Update August 20th: More on this subject here.
A few weeks ago I told you about how tensions are building in black communities between immigrants and American blacks. Sometimes the tension is between Black American Muslims (BAMs) and IMMs (Immigrant Muslims who are not black). Sometimes it’s just Black Americans (BAs) and African immigrants no matter what religion, but now comes the revelation that BAMs and BAs generally have some resentment toward Somalis (Muslims of course). Did you get that? Maybe not, but read on!
If this is a topic that interests you, and frankly I found it fascinating, read this blog entitled Jamerican Muslimah: Talking it plain. I’m not sure what the bloggers name is, maybe Jamerican, but I like her a lot. She does ‘talk it plain’ and so well I didn’t know where to start to give you some excerpts. Here is how she opens Part I:
I recently read Sherri Williams’ article entitled “Uncommon Ground” in Ebony Magazine’s July 2008 issue. This article discusses the tension between Somali immigrants/refugees and African-Americans (BAs) in Columbus, Ohio. I felt compelled to share my own thoughts and experience on the subject. After all, I live in the Twin Cities which boasts the largest Somali population in the country. I can forewarn you that what I have to say is not going to be politically correct. I can admit that I’m biased on this subject. Most of the experiences I’ve had with Somalis have not been so great. Needless to say, my perspective on this subject has been tainted by the negative experiences I’ve had. But Alhamdulillah, I’m currently working on it. This is my story.
In Part II, she says this and a whole lot more:
It is clear to me that many BAs in the Twin Cities are affected by the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric floating around the country. On one hand, I feel like they are capitalizing on the sentiment in order to garner favor or acceptance from White conservatives (even if they don’t know that, that’s where the rhetoric originated.) On the other hand, they are upset because they believe that Somalis have been given money and other perks by the government. They see Somalis, who are for the most part refugees, driving new cars, opening businesses, and receiving some of the best housing MPHA has to offer.[Editor: refugees do get special perks and this causes resentment from Americans who are poor whether the American is white or black.] They see Somalis taking over sectors of the job market which had been previously occupied by BAs. (Think of my cousin’s comment about Somalis at the airport). They see yet another group of immigrants coming in and gaining acceptance as the “model minority.” They see how White people in the Twin Cities often work hard to understand the predicament of Somalis, sometimes excusing their behavior or sympathizing with them because of their experience back home or in refugee camps. Meanwhile, the country and the world has dismissed BAs as being criminal, lazy, constantly crying victim and doing nothing to change their circumstances. There is no sympathy for us or our history. But should that be taken out on Somalis?
I believe that some BAs have a bias against Somalis because they are abashedly and unashamedly Muslim. (I find this to be especially true when the BA has a Christian base). They see Islam as a foreign religion with strange, primitive, stifling customs. The fact that female circumcision is practiced by Somalis- the dominant Muslim group in the Twin Cities- serves as further proof of the primitive nature of Islam and of Muslims… [Editor: we had heard that Somalis are practicing FGM in America]
What a revelation all this is, I bet a lot of you white folks in Emporia, KS and Shelbyville, TN have been thinking it’s just you. Have you wondered if you are racist? Is that why the Somalis were so hard to deal with? You can rest easy now, you knew deep down you weren’t a racist. It is not you! Black Americans are being put off by Somali refugees too and because of the cancer of cultural relativism rampant in the volag resettlement agencies, no one tells the Somalis they need to fit in to America.