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Why some foreigners 'fit' well

Posted 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.


Comments
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Amen. : )

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Tue, Aug 19, 2008, at 6:46 PM

Yeah, if two monkeys can get along then so can everyone else

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Mon, Aug 18, 2008, at 10:31 AM

Because we are so busy fightning among ourselves we can't get anything accomplished. I really don't understand why people can't just do what is just, ethical and fair. It is alot easier then always looking for that quick buck! If this county would just pull together and cast aside idiotic notions of grandeur then I am sure we could achieve the reality of total self substaining resources.

We really need to clean up this county first, either remove the bad apples or have them turn over a new leaf.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 1:30 PM

Wow, we can't even get along with fellow Americans anymore, so why even bother writing an article on "why some foreigners fit well..."

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 9:37 AM

Darn! I thought I had you Joker. I guess you are more elusive than I thought. Its hard to catch a shadow! Good luck with your anonymous sniping. I hope it works out for you!

FYI - for what its worth, my Uncle's case was settled during appeal. As part of the settlement, cash was paid by one defendant to my Uncle. A letter of apology was written to him. The other defendant printed a front page statement negotiated by the parties. Sorry to disappoint.

But of course, this is not really on point.

Over and out!

-- Posted by some common sense on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 8:57 AM

Well Robert,

HEH! HEH! HEH!

It does appear that I hit a nerve. I got you to admit that what I said were the facts. Well now, that means you also admit that you have it in for Brian because your court case was thrown out by the judge.

By my counting more than 20 people know the facts that you've just admitted to, Robert, a lot more. Your a lawyer, right? Then you should know the accusations that you made could land you in court too, right? Maybe Brian or the paper can sue YOU! I bet that a lot of lawyers would take the case. HEH! HEH! HEH!

Facts are facts and anyone can go down to the Court House and see it for themselves. It is no secret, everyone in town knows you and your family have tried to get him fired again and again.

"One T-G writer uses bogus a lot." HEH! HEH! HEH! I thought my jokes were bad. Who ever said I was a journalist? Ten of them are your family? The rest work at the T-G? HEH! HEH! HEH! What about the lawyers, what about the judge, what about the Bell Buckle rumor mill, the Bedford County rumor mill? What about e-mail? EVERYONE knows your mother, Robert. The whole county does! A lot of people know YOU! Did anyone put a gag order on the case? People talk, Robert. A lot of people know all about it.

You want to know how I know? Your uncle likes to talk a lot, that's how I heard about it! Except he tells people he won a bunch of money from the paper!

HEH! HEH! HEH! That's a better joke than I could come up with, and I'm the Joker!

Why do want to know who I am, so you can sue me too? You can't sue anyone because of the same reason John Edwards couldn't sue the National Enquirer over his affair being exposed, because its the truth!!!

BTW-I've never stepped foot into the T-G Office. HEH! HEH! HEH!

-- Posted by The Joker on Sun, Aug 17, 2008, at 8:39 AM

Robert,

Seems as if you are on to something :)

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 7:57 PM

Habits can be a good thing, and it can be a bad thing too. LOL. : )

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 7:16 PM

Did you know that only 20 people in the world know the facts the Joker knows? Did you know ten of them are related to me? Did you know the rest of them work for the T-G? Did you know "bogus" is an uncommon word in journalism? Did you know one T-G writer loves to use the word "bogus" a LOT? Did you know that writer knows my mother?

-- Posted by some common sense on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 6:46 PM

Thank you for your time and attention. HEH! HEH! HEH!

-- Posted by The Joker on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 5:10 PM

Clint:

My mother says hi.

-- Posted by Robert Allison on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:37 PM

Uh oh.. where did the Joker go?

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 5:54 PM

AMEN!

To the midnight toker with the green hair:

Your points might be respected more if you cut back on the snark a bit.

(Just sayin',hon.)

ANYone who lambasts or derides more than he challenges his opponents compels observers to see one person as a boor and the other as a put-upon innocent no matter what legitimate points might be made by either side.

A sound argument stands on its own merits and needs no augmentaion from insults.

(There's been a lot of that going around. It's not just you.)

Heaven knows,Mr. Allison,you've been guilty of that error a time or two yourself.

(Who hasn't-besides Mom and devan and a few other grown-ups?)

It's healthy to call people on their faults so long as it's evident that we believe in them enough to know that they're going to get beyond their flaws and express their better natures.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 5:26 PM

HATE always destroys and tears down; Love Builds up and unites. Some things you just have to Let Go and Let God. (Fight your Battles). As for me I try not to hate no one, It is trying and hard sometimes with some people.

Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 12:42 AM

God bless you Mom, your words in this post are priceless. I would suggest that everyone who has posted on this subject go and read the parable of the Good Samaritan. We don't get to choose who our neighbors are and they sometimes come to us on unwelcome terms. We only have control of the love that goes out from us not what we hope comes back.

-- Posted by devan on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 11:21 AM

The difference here is not Black or white or green or yellow. The difference is "the want to" some nationalities truly "want to" live in America and "want to" be accepted, they "want to" be a part of the community. Their religion "per say" is not the problem, there is not a person in here that cares what their religion is, the problem is demanding special accommodations for your religion. You can not make someone learn or accept you, they must "want to".

Moral of the story: You can lead a Horse to water but you can't make him drink.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 10:04 AM

Race and Religion will always bring an angry crowd to posts. Even though some of the Bloggers stories have touched on the subjects, none of them can Out Beat Brian Moselys' response numbers to his story. The only one that has come close would be Michael Bell. He has stirred quite a nice number at times on his blogs as well. I know no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and alot of times we think we are right and later find out we are wrong. It has happened to me and I'm sure alot of others as well. I don't like to go around saying people are racist/bigots or whatever, alot of times you have to step back and see why they are saying negative things about a person or group, Maybe there is some truth in it and maybe not.

The problem always comes when they are not referring to the person by their name or individual self; It is a problem when they are referred to as a (Race - Color - or Religion Group). Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and feelings, just always remember we are all human and we all are going to make mistakes. It is what we do afterwards as (corrections) and how we handle ourselves when someone else makes a mistake that upsets us. HATE always destroys and tears down; Love Builds up and unites. Some things you just have to Let Go and Let God. (Fight your Battles). As for me I try not to hate no one, It is trying and hard sometimes with some people. Their are people not from this country that is coming here in many numbers and you don't know their True purpose for being here and that can be a concern.

When it comes to people that you believe/know do not like you or your country it can become a bit disturbing. I will not hate foreigners coming here, they may be Trully trying to make a better life for them and their family; But I will always be Cautious and Aware.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Sat, Aug 16, 2008, at 12:42 AM

Robert Allison, you are not alone on your thoughts of Mosleys stories, I have felt the same about it a few times as well. I did have to go back and rethink whether not he was really what I call a Race Hater, or was he just being manipulative on getting Hight Posts on his stories. I have to say most of the stories that he do that is referring to a race other than his recieves a High volume of posts on it, and the story is usually carrying a negative TONE about the person or people of ethniticity. If he wrote stories about people whose race is not white, and it was something that they had done that was positive, or good. And his story did not carry a Negative Tone about them, then I probably would not feel he was a race hater. But it is what it is in different peoples eyes.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:52 PM

Clint:

My mother says hi.

