing editor of the Sun Journal, Lewiston Maine’s daily newspaper, has written a scathing editorial about what happened when she attended the multiculturalism-is-beautiful-and-thriving-in-Maine conference.
I reported to you ten days ago about the conference and how this group, the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence from Portland, ME was going to take Lewiston’s story about the “welcoming” city’s adjustment to the huge Somali population there on the road to lecture other cities on how to be nice to immigrants. The targeted cities are Frederick, MD, Boise, ID, Manchester, NH and Ft. Wayne, IN.
This is how Judith Meyer, Sun Journal editor, began her editorial two days ago:
I have a little news for advice-givers who attended last week’s Advice for America conference hosted by the Center for Preventing Hate. They may believe the Somali integration post-2006 here has been a success worthy of national model, but that view is not wholly shared in the Twin Cities [Lewiston and Auburn, ME].
Near the end of the day-long conference, the Center’s executive director, Steve Wessler, asked the predominantly white, social-working audience how many had heard a negative comment about Somalis in the past week. Less than a dozen of the 90 seated there raised their hands.
I hear negative comments every day. Every. Day. It’s distressing, but it’s real.
I can only guess that these social workers, educators and others working in the public sector do not always hear what I hear on the street because they can be insulated in their programs, focused on their mission, and too many do not — themselves — integrate with the community at-large. [Zing!]
You must read the whole thing! I cannot do it justice!
And, get this delicious irony! Meyer was asked to leave the meeting when her presence made people uncomfortable because they were criticizing the Sun Journal’s refreshingly straight-forward coverage of the many problems the Somalis* have brought to Lewiston.
* 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.