….but what about Somalis needing an education?
Can there possibly be any hope for regular Americans to say that immigrants should become Americans and accept our culture, without suggestions being made that they are narrow-minded hicks? Not likely.
Last Sunday Shelbyville, TN was treated to a forum to teach the country folks all about Somali culture. Apparently spearheaded by community organizers from the Welcoming Tennessee Initiative (oh brother!), the ‘educational program’ attracted approximately 50 local residents.
Panelist Salaad Nur realized the urgency and importance of hosting an event after “the recent wave of negative press towards the Somali community in Shelbyville,” according to a press release from the Welcoming Tennessee Initiative.
“We are Americans just like all other immigrants before us and we contribute to the community in many manners, including taxes,” Salaad said. [Edit: Why do we keep hearing from Somalis that because they pay taxes they contribute. I just heard it the other day, is it some sort of new talking point?]
“Even with some cultural differences we have much in common, and it is important that we educate people about our culture so that there is no fear or misconceptions.”
Be sure to check out the comments. Commenter Dianatn echoed a common theme and gave me an idea.
I think we have this backwards I do not live in Somalia so why should I need to learn their culture. It seems to me the Somalis should be given the forums on American Culture if they are going to live here.
First go back and read Judy’s post about defending Western Civilization and countering the concept of “multiculturalism” with “culturism.”
How about if some of you local citizens who are unhappy that the Somalis don’t seem to get aspects of American culture, get a forum together on American culture for the immigrants (including the women!) in Shelbyville. It could be an all day thing, or a series of evening workshops. Give it a name like Preserving American Culture through Education.
Here are some possible topics:
Our history and our Constitution
Women’s rights in America
Holiday traditions in America
Common etiquette (on the road, in a store, at the job, at school)
Freedom of religion with a primer on the various religions we practice
TV and movies and the role they play in American’s lives
Don’t laugh! I am being very serious. This is what needs to be done. Is there a local college that would help host it, and I’m sure you could find volunteer teachers. You could even do play-acting scenes on how to behave in the supermarket. O.K. now I’m getting carried away with myself!
Take the initiative, and see who comes. If the Somalis don’t show up, well that says something (says a lot!). If they do, maybe they will learn to be better neighbors. Frankly, because these groups that call themselves names like “Welcoming Tennessee Initiative” are so crazy in love with multiculturalism they likely don’t teach immigrants anything about how Americans live.
Endnote: I’m chuckling, if it works, you could even formalize your group (Preserving American Culture through Education, I guess you can tell I like that name) and apply for government grants just like the community organizing groups that put this event on surely do.
See our extensive coverage of the Shelbyville Somali controversy here.