Minneapolis council race reveals anti-gay tensions in Somali refugee ‘community’

From Minneapolis Public Radio:

 MINNEAPOLIS — The political awakening of Minnesota’s Somali community poses a conundrum for the DFL party. While Somali-Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic, many appear to disagree with the party when it comes to gay rights.

That tension was on display Sunday, as the party considered a dispute between a Somali city council candidate and the openly gay incumbent he’s running against.

At the meeting, the party’s Constitution, Bylaws and Rules Committee upheld the party’s endorsement of Abdi Warsame, who’s running for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council.

That seat is currently held by Robert Lilligren, who’s been on the council nearly a dozen years. But Lilligren lost the DFL endorsement this year to Warsame after hundreds of Somali-Americans turned out at precinct caucuses in April, and came back to the party’s convention, giving Warsame overwhelming support.  [We told you about the convention here.—-ed]


All 13 City Council wards in Minneapolis were redrawn last year as part of the post-census redistricting, and Lilligren’s ward changed substantially. Somali activists, led by Warsame, lobbied to have the borders moved so that as many East African voters as possible could be concentrated there.

Sacramento Iraqis have mental problems; no psychiatric treatment readily available

This is not the first time that we have written about Iraqi refugee mental health problems (and I suspect it won’t be the last).

So far, this fiscal year (2013) we have “welcomed” 11,066 Iraqis.  If the Sacramento percentages of suffering delicate Iraqis is representative then we have just admitted:

6,528 cases of insomnia

4,869 depressed people

4,537 people with headaches

4,205 fearful people

…all in need of mental health professionals to help them cope, so that they can find jobs.

LOL!  I bet the percentages of Americans reading this post who are experiencing sleeplessness, depression, headaches and fear are at about the same percentage as the Iraqis as we contemplate what the US State Department and the resettlement contractors are doing to America and how the heck we are going to pay for all of this!

Here is the story from California Health Line:

Many of the 2,700 Iraqi refugees living in the Sacramento area have experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder but struggle to obtain mental health care services, according to a report by the UC-Davis Health System Clinical and Translational Science Center, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The report was conducted with the help of Opening Doors,* a refugee resettlement agency, and the Mesopotamia Organization, an Iraqi self-help agency.

Report Findings

The report analyzed the number of Iraqi refugees experiencing PTSD symptoms and found that:

59% of refugees reported experiencing insomnia;
44% of refugees reported experiencing depression;
41% of refugees reported experiencing headaches; and
38% of refugees reported experiencing fear (Magagnini, Sacramento Bee, 6/3).

Obamacare to the rescue?  Don’t count on it!

According to the report:

65% of refugees reported experiencing long waits for treatment of symptoms;
74% of refugees said needed services were not covered by their health insurance; and
82% of refugees said that the U.S. health care system moved too slowly (UC-Davis report, May 2013).

The Iraqi unemployment rate in the US is at about 67%.   Who knew it was because they have so many mental health problems.

He ( Sarmed Ibrahim) added that the lack of medical treatment is affecting Iraqi refugees’ ability to obtain jobs.

Just a reminder, California takes the most refugees of any state, so its only going to get worse for Medi-Cal.

* Opening Doors is a Sacramento refugee resettlement agency.  Its most recent Form 990 is here.  Out of a revenue stream of $636,186, government grants (taxpayer dollars) supplied $595,700 of their income.