-- Posted by some common sense on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:37 PM

Thank you for your time and attention. HEH! HEH! HEH!

-- Posted by The Joker on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 5:10 PM

This has taken a turn for the disturbing. Yuck!

-- Posted by some common sense on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 4:28 PM

Wow, how pathetic.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 4:04 PM

Robert,

How kind of you to worry about a 12-year old girl. So gallant.

Don't worry about me, I haven't run home to Mommy with a skinned-up knee in a long time.

I've run with a few of the Big Boys for some time?

BTW, How's Your Momma Doing?

HEH! HEH! HEH!

-- Posted by The Joker on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 3:54 PM

Joker-

It's easy to be ugly when you are too chicken to give your name. Give me a call and identify yourself and we can talk about your concerns man to man. Until then, I can't really get into it. For all I know, you are a twelve year old girl and I'd feel bad picking on you if you are!

-- Posted by some common sense on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 3:34 PM

Robert Allison,

Everyone in Bell Buckle knows that you have it in for Brian Mosely, especially since that laughable bogus lawsuit filed by your wife on behalf of your uncle was thrown out of court.

The article that the lawsuit was over was the truth. But your family just can't seem to get over the fact that the lawsuit was a joke. If anyone doubts that I, the Joker, doesn't know a joke when I see one, can go right up to the Bedford County Court House and have a look for themselves. Its just a matter of public record.

Robert, people previously have flattered you by saying that you are an intelligent man. That may be so, but I personally see you and your sister in Knoxville as being rabid. You, sending a letter to the T-G calling Brian a bigot. Meanwhile, your sister is using her blog up in Knoxville to research Brian's past and post anything that doesn't live up to the families' P-C way of life. If you don't meet that then you shouldn't have a license to print, post or blog.

Just remember opinions are like noses....we all have them, but nobody wants to hear them blow or see what comes out.

Its time that this silly vendetta ends.

-- Posted by The Joker on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 3:22 PM

So?

Saul of Tarsus intended to destroy an upstart band of heretics.

The hippies wanted to bring peace and enlightenment to the world.

Whether or not one succeeds with one's agenda might depend on whether one stays devoted to one's original objectives or decides that it's easier or more beneficial to join one's opponents instead of beating them.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 2:36 PM

I don't work at Walmart, but I can vouch for what Mary said. Back in the winter, I watched a man put on a shirt. He was standing in line with the tags still hanging under the arm of the shirt. I went to an open line and told the the cashier. Unfortunately, she pretty much echoed the same thing that Mary said.

You people who are so Gung-Ho about Samolians need to wake up. They are not our friends, they are our enemies. They care nothing for our way of life. They do not have now nor will they ever have the intention to conform to our laws.

They are patient people. It won't be tomorrow, next month or maybe not even next year. These people are here right now contemplating, planning and devising ways to kill us...they will bring others here in their quest to take over our country.

-- Posted by time2relax on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 2:23 PM

memyselfi,

A part of Wal-Mart I must explain is that if an associate see's someone take something, open something, eat something, then we can't do anything about it. If we tell manangement, they will say, "So? What do you want me to do about it?" The manager, or loss prevention person has to see, and witness that person stealing in order to take action. If they take our word for it, and we are wrong, then they have a big chance of wrongfully accusing someone of stealing, then comes a BIG FAT law suite.

Try explaining that policy to an angry customer that had just witnessed a person pocket something. It is not fun, but it is the way Wal-Mart has to do things.

If I witness someone take something, I "hound" them. Stay close to them and constantly ask if they need help. I stay right next to them the whole time making them feel uncomfotable. This is what the managers and LP encourage us to do when the situation seems unhostile.

As far as Samolis go, I don't trust any of them. I have never met a Samoli that was nice, except the children. I have to deal with them constantly, especially on the weekends; therefore I feel like I have enough experience to say that they are all rude, most steal, and the men are as degrading to women as they come. I actually argued with a man Samolian the other day. I didn't give him the answer he wanted, and he figured if he argued with me enough I would "cave." I never caved, and he was the one that gave up.

I don't kiss butts, no matter if your white, black, hispanic, purple, green or pink. Rules are rules, laws are laws, and if you are in this country, then you should pay taxes, and follow the laws. Special treatment, IMO, is only for the elderly and the disabled.

-- Posted by Mary on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 1:44 PM

Where is MLK when you need him?

-- Posted by mbharleymom2go on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:02 AM

DEAD...he's as much help to us now as he was then.

-- Posted by time2relax on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:31 AM

Correct me if Im wrong (which Im sure many of you will) But I think part of the point was why do we accept the ones that fit into what we want as a society. This page is mostly full of Bash The Samolians! How do we as human beings judge a whole community of Hispanics or Samolians on the bad experiences of others.. Yes I agree that there are way to many male hispanics in the weekly arrest for public intox or dui or something stupid, but does that mean they are all drunks? No. and we have many issues with both cultures but how many rude, nasty, stinky, drunk, lazy, ect... WHITE PEOPLE are in Bedford County? Alot!! White people steal- white people are on welfare- white people dont have insur or DL- Trash is Trash and it dont come with a label of Hispanic, Chinese, or Samoli. Judge each person by that persons actions not by their Heritage or nationality.. Where is MLK when you need him?

-- Posted by mbharleymom2go on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 11:02 AM

Robert,

I wished you had won, even though you aren't in my district... You are extremely intelligent and unfortunately our community seeks to suppress that. Heaven forbid someone thinks outside the box, or see's both sides of every story before joining teams with what/who is popular :) I applaud your sincere effort to unseat complacency and bring about something that really isn't new, a proper education for all children, regardless of their attire.

I am just so glad to be one of seemingly many folks in this community who do expand their minds further than just what is between their two ears. It is people like you who understands there may be individual problems associated with any given race, ethnic group or religious affiliation, but that does not mean every person belonging to each of those is guilty.

It would be wise to remember that the majority of those living here today have ancestors who didn't adapt to the natives way of live, who didn't speak the natives tongue, and who didn't seek to push their respective religion on the natives... Thousands learned to mingle and welcomed diversity, and still hundreds of years later many have not learned from the travesties of just how much internal conflict can tear apart a nation.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 12:36 AM

jaxspike, I am not trying to explain away all the problems that you have personally dealt with. I was not trying to make you believe that they did not know it was wrong to drive into a building, just consider the possibility that they did not have the ability to drive correctly. (My son drove into the house when he was learning to drive, but don't get me started on that one.) I am also not taking the position that the individual that dented your car and apparently lied about it did not know the difference between the truth and a lie, just that he may have thought he would be severely fined or worse, jailed and/or beaten for admitting fault. From where he came from, I am certain that people have been killed in the street for far less. As far as their religious beliefs, and their choice to follow them to the letter or not, you have to look no farther than your local church to see the exact same behavior.

