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About that Labor Day story...

Posted Sunday, August 3, 2008, at 2:25 PM

Last December, while I was researching my series about the Somali refugees that have moved to Shelbyville over the past few years, I received an unsolicited call from an enraged employee at the Tyson Foods plant.

"THEY'RE TAKING AWAY LABOR DAY!!!" she screamed."They're giving the Somalis some day at the end of their Ramadan," the lady told me. "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT! THIS IS AMERICA!"

I told her that it was ironic she should call about the refugees, since I was right in the middle of looking into the topic.

But her idea of "what I should do about it" was quite different than what I was working on. The woman then began to go on at length about her experiences working at the poultry processing facility with the Somalis, commenting on the refugee's alleged lack of hygiene, manners and respect for their fellow workers.

However, her call was also so punctuated with such a variety of ugly observations and opinions that many would consider racist, I dismissed the story as just a workplace rumor. There was no evidence this was taking place.

But I didn't forget it. If anything, the woman's anger and mindset came to mirror many of the responses and comments we received from local citizens when the Times-Gazette published the Somali series several weeks later.

Since we ran the series, I've been hearing more and more rumbles of discontent in reference to the refugees from members of the Bedford County community. But the stories were also well received and praised, for which I am quite grateful and deeply honored.

Fast forward to a little over a week ago: I got a call stating that "one of your Somalians" had run afoul of the law in Franklin County.

As it turned out, it wasn't "one of ours," but a gentleman from Atlanta who allegedly committed a series of crimes south of here after reportedly stealing a vehicle from the location of the Muslim mosque in Shelbyville.

After obtaining three police reports from two different agencies and speaking to the lead investigator, we published the story. As I expected, it produced the same type of reaction that we get whenever any story about these refugees appears in the T-G: Namely overwhelmingly negative comments about the Somalis.

It was also the most read story for the month of July on our website, coming in right behind an earlier piece about the school system's new dress code. The topic of the refugees is obviously a popular one.

But it isn't just the stories about the Somalis that produce these ugly reactions. Slams against the refugees appear in the comments of other news stories as well, like the one about the latest unemployment figures published recently. The Somalis are becoming a popular scapegoat for many issues pertaining to this county.

Unfortunately, last week's story about the Franklin County incidents apparently only confirmed the community's worst suspicions about those who practice the Muslim faith.

It's not at all helpful when an individual allegedly lives up to every negative stereotype that's been said about his people and their belief system. Most of the folks around here do not leave a church service or religious gathering and immediately commit multiple felonies, as the Atlanta man is accused of doing. We will probably never know his reasons, since his injuries are so severe that the poor fellow may never regain consciousness.

But just two days after we published the crime spree story, the press release from the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) came to my attention. As we all know now, the press release stated that a new contract at the Shelbyville facility "implements a new holiday to accommodate the ... Muslim workers at the plant."

What was once an unfounded rumor was now an apparent fact. So I contacted the head of media relations for Tyson Foods and asked what this was all about. While he disputed the figures given for the number of Muslims at the Shelbyville plant (Tyson claimed there are 250 while the union says 700) as well as other details, the food processing behemoth confirmed that Labor Day was indeed being phased out as a paid holiday in favor of Eid al-Fitr.

I even asked for a clarification at the request of my editor and Tyson again confirmed it. "Eid al-Fitr is one of eight paid holidays for all Team Members covered by the contract, while Labor Day is not a paid holiday," Tyson's Director of Media Relations Gary Mickelson stated in an e-mail.

So we printed it. It only took a little over an hour for the Associated Press to pick it up. But this time, our local story did not go on the state wire, as it normally would, but was instead placed on the AP financial wire.

Nationwide. Worldwide.

Within hours, a crew from WSMV was being chased away from the Tyson plant and by 5 p.m. Friday evening, it was on television.

But that was nothing compared what else was happening with the story.

News sites, blogs and discussion forums all over the Internet were picking up the story like crazy over the weekend. A close friend called to tell me that it was the top subject on 99.7 FM, our area's biggest talk radio station.

And with very few exceptions, the reaction was very much like what has been seen on our website: People calling for a boycott of Tyson Foods along with outraged letters to the company and the union involved. Many point out how Christian beliefs are being sidelined in the workplace and schools while another faith is given special consideration.

Then there is the inevitable linkage to Islam in general and its more radical elements. Or linking the story to whatever agenda a person may have. One animal rights activist even sent me links to graphic videos containing animal sacrifices conducted for another Islamic festival. Another blog sought to connect the controversy to Barack Obama, since the union in question in this story has endorsed the presidential candidate.

So now, for good or ill, our little local situation concerning the Somali refugees is a hot nationwide topic. As of this writing, the story still continues to spread like a virus through the Internet and the media food chain. I would not be at all surprised if the top national talk radio shows discuss this on Monday morning.

Channel 4 is probably not the last news crew Shelbyville we will see over this.

So what do I think about all this?

Clearly, the accommodations given to the Muslims have upset a great many people here and across the county, especially if they believe, as many apparently do, that their traditional values are being suppressed in the name of cultural diversity and political correctness. More than one person has told me that their tolerance only goes so far, and this is obviously one of those times.

I have stated my opinions about the refugee issue itself before. It is my personal opinion that the drive to bring so many refugees to America are not prompted by just good will or concern for the plight of these poor people, but instead for the millions of dollars in federal grants that are available for settling them in this country. According to Chris Coen, who is trying to help out refugees of all nationalities, there is a lot of money to be made in this "profession."

I also need point out that it would appear that some of these refugees are being used for other reasons. I find some of the allegations about these employment arrangements to be awfully similar to this sort of thing, and it should not be tolerated.

I also have to say that I do not feel that I am "obsessed" or "fixated" with the topic of Somalis living here, as one blogger believes. The refugees have lived in Shelbyville for the past four years, and no one has even addressed the issue until the T-G published the series in December of last year.

I would also have to suggest that the blogger's opinion is quite possibly influenced by the fact that she makes her living by working with the Nashville refugee community, as she states on one of her other websites.

I am simply reporting on what happens when hundreds of people from a totally alien culture suddenly move to a small town in the rural south -- both the good and the bad. I can not control how people are going to react to my stories.

In closing, I'll just say that I'm going to continue to keep looking into the various issues surrounding our new neighbors so that our community can stay informed. That's what we're here for. And that's what I'm going to do.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Keep up the good work!

It is MHO that many in the news business could - - and should - - take lessons from you. They'll run with a story half-cocked, rather than put the time and effort into gathering facts like you do.

And based on the reactions of some who respond to your articles, they don't bother to check around either.

-- Posted by radu on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 3:29 PM

Brian,

So, you are basically stating that Christy works for the Refugee program in Nashville and profits from their plight? Heh, no wonder she defends it.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:01 PM

This whole situation has went way too far! Tyson has ruined Bedford Co. My daughter went to work there for a few weeks. She has Supraventricular Heart Tacicardia that began at age 12, the male nurse didn't believe her and told her he never knew of a 22yr. old having heart problems unless they were drug induced, told her to go drink a sprite and sit down for a few min. A few min. mean alot with this condition. I picked her up and took her straight to the ER! Then a few days later she was sexually harrassed by her lead person, she had enough when he touched her and she cursed him out. She got fired and he's still there! I didn't want her working there anyway, I'd rather pay her bills myself than have her treated like crap and have some idiot putting her life in jeopardy.

I know people have to have jobs but I wish every American that works there could walk out and never look back. Tyson will go down, the Holiday thing is the begining of the end! I will never buy a Tyson product again either.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:02 PM

"Only in it for the rain."

I think she means MONEY!

-- Posted by Disgusted on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:26 PM

Actually, Evil, she herself says she is involved in social work and refugee issues on her various blogs. I do not know if she "profits" from it like some apparently do, such as the various "volunteer agencies" that get hundreds of dollars for every refugee they resettle in this country, but I just felt that fact needed to be pointed out to view her statements in the proper context.

Remember that organizations such as the ones in Nashville take nearly half of the federal grants from the State Department for the refugees as "administrative fees." About $450 goes in the refugee's pocket and they have to be self sufficient and begin to pay back the government for their travel expenses after a period or three months or so.

