Mainer Cynthia Anderson recently published a book about how 6,000 plus Somali refugees are busy resuscitating a supposedly dying Maine city.
No surprise that the Star Tribune, in the heart of Little Mogadishu, MN, reviewed Anderson’s book. One quote in the review stands out and it makes my blood boil!
“I also think journalists, including me, sometimes don’t push for answers lest they appear insensitive or out of fear they’ll provide ammunition to haters.”
Just think about that, she is admitting she might have pulled some punches so as not to give us (haters! and Islamophobes!), critics of the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program, any ammunition. WHAT THE H***!
If so-called journalists were HONEST, for one thing there would be no need for me to write this blog and secondly if they were HONEST then maybe government programs like this one might be reevaluated, reformed or trashed.
From the Star Tribune:
Review: ‘Home Now: How 6,000 Refugees Transformed an American Town,’ by Cynthia Anderson
“Home Now” by Cynthia Anderson; Public Affairs (318 pages, $28)
At a campaign rally in Portland, Maine, President Donald Trump linked worsening crime in Maine to the influx of Somali refugees there. He blamed their large community in Minnesota for straining the state’s social safety net and bringing potential recruits for Islamic terrorist groups.
“You see it happening,” Trump said. “You read about it.”
The above is a reminder to all those wimpy Republican governors who are ‘welcoming’ more Somalis, Iraqis, and Syrians to your states that the President wants to rein-in the program. Duh!
Long before Trump turned refugee resettlement into a national flash point, Cynthia Anderson was immersing herself in Lewiston, Maine, a small white town that came to host one of the largest populations of Somali-Americans in the country, for her timely, richly detailed book “Home Now.”
Anderson grew up in a village 45 miles away and recalled the area’s gradual decline leading up to 2001, when the first Somali refugees arrived in nearby Portland.
She reported on Lewiston’s transformation for more than a decade, moving from seeing Somali newcomers as passive victims traumatized by war to people with complex, resilient trajectories.
Anderson also writes about Fatuma Hussein, a community leader and advocate for Somali women who admires Maine’s civility and is optimistic about relations between natives and newcomers. She speaks out in opposition to Trump’s election, yet she is also forthright about the challenges of merging different cultures in Lewiston.
The town is not prepared to absorb the arrivals so quickly; the mayor draws headlines for saying Lewiston is “maxed out.”
Anderson deftly sums up the tension by noting that the new refugees were not ungrateful but nor were they just grateful.
Though the book paints a mostly rosy picture of how refugees can revitalize a community, Anderson is honest [?—how honest?—ed] about her qualms.
During debates over a state bill aimed at the Somali-American community to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), she admits to being conflicted. Anderson is initially opposed, and doesn’t want to see the Somali community hurt, but nor does she want harm to come to any Somali girls.
[What woman could possibly be conflicted about the brutal practice of slicing off a portion of a girl’s genitals?—ed]
Anderson also acknowledges that the refugee vetting process warrants examination, noting that records can be inadequate in war-torn countries.
She considers it fair to question how long refugees take to become self-sufficient, finding answers inconsistent and hard to find. [No kidding—this program is run in secrecy! The refugee contractors and the government don’t want anyone to find out how poorly the refugees are doing!—ed]
“I also think journalists, including me, sometimes don’t push for answers lest they appear insensitive or out of fear they’ll provide ammunition to haters,” she admits. “But not asking and not knowing provides fertile ground for rumors to flourish. It’s also patronizing; Lewiston’s newcomers can withstand the scrutiny.” [Note that she deftly suggests that those of us with concerns are trafficking in rumors!—ed]
Anderson raises these questions through her portrait of Jared Bristol, driven after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to become an activist against Islamic extremism. Bristol advocates for the FGM bill during a hearing that’s one of the only times Anderson sees Muslims and anti-Islamists in the same place.
Such activists, Anderson writes, “are wrong if they believe I absorbed nothing they and other anti-Islamists said or that my thinking didn’t shift, however incrementally.” [So what good is absorbing if she then pulls punches?—ed]
Scrutiny comes anew when a man dies of a fatal head injury after being attacked by several teens of African descent.
Nevertheless, and moving right along, the expert concludes:
….that Mainers feel that integrating refugees is worth the effort, even as it has taken time and money.
That is not what I’m hearing!!!
See my extensive, and I mean extensive archive on Lewiston here at RRW (there is more at ‘Frauds and Crooks.’)!
Gee, I wonder if Ms. Anderson used any of the material I’ve compiled over the years? Did she get the story about the Somali teen who burned down four apartment buildings in 2013 for example? Or the one about the ISIS fighter whose wife lived in Lewiston? Or the Somali health care scammers? And, as far back as 2009 Somali ‘youths’ were roaming the streets and attacking people.
Maybe a journalist should write a book!