In my opinion, your last statement reflects the importance of this entire dialogue. You are completely right about the majority of this specific group not particular liking America or Americans. This is representative of what they have learned before they came. I have no doubt most of them were warned to shun the lifestyle and remain true to their heritage by concerned family and friends that stayed behind. Unless they do get to know "us", they will continue to have their prejudices. They will never get to know "us" unless we allow them the ability to learn how we do things and integrate, even in the smallest of ways, into the community. I have faith that our way of life can be accepted and embraced by the vast majority of the people you are concerned about.

My faith and optimism is not blind. I have had the opportunity to be exposed to, and work with, people coming from other African nations. From my admittedly limited experience with the Somalis, the problems appear to be pretty much the same. In most cases, it will not be the men that first come to the realization that our way of life may not be so bad. The men will follow the women reluctantly and eventually. However, that is only if they can see that they would want a place in our community. If we collectively prove to them that we are exactly what they expect (unfairly, I admit), they will never learn the true nature of who we are, or what makes our lifestyle so special.

Mary, I agree with you that the younger generations will have an easier time. I do wonder why you have not contacted loss prevention about the thefts. You should have measures in place to deal with problems like this as they happen. From what I understand, Wal-Mart has one of the best systems in the retail industry in place to avoid and catch criminals. Anyone who breaks the law should be held accountable, if they are caught. Also, it may not be right to hold all white people accountable for some white lady stealing a bra and not being caught though. If you notice, your message was addressed to all Somalis, not the guilty party.

Jacks4me, Yes, It is impossible (at least for me) to write a couple sentences that correctly convey complicated ideas. I wish I could just type a few words and be understood though.

It seems as though some of the people leaving comments think that I (and others) am defending, or trying to protect the immigrants. That is not the case at all. If this community does not accept these people to some degree, it will be every one of us that suffer the consequences. It is no longer a choice about them coming here. They are here, and will not be leaving in all likelihood. I personally would much rather them be adjusting to our lifestyle than figuring out a way to change it. The Islamic religion is rapidly growing in the US, not just from the immigrant population, but American converts. You can bet it will be happening even in this small town. Looking at the current trends, America will be a different place in the next 30 - 40 years. If you want to keep your valued traditions alive, I would suggest proving that they are worth the effort, as opposed to catering to the baser emotions of hate and fear.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 10:50 PM

Gottago-

Thanks for the kind words. Though I knew I would likely lose, I had hoped to win over more voters to the idea that education must be taken seriously from the top down. In four years I will try again.

I agree that Mr. Mosely's award is impressive. But I also think that we live in an age when objectivity in journalism has been sacrificed for sensationalism. I may be old fashioned, but I no longer like CNN and I can't stand Fox. I miss Walter Cronkite. If you will re-read Mr. Mosely's article dated December 28, 2007, maybe you can see what I mean. Look at the title. Read the quotations. And then ask yourself, "did Mr. Mosely actually cite to any material Somali drug or gang problems in Shelbyville?" Mr. Mosely, has admitted his personal distaste for Somalis and other Muslims in his blog and opinion pieces. That upsets me. I would have hoped it would have upset the AP judges as well. But in the age of O'Reilly journalism, maybe I am already a relic at 37.

-- Posted by some common sense on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 9:47 PM

Robert Allison,

I have only met you one time(several years ago, actually) but I know you are a well educated, intelligent man. Your posts indicate that you are a man that believes in the dignity of all and it seems clear that you will stand up for the rights of the downtrodden. You are an asset to this community and it is truly shameful that your bid for school board was unsuccessful. I was pulling for you.

But a man of your intelligence must realize that a 'rude and unprofessional' journalistic creation would be unlikely to win a prestigious Associate Press Award. The series that garnered Brian that accolade was both peer-reviewed and peer-applauded. The conclusions that he may have drawn regarding the Somali population after his investigation may not have been so favorable, but that certainly does not mean his presentation was rude and unprofessional.

-- Posted by gottago on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 8:02 PM

Why identify wrong-doers by age,race ,gender etc.(other than as ways to describe an individual and let the rest of the world off the hook)?

Surely,just as many people in those same categories behaved well with no one taking particular notice.

Fools are fools and tend to damage whoever they come in contact with-regardless of the victims' status.

Some years ago,a person became very irate over an account of an Hispanic man attacking a young girl.

He swore he'd never hire or patronize an Hispanic person.

(Somehow,he failed to notice the article about the Hispanic man who saved a child's life that same week.)

Another person added his intention to boycott blacks because of a mention of some Negro youths in the police blotter.

(Again,no hint that they'd read the good things about Ms.Hord or the people at Gilliland House.)

My family couldn't help asking whether they were going to quit associating with other whites after it was reported that a Caucasian had killed several members of his family.

I don't know if they limited themselves to contacts with Asians or if they decided that people needed to be judged for themselves and not by demographic group.

(I hope it was the latter because I suspect original sin applies to all of us and,sooner or later,they'd have discovered that Asians,Native Americans,Pacific Islanders and the rest of humanity have their flawed members,too.)

Even if we each live alone on a desert island,,we'll be living with fallible people.

If we stop punishing the innocent and start demanding that guilty individuals be accountable for their actions,then we might avoid being weakened by division and become stronger for adding the virtues of our new arrivals to our catalog of strengths.

Unity Day proved there are sensible people of all backgrounds here.

With time,we may notice more of the sane folk and less of those who are too dense to express anything but contempt for other people.

When we see someone who acts in a rude manner,we should make it clear we don't see a certain class of person.

We see a no-class dolt who hasn't bothered to cultivate the art of succeeding by his own merits or showing others the concern he'd want given to himself.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 5:03 PM

I think Mr. Melson is right on. Where do you find statistics when someone hits you or runs you off the road then drives off? You know they were somolian or hispanic and most likely drunk, but it doesnt get documented about their ethnicity or legal status, because they are not caught nor will they be persued.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 2:52 PM

Mr. Allison has a point, although I don't thing Mr. Melson indicated that the Latinos and Somalis are criminally inclined. The one thing that is true is that the Chinese, Japanese, Indians and other groups have come into this country legally while many (not all) of the Latinos have come here without proper authorization. This problem has gotten out of hand. i don't blame the Latinos. I blame our government for not enforcing the laws. We as American citizens have become so politically correct that we don't demand that we have rights as well as all the rights given to the illegals in this country. According to recent articles in national news, by 2050, the Latinos will be the majority of the U. S. population. I have no problem with diversity but what is happening to the American public. Will this be legal immigrants or are they just passively taking over? I am concerned. I have no problem with diversity, or multi-cultural, providing we are still in America. I won't be alive thank God, but my children and grandchildren will. Let's stay alert and be aware of what is happening to America. Or doesn't it matter anymore?