I am not criticizing the blogger for her opinions, but it's only fair to point out that these thoughts may be colored by her job experience. Her statement calling me "obsessed" or "fixated" would not have bothered me so much had she pointed out from the beginning that worked with refugees, as she apparently does.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:38 PM

I just find it completely ironic that a LABOR union is the reason for this. Weren't they the reason for LABOR Day to begin with? Isn't that what Labor Day is all about? I'm all for boycotting Tyson. I showed this to my wife (we were out of town for the weekend) and she said "We'll never by anything from Tyson again." That's pretty much the way I feel too.

-- Posted by Thom on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 6:33 PM

Good job Brian! Purdue has my business.

Take what we save on Tyson's high prices and pay far a one way ticket home for them!

-- Posted by michaelbell on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 6:54 PM

Guys, do you ever take a moment and step back from yourself and listen to what you're saying, you know, as an exercise in self-analysis? I'd recommend one now, if not. Are you really implying that someone would go into social work for the money? And further that they have some vested interest in refugees coming to this country as a result?

I mean, really? Is that really the post you're gonna hitch your horse to?

-- Posted by cwage on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:12 PM

Thom, it's probably more accurate to say that labor day was created as an alternative/response to May Day, which is the (more antagonistic) day of holiday that most labor unions would probably have preferred to see celebrated..

-- Posted by cwage on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:17 PM

I had to go to WalMart today to do some shopping. I personally had decided I would no longer buy Tysons products and read the countless responses of others who felt the same. The freezers in the middle of the isle were full of their products while the other brands were almost empty.

I am a Christian and try not to be judgemental. I am not going to down a Somalians faith, but I do not think they deserve preferential treatment. I do not believe in what they do, but to each their own.

I read where they get their own room for prayer, do they also get to leave their jobs to go pray whenever they want?

I hope the kickbacks they get to hire these individuals is enough to sustain their company. I do hate this for all the other American workers and have to wonder if this company starts to fall, who will they let go first?

-- Posted by For the kids on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:24 PM

cwage,

Ok I took a self-analysis and know what? I passed. Now I feel better, whew. Now back to the Nashville Refugee Resettlement program, didn't the owner have ties to Al-Quada or was it some other terrorist organization? Is that the one she works with? I believe millions were being sent to terrorists and they are still looking for the Operating Officer for questioning. I have no idea why that place is even running and why don't they have the Refugees working there in Nashville? Wouldn't it be more convenient for the refugee and them to check up on each other?

What happened to the monthly meetings they promised for the residents of bedford county to meet and talk to each other about some of these issues? You know, the place this HUGE sign up but they don't seem to back up what they preach when they say they are here for us. Who is US? We don't even see them! What a crock of crap.

Brian,

Thanks for keeping this dialog going.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:47 PM

"Team member's birthdays" are not national holidays yet they already get those as PAID days off... I don't know of many places that give you a paid day off on your birthday.

Seems to me the team Union could have negotiated taking away each individual's birthday as a paid day off and left Labor Day (a national holiday, but each employer has the right to make that a paid day off or not, there is no law commanding this day as a paid day off)... But then again, this type of trivial thing is the ONLY thing people around here seem to get involved in.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:52 PM

I am not implying that someone one would go into this field "only for the money," but the unfortunate fact remains that many refugees are getting the shaft by some of the very groups that are taking in millions of dollars a year to "help" these folks, while the refugees themselves only get barely enough money to start their new lifes with. Honestly, could you get by with just $450 to last you for a couple of months? With no modern job skills in a land where you don't speak the language?

See here for example:

http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpres...

In this story, the resettlement agency only left refugees with just two days of rice to get by with...

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1...

Take a look at this too:

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...

http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpres...

http://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpres...

Also, I'll post the link I had above, in case you missed it about how some are allegedly treating Somalis who are looking for work:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pb...

There are many facets to the refugee issue and this is just one of them. Why do some many of these refugees end up working in the same profession? How does this happen? Who recruits them to work in these facilities? In the future, I intend to look into these questions.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 8:00 PM

Evil, here's the article you are talking about.

http://www.wsmv.com/iteam/13224577/detai...

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 8:03 PM

No one is denying the potential for institutional exploitation. My point is that you can't use that (questionable) assumption to levy a personal attack against someone that works for a charity.

It'd be like if I claimed you only got into journalism for the money and cited the institutional bias and corporate conglomerate control of the media as evidence. Which I wouldn't, because that would be stupid.

-- Posted by cwage on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 8:26 PM

I do not consider it a personal attack to point out that a person criticizing me about my coverage of this topic actually is professionally involved in the subject in question. She made some very good points in her post, but I feel she should have revealed her involvement in the business of refugee resettlement from the beginning. It likely would have given more weight to her argument if she had, since she apparently has personal experience with the refugee issue.

She questioned my motives for doing these stories. It is only fair that readers take an objective look at hers.

BTW, I have also responded to this at your blog here:

http://chris.quietlife.net/2008/08/03/a-...

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 8:58 PM

Brian - As an investigative journalist, I would imagine you might look as far as two posts down on the blogger's site before incorrectly pointing out the lack of disclosure on her part. You, after all, did go out of your way to find the link to her myspace, which is actually not listed anywhere on her blog. Your attempts at justifying this petty personal attack are falling very, very short.

-- Posted by morganautumn on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 11:07 PM

Brain....Thanks for letting us all know the truth about things....I have always seen myself as a person that does her best to get along with everyone....but this has really been to hard to go down with out speaking out.....I am so sorry if I sound mean or ugly.....But this is not right ....When sales go down so bad and they have to start letting people go ..I feel that it is not going to be the Somalians that they lay off 1st....They have come to our country and they need to learn our way of living ...We should not have to give our rights up for them...If we moved to their country do you think that they would give us a Holiday like Christmas to us ???? NO!!!! I have been told that their children will not have to go by the dress code in school...Could you please check that out and let us know please....I was told that it was their religion to dress that way....I stopped getting Tyson products a while back when I found out they worked there ...only because they are not very clean people and what if they have come here with a disease....I was in Wal-mart tonite and they were all over the place...They would not move and they stared at me and just acted funny in there tonite....I must say I am really scared of them...I have never been scared to go to Wal-mart at night before...but tonite they scared me...They would not even move for me to get a parking place....there was a swarm of them all over the store...like a swarm of bats....

-- Posted by rebelrose on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 11:12 PM

Is this is what passes for journalism now? An article about how great your previous article was and how much attention it got? Seriously, all this is is media sensationalism, beating the dead horse of a topic you know will get people up in arms with the hope of increasing your readership. And to drag another person who is concerned enough to voice their opinions in front of the firing squad is deplorable. Seriously, you're gonna post a link to her personal in the interest of the story....about Somalians...and chicken...and labor day? The point of that is beyond me. I mean, you see what it says over the comment box here. Maybe you should heed that advice Mr Mosley.

I buy kroger brand chicken by the way.

-- Posted by Themick on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 11:32 PM

Kroger brand is supplied by Tyson, as are McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and all YUM Brands... Oh and Wal Mart... the list goes on.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 11:37 PM

I'm sure they are, you pretty much have to raise your own food if you want to separate yourself from corporate America.

-- Posted by Themick on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 12:52 AM

(quells mental picture of people in caftans flitting through the air devouring mosquitoes)

I worry that some atypical fools on either side will set off an unfotunate incident that will cause harm to a lot of innocent parties and give a false and negative impression of the people who live here.

A little common sense and sensitivity could have prevented all of this.

They could still prevent the situation from getting worse.

Right now,a lot of folks are getting the feeling that they don't matter and that some others are plotting how to grind them into the dust or make them disappear.

We haven't quite developed the mindset that invoked the Black Codes or caused the atrocities of the Ghost Dance,Krystallnacht,India's mutiny of 1857,the French Revolution,the Extermination Order and the Utah War or other clashes between races,creeds and classes.

But,if we get suckered into ignoring one another's needs,looking for scapegoats or locking ourselves into an "Us vs, Them" mentality,then we can all too easily create problems for ourselves-assuming there's no one else eager to do the sabotaging and exploiting for us.

If we recognize that our welfare is better preserved when we find common ground and work toward common goals then no one need worry that one person's well-being has been purchased at another's expense.

We've shown the world that we can light the flame that could set off a powder keg of hate,fear,greed and suspicion.

Can we light a flame that would offer warmth and cast out darkness?

