Article on refugees in Bowling Green, KY is one-sided puff piece
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 17, 2012
And, more than that, it is propaganda!
In recent months we’ve seen few news reports like this one. I call these stories ‘refugees see first snow’ stories in which the article is so one-sided in its slobbering over the supposed joy created in cities that have been chosen by the US State Department and its contractors as preferred communities to be home for a hodge-podge of third worlders.
One of our main goals here is to balance the media bias and help readers know that what they are reading in this story (and others like it) is flat-out propaganda to advance the notion that diversity is beautiful and that the federal contractors like the International Center in Bowling Green are doing your “welcoming” community a great service.
Before I get to reporter Justin Story’s article from last week in the Bowling Green Daily News, hat tip: Robin, let’s have a quick trip down memory lane on Bowling Green.
* In 2008 we had this story about a Bosnian refugee teenager shot and killed by a homeowner in Bowling Green. The neighborhood had been targeted by thieves and this particular homeowner happened to have a gun. The homeowner was exonerated. [That must have been before Justin's time at the paper, or surely he would have mentioned the teenage crime problems.]
* In 2009 we had a story about a Bosnian from North Dakota who came to Bowling Green to kidnap a 14 year old to be his wife. Of course that is no fault of the refugees in Bowling Green but it was one more thing the police there had to deal with and demonstrates one of those lovely practices some immigrants bring to the US to add to our cultural diversity.
* In October of 2009, the s*** began to hit the fan with the International Center in Bowling Green where charges were leveled at them for neglecting Burmese refugees and leaving them living in squalor with roaches and no warm clothing. Here is what we learned at the time about the International Center aka Western Kentucky Refugee Mutual Assistance Association, Inc. that is an affiliate of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). Why did they change their name? Is it because they needed a fresh start with federal grant makers.
* Then one month later we had this shocking report from a woman who had befriended some Burmese refugees. [Maybe Justin didn't know about any of this when he wrote his puff piece on the International Center. But, the funny thing is, I just googled 'International Center Bowling Green' and my post is second in the google search...hmmmm?]
I was totally dumbfounded from what I saw. I never imagined America would do this to these refugees. [a friend of a Burmese family living in Bowling Green---ed]
* January 2010, police bring coats for refugees who were not properly cared-for by the International Center, here.
* And, who could forget the incredible story in June 2011 of Iraqi refugees assigned to Bowling Green (and the International Center) who turned out to be terrorists, here. At least we can say that the police are never bored in Bowling Green!
* International Center in Bowling Green made me sick! (former refugee in August 2011)
* April 2012, after failing drivers’ tests in Kentucky, Burmese refugees travel from Bowling Green, go to other states, lie about their addresses and get drivers’ licenses, here.
I guess you get my drift! It is not all sweetness and light in multicultural Bowling Green, and yet reporter Justin Story writes this incredible puff-piece!
Future historians who will look back on present-day Bowling Green years from now might point to 1979 as the year that the city opened itself up to the world.
That was the year the International Center of Bowling Green was established.
The nonprofit organization has resettled thousands of refugees from war-torn and politically unstable nations around the world. Since resettling the first wave of refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the late 1970s and early ’80s, the center has brought a visible changing to the city’s complexion and a broadening of its cultural options to the extent that Bowling Green’s minority population is unlike that of many other American cities its size.
Marty Deputy, the woman who started it all:
“We were always taught that we were the same as anybody else,” Deputy said of her upbringing in the Beech Bend area. [No! We aren't Ms. Deputy---ed]
In the succeeding years, Bowling Green would become the new home for resettled refugees from the old Soviet republics in the late 1980s and early ’90s, many refugees from Bosnia beginning in 1993 and small numbers of Burundi, Iraqi, Somalian, Burmese, Liberian, Cuban and other refugees in the current millennium.
“I think it’s, hopefully, opened up some people to other cultures and languages,” said Deputy, who retired six years ago.
Interim director of the International Center:
About 350 new refugees are anticipated to be resettled in Bowling Green next year, remaining fairly consistent with previous years that have seen the number of new refugees generally hover between that total and 450, Rose [Suzanne Rose the interim director of the International Center] said.
The process by which refugees are heavily vetted is the same for the communities to which they’re sent,” Rose said. “If a community is chosen to resettle refugees, that’s a real star for the city. It means they are a thriving, caring community, and I think it’s something of which to be proud.”
With help of reporters like Justin Story this article has just succeeded in sending readers the message that everything is just a bed of roses when your city is a “preferred community” and if you ask questions, complain or otherwise mention the problems with multiculturalism you are an uncaring, unwelcoming, racist boob!
Endnote: To be fair, maybe Justin is working on Part II which could be titled—the problems with diversity!
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