-- Posted by leChat on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 2:44 PM

A couple of points:

(1) I am not clear what Chad O. and Jaxpike mean when they say that Mr. Melson has expressed his opinion so I should not attack it. Isn't that what a blog is for? One person puts out an opinion and others either agree or disagree? I disagree with Mr. Melson's opinion. I think that what he said is rude.

(2) Mr. Melson works for the Times-Gazette. He writes straight news for them. Therefore, while he is certainly entitled to his opinion, to the extent that his expressed opinion demonstrates a negative personal opinion of certain ethnic groups comprising a large part of our community, his objectivity in writing straight news can be called into question.

(3) Mr. Melson has stated that the police blotter supports his contention that Latinos and Somalis are criminally inclined. I don't think that this sort of assertion can be considered an opinion at all. It is either true or false. Therefore statistics are needed to support it or it should not be stated.

I invite the staff of the Times-Gazette to re-evaluate the amount of print they give to negative comments about non-white ethnic groups. Sometimes race issues are news. For instance, it was appropriate for Brian Mosley write a series on the Somali influx into Shelbyville (though his presentation was rude and unprofessional). But a blog or op-ed piece about how Chinese make better neighbors than Mexicas due to body odor should not find a home in a community newspaper.

That is just my opinion.

-- Posted by some common sense on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 2:21 PM

My Apologies, according to the meaning of cultural assimilation here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_as...

Their assimilation here is questionable. According to Core measurements to immigrant assimilation their are four benchmarks:

1.Socioeconomic Status is defined by education attainment, Occupation and income.

2.Spatial Concentration is defined by geography or residential patterns.

3Language Attainment is defined as the ability to speak english and the loss of the "mother tongue".

4.Intermarriage is defined by race and only occasionaly by ethnicity and generation.

According to the (Theoretical models to immigrant assimilation) it states that these immigrants chances to assimilate are "blocked". (citation needed) An example of this model would be discrimination and institutional barriers to employment and other opportunities.

I know the Somalis and the Hispanics will never drop their (mother tongue). Most other races that I see here still speak their mother language, chineese - Japaneese - Asian - Hispanic - Somalis. They all have english as their second language some speak much better than others, and some none at all.

I'm not sure but I doubt that the somalis will intermarriage with Americans, unless they convert one to muslim, and I doubt an American will intermarriage with the somalis either. I have known about a hispanic that married an old friend I had, for the wrong reasons (citizenship) after that she hardly ever seen him, she had a son by him.

So according to this they probably never will assimilate to American Culture.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:52 PM

I'll bet some good points were made on both sides, however, do so many of you really have to type on for 3 pages to get your point across?

Sheesh.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 11:25 AM

Somali Taxi Drivers refusing to transport passengers who are carrying alcohol.

Somali Taxi Drivers refusing to transport passengers who are blind with a seeing eye dog.

Somali Cashiers at grocery stores refusing to touch anything made of pork.

If YOU refused any of the above, How long would YOU have your job? If you drove a taxi and refused to carry a blind person because they have a dog, how long would it be before you found yourself in court being sued for discrimination?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 9:21 AM

I think some people are forgetting that this is a blog. It's not a dissertation requiring facts, figures, and citations. It is one man's opinion. Either you agree or you don't. There is no reason to attack David for having an opinion and wanting to express it. If you don't like his point of view, don't read his blog.

-- Posted by Chad O on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 8:28 AM

Sorry memyselfi . . . I can not see how anyone including a Somali could hit my car and then get out and say they didn't hot my car even though I was sitting in the car when it happened and saw the whole thing. Wrong is wrong . . . plus how can you not know that driving a car through an apartment wall is not the normal thing to do? Plus, for people who supposedly are very religious and want to follow the Muslim ways they have a funny way of showing it. I don't think getting drunk and using foul language at other people are positive attributes in the Koran. Also, I know for a fact that these people look down upon Americans and the American way of life. I just can't see past that even though I have tried very hard to.

Like I said, so many of the people that comment on this forum have no real experience dealing with the Somalis except for a casual pass by at Wal-Mart or the post office. It's easier to judge when you have no real knowledge or experience on the matter and I am not going to be judged by someone who never lived around the Somalis and have never seen the community as a whole act.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 7:29 AM

STOP STEALING FROM WAL-MART! You get foodstamps (and I know how much you get, because I ring up your groceries). You get TennCare, government housing, and WIC. Since I have moved to the clothing department, just within the last few days I have seen THREE of you pocket stuff, and two of you walk out of the fitting room with nothing in your hands. When checking your rooms, I find the tags of the bras you tried on laying on the floor. Now how is it that you make decent money at Tyson, don't have to pay for groceries, rent, or insurance, and you still can't find the money to pay for a $10 bra? I have seen you all spend $100's of dollars in cash. I think you are just trying to push your luck; see what you can get away with.

I'm not sure what kind of God you worship, but mine says, "Thou shall not steal."

-- Posted by Mary on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:43 AM

Thank you Mary for enlightning the politically correct people on just how holy the Somalians are. You are not the only employee that I've heard this type of comment from. It's funny how when they walk in wearing all that garb, they look to weigh about 120 lbs. When they walk out, they look to weigh about 160 lbs. I watch them "steal" food in the produce area by "sampling". There's no way they can gain 40 lbs. by eating grapes and so forth within 30 minutes.

-- Posted by time2relax on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 6:39 AM

I'm not sure what kind of God you worship, but mine says, "Thou shall not steal."

-- Posted by Mary on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:43 AM

Right on Mary! They need to be cought and arrested for shoplifting.

pledge of allegiance. A somalian kid refuses to participate and is told by his teacher that he doesn't have to recite but must stand during this ritual. Mommy Somalian barges into the classroom and informs the teacher her child will not stand while the teacher argues the oppposite opinion. Mommy then runs to the principal who allows the child to remain seated. -- Posted by gottago on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 9:17 PM

No, I believe out of respect for the other children if the somalis can not participate in the classes morning programs they should stand outside quitely in the halls, until they are done with everything. They also do a moment of silence for the soldiers fighting for our country as well.

Some where I read the children were tripping over them in the halls while they where down their praying, I did not know this was going on. I also heard they are not wearing the SSA clothes either. Perhaps they will start their own private schools like some of the other religions, so they are not disrupting regular class functions.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 2:24 AM

Kirby salesmen, lol.

gottago,

Don't they have a bad enough reputation without you making up stories?

Somalians don't need to challenge the legality of the pledge of allegience. American citizens already do that. Your story sounds similar to a recent case in Florida, however it had nothing to do with Somalians. Part of a Florida law which requires students in public schools to stand and recite the pledge was struck down by a federal appeals court. The ACLU sued on behalf of a 17 year old high school student, Cameron Frazier, who got in trouble at school after refusing to stand. The court ruled that students don't have to recite the pledge if they bring a note from their parents.

