There was a story today, from Eden Prairie, MN about a group of students that created a video of what it’s like to be a Somali refugee in that area. This story goes to show how citizens of a community can either except or reject their new neighbors and normally the rejection comes from false stereotypes and misinformation. I believe most people are accepting of others.
Quotes from a local message board where members were asked if they needed to fear Somali gangs.
In my experience the Somali’s as a whole are highly educated and are working hard to learn English in order to find better paying jobs. We had a family in our old town, dad was an Olympic marathoner and a physicist but because he lacked English skills is working in a turkey processing plant. He is the most upbeat, positive person you have ever met. For the many cultural differences the Somali population seems to be one of the most ‘assimilated’ immigrant groups.
Recently a group of students of Eden Prairie High School, in Minnesota, put together a documentary about immigrant and assimilation.
Reflections on our immigrant heritage
October 14, 2007 – 8:00am.
By Lauren Carlson-Vohs
What inspiring young people to have the courage to come forward as refugees and immigrants to find positive ways to assimilate into mainstream culture. Despite the many challenges and wrongs they have encountered, they are finding positive and powerful ways to bring about change. Their determination, commitment and leadership will serve them and this country well.
This author’s account gives us an example of how prejudice can exist within races as her English mother did not want her brother to marry “one of those dumb Swedes.” She also goes on to describe how those from different countries came together in communities though those communities are now disappearing. Of course, these communities are common in many areas of the country, especially in New York where many groups are still very much together in various boroughs.
May we all come to know that peace and share his honor and acceptance of all peoples. And may stereotypes and divisions continue to fall by the way – in Eden Prairie, in America, in the world – as we all mingle to become neighbors, friends and family.
Doing further research on the area I found the following post which I assume has something to do with the students making this video. They’re trying to bring to light the struggles of oppression as I’m sure this person is a part of creating.
The suburb’s main access to the inner suburbs is State Road 5, which had become terribly clogged with population growth. After years of begging the state replace it with a freeway, the feds and state made them an offer: take thousands of Somali refugees and you get the highway; don’t take them, choke on your traffic.
Stupidly, Eden Prarie took the highway funds and the Somalis.
The Somalis filled their new Section 8 apartment complexes (free housing) and signed up for MinnesotaCare health insurance (free healthcare). Crime shot up in the suburb.
Nowadays, certain stairwells in the big beautiful high school are filled with dour, sulking Somali students (white kids are not welcome near their gathering places).
The school is now divided. There is violence and racial tension, albeit mostly between the Somalis and Afro-Americans also who also moved to Eden Prarie to go on the dole. Occassionally, a big football player (E.P. wins state most every year) wanders into the dark stairwells and kicks a Moslem’s ass just to make sure nobody gets confused or anything.
Worst, classrooms have lost discipline, with outrageous behavior from aggrieved Moslem students. Moslems wander in and out of classrooms without explanation or apology. The socialists have responded by assigning teachers to attend classes with troubled Moslems, assist them in understanding lectures and labs, and help them do their homework.
Private schools in the southwest metro are booming. Nordic kids with Eden Prarie addresses are pulling out.
Quality of life is still marginally available, and we’ll take what we can get.
Privately, parents (myself included) rue the day we acceded to the blackmail to be able get our tax dollars back to fix the road. It would’ve been a lot better to have levied a city tax to bulid the freeway and pass on the Moslems and all the joy they’ve brought (not to mention all the additional costs).
But, of course, that view is NEVER mentioned in City Council or the local newspaper. There, everything’s fine and we’re fist-pumping and singing, “Celebrate, CELEBRATE, THE CULTURAL DIVERSITEEEEE!!!”
This angry person sounds a lot like the anti-Hispanics in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area.