What would benefit us more?

What would best represent who we are and what we stand for?

What would do the most damage to any who really want to destroy decent people and their way of life?

We can issue proclamations about what we won't tolerate but,while we're protesting and saying "No" to various problems,what are we affirming?

What alliances are we forming and what projects are we supporting?

(Even our horses aren't "neigh-sayers" all of the time.)

If all our factions started working to upgrade the whole community instead of tearing it down one group at a time,then maybe our neighbors would look out for our individual interests instead of thinking our downfalls were just what we deserved.

Who profits by isolating us from one another and making us rivals instead of teammates?

What would be the cost of making our town HOME for everyone who lives here?

No doubt,we could prove we're big enough,strong and clever enough to take down any enemy.

Shall we see demonstrate the power to lift up our neigbors and reach out to new friends?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 1:35 AM

This is a blog and not an actual news article so Brian is entitled to state his opinion no matter if you agree or disagree with it. To treat this as an actual news piece and to critique it as such just shows the inability of some to know the actual difference between the two and the lack of knowledge they have about the situation.

I am finding that most of the negative comments about Brian's series on the Somalis come from individuals who have a vested interest in them (Tyson, organizations that provide resources for the Somalis for profit, etc.) or are individuals who don't even live in this area. Your opinions are no more valid than Brian's in regards to this blog but when it comes to the actually news series he did on the Somalis and their effect on this community, it was very fair and nonbiased in most regards. In fact, he was criticized very heavily at first(including me) for being one sided in the favor of the Somalis but after reading the whole series, I realized he was writing about the issue from both sides and was trying to throw light on a current issue at hand. If you couldn't see that, then maybe your perspective is a bit one sided also.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 7:34 AM

Another blog sought to connect the controversy to Barack Obama, since the union in question in this story has endorsed the presidential candidate.

That was my Blog. I was stating fact. Not a rumor.

http://stuckon-stupid.com/2008/08/02/uni...

-- Posted by Quaker34667 on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 9:01 AM

The workplace, unless it is religious in nature, should not cater to the requirements of any religion.

While Christmas is labeled a 'Christian' holiday, its observance is more social, cultural, and traditional for most people. Certainly, not all observing Christians are able to take the day off with pay. I would imagine Christians living in Somalia would not expect Christmas to be a paid holiday.

If workers want Eid al-Fitr off, they can take a personal or vacation day and should be allowed to do so - providing their absence would not interfere with the business operations of the company. They should not expect their employers to make workplace decisions based on the religion of employees. If they want to live and work in America, they should learn to accept the culture of this nation.

Establishing a prayer room in a place of business (or a school) is extremely strange in this country. Tyson doesn't exist to foster religion. It's not appropriate for them to be influenced by the religious beliefs of their workers.

Those who made these decisions were not not motivated by good business practice or even a sense of justice. They were just bullied by PC rhetoric.

Americans should learn to resist the temptation to be manipulated by groups who demand that we abandon the hope of fairness for most in exchange for fairness for a select few.

-- Posted by tenngal1975 on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 1:48 PM

tenngal1975,

Your post has a dangerous amount of rationality and objectivity.

If someone listened to opinions like yours,they might be tempted to avoid the Scylla of ignoring the rights of the individual and the Charybdis of trying to cater to every group and actually work with everyone with a little courtesy and common sense.

As it stands,we not only stay between the proverbial rock and hard place,we attempt to ride with one foot on the back of two horses while spurring them in opposing directions.

Such a feat benefits neither rider nor horses.

We might do better about our means if we gave more thought to what our goals should really be.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 5:40 PM

I'm astounded at the outrage about this. I live in the REAL America, where we have lots of immigrants - the kinds of people that built this country - and they have lots of religions. And they're all just folks like you and me, only with different traditions. Christians need to get over themselves. They have all the advantages here (despite the constant whining), and when any other religion gets anything remotely resembling what they have, they (OK, not all Christians, just a really noisy bunch with access to microphones) scream bloody murder about "preferences." (And for the record, I was raised Christian, though no longer consider myself one.)

Perhaps companies could allow one religious holiday, and, assuming business could operate, allow employees to pick the one they want. Christians can pick Christmas - they already get that one. Jews could pick Passover or some other high holiday; Muslims could pick Eid; etc. That would clearly not be a preference; it would be equality. Oh, and if they preferred, any of them could still pick Christmas for the secular aspect of the holiday.

-- Posted by bnb on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 4:23 AM

Brian,

When you get ahold of this story, here's another that makes me shake my head.

As an airline pilot, I travel around to some 60+ cities in this great nation. One thing that has got my attention is the number of Somali aircraft fuelers hired by refueling companies at the airports across the country. At some locations, like Phoenix, the vast majority are Somali. Makes you go "Hmmmm?"

In regards to your Tyson article, if every immigrant who comes to this country is allowed to make it like the country they fled, it will cease to be the country which drew the immigrants in the first place.

Until we get this intractability toward assimilation worked out, we need to curtail the Muslim immigration ASAP. Otherwise, we will face what France and England are now facing: The decimation of their culture under the pressure to adopt Sharia law.

-- Posted by CaptainStark on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 6:05 AM

Thanks, CaptainStark, for the slippery slope argument... because, as we all know, it's just a short step from a private company conceding a single Muslim holiday out of eight at one factory, where the Muslims make up about a fifth of the workforce, to the government tossing out the Constitution in favor of Shari'a law.

Thank goodness for our fearless culture warriors, who will ceaselessly defend our nation's white-bread corporate "Christianity" from brown-skinned people everywhere!

And, yes, shame on Tyson and the union for their small act of kindness to a group of displaced refugees. What a disgusting abuse of their power, trying to make the workers they employ and represent more comfortable in their workplace! Hanging's too good for 'em!

-- Posted by mcsnee on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 6:42 AM

I read a couple of rational posts above, like bnb's. Many others seem to be fanatics. Can't we just get along? Christians have their own paid holiday(s) already. Nobody's taking those away from you.

The only weird thing I saw about this story was that the union bargained away the Labor Day holiday! Labor Day was created, in large part, because of pressure from unions to celebrate American workers. Seems like they could have found a different holiday to trade away.

-- Posted by billy_j on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 7:45 AM

Shall I remind all of you supposed Christians that nobody is taking away your rights as a Christian, nobody is stopping YOU from praying on your breaks, and nobody is telling YOU not to take Labor Day off, without pay... After all, at the end of the year, YOU STILL GET 8 PAID HOLIDAYS... That is what is most important to the workers, regardless of why they get the day off, they are only concerned about pay.

Stop acting as if a simply minority is taking your rights away. This is a FREE country, that was not founded on one superior religion, and the Constitution NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER once mentioned Christianity... So, before you all whine and cry about traditions and religious preferences, you should certainly understand that our founding fathers never cared for either.

I hear the constant reminder, "our kids can't pray in school anymore.. now this.. what's next?" Need I remind you, PRAYER IN SCHOOL IS LEGAL, ALWAYS HAS BEEN, YOU JUST CAN'T FORCE KIDS TO PARTICIPATE... PLAIN AND SIMPLE. And just like Richard said in another blog, your religion doesn't require you to wear certain clothes (though if you read the Bible more thoroughly you'd be surprised that it does), it doesn't require a certain amount of prayer at certain times a day, and many Christians don't take the opportunity when they have it. Next time all of you get a paid 15 minute break or a lunch break, skip out on lunch, skip out on the cigarettes, the vending machines and the cell phone calls and dedicate those hours to prayer... My guess is, IT WON'T HAPPEN, so don't complain.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:10 AM

http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/PressRoom...

I'm not sure I understand why there is such uproar over Tyson agreeing to UNION demand in a contract that was negotiated last fall. I feel that this reporter is fueling this fire partly due to his anti-Somalian agenda and Tyson has gotten caught up in the middle of it. If you read the press release above, you'll note that "The contract that calls for this change was UNANIMOUSLY recommended by the 12-person union bargaining committee, which included three Somali employees. The contract was then overwhelmingly agreed to by 80 percent of the rank and file membership of the union at the Shelbyville plant." There are 1000 union members at this plant which means 800 of them supported this change. It is quite obvious to most that Brian has an affixation on the Somialian population and this is yet another attempt to fuel hatred toward these people. Tyson just happened to be in his path. When a Union Committee brings an item to the bargaining table which is unanimously supported, there is really no reason from a business standpoint to reject it. They are basically being ridiculed for making the majority of their employees happy. I guess I must be missing something here.