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 2:18 AM

The Somali Refugees are in the United States legally because they are from a war torn country. They are not American, they are not even citizens of the United States. So our constitution does not protect their rights to anything. The Constitution of the United States was written for Americans by Americans. It does not give Somalis the Freedom of Religion or any other Freedom. We the American public have given them that. Living on American soil does not make you American. -- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:31 PM

Non-citizens do not have the same rights as citizens, but they do have some constitutional rights.

The U.S. constitution grants to "the people" or "persons"--not just to citizens--the rights to due process and equal protection of the law, to freedom of speech and assembly, and to be free from arbitrary detention or cruel and unusual punishments.

These are basic American principles, rights which can not be denied to anyone living in the United States.

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:21 AM

Thank you Richard for pointing that out.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:58 AM

Why do the exchange students knock on my door constantly? The Kirby salesmen are just as annoying! Oh and, can't leave out the Mormons (yes, we are on their list).

I am only prejuduse to people that ring my doorbell at 8:30PM to try to sell me a stinkin' vaccum cleaner that I would have to make payments on for years. I open the door long enough to tell them that "I HAD sleeping kids, thanks for waking them up," then slam!

Mormons always come ring the doorbell when we are eating dinner, or when my three year old missed the toilet, and I'm covered with pudding my two year old decided to sling at me. So needless to say, they don't get a very nice "Mary" when I have to answer them because they WON'T stop ringing the doorbell. "No! I don't want your help! I am use to k-os!"

Hispanics, I don't have a problem with. They are polite and courteous, and their kids are well mannered for the most part.

Samolis: I will say that I believe the children of the Samolis or the "American Generation" of Samolis will be more adapted to our way of life. The children are more polite and pleasent than their parents.

Now, my letter to the Samolis:

STOP STEALING FROM WAL-MART! You get foodstamps (and I know how much you get, because I ring up your groceries). You get TennCare, government housing, and WIC. Since I have moved to the clothing department, just within the last few days I have seen THREE of you pocket stuff, and two of you walk out of the fitting room with nothing in your hands. When checking your rooms, I find the tags of the bras you tried on laying on the floor. Now how is it that you make decent money at Tyson, don't have to pay for groceries, rent, or insurance, and you still can't find the money to pay for a $10 bra? I have seen you all spend $100's of dollars in cash. I think you are just trying to push your luck; see what you can get away with.

I'm not sure what kind of God you worship, but mine says, "Thou shall not steal."

-- Posted by Mary on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:43 AM

The difference is not lazy or unclean the difference is whether they choose to assimilate or not. The Somalis refuse to assimilate as do some of the Hispanics.

To adjust, and adapt to Americans does not mean they have to befriend you and hold conversations with you or your children. Their are Americans that were born here that do not do that either. They have to work, attend schools, buy their products from a store, and obey the laws. What more do you feel they have to do? Adapting to American ways or culture, does not mean they have to believe as you do and live their lives as you do. Not all Americans believe as you or I, nor do they all live as you or I.

The story below tells how they were not familiar with Americas way of life, when they first arrive, and are now adapting to or adjusting to what to do and where to go.

http://www.ask.com/bar?q=Somali+homes&pa...

This is not just an issue here in Shelbyville it is a issue throughout the US. Their is no denying their is a problem like I said before; the question is How, and what will be done?

Continue complaining and calling names, and telling them to go home? Not going to happen, They are here now and can not go back to their homes.

Or keep trying to get the people who brought them here to communicate with them on their behavior and hygiene. Other than that I have no Idea what else you feel they have to or are suppose to be doing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion though, how ever Right or Wrong it may be.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:38 AM

The Constitution of the United States was written for Americans by Americans. It does not give Somalis the Freedom of Religion or any other Freedom. We the American public have given them that. Living on American soil does not make you American.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:31 PM

Non-citizens do not have the same rights as citizens, but they do have some constitutional rights.

The U.S. constitution grants to "the people" or "persons"--not just to citizens--the rights to due process and equal protection of the law, to freedom of speech and assembly, and to be free from arbitrary detention or cruel and unusual punishments.

These are basic American principles, rights which can not be denied to anyone living in the United States.

-- Posted by Richard on Thu, Aug 14, 2008, at 1:21 AM

David Melson you are right on point!!!!!!!!

Thanks for your great topics. Keep them coming.

-- Posted by MSK on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:54 PM

I dont care what you are... If you are in an American school and dont pledge allegiance to America, You need your tail tore up right before you got your stinking self expelled. The end

-- Posted by seedsower on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:33 PM

By your own definition : Assimilate- to conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust.

What customs and attitudes have they assimilated to?

Living in a house is not just an American Custom where do you think they lived in Somalia?

They didn't live in the jungle. Because their homes now have running water , does not mean they use it!

They go to Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Kroger because they have no choice..that's where the food is!! That's not assimilation that is a necessity.

They speak limited English and most do not even speak that much. Reason for even the Limited English is not assimilation: How many Americans do you know of that speak Somalian? Again that is a necessity.

Their children do go to school, again that is a law. They must abide by our laws, again no assimilation there either. But they do not associate with our children. How is that assimilation when they only huddle together?

Drivers License and Insurance are Laws..Oh wait that is not assimilation either.

Do they mingle with Americans? Do they even try to have a conversation? How many Somali parents have you seen at a PTO meeting? Do they attend any of our community events? It is not part of their religion to wear the clothing that they wear, that is part of their customs and culture.

Just because they do not own their businesses does not mean they can be rude and unfriendly or disrespect our culture and customs. This is not New York..they probably would never be noticed in New York but here it is different. We are a small community use to everybody knowing everybody else. That's why many people even live here. It's the closeness of the community, the wave of a stranger just passing by.

Personally I have tried to be friendly, I have smiled and said good morning only to get a cold stare.

Come sit in my office just one day, I think you will feel differently. Or go to the DMV and just sit there a while and see how well they are assimilating.

If this was only a few then I could say you are correct that this is only a few of the group. But that is not the case, I wish I could tell you that I have come in contact with just one who is willing to take the responsibility of their own welfare but that is not the case either. It almost seems like they are against everything that has made America this great nation and if they are so against our nation, our customs, our traditions then what the heck are they doing here.

The Somali Refugees are in the United States legally because they are from a war torn country. They are not American, they are not even citizens of the United States. So our constitution does not protect their rights to anything. The Constitution of the United States was written for Americans by Americans. It does not give Somalis the Freedom of Religion or any other Freedom. We the American public have given them that. Living on American soil does not make you American.

In order to become a United States citizen an immigrant must have lived in the United States for 5 yeas,the new citizen must have the ability to read, write and speak English. They must also have "a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government" and display "good moral character." And recite the Oath of Allegiance.

The individual who chooses to become a citizen is reminded that participating in the community is truly the way to become an American.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:31 PM

Such an event would have been a great opportunity for the students to have observed how mature,courteous people resolve conflicts.

First,they would have seen the school and parents discuss each child's needs (including diet,phobias,medications,physical activity and belief systems) before school ever started.

