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Why some foreigners 'fit' wellPosted Tuesday, August 12, 2008, at 2:56 PM
Hispanic and Somalian immigrants to Shelbyville have drawn much criticism over the past few years.
But those who may unfairly paint area natives in general as prejudiced may want to consider other nationalities who have moved here, drawn little attention and gained acceptance.
A relatively small number of Japanese people are regularly transferred in and out of the Shelbyville area by Calsonic. They frequently speak English and are much more involved in the community than other foreigners, especially in sports.
Many convenience stores, and some motels, in Shelbyville and surrounding cities are operated by individuals from India.
Shelbyville also seems to have a unusually high number of Chinese-operated restaurants for a city its size.
So why are persons of these nationalities accepted when others draw criticism? Because they adjust their public actions to American lifestyles.
They work hard for a living, stay out of trouble and keep their homes and businesses -- and themselves -- clean. They speak English, or try to, when dealing with English speakers -- and it's appreciated by their customers and co-workers. They don't demand that those around them alter habits and lifestyles. They don't crash their cars and run away on foot.
Prejudice involves unwarranted disapproval based on skin color, religious beliefs, and the like. It's not prejudice, though, to point out that some -- certainly, not all -- of certain nationalities or ethnic groups in the Shelbyville area are causing some of their own problems.
Anyone -- of any background -- must follow a few basic rules and laws to get ahead. Those who try to twist facts to "help" and/or demand acceptance of the unacceptable are, in fact, just hurting all involved much more.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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