-- Posted by bedfordcounty on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:24 AM

As I've read articles regarding this situation, several thoughts and questions ran through my mind.

It was Somalis who drug the bodies of American soldiers through the streets of Mogadishu. What kind of mindset calls forth that kind of blood lust?

Our country has more problems than it can ever correct. Why are we importing people who add to our problems?

The numbers of unemployed US citizens is growing. Why would fellow Americans, such as the owners of Tyson Foods, hire foreigners instead? Why would their stock holders condone the hiring of foreigners?

Is money the root of all evil?

-- Posted by L&G on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 9:19 AM

I had no idea that Tyson was importing laborers into our country. Why don't you just move all of your company to them? It really is all about the Almighty DOLLAR, isn't it?? However, my country and heritage is PRICELESS. Good-bye, Tyson.

-- Posted by fedupinMS on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:35 AM

People please stop being ignorant and close minded. I live in "real" America as well and this country was founded and is made up of immigrants. They are not taking away a Christian holiday people. They're not taking away Easter or Christmas, you people are acting ridiculous. This was for this one plant, they are accommodating their workers. Most of the workers are Somali and Muslim. I don't see what the issue is here. You Christian extremists are hypocrites, you're supposed to love all, get over yourselves. By the way I am not Muslim at all; I just live in a more liberal part of the county and see things with an open mind.

-- Posted by Natalie82 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:39 AM

"Many point out how Christian beliefs are being sidelined in the workplace and schools while another faith is given special consideration."

-- So... don't Tyson employees still get Christmas off? Either way, they're still getting a freaking paid holiday off. Does it really matter what specific day they grill out and drink Natty Light??

Also, fedupinMS, you might want to stop and take a look around you. The U.S. is made up of people "imported" from other countries. Unless you're 100 percent Native American, your "heritage" was imported, too.

-- Posted by megang on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:44 AM

Natalie82,

So 250 workers out of 1200 is most workers? Think you need to take some remedial arithmetic, since we are so ignorant, heh.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 11:45 AM

Natalie82,

You said you dont live here, so you dont have a clue as to what is going on around here. So dont call us ignorant and closed minded. As Evil Monkey said, most of the workers arent muslim. When you come here and get run off the road by these people every day and have to deal with them then you can tell us about being closed minded.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 12:17 PM

Brian - I guess your story has truly surpassed itself...read about it on Snopes.com just now...However, I congratulate you on your in-depth coverage and printing the facts after they have been "double checked". Good job. Although this appears to be a huge issue, I seem to recall a heated issue "way back when" about whether blacks should be allowed civil rights, if women should vote, should we pay the British taxes, or if the Earth is even round. As long as there are people with minds that can think, there will be opinions and disdain. Of course, unlike yourself, many out there just give opinions without thinking. Hats off to you, the journalist, who is just doing his job and doing it well. That's hard to find these days...

-- Posted by RachaelG on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 12:42 PM

THANKS, BRIAN, FOR BRINGING THIS OUT! I SENT EMAILS TO MANY MANY INCLUDING TYSON AND MEDIA. I ALSO CALLED TYSON. MY PROTEST WAS JUST AS MUCH OVER THEIR HIRING PRACTICES AS THE HOLIDAY. NO U.S. CO. HERE SHOULD BE HIRING 700 OUT OF 1200 MUSLIMS! I WAS SICKENED TO READ THAT THE STATE OF TN IS ASSISTING THESE FOREIGNERS SUPPOSEDLY HERE AS REFUGEES. REFUGEES ARE NOW RUNNING THE PLANT. DIDN'T TAKE LONG DID IT! THERE IS A LESSON THERE!!!

-- Posted by TerryBee on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 2:47 PM

Mr. Mosely,

I just read your article published on Snopes and can't praise you enough for all that you said. I am so thankful there are still people who love our country and don't wan't to see it go further down the river.

Yesterday when I learned of Tyson's decision, it literally made me want to vomit. I was so sick to my stomach that any true blooded American could actually do such a horrible thing. Also, I was born and raised in southcentral Arkansas and to learn that someone from the state where all my roots are, just infuriates me to no end. I am ashamed to say I am from the same state as Tyson.No matter how many billions he may have, he is one of the most un-American individuals in our wonderful country. To do this type of thing is a slap in the face to our forefathers not to mention our past and present military. This is only the beginning of our end as a nation.

Yesterday when I learned of this decision I sat down and sent out over 300 emails to people who served in the same squadron alongside my husband as well as 50 to 60 emails to friends and family. Below please read what I sent to the military guy.. hope you don't mind my sending it.

W. Newton

Thank you again and please help us keep America!!!!!!

497th Members!!

TYSON'S DECISION TO DESTROY OUR COUNTRY BY TAKING AWAY LABOR DAY FROM THEIR AMERICAN EMPLOYEES AT A TENNESSEE PLANT AND REPLACING IT WITH A MUSLIM HOLIDAY !! WE MUST STOP THEM TODAY!!!

This is a very important message and we, as Americans, need to stand up and let our voices be heard loud and clear. None of us are too old to speak out against Un-American issues that continually face us! We MUST do something about the most recent issue that has occurred or it is just the start of our rights being taken away from us forever!

Each of you served our country in the military and did not take your duties lightly. I believe you feel as strongly as I do over the way things are happening today. So please let's do our part. We CAN make a difference even though we are only one voice. It takes all of us individually to make many voices and they WILL listen when we get into the "pocket book" of those trying to sell us down the river to the Muslims.

This is certainly NOT a joke as it has been on CNN and other major channels. I feel sure many of you have heard it already.

Ways we can help:

Let everyone know about this by sending emails or calling

Let Tyson know how you feel. (They will accept calls but we also need to write.

DO NOT BUY ONE SINGLE PRODUCT MADE BY TYSON (that means no McDonald's chicken items as they buy from Tyson. That is only one example; just watch what you buy. There are other Chicken companies believe it or not. If not in your area, eat fish, pork and beef (I may become a vegetarian J If I have to I will. I love my country enough to do that for sure.

We MUST not let them get away with this outrageous decision. Why are we fighting this war if we are going to let the Muslims take over our holidays and one has to wonder just what else will they be given; perhaps perhaps our Christmas holiday, Veterans Day, Memorial Day??? Perhaps any that interferes with the Muslim holidays. Remember the little question, "How do you eat an elephant?? By taking one bite at a time. So that is how our nation will be consumed… one bite at a time.

I am outraged and disgusted!!! Please help me. Tyson and anyone involved in this should be run out of the country!!

I am sending contact information below. Please help me today make a difference. Also send to everyone you know and get their help in this very important issue.

Consumer Relations CP631

CEO, Richard (Dick) L. Bond

2210 West Oaklawn Drive

Springdale, AR 72764

PH: 1-800-643-3410

Below is the article that I mentioned above that I am sending so you can know the whole story:

Thanking you for helping!!

W.Newton

497th Reunion Coordination

_____________________________________________

Newspaper Article- Shelbyville TN

Tyson replaces Labor Day with Muslim Eid al-Fitr

Chicken company: Workers wanted Islamic religious event recognized

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted: August 02, 2008

12:10 am Eastern

By Bob Unruh

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A Labor Day parade from the early 1900s

Food workers at the Shelbyville, Tenn., plant for Tyson Foods, which boasts on its corporate website that it strives "to honor God," will have time off for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday closing the month of Ramadan, instead of the American tradition Labor Day.

Officials with the company told WND the labor union representing the 1,200 plant workers, including about 700 immigrants from Somalia who largely are Muslim, sought the holiday change in the new five-year contract, and the company agreed.

Officials with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union issue a press statement about the new "contract [that] creates an additional paid holiday, [Eid al-Fitr,] a Muslim holiday that occurs toward the end of Ramadan."

A spokeswoman at the union's office told WND no one was in the office today who could comment on the request.

To the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Gary Mickelson, Tyson's media chief, said there is no new holiday, but at the union's request the company agreed to discontinue the Labor Day holiday and implement Eid al-Fitr.