Then,if something unexpected came up,they'd have seen each side trust the other enough to accept a workable,temporary compromise.

Finally,they'd have seen that,by the next day, things would have been worked out in a fashion that honored individual students and the traditions of the whole class.

What do they learn of "liberty and justice for all" if what they see in action is "might makes right"?

What confidence can they have in a system that gives or denies privileges as opposed to preserving rights?

How can they respect those who lead them and emulate polite behavior when they see authority figures reduced to shouting matches or complaints about being trampled by the other side?

It would serve us better if our youngsters came to associate tantrums and servile behavior with "little kids" and deemed assertiveness and consideration of others as part of being a grown-up.

An incident like the one described can be a springboard for discussions of the meaning of the pledge and how it came to be,our cultural melting pot,how we can enjoy our rights without infringing on others and how we can disagree without being disagreeable.

OR it could offer an example of what one could look like if one didn't learn how to get along with other people early on.

Would the hypothetical children in this apocryphal classroom come away with belief that anything can be solved if people put their hearts and minds into making things right?

Or would they just think that the big people need to reduce their consumption of sugar and caffeine and go take a nice,long nap?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:13 PM

At the risk of repeating an untruth, I am going to suppose the following second hand information is accurate. Even if it is not I think it is a nice 'what if?'

As we all know this is the first full week of school, full of new students,new teachers, and new rules (not the least being SSA). According to the 'hearsay', the class full of first or second graders (I'm not sure which) proceeds to recite the pledge of allegiance. A somalian kid refuses to participate and is told by his teacher that he doesn't have to recite but must stand during this ritual. Mommy Somalian barges into the classroom and informs the teacher her child will not stand while the teacher argues the oppposite opinion. Mommy then runs to the principal who allows the child to remain seated.

Now is this ok? The pledge is a long held tradition in our schools, is not a declaration of religion, and a possible lesson in tolerance for the child in question.

Do we argue then that any type of national pride is ethnocentric and should be purged from the schools? Do we allow every child of every nationality to have some type of pledge as well? I, personally, don't have the answer (but certainly have an opinion.

-- Posted by gottago on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 9:17 PM

David has the right to express his opinion and has done very well at it. It just seems like some of you have your head in the sand.

-- Posted by cookie on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 8:15 PM

I am going to play the name game here.. but I totally agree with David on this one. The people who own and run Star Nails have been here in Shelbyville for Years as have their families. They are wonderful people. Do you ever hear of any problems from any of them? -- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 3:29 PM

Like I said before, alot of them have businesses, "And of course they are going to be sweet, nice, polite, descent dressed, hygeined". You yourself Dianatn. work in a public place, where you have access to peoples personal information, and have to deal with all walks of life that comes and sit in your cubical, and I'm sure you do not discriminate, and I'm sure you are not Rude, smelly, wearing dirty clothes because if you were, you would be FIRED.

If they want customers, and want to make money, and a prosperous business, or keep their job, then they are going to be well mannered and respectable people.

They came to America to make a better life for themselves and their families not to bring their culture or customs into the United States. -- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 3:29 PM

Most immigrants that come to America come to make a better life for themselves, including the Somalis' and the Hispanics, Star Nails, I love Dounuts, The Patels do you go to their churches? or their homes? How do you know they Don't practice their culture or customs?

Assimilate- to conform or adjust to the customs, attitudes, etc., of a group, nation, or the like; adapt or adjust.

So you say the Somalis' and "some" hispanics want assimilate.

So let me ask you this, are they walking around naked? No

Do they work "Like Americans Do"? Yes (Tyson)

Do they buy and pay for items from our stores "Like Americans Do"? Yes? (Krogers- Food Lion- Walmart etc.)

Does their children attend our schools "Like Americans Do"? Yes (All BCS.)

Do they Eat, Sleep, Drink "Like Americans Do"? Yes

Now for somethings they may or may not do....

Do they get drivers license and or car Ins. "Like Americans Do"? I would have to say some do and some don't, because some Americans do and some don't have them either.

Do they speak English "Like Americans Do"? Again I would have to say yes, Some do and some don't; just like the Americans some do and some don't that can not speak.

Do they live inside of a home, or structure that has access to water "Like the Americans Do"? Yes they do.

Do they abide by the Laws "Like the Americans Do"? I would have to say yes, some do and some don't just like the Americans do.

With all this being said Dainatn. I would have to say "THEY HAVE ASSIMILATED TO AMERICAS LEGAL CUSTOMS" By Law that is ALL they have to do.

As for their regligion, their are many different religions, even customs or cultures that now live in the USA, there is no law against this.

As far as their clothing, people of different religions wear different clothings. Nuns, Mormons, etc. There is no law against this, as long as their body is covered.

The Demand for their holiday, Their are Many Americans that demanded a paticular holiday, some in rememberence of someone, or some achievement that took place. And we all recieved it, they are now the American Federal Holidays. Now these Somalis' demanded this Eid al-fitr holiday "NOT AS AN AMERICAN FEDERAL HOLIDAY", but as a holiday among their work place. I don't know for sure, but I have a feeling The Somalis DID NOT ask Tyson to drop a holiday for theirs, I have a feeling that either the UNION or TYSON was the one that said dropped the American holiday for the Muslim holiday, NOT THE SOMALIS, they "probably" only requested to have that day as a holiday".

Now Hygeine, IF they in fact do not use tissue, soap, and good hygiene this is very upseting, especially since they are handiling American food. I do have to say All though MOST Americans do try to keep good hygiene, and wash their hands after using the bathroom, their are still some that DON'T as well, and some of those are the ones that come out of the bathrooms of restaraunts take your orders, and then serve you your food. That in fact is DIRECT CONTAMINATION from them to your mouth. At least the chicken "IS" going to be washed off by you before it is Thoroughly Cooked.

Now as for their behavior, their habits and ways of living as people have been complaining how they are like, this is not acceptable that I agree, I admit that. What I said "TO DAVID" was we already know how they are it has been said in the passed stories, Now stop Beating the SAME STORY BOOK and try to correct the situation. He can either try to help with a positive approach to achieve this, or he can continue this type of negativity and create negative acheivements. In other words (NOTHING).

As for this not being a News story, You know as well as I do everything that is being said here has already been said by Brian Mosely in the "NEWS PAPER" which is considered Local News, and everything that was said here has traveled far and near about these somalis' from the article of the Tyson dropping Labor Day "NEWS STORY" it reached Massive News stories.

And as for David having a right to blog his opinion about other peoples race, he opens himself up to be ridiculed and held responsible for his statements. And sometimes the company the story is blogged on is held responsible as well by the races that are being ridiculed or attacked for their differences.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 7:36 PM

memyselfi,

I'm grateful for the times eloquent and level-headed people reach conclusions similar to my own.

(It makes me think I might have something right.)

We've generated enough heat about our local burdens.

Perhaps,it's time to focus more light and think about specific ways we could be improving things.

That's not going to happen if all we do is complain and blame.

