The Somali era for Emporia, KS came to an end this past Saturday night when the last Somali refugees in that city didn’t show up for a farewell dinner planned in their honor. Granted the whole Somali saga in Emporia was fraught with controversy from the very beginning when hundreds of refugees arrived in this prairie city to work for a Tyson’s meat packing plant, so the saga’s end is not unexpected. We have an entire category that covers the conflict that evolved over months.
Tyson’s recently closed the plant with little notice putting hundreds of workers, not just the Somalis, out of a job.
What was apparently intended as a gesture of goodwill by Christians turned into another source of hard feelings when the Somalis became a no-show due to the sudden illness of the group’s leader. Somalis are hardcore believers in the prohibition in Islam to not become too friendly with Christians, and the church setting itself might have caused them to stay away. Who knows?
Tables full of hot food and desserts brought in by organizers and friends lined tables outside the church kitchen, while hosts waited for the guests to arrive. Eventually, the call came that the Somali organizer was too sick to come to Sacred Heart.
The article in the Emporia Gazette yesterday stirred up more hard feelings when commenters began to question why others fired from Tyson’s weren’t given a special dinner; nor was there a request made for citizens to volunteer to clean rental units vacated by those who lost their jobs as there was for the Somalis.
Here is a comment from someone named Tosie:
Are you serious? People are needed to help the Somalians pack up? They got here easy enough didn’t they? They can pack up and leave just the same. I don’t see anyone saying, “Hey, Emporias, let’s pitch in and help EVERYONE that is going to have to leave Emporia to get another job pack up and clean.” Once again, poor Somalians, let’s give them special treatment. No thanks…..
Read the whole article here.