(Story continues below)

"Union leadership did request and receive Eid al-Fitr (which is apparently spelled various ways including Id al-Fitr and Eid ul-Fitr) as a paid holiday in place of Labor Day," Mickelson told the newspaper.

"Since all Team Members will still have eight paid holidays, the change will not affect production," Mickelson said.

On the paper's forum page, readers were outraged.

"If this holiday is that important to them, make them take it off instead of Christmas Day and allow ALL workers to be off Labor Day. Most AMERICAN families have some type of function on Labor Day," wrote one anonymous participant.

"It says union leadership made this request, makes you wonder who runs the union. I guess they are already working on a plan to replace Memorial Day, that means nothing to the Muslims so why should we have the right to celebrate it. Labor Day commemorates the plight of workers and the struggle of labor unions to improve working conditions for American workers. The Muslims will not stop until all of our rights and laws are changed to accommodate their beliefs. This will be a new America but it will be their America," said another.

The union boasts on its website, "Diversity is one of the strengths of our union. … We may come from different countries and speak different languages. But what unites us is the belief that by standing together we can better advance our interests."

The holiday comes at the conclusion of the month-long Ramadan for Muslims, but it not on the same day each year. Officials with Tyson said they were working out how best to address what apparently now will be a floating holiday for the company.

Mickelson said other holidays for the company workers include birthday, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Union spokesman Randy Hadley told the newspaper, "The negotiating committee felt this was extremely crucial, since this holiday is as important to Muslims as Christmas is to Christians."

The union also reported "two prayer rooms have been created to allow Muslim workers to pray twice a day and return to work without leaving the plant."

Ironically, the company on its website also promotes a variety of traditional and customary Christian and secular blessings for food -- its primary product.

"This is America, founded by the blood of our forefathers and should not be challenged by Somalians, Hispanics, or any other immigrants. If they come to America, they need to learn our language and our ways. They can practice their culture in private if they so please, but not shove it down our throats. Would they let us go there and change there country? I have banned Tyson's products from my home for years because of the illegals they were hiring. I am sorry for the producers that are supplying them, but Tyson's has once again crossed the line with the American people. Labor Day was here long before Tyson's. What holiday will be next to be taken away and replaced to accommodate an immigrant. This stinks worse than the plant," said another anonymous forum participant.

"Disgusting ... appalling ... horrifying ... there just aren't enough words to describe this situation. There will never be another Tyson product in my home EVER!! Bedford County and the rest of the nation need to take notice. Is this what we are coming to?" said another.

A Muslim website says the holiday is a "joyous three-day celebration" that concludes Ramadan, during which Muslims fast during the day.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the national holiday dates from Sept. 5, 1882, and is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

-- Posted by mitchie1937 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 2:55 PM

"Why are we fighting this war if we are going to let the Muslims take over our holiday"

Wow... and all this time I thought we were supposed to be fighting terrorism... Do you mean to say that this whole war we're in is really about Christianity trying to stop Islam? Hold on, I need to go check my Constitution... I could have sworn there was something about not favoring one religion over another, that's got to include using military might (not to mention my tax dollars) to stop a religion!

And as to 700/1200 employees being immigrants/refugees, I believe that when the white part of America started (understanding that we weren't the first here), about 100% of employees were immigrant/refugees...

-- Posted by bnb on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 3:05 PM

I also picked up this story on snopes.com. Out here in sunny California we are being overrun by immigrants, willing to work for very low pay, in substandard conditions at an alarming rate. Also, a huge percentage of our manufacturing and technology jobs have been "outsourced" to China, India, Malaysia etc. The industrial area where I work has become a ghost town. The company I work for has outsourced 350 of 400 jobs over the last three years. I'm one of the fortunate few whose job cannot be sent overseas.

Our cities and towns have been taken over by a variety of ethic groups, who tend to buy homes in cluster neighborhoods and stick to their own culture and language. They make no effort to assimilate into the American culture as our ancestors did. The ATMs here now require that you chose your language from a list of eight choices. English is No. 2 on the list. There are many neighborhoods where the writing on the buildings is no longer in English. You could swear you were in another country.

Many of our youngsters are having difficulty reading and writing English since much of the teacher's time is focused on teaching in other languages. The Christmas break has been extended to one month so immigrant children can make the trek back to the homeland for the holiday. School starts in August now, before Labor Day (Eid al-Fitr).

I'm very disappointed that our unions have become so weak that the demands of the few have overtaken the needs of the majority of the workers. I agree with the writer that said if we give in to the demands of every ethnic group that is being allowed to pour into this country, we will lose the way of life that we hold dear. Many of these new groups do not honor or respect our way of life, or religion in return.

Wake up America. The frog is in the pot and the heat has been turned up.

-- Posted by cb95060 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 3:51 PM

There are only 250 muslims out of 1200 in there. Not 700. They released the 700 at first so people would think there was a majority but it was leaked the real numbers are 250.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:21 PM

Did any ONE else catch what Scotts4Justice said?? Companies all over America are being subsidized by state govts. to hire aliens. It IS happening. Just ask if you doubt.

Either 'party' - just two sides of the same coin. We need new coinage.

-- Posted by howLong on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 9:05 PM

I just read the article on this topic and I am outraged. I am in the military, but most of all I am a Christian and we are fighting a war on trying to keep this a safe country and a CHRISTIAN Nation. That is the MAIN reason this country, our school systems and many other things have gotten so bad, is because God has been taken out of everything.. Wake up people, and turn this country back to the Christian Nation it is still supposed to be. If others are offended, let them go back to the country they came from, either abide by our laws or go home.

Pray that we don't elect Obama, It just can't be right, a Muslim running a Christian Nation... God Help Us..

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:16 PM

Yeah, first of all this country wasn't every settled with intentions of being a CHRISTIAN nation. If you think so, please show me in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence it says that.

Secondly, Obama isn't a Muslim

Third, that "war" you're fighting is purely politically and based on GREED and POWER... nothing more.

God wasn't taken out of many things, you just use that as an excuse NOT to worship. There isn't a single soul who said you, your kids, etc can't pray anywhere they wish, you just can't force anyone else to against their free will.

And about abiding by our laws, what about Labor Day is a law? NOTHING... So perhaps you need to go somewhere and study law, before you recommend someone leave a country you truly know nothing about.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:22 PM

Pray that we don't elect Obama, It just can't be right, a Muslim running a Christian Nation... God Help Us..

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:16 PM

Two false statements combined in one. Hilarious.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:24 PM

"...The contract that calls for this change was unanimously recommended by the 12-person union bargaining committee, which included three Somali employees (and NINE non Muslim employees). The contract was then overwhelmingly agreed to by 80 percent of the rank and file membership of the union at the Shelbyville plant...The Muslim population at the Shelbyville plant is primarily composed of approximately 250 Somali employees...The Shelbyville complex employs approximately 1,200 people. Approximately 1,000 workers are covered by the union agreement at Shelbyville."

http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/PressRoom...

Which means, AT LEAST 800 employees at this plant (out of 1,000) agreed to the holiday... Of those 800 who agreed, 250 were Somalians, and the remaining 550 were comprised of Non Muslim employees....

This decision was not up to Tyson's management, or any executive at Tyson... This was a UNION decided based on the EMPLOYEES at the plant. You people should REALLY learn to read an entire story before reading the title and digging deep for your racist, close minded bigotry.

This "Christian" nation you all think exists obviously doesn't... The proof is in your behavior and your sickening attitudes.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:39 PM

blessedamerican,

If you are in the military, then you took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, which plainly states that there should be no establishment of religion. That includes Christianity.

-- Posted by Richard on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 10:50 PM

jesuslovesevery1,

No, there are 250 somalis, 800 didn't agree to something they never knew about. No-one knew.

250 muslim out of 1200 employees, this so-called 12 person vote never happened like the Tyson/Union spin is trying to play it. I have heard these lies over and over from the Union and Tyson. Each one of their "press releases" says different contradicting things each time. First it was 700 somalis, then it was 800, now it is 250, like I originally stated from the beginning.