Nor will it occur if all the work is piled on someone else.

This will have to involve all of us on some level and there will have to be give and take from all sides.

One source of resentment is the assuption that some groups are at going to get everything their way at others' expense.

Instead,there should be only one group with diverse components.

We must recognize that what helps our neighbor benefits us and what harms others hinders us as well.

We need to be accountable for our own actions and make evident how we feel about the behavior of the person next to us.

If we support appropriate actions and discourage people from sabotaging themselves,then we are taking the first steps toward getting past our problems and moving ahead toward what we want for our future.

Some of us might do the right thing for selfish reasons but decency and common sense can be addictive.

Like other habits,they may not seem worth the trouble at first,then they will seem pleasurable and,finally,one submits to them even if when it's uncomfortable or dangerous to do so.

The difference being that reason and compassion increase our health and freedom the more we incorporate them into our lives.

I think we can expect that respect and goodwill will prompt positive behavior in return.

I think we can expect peer pressure to make destructive fools comform to better standards.

(Why should we assume the jerks are only problematic towards outsiders and not toward their own people?)

I think our reactions towards groups will improve as we begin knowing people as individuals and seeing more of how we are the same than how we differ.

I can't wait to see what we implement to fix things once we set aside complaining and quarreling.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 7:06 PM

sameoldstory, I agree with you about where the responsibility should lie, but can we afford to wait on our corporate neighbors to act in a responsible way? I however, do not agree with you about your "in their country crap". Like it or not, this is also their country now, and they were apparently un-thoughtful and seem to have brought their history with them. So what do we do now?

jaxspike, I do not want either of us to be wrong. I was just hoping that maybe you could at least accept the possibility that the offensive people in question did not even know they were being offensive or know how to act in a manner that would not have been offensive, and that with the right understanding, they could have lived beside you with fewer or no problems.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 6:43 PM

And here we go. I never thought I would see the day were Shelbyville turned into the bleeding heart capitol of the world.

I agree with David. Some may not and that's their opinion (no matter how wrong they are). Do I think that all Latino's and Somalis are bad? Of course not. I have met many friendly and kind Latino people. I play pick up soccer with them alot at the river bottom.

I can't say the same for the Somalis that I see in the grocery store or the one "doesn't have a license" woman that hit MY car and tried to say that it was my fault. They are VERY rude. The smell I can deal with. It's from some herbs they use in cooking. That's cool...I can deal with that. It's the rude behavior that I refuse to tolerate. Don't give me "in their country" crap. We aren't in their country. You learn to adapt to your new area or you find another area.

And who can we blame for all of this? Tyson's. They are the ones who are hiring this slave labor so they are the ones who are accountable.

-- Posted by sameoldstory on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 6:05 PM

Well, considering a majority of the Somali population lived at Davis Estates when I was there and no matter how hard I try being nice to them, not a single one extended the favor.

Of course after getting two dings in my brand new car from different Somali individuals and having them keep me up various times of the night with loud noises and yelling and dealing with other issues along the way caused by them, it's hard to have a positive attitude toward them. As far as the Hispanic community here, most of the ones I have dealt with have been very nice but I just hate the idea of people being here illegally and taking advantage of the system. There is good and bad in every group of people but I have yet to see any of the good from the Somali people. Sorry if you disagree with my opinion but I have dealt with them in a way that most people on this forum haven't. Maybe I am wrong in my opinion but I seriously doubt it.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 6:01 PM

quantumcat, I am sorry I am such a slow typer. I think you hit on most of what I wanted to say. I could have been doing something productive instead.

Robert Allison, I do not know if this would be news. It is very easy for LEA in a small town to look for problems in the immigrant community. In especially industrious immigrant communities such as our Hispanic community, it would not take much foresight to anticipate an association of an easy target with readily available cash, eventually being treated as a cash cow for the system. It happens every day, I do hope not here though.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 5:38 PM

I have been thinking about this today and was very disappointed to discover that in less than a day the topic has degenerated into a forum having everything to do with defending opinions, and nothing to do with explaining them.

Dianatn, Firstly, I am confident that you do agree with David, he is right after all. I do not think anyone is disputing that, I think the people objecting are just expanding on why the situation is as it currently is. If he, or anyone else is implying that the groups mentioned are only capable of acting in the fashion they have been acting, that is wrong. The key is the assimilation you wrote about. Much in the same way we are all at different positions in our education and understanding of different things, these people did not all come on the same boat. Some have been here longer than others and some of them had a good understanding about our society and could speak our language before ever coming here. Many of the people apparently not assimilating knew nothing of America, and had virtually no formal education of any kind. You seem to expect Americanization upon arrival for every immigrant regardless of their situation. Secondly, If I were going to set about justifying an opinion, the last place I would start is the collective thoughts of the town of Shelbyville. As a matter of fact, I would probably change my opinion post haste if I ever learned that my opinion was actually a majority in this town.

jaxspike, I do understand your comments and have read them before, but from what I have read, your complaints very likely stem from the individuals you have had negative experiences with not having assimilated and understanding our traditions and ideals of how to act. However, it would surprise me if they could teach themselves the intricacies of southern hospitality and good manners. Someone else must assist in that process. I also would understand if you were frustrated by the fact that no one appeared to be teaching them what was acceptable. You can point in many directions in an attempt to discern who is responsible, but when you get right down to it, the entire community is responsible as the entire community must live with them.

The way I see it is that most people (not just immigrants, but people) have a desire and fundamental need to be accepted. When met with a degree of respect and good-will, most people will respond in kind. When faced with anger and rejection, that will also be reciprocated. The last thing we need here is the development of ethnic counter cultures that have a pre-disposition to feeling separate from and un-equal to the majority. That is exactly the environment that produces the Hispanic gangs and Islamic religious extremism.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 5:25 PM

Brava,Mom!

We can squabble over our problems or argue over bigotry-or we can try to determine why a problem exists and act on it.

Why do some people create problems with those around them?

They might not know any better.

They might not know how to change.

They might not care.

Perhaps,we should treat ALL our people as if they can learn proper behavior.

We teach them.

We model appropriate conduct.

We enable them in the best sense of the word.

We don't condemn them for what they can't help.

We don't give them permission to be inconsiderate.

We don't expect them to erase who they are and become clones of us.

The various cultures may have different ideas about clothing,child-rearing,diet,etc. but I'd guess that people can recognize "folks" and "trash" whatever their backgrounds might be.

"Folks" respect themselves.

They'll treat you well not just because of the kind of person you are but because of the kind of person they choose to be.

They'll expect you to be reasonable and honorable no less than they expect it of themselves.

They'll be clean,honest,kind and industrious because that sort of behavior works whether one is in business or not.

"Trash" don't believe in themselves nor do they have faith in other people.

They are certain that the world is divided between the victims and the victimizers.

It's unlikely they've ever known how to do the right thing but it's a good bet that they've seen consequences to people's actions that seem purely arbitrary.

