Here we have a lawyer, Patrick Proctor, for the Burmese Advocacy Center writing an opinion piece in the Journal Gazette in which he says anyone who mentions the reason why (spitting and urinating in the laundromat) the sign was placed in the first place is just as bad as the original sign maker. (original post on this incident is here)
More troubling, however, has been the media coverage of the incident. Much of the coverage has focused on why the sign was put up. One prime example was Indiana’s NewsCenter’s report March 12 (currently on the station’s Web site) titled, “Sources Say Some Burmese People Spit and Uriniate (sic) In a Ricker’s Store.”
By focusing on why the sign was posted, the report implies that it was somehow justifiable for the business to discriminate because of the egregiousness of the conduct of a few individuals. This is not true.
But in the Burmese situation, there seems to be a presumption that the conduct leading up to the sign somehow ameliorates, if not justifies, the posting of the sign. Furthermore, the focus on the alleged spitting and urination is almost as offensive as the original sign because it leaves the false impression that Burmese people in general commonly spit and urinate in public. This is simply not true.
Mr. Proctor, just as it is not true that all Ft. Wayne citizens who oppose more immigration to Ft. Wayne can be equated with the sign maker! And, you know what would make a big impression on unhappy citizens of Ft. Wayne, if your group the Burmese Advocacy Center took some responsibility and announced that you would be working very hard to teach the Burmese our customs—like we frown on anyone spitting and urinating in public. YOU should take some of the responsibility on YOU!
The Burmese population is unfamiliar to most native-born Americans. Many Burmese refugees do not speak English. Because of financial and educational limitations, the Burmese tend to live in the same places, work in the same places and travel together in groups. Consequently, it is easier, perhaps, for us to think of them as homogeneous. The truth is, however, that the Burmese population is diverse and complex.
The federal refugee resettlement contractors who initially brought thousands of refugees to Ft. Wayne placed them in the same neighborhoods and found them jobs in the same places! They are supposed to encourage them to learn English (indeed the Burmese Advocacy Center says it teaches English) and they should be responsible along with Ethnic Community Based Organizations like Mr. Procotor’s that receive federal grants to teach them about our culture.
In my opinion Ethnic Community Based Organizations (we have a whole category on them) are simply mini-ACORNS. They teach their people (their ethnic group) how to get signed up for all sorts of public assistance and then when a political problem arises they are right there speaking for the so-called “community.”
By the way, the Burmese of Ft. Wayne are not one big happy family either. I’ve heard that many Karen Christians are unhappy living in neighborhoods with Muslim Burmese. What makes the do-gooders of Ft. Wayne think that just being in America is going to magically erase hundreds of years of hatred among the Burmese clans?
One more thing, Mr. Proctor likens the incident in Ft. Wayne to a news story from NJ where it turns out a customer got on the PA system in a Walmart and announced that all black people should leave the store. Mr. Proctor argues that all Burmese should not be painted with the same brush, but it sure sounds like he is painting all people in NJ (and Walmart) with one brush.
Endnote: Identified by the Journal Gazette as a board member of the Burmese Advocacy Center (Patrick Proctor is a local attorney and board member of the Burmese Advocacy Center), it seems that Mr. Proctor must be a very new Board member because he is not listed as one on their website, here. Nor is he listed on the only IRS Form 990 they have submitted here. And, he even failed to mention it at his law firm bio, here. [Let's see how many days it takes for his name to appear on the Advocacy Center's website!] I’m betting he is the immigration lawyer equivalent of an ambulance chaser! Is there a lawsuit against the laundromat owner coming soon?
Oh, I see here he is a labor union lawyer, now the picture gets clearer.
He probably helped draft the letter of thanks to the Mayor, here, too. I’m posting this in our ‘community destabilization’ category as well because it is a good example of how the Far Left/Union people help stir up a crisis in immigrant communities and use the immigrants to bring about change—crisis begets “change” ala Saul Alinsky. Citizens of Ft. Wayne need to start focusing the spotlight on the agitators!
An Afterthought! You know what would be very funny is if the laundromat owner (or any business owner) in Ft. Wayne put up signs that said: “no smoking, no loitering, no spitting, no urinating by anyone of any race, color, religion or creed on these premises.” But, they won’t, and that is too bad!