To me, it isn't about the Holiday, or the Lies, it is about how they flat out kick employees out of positions they been at for years to get in cheaper paid workers. Our unemployment in this county is 7.5%. I guess we need it higher before people take notice. Beats me, but something has to give in and I think it is high time for Tyson to pay for their lack of ethical treatment of the local community that was here. Not the one they brought here to milk us dry of our resources.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 11:55 PM

Each one of their "press releases" says different contradicting things each time. First it was 700 somalis, then it was 800, now it is 250, like I originally stated from the beginning.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 11:55 PM

You are confusing the press releases. Plain and simple. 700 Somalians are the TOTAL number of employees at ALL Tyson plants combined, 250 is the number HERE. It's not hard to comprehend.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 7:57 AM

So why was labor day only changed here? And if Tyson is so diversified, why do they know ALL the statistics on Somalians but can't seem to keep parts in their plants to fix the machines?

And BTW it isn't 700 in all their plants, there are 3500 Muslims working for Tyson, more than 50% of them are Somalians, and more than 95% are refugees. Tyson is skewing the numbers yet again.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 8:49 AM

You must be on their corporate board. It's good to see someone who has never sat in the corporate office tell me how many people work there.. Right.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 6:57 PM

Guys, do you ever take a moment and step back from yourself and listen to what you're saying, you know, as an exercise in self-analysis? I'd recommend one now, if not. Are you really implying that someone would go into social work for the money? And further that they have some vested interest in refugees coming to this country as a result?

I mean, really? Is that really the post you're gonna hitch your horse to?

-- Posted by cwage on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 7:12 PM

Cwage, the filthy lucre to be made off kids termed "learning challenged" is astronomical. All the touchy feely social workers in the Education racket have the best of intentions, mind you, but the result is the stultification of our children in the public school system. There is a financial incentive in the Do Gooder Industrial Complex. Believe it.

-- Posted by Scherzophrenic on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 8:29 PM

The New York Times article has a quote from a union representive that states Tyson has worked on Labor Day for the last 23 years in a row.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/us/06m......

-- Posted by Richard on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 12:01 AM

GREAT COMMENT! So, exactly what is the fuss about? Since they are STILL getting paid for 8 holidays, and many haven't had this day off anyways? Ahhh, it wasn't until a "journalist" decided to have his news story on the front page of the paper as if it were the only thing important in our county. Right...

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 9:42 PM

This is an outrage! People come to the United States of America for a better life and now they want US to change and conform to their ways? I think NOT.

Other cultures have entered this great land and have assimilated to the American ways and are proud to do so. NOW the muslims want us to make consessions for them - a muslim holiday? ? ? ?

Do you really think that other counries make special accomodations and holidays for American citizens that move into their contries? NO WAY!

We, as Americans, need to be proud of our country and culture and keep AMERICA strong.

TYSON - SORRY your product shall not darken my home EVER AGAIN! Thank you, but NO THANK YOU!

-- Posted by asapfjm on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 9:46 PM

jesuslovesevery1,

Actually I did sit in the corporate office many times. Behind a big mahogany desk puffin on some cubans. I know the drill. Do you? Funny how my numbers were correct the first time the story broke. Hmm wonder why that could be?

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:07 PM

Actually I did sit in the corporate office many times. Behind a big mahogany desk puffin on some cubans. I know the drill. Do you? Funny how my numbers were correct the first time the story broke. Hmm wonder why that could be?

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:07 PM

So you did all of that in Arkansas? Did ya read Richard's post? They've been working on Labor Day for the last 23 years in a row.. Think you'd know that since you worked there.

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:20 PM

They worked the 4th of July too does that make it not a paid Holiday too?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:24 PM

It's not up to you, me or any other person... Each organization makes their own decisions. If each of us knew as much as we thought we did, then why aren't we sitting on corporate boards making these decisions...

-- Posted by jesuslovesevery1 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:34 PM

Richard

What do YOU think this country was founded on, obviously you DON't know, it sure was not on Islam, Muslim, or any other religion,but Christianity, What is on the money you spend, it sure is'nt "In Buddah we Trust!!!!! I am a Christian and very proud of it. I"m not only a Christian, but VERY active in my church and study the Bible, and again I say, that is what is wrong with this country, not enough Christians are wanting to stand up for what is right, but I AM. One of the topics I am involved in at church is studying about the different religions, and one is on Muslim, only thru being saved by Grace of Jesus Christ IS the only way to Heaven, Muslims don't believe that., get involved in a Bible study and study the Bible. Keep on telling me on what it's like to be in the military and defend the Constitution, and I will keep giving you an answer, cause obviously you have never served, Are you an American? You are right about the constitution, but I was sworn to defend against foreign and domestic, and I don't want someone trying to change what our forefathers put into the Constitution. It is only a matter of time, if we don't take a stand!!!!!

Join the military and go overseas and serve like I have, put your life on hold and protect this country against terroism, then you MIGHT have a clue.

BlessedAmerican

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:53 PM

Hey,

Show me in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution it says the word Christianity.. Hint: YOU WON'T FIND IT..

Also "In God We Trust" was never on our currency until the 1950's... Maybe you should get your head of the bible and begin studying some truth.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:56 PM

You are right about the constitution, but I was sworn to defend against foreign and domestic, and I don't want someone trying to change what our forefathers put into the Constitution. It is only a matter of time, if we don't take a stand!!!!!

Join the military and go overseas and serve like I have, put your life on hold and protect this country against terroism, then you MIGHT have a clue.

BlessedAmerican

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:53 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA... This is where you petty little argument starts the repetitive B/S.. Nothing but absolute lies. There were on terrorists bombing Iraq until none other than the U.S. showed up...

The only thing you are "sworn in to defend" is the Constitution, which again never said a thing about Christianity. They didn't force any special religion on people, if they had it would be mentioned, and it would have made no sense to FLEE FROM A COUNTRY that did the same thing. LOL. Ignorance.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 11:00 PM

A few points of clarification amid the muck:

1. Somalian children do have to follow the same school dress code as everyone else. The only exception is for the head covering for the females and that has to be in a solid approved school color.

2. Most teachers are not "afraid" of Somalian students. For the most part they are well behaved and work very hard. There is an Islamic cultural trait that encourages men to teach boys and women to teach girls. This is what they are accustomed to (provided they were able to attend school in a war torn country), but they are acclimating to having opposite sex teachers in American schools.

3. The Christian religion is alive and well in Bedford County schools. Many students have Bibles in their lockers and book bags. All the middle and secondary schools here have chapters of the FCA and FCS in the schools. Some of the schools have prayer groups held by students before the start of the school day. Students are allowed to pray over their lunch. The idea that Christianity is not allowed in school is completely blown out of proportion.

4. Most employers in the area do allow regular church going people to be off on Sunday morning so they may attend church. Some will even not schedule a devout person for Sunday night or Wednesday so their employees can have their spiritual needs met. If you are a devout church attendee and you discuss it with your employer on the front end, they will work with you more often than not.

5. Both of the current candidates for president are whole hearted Christian Americans. The current smear tactics are completely fabricated by racist and/or uninformed citizens.

6. All Muslims are not terrorists, and all terrorists are not Muslims. You are much more likely to encounter a red-blooded American Christian terrorist than a Muslim one in this country. Think. . . Anthrax scare (American), Atlanta Olympics bomb scare (American), Oklahoma City Bomber (American)and these were all white males born on this soil.

Stop and think before you go completely insane over the changes in our community. There is no planned subversion of the Christian religion or our American way of life.

-- Posted by spiritfolk on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:28 PM

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 11:11 PM

Nascarfanatic

I have studied some law, have 3 college degrees, so don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. Obama HAS said he is Muslim, he is just trying to hide it. Apparently you have not heard him talk much and watched his behavior when the National Anthem has been played.

And saying that I use that for an excuse not to worship, I worship all of the time, whether I am in church or wherever I may be. I am very active in my church, and sing in the choir and attend Bible studies,every week, since I was little, and I am all grown up now, and I don't just talk the talk I WALK THE WALK...!!!

What do you think would happen if you went to another country and wanted to play by your rules or go by what your were raised on, you could'nt, no day would be set aside just for a select group of americans that wanted a holiday just for them.

I have been in other countries, I saw no changes in their ways for us americans that were there.

I am all for letting others come into this great country of ours, but they need to abide my OUR laws, and also I have been a Police Officer and seen how the Hispanics run form their vehicles when they have a accident and protend not to speak English, just to try and stay out of trouble. Go to some other country and see what happens, In turkey, they cut your hands off for stealing.

