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Archive for November 7th, 2008

Where is that big city video outfit when you need them?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 7, 2008

In the same week that a CHICAGO-based community organizing video documentary outfit arrived in Shelbyville, TN a homeless Ethiopian man was found sleeping in the town square.   The fellow says he is working at Tyson’s Food but can’t afford a place to sleep yet.

“Hey … hey! Are you OK?”

It was a little after 9 a.m. Monday when Shelbyville codes official David Langford roused the man from his slumber outside John Norton’s law offices on the public square.

The slender man called himself Mustoff and said he was from Ethiopia, in town to work for Tyson Foods, which was evident from the rubber boots he wore.

But Mustoff was sleeping on a piece of cardboard with nothing but the clothes on his back, a coat, pillow and part of a sleeping bag. He had no cash and no one in town he knew to call.

Homeless.  [Illegal or a refugee/asylee?]

The video crew was in town to coincidentally (!) film the Unity Meeting held last night, but it appears they didn’t cross paths with Tyson’s homeless employee (or at least these reports don’t tell us they did).

A crew from Chicago has been in Shelbyville for the past week shooting footage for a documentary focusing on the impact that immigration and refugees are having on the community.

The project is headed by director/producer Kim Snyder, who works with the BeCause Foundation [creating social change through the power of film] an organization created by Richard Kincade, the former president and chief executive officer of Equity Office Properties Trust (EOP).

“We believe in the power of story to help highlight communities and individuals tackling complex social issues right now,” Snyder said.

This reporter will also be interviewed by the crew about the Times-Gazette‘s series of stories on the influx of Somali refugees and their impact on Shelbyville.

The foundation has previously done documentaries on the homeless and its officials feel the topic of immigration and how towns like Shelbyville is grappling with it is a big issue.

“We have been told that Shelbyville was not only an interesting example but a possible way for people elsewhere in the country to learn a bit through open dialog about what is happening here and what people are really thinking and feeling about it,” Snyder said.

The film crew was at the American Legion Thursday to shoot footage of Catalina Nieto, public awareness coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Collation (TIRRC) and Abdul Farah, the social adjustment director of the Somali Community Center of Nashville, who both spoke to the Rotary Club of Shelbyville.

Shelbyville BeWare BeCause, they are using your town!   They will gloss over the tensions and problems of the Tyson’s African employees and then show what great work the TIRRC and the Somali Community Center are doing to bring you all together in harmonious unity.  This is a politically motivated campaign.  Your film, your town, will then be used to shame other towns into silence. 

All of a sudden these “change” agent/activists are everywhere you turn!  This is from BeCause’s scanty website:

The BeCause Foundation was founded in 2007* to heighten awareness about a number of complex social problems and promote change through the power of film.

The BeCause series of short documentaries highlights the groundbreaking work of pioneering individuals and organizations providing solution-based models for social change. The films and adjoining outreach campaigns are designed to raise awareness, illuminate the resilience of the human spirit, and inspire others to become involved. The series aims to break stereotypic images of victimization and “charity” and replace them with ones of empowerment, hope, and transformation.

Each film is created as the cornerstone of a larger media campaign to promote advocacy about the profiled cause and related organizations.

It is starting to feel like a horror movie where all these creepy manipulative “change” people are everywhere!

* I couldn’t find any financial information on this organization, wonder who is funding them?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Other Immigration, Other refugees, Who is going where | 6 Comments »

Gettin’ to know the new neighbors in Ft. Morgan, the men anyway

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 7, 2008

A local church in Ft. Morgan, CO hosted a luncheon this week so that folks could learn more about the new Somalis among them.

About 70 Morgan County residents and leaders from the white and Latino communities came together to meet with 10 Somali elders for lunch at the United Methodist Church in Fort Morgan on Thursday.

The crowd, which filled the church’s cafeteria area, included government officials, business leaders, police, educators and a number of teenagers who wanted to ask some questions about the Somali community.

An estimated 250 Somali refugees have been drawn to Fort Morgan for the relatively high-paying jobs at Cargill Meat Solutions, and local people want to know more about their new neighbors, several said before the meeting.

At least they are working, unlike the ones trapped in Postville, Iowa with no work.

If you thought a meeting with the elders might be to determine the power structure in town, don’t worry, these elders don’t rule like they did in Africa.

Somali elders were responsible for making decisions when they lived in their homeland, but now they have a different role, said Abdullahi Aden, a Lutheran Family Services case manager for the refugees. They have a senior voice in discussions held with the refugees on problems and issues of everyday life, but do not rule.

Oh, well, except maybe they rule the women who can’t come out to the local church and eat lunch.

One guest wanted to know if the Somali women would be willing to meet with local women.

Somali women, in particular, feel more relaxed speaking with another woman in their homes, Aden said. They are ill at ease in mixed-gender settings and often reluctant to go to meetings.

They sometimes need a man’s permission to go someplace, too, he said.

Oh, what the heck, that’s their culture and who are we to say our treatment of women is better.   It’s all relative and we broadminded Americans mustn’t pass judgement.

Posted in Changing the way we live, diversity's dark side, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, women's issues | 1 Comment »

More on “change” we can believe in…

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 7, 2008

As I said the day after the election of The One, I’m going to post from time to time on what I learn about the underpinnings of Obama’s “change” driven views.   The passage below is from Saul Alinsky’s introduction written in 1968 to an earlier book entitled “Reveille for Radicals.” 

I’m trying to figure out what the “change” is for, or toward?  Why do we for instance disrupt communities with third world refugees claiming that the diversity is good for the citizens?  This passage gives more credence to the argument I made the other day that Alinsky and his followers are really just angry people who enjoy forcing change on us dull people, and think they are somehow making our lives better, more creative, and happier.

“Each victory will bring a new vision of human happiness for man’s highest end is to create—total fulfillment, total security, would dull the creative drive.  Ours is really the quest for uncertainty, for that continuing change that is life.  The pursuit of happiness is never ending—the happiness lies in the pursuit” [emphasis is the authors].

Well, maybe for Alinksy happiness lies in the “quest for uncertainty” but he has a hell of a lot of nerve shoving the concept down the throats of the rest of us through his radical and authoritarian ethos taken to the next step—community organizing.  I for one have no problem with having a dull Norman Rockwell life in America.  [I just had a funny vision of trying to community organize a Norman Rockwell-type small town, devoid of any grievance group and filled with dullards.]

And, if Barack Obama believes this clap-trap of “happiness is in the pursuit,”  he must have had a sad awakening on Wednesday morning.

Posted in 2008 Presidential campaign, Community destabilization | Comments Off on More on “change” we can believe in…

An Iowa slaughterhouse town dies, immigrants left with nothing….

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 7, 2008

….will there be more American towns like this as the economy worsens?   I honestly don’t know what to say.   Read about the travesty in Postville, Iowa here:

Postville, Iowa — In the days before the nation’s largest kosher meat company filed for bankruptcy, the company’s slaughterhouse here in northeast Iowa gradually shut down its operations, leaving angry workers without salaries or places to live, and animals caged and dying.

Around town, men and women who had come to work at the Agriprocessors plant from as far as the Pacific island of Palau and as near as Minnesota faced eviction from their apartments as the new month’s rent came due. Hundreds of workers were told on Thursday, October 30, that they were being suspended without pay, though they were given little information about why. They were not told that earlier that day, a bank had initiated foreclosure proceedings on Agriprocessors. Nor were they told that the company’s former CEO had been arrested the same day.

Read on.  Hat tip:  Blulitespecial

Posted in Changing the way we live, Crimes, Other Immigration | 7 Comments »

 
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