Hauling Somalis from city to city
I really didn’t need more confirmation, but Allahsoldier commenting at my earlier post, said that he couldn’t wait for another story on Somalis. I said I could find and post another pronto. It took me all of about 5 minutes from answering Allah… to get this post started! And, what a coincidence it’s about Somalis in Kansas as was my post this morning.
A report from Kansas State University about the work of, Laszlo Kulcsar, a sociolgy professor working on immigrant integration:*
“I started out looking at how predominantly white communities, even with some historical diversity, embraced new immigrant workers,” Kulcsar said. “This is a big deal in Kansas because there really isn’t a universal practice for that. What was found was that there is no good model, just more questions.”
Along with Albert Iaroi, K-State doctoral student in sociology from Romania, Kulcsar also looked at Emporia, a city away from the meatpacking triangle in southwest Kansas but also with a large concentration of minority workers.
“Emporia has a well-established Hispanic community already because they came to work on the railroad 100 years ago,” Kulcsar said. “In 2006, though, Tyson brought about 700 Somalis to Emporia to work at its meatpacking plant.”
With the Somalis came a new culture and religion, vastly different from that of the Hispanics, the dominant minority at the time.
Despite the fact that all the Somali workers carried legal work permits, researchers found many in the community rejected these new workers because of their outsider culture. At the same time they began to view the Mexicans as regular, hardworking people.
“It started to become ‘good immigrants’ versus ‘bad immigrants’ based on visible things like skin color, dress and religious practices,” Kulcsar said. “Somalis are black; they are Muslim. The Mexicans, even though they have a different culture and language, are still Christians.”
There was also the difference in customs, Kulcsar said. The Somalis traveled in large groups, a customary practice in their country due to safety. Although women hold positions of authority in Emporia, the Somali workers often did not obey them since only men in Somalia are authority figures.
“Nobody told the Somalis you don’t do these things in America, and nobody told the local government about their customs and religion in advance, so nobody told the community members. The question became, ‘whose job is it to educate the refugees and community,'” Kulcsar said. “This was a troubling finding because these larger actors — corporations and nongovernmental charity organizations playing an important part in the settlement of the Somalis — failed to communicate with the city government.”
As community members in Emporia questioned the city’s role in this process, they found they were given no advance information about it, Kulcsar said.
Here it is, big meat packers helped by outside organizations!
This below can only refer to federal contractors like the Leftwing do-gooders at Catholic Charities, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society among others.
“Immigrants are not showing up for work in a random fashion; in many cases national organizations are working with large corporations to bring these people here for jobs,” Kulcsar said.
For new readers we followed the whole controversy almost from start to finish a couple of years ago in Emporia, KS and have a whole category on it here.
* Reader Khadra, commenting on another Somali “village” in Kansas tells us Somalis have no intention of integrating, assimilating, or whatever we want to call it, here.