Like I told Richard, what do You think this country was founded on, it sure wasn't Islam, It was Christianity, Get involved in a church, and get close to other believers and talk to them about what this country was founded on...

Blessedamerican

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 11:20 PM

I want to make a correction on one of the statements I made on the US being founded as a Christian nation. I don't want to say anything that is not true, I am not too big to admit when I am wrong, but this country was under Paganism, BUT the first colonists in America came from Europe, mostly Great Britian to escape religious persecution and to establsh a place of free CHRISTIAN worship, but eventually fell under the government of Great Britian, and the first European Americans did live under Christian rules, but was not this in the beginning,but this country has continued to grow as a Christian nation, approximately 33% and growing.

Blessedamerican

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 12:54 AM

Hey Nascar person, Get your head away from the nascar and into the Bible, and read the Declartion of Independence, I just did, like I said in another blog, this nation was under paganism, but the first colonists settled here to get away from religious persecution and got into the way of the Christians rules.

It does talk about Christianity. The only ignorant people are the ones that don't want to follow the Bible and try to live as Christ did, because in the end, every knee will bow to our Heavenly Father and give account of their live.

No more blogs, some people, you just can't get them to see what is really important...

Blessedamerican

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 1:39 AM

blessedamerican,

You swore to support and defend the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNTITED STATES against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The First Amendment reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

So your belief that we are supposed to be Christian nation, and we should even go to war to keep our country a Christian nation is a complete contradiction of the oath you took, and the Constitution that you swore to defend. You are the one trying to change the Constitution, not me or muslims.

If you disagree, then explain to me what you think the First Amendment means and how it only applies to Christians, instead of telling me what the people in your church believe, or ranting about hispanics breaking the law.

Your comments about how other countries treat people is exactly what sets us apart from many other nations, the freedoms and rights we enjoy. That's what this country was founded upon, freedom. That is what we should be defending, and that includes freedom of religion. Which part of the Constitution are you supporting and defending?

"What is on the money you spend, it sure is'nt "In Buddah we Trust!!!!!"

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 10:53 PM

"In God We Trust" did not appear on coins until 1864, or currency until 1957. Our founders had nothing to do with it. So what is that supposed to prove?

"Obama HAS said he is Muslim"

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 11:20 PM

When? Where? Show me your source of this information. You don't have one.

"No more blogs, some people, you just can't get them to see what is really important..."

-- Posted by blessedamerican on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 1:39 AM

Don't rush off. You said you had answers.LOL

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 2:09 AM

blessedamerican, please let's be clear about something. It is not the business of the taxpayers to convert people to Christianity. I am happy that you have found peace in the Christian church; good for you. But please please please don't force that on everyone else. No one religion is right for everyone, even though religious leaders want you to believe that. What you have may be great for you, but the wisdom of the founders was that everyone needs to pick their own way - heck, the Pilgrims were essentially refugees from religious persecution in England. They came here to get AWAY from governments that try to impose religion.

It sounds like you'd be really happy with a Christian theocracy in the US. You haven't said that outright, but in your heart of hearts, is that what you want? That you want everyone to become Christian and for the country to be run on Christian Bible law? Then think about living in a theocracy somewhere else, like Iran, under Sharia law. You might dismiss that as saying it's a false religion or something, but it's not; it's as real as Christianity. A theocracy here is no better than a theocracy somewhere else; a Christian theocracy is no better than an Islamic theocracy. That's what makes this country great: no theocracies, and everyone is allowed to find their way, with the government not telling people what to believe.

Be proud of what you believe in. But don't delude yourself into thinking it alone actually makes you a better person, and that people who don't agree with you are bad people. The world ain't that simple, and frankly this country is richer as a result. A good person who happens to be Christian is simply a good person; a good person who happens to be Muslim is also simply a good person.

I think maybe I got verbose here... sorry... :)

-- Posted by bnb on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 2:50 AM

VERY WELL WRITTEN ;) It's as simple as that.

BlessedAmerican, you truly have no clue what you are talking about. So I see no need in continuing to post truth while you respond with fiction.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 8:09 AM

As a former resident of Shelbyville and having worked at this establishment, I would like to (calmly I hope) add my 2 cents worth.

First of all the management at Tyson Foods at Shelbyville doesn't make a move of ANY kind without say-so from the corporate office. This goes for any kind of management decision. This establishment bends over backwards to make things difficult for any non-alien employee, (meaning illegal Hispanic workers, Somalis, whatever, take your pick) so the other workers (White, Black, Asian) will leave the plant and make it easier for the company to do whatever they please. The sanitation issues (or lack thereof) are real. Question-why does a major news outfit CNN, CBS, NBC whoever, not do a documentary on the claims? The USDA can only do so much with the P.C. crowd at this particular plant.

As for religion, everyone in this blog, however well meaning or not, is wrong. This country was stolen from the rightful inhabitants who were murdered wholesale because they wanted to have their country for themselves (beginning to sound familiar?) The inhabitants I am referring to are Sioux, Apaches, Algonquin, Huron, Cherokee, and so on.

If anyone out there believes that foreigners, illegal or otherwise will not screw up this country, take a look at the not so distant past and learn. this plant had a very heavy influx of illegal Hispanics (not all Mexican, Hispanics of many nations) 10 years ago, even they are leaving due to the pressure from the Somalis. The Somalis (the ones in and around Shelbyville) are some of the most rude people I have ever had the misfortune to be around. they will force their way into lines at any store you would care to mention. I have yet to meet one who doesn't act like the world owed them something. I have yet to meet one who has even a hint of had a bath in the last year or so.

I was born and raised in this country and served in the military for 28 years. This is NOT what I served for. If you want to have things the way they are in the country you left, go back there and pray. I'm sure who ever is in power there will accommodate you, just before they cut off your head.

This is AMERICA. Be American or be gone-back to wherever you came from.

-- Posted by ghostwolf on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 9:28 AM

jesuslovesevery1,

You still can't seem to acknowledge the fact each "press release" Tyson or the Union has released says something to contradict themselves. You feel it is ok to go over all of the other works heads to make a decision that wasn't voted on. NO-ONE KNEW. Therefore there was never a vote. This isn't about religion it is about fair and equal treatment. If you want to keep bitching at me about this, then so be it, but you are wrong about this.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 8:31 PM

Let me chime in.. Can you show me the links to each press release so I can personally see how many times they changed the story... I would really like to see that, honestly.

-- Posted by nascarfanatic on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 10:42 PM

Regarding the numbers, the second story in the t-g included this quote from the Tyson spokesperson:

"We have approximately 250 Somalis that work at the Shelbyville plant," Lawson said. "We do not know how many Muslim team members work at Tyson. We do know that approximately 250 Somalis work at the Shelbyville plant."

It seems they are suggesting that there are other muslim team members in addition to the Somali workers. I don't know what the original union press release stated because it has been deleted, but the t-g reported that it stated there were 700 MUSLIMS working at Tyson, not 700 Somalis.

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe this at all, because I don't know what other muslims are working there, but it does seem like they are trying to suggest that the number of Somalis(nationality) is not equal to the number of muslims(religion), if that makes any sense.

My question to you, Evil Monkey, is this: Where are all of these Tyson employees you have been talking about? If what you are saying is true, that there was no vote at all, that Tyson is completely making this up:

"A Tyson Foods press release issued Monday stated that the contract which made the change "was unanimously recommended by the 12-person union bargaining committee, which included three Somali employees."

"The contract was then overwhelmingly agreed to by 80 percent of the rank and file membership of the union at the Shelbyville plant," the press release said."

Are you saying none of that ever happened? Because if that's true, these people need to speak up. You are talking about hundreds of people that supposedly voted for something, but didn't. I searched through all 400+ comments about this story on this website, and unforunately, I only found one from someone who actually claimed to be employed at Tyson when this occured. Here it is:

"the union works for tysons i worked there when this happend and i was part off the union i paid the union every week but they have know say tyson has the last say yes they had a vote but when you look a lot off people didnt know what was going on they have to work to pay bills so they donot say anything. here it is last year when the muslins holiday was here they had know one to work there was a hand full off people so you put one and one together if you have not work there you do not know what is going on it is not good they told a man he could not ware a american flag because someone may say something"

-- Posted by dennoxx on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 7:02 PM

It seems this person is indicating that there was a vote, but that some people were possibly uninformed, or simply went along with what they knew the company wanted.

I know everybody at Tyson doesn't read these blogs, or even have an internet connection, but I wish we could get more comments on this story from the actual employees, instead of a lot of hearsay. That's the only way people will know the truth.

-- Posted by Richard on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 12:42 AM

I think that Tyson's retraction/regret statement spawned from the many calls and emails saying they would no longer buy their production.

-- Posted by Monkey Killer on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 9:57 AM

Just read the constitution again, nope still nothing about Christianity being the one true religion. These people working for Tyson have the right to bargain for whatever holidays they choose. They could bargain for a paid halloween if they choose. You as a consumer have the right to buy products from whatever comapny you choose. The right to choose is what this country was built on. Oh, but only if you are a Christian. BS. All this fervor over labor day. Get real people, this is about so called love your neigbor Christians who once again want the right to tell everyone else how wrong they are not to be Christians. Perhaps these Somalians came to this country for the same reasons many of our ancesters did, the right to choose your own life, morals and religious beliefs.

-- Posted by michelle2249 on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 10:24 AM

nascarfanatic,

The Union pulled their first one, even the T-G states that. I don't know why you can't just believe the union didn't vote on this? As you can see, it was "revoted" and it didn't pass, and the only reason it didn't pass was because there was an actual vote.

The thing I do not understand about this is, you seem to be a pretty clever individual and you couldn't see the wool being pulled over the eyes of the majority of the workers there. 90% of the workers there don't care about the prayer rooms, or the other accomidations, and the 2 extra breaks the somalians get for their prayers. But this particular thing, Tysons and the union purposely went behind the 750 other workers to get this slipped through un-noticed.

Please Note:

I never mentioned in any of my comments about religion or any derogatory comments against the refugees whatsoever. I know this is a heated topic about race, religion and something else, but I can't remember at the moment. But to me this is merely based on ethical treatment of ALL the employees there and that just didn't happen.

Now I have asked you to call me, email me and I guess you either didn't want to talk or don't get a crap. You rather argue the point, whatever the point was.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 8:02 PM

Once His Holiness, Most Merciful Messiah Barack HUSSEIN Obama is President, everything will be OK.

No worries, no cares, free healthcare, and redistribution of wealth so that everyone is EQUAL - NO RICH AND NO POOR - a perfect UTOPIA -

WON'T THAT BE WONDERFUL?

-- Posted by puppydinks on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 12:56 PM

It is amazing to me that there are so many people here who are ignorant of the history of the United States.

The majority of the "founding fathers" of this country were deitist, not Christian. That means they believed in a supreme being, not necessarily the Christian view. The words "endowed by our CREATOR are quite prominent in the Constitution.

This country was already inhabited by many nations when the original inhabitants came seeking "freedom FROM religion".

Did you assimilate with the people? Did you learn their languages (over 500)? Did you adopt their culture? Did you adopt their RELIGIONS? Or did the new immigrants just slaughter anyone and everyone that did not agree with their beliefs?

Why are you so upset about the Somalians coming to the US? Isn't this what the "founding fathers" did? Come here to get away from persecution? Are you upset that they bring their OWN religion? Or is it their color? America isn't "white", it never has been.

We are a melting pot of colors, religions, ethnicity. Get used to it. It isn't going to change.

You want Christmas off? Fine, but it is a Christian holiday. I am not Christian. You want MLK day off? Fine, but I am not black. You want Passover off? It's a Jewish holiday. Fine, but I am not Jewish. And you get so upset about Muslims wanting THEIR religious holiday off? I am not Muslim either.

The union allowed EIGHT days paid holiday. What difference does it make what you call it or when you take it?

Wike

-- Posted by Wike on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 2:19 PM

Wike,

Did you even read anything? Or did you just assume it was about religion?

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 4:38 PM

EM,

It wasn't originally about religion but the author of the article knew full well it would explode in that... Go read the pure hatred and ignorance spewed forth on those stories.

They turned a paid holiday into calling all Muslims horrible people who want us all dead, and just imagine what Barack Obama will do... It's B/S and the South needs to learn how to grow up, read some history and comprehend it's detrimental purpose. So, perhaps we don't engage in hate and religious wars all over again. I know you personally didn't turn it into that, but the majority of folks did, and that is freaking ridiculous.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Aug 9, 2008, at 11:59 PM

"Stealth Socialism" from Investor's Business Daily:

"Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.

In the past, such rhetoric was just that -- rhetoric. But Obama's positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.

In his latest memoir he shares that he'd like to "recast" the welfare net that FDR and LBJ cast while rolling back what he derisively calls the "winner-take-all" market economy that Ronald Reagan reignited (with record gains in living standards for all).

Obama also talks about "restoring fairness to the economy," code for soaking the "rich" -- a segment of society he fails to understand that includes mom-and-pop businesses filing individual tax returns.

It's clear from a close reading of his two books that he's a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.

Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.

Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He's disguising the wealth transfers as "investments" -- "to make America more competitive," he says, or "that give us a fighting chance," whatever that means.

Among his proposed "investments":

* "Universal," "guaranteed" health care.

* "Free" college tuition.

* "Universal national service" (a la Havana).

* "Universal 401(k)s" (in which the government would match contributions made by "low- and moderate-income families").

* "Free" job training (even for criminals).

* "Wage insurance" (to supplement dislocated union workers' old income levels).

* "Free" child care and "universal" preschool.

* More subsidized public housing.

* A fatter earned income tax credit for "working poor."

* And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.

His new New Deal also guarantees a "living wage," with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and "fair trade" and "fair labor practices," with breaks for "patriot employers" who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for "nonpatriot" companies that don't.

That's just for starters -- first-term stuff.

Obama doesn't stop with socialized health care. He wants to socialize your entire human resources department -- from payrolls to pensions. His social-microengineering even extends to mandating all employers provide seven paid sick days per year to salary and hourly workers alike.

You can see why Obama was ranked, hands-down, the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal."

-- Posted by puppydinks on Sun, Aug 10, 2008, at 7:37 AM

darrick,

Yeah I normally don't even pay attention to the hate talk, I was more interested how Tyson and the Union got to the point in their decision as to not include the employees in the vote. It goes to show there is alot more behind the scene then what is actually stated in a press release.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Aug 10, 2008, at 12:58 PM

We must rid this town of illegal's. I have owned my house here since 1995, and I will not let these liberal mayors and city & county commissioners continue with this mr. melson.

read the story below, if it can happen there it is happening here.

The Minutemen are comming, mr. melson. we are going to start educating homeowners in this town of where there properity taxes are going. And not to some homeless shelter that is a shell game for mayor ray to say he is helping the homeless. that is what D.H.S. wich I remind these is being run down financally by the illegals and hb-1b visa holders who have been kicked out of tysons. Get ready Mr melson, The minutemen are comming and will not stop untill the illegals are GONE. 287-g NOW. Immigration sweeps at the celebration.

read story below

Rhode Island's governor today is looking to replace eight members of its commission on Hispanic affairs. Those eight commissioners yesterday resigned in protest over the governor's order to crack down on illegal immigration. Governor Donald Carcieri issued his illegal immigration control order back in March. Among its provisions are requirements that state police check the immigration status of all who are arrested.

Governor Carcieri said the state is facing a massive budget deficit and illegal aliens create a financial strain on state resources. The governor said he will not rescind that order and he will fill the vacancies that are now on that commission.

Get the message, American Patrol minutemen wil be signing up those who want to fight illegal immigration during the weeks to come.

-- Posted by american patrol minuteman on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 10:54 AM

If the Muslims want a holiday, they should go to their own country. This America.

However, if Tyson wants to give the Muslims their holiday, then they should also give holidays to other faiths amd ethnic groups their holiday.

-- Posted by saguilar42@yahoo.com on Sat, Aug 30, 2008, at 5:03 PM

What is wrong with you people. With the exception of American INDIANS! you are all immigrants and refugees. What the hell do Labor Day have to do with the Christian calander? nothing! It is about organized labor and unions. The union of this company agreed and the change was ratified by the members. So to those calling for boycotts and name calling, go back where YOUR families came from you god damm ignorant immigrant.

-- Posted by scooterdie on Mon, Aug 29, 2011, at 6:49 PM


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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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