(Beatings come when the other person's in a bad mood.

Treats come when one has the time and money for them.)

Chaos is the norm and (unless you're the lead dog),the scenery never changes.

If you can't count on the future or the people around you,why invest yourself in anything but your own comfort at this moment?

Instead of asserting that one group needs to assimilate to one culture,let's attempt to help all persons join with their community,their country and even their planet.

Let's help them maximize who they are in their own skins.

That will make them better members of their families,better neigbors,better workers and better citizens of the universe.

(Yes,I know that sounds hippie-dippy but it's worth a shot.)

Some people will be too impaired or small-minded to ever be a part of the whole.

We'll be stuck with preventing them from hurting themselves or others.

But,most people will be capable of loving and making positive contributions.

We just need to see what help they need and give them plenty of reasons to live correctly and few incentives to remain foolish or selfish.

The ones with sense will realize that certain behaviors are mandated because they just plain work better.

Certain actions are forbidden because they bring more heartache than pleasure.

If we all look at one another and say:

"I respect you enough to expect you to act right.

I believe in you enough to know you can be of benefit to the world."

Then maybe we'll start to see one another as friends who can give one another support instead of enemies or victims we either avoid or destroy.

We can throw all the money in the world at our problems or our goals but it won't have the desired results unless we give of our own courage and kindness and ingenuity.

If we meet our challenges in such a way,we could accomplish a lot more than if we remain complacent ,defeatest or adversarial.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 4:46 PM

Well this is a Blog not a news story.

Blogs are opinions and David has a right to his opinion. Most everyone in Shelbyville is of the same opinion also.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 3:45 PM

Momof3&3step&1gran said it better than I could. If someone has had a bad experience with a Somali or a Mexican or even a group of them, so be it. I am not trying to take away from that. For instance, Jaxspike has a story to tell about how his life was impacted by recent Somali immigration. But there is no story here.

This sort of rude generaliation is not useful or productive. Now if Mr. Melson wrote an article, using facts and statistics showing that 3% of Bedford County was Somali but 10% or crimes were committed by Somalis, or that illegal immigrants were three times more likely to be arrested as legal residents, this would be news.

-- Posted by some common sense on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 3:42 PM

I am going to play the name game here.. but I totally agree with David on this one.

The people who own and run Star Nails have been here in Shelbyville for Years as have their families. They are wonderful people. Do you ever hear of any problems from any of them? The Patels have been in Shelbyville for Years and what problems have you seen from them? The people who own I Love Donuts, what problems have they caused?

All of the people above are residents of Bedford County they contribute to our community, they are immigrants, they run their businesses, they have drivers license, they are polite and friendly. They even learn to speak English. Their children speak 2 languages which I think is wonderful but they did not expect us to do as their country does. They came to America to make a better life for themselves and their families not to bring their culture or customs into the United States.

The difference is not lazy or unclean the difference is whether they choose to assimilate or not. The Somalis refuse to assimilate as do some of the Hispanics.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 3:29 PM

So why are persons of these nationalities accepted when others draw criticism? by David Melson

Common Courtesy is what you are told to have when you do business. Let me say that the Japeneese, Chinese, and your individuals from India are BUSINESS People. They either Own businesses, Running businesses, or are in Upper management work. Of course they are going to give Common Courtesy, they are going to dress respectably, and definately are going to know how to communicate. What other things are they participating in with the community that is not of income to them?

They work hard for a living, stay out of trouble and keep their homes and businesses -- and themselves -- clean. by David Melson.

Where have you heard that the Somalis' and the Hispanics are not hard workers? Since you are talking about races' Do all white people work hard, stay out of trouble and keep their homes and businesses -- and themselves -- clean? NO THEY DO NOT!

Are you saying None of the Somalis' speak English? Are you saying none of the Hispanics speak English? Well I have to tell you I have spoken to both somali, and hispanics so has other people and businesses too, they do speak english and their own language as well, and so does the Japenesse, Chinese, and individuals from India you are trying to compare them with.

Tell me David, does your race not cause any trouble? Does every one in your race work hard? Does everyone in your race keep their home, businesses, and themselves clean? NO they do not! And neither does mine. You know the bible saids let him who is without sin cast the first stone. "ALL RACES" have lazy people that don't want to work, want keep their homes, businesses, or themselves clean.

DAVID, If you were a baby, that never came outside of your home, and everyone inside your home spoke a language that was not enlish and would not keep the house clean, themselves clean, argued and fight all the time, and this is what you grew up around and was told you have to stand up for yourself if you want something; then when you got out of the house into the publics eye into schools or work or the groccery store, what do you think people are going to say or think about you? How do you think you are going to act, or communicate with people who speak english?

You are going to be judged the same way you are judging these somalis' and hispanics. "EXACTLY THE SAME" It does not, and will not be acceptable for the way you act, but it is all you know. Now I know you have Good Common Sense to know that these somalis' are going to behave and act the way they lived, and stories and blogs complaining about them isn't doing nothing but stirring up HATE, and possible HATE CRIMES.

So what REALLY needs to be done to FIX THE PROBLEM David? They need to get an understanding that American people do not go around yelling and being rude to people, cutting people in line, damaging other peoples property. It is against the law for this type of disorderly conduct. And that THEY MUST in their type of work they do, be sanitary and clean. This is something they have to LEARN just like we have to teach our children about this.

Now you can either influence to help by questioning leaders or people that deal with them (Catholic Charity, That somali organization in Nashville what ever their name was, or someone in upper management in Tyson that are trying to help them to adjust) on these issues and tell them we as a community DEMAND they teach this to them; OR you can influence anger and resentment with the same stories we've been hearing since they got here, and nothing changes.

I am not calling you a racist or a biggot, I am saying are you looking at it as a concern citizen wanting a better outcome from this problem? Or are you looking at it as a citizen that want to ONLY COMPLAIN, get high numbers of angry people to post, and make this city or even country a divided rivalry amoung races?

I do not like what I HEAR about them, and that is all I can say is this is what I HEAR, not experienced. I don't like the not washing hands or using tissue. But I refuse to be driven to HATE by you or anyone. DO THE RIGHT THING, is all I'm asking you.

-- Posted by Momof3&3step&1gran on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 2:57 PM

Good for you jaxspike. Tell 'em like it is. You're absolutely right. Unless an individual has dealt with these jerks on a regular basis, then he doesn't know what it's like. They show no respect for people or property. Yet the officials of our small community treat them like royalty. I would imagine that's why they act this way; they know nothing is going to be done to stop them.

You're absolutely right Mr. Robert Allison, David Melson is a good journalist. You just don't like to read an opinion that doesn't match yours, whether it's from David Melson or Joe Blow down the road.

Get over yourself and stop being so politically correct. Everyone has a right to their own opinion whether you agree with it or not.

That's what wrong with this world. From the top of the ladder starting with the President of these grand United States, down to the guy who shovels the stalls of the horse barns in our small town, everybody is afraid of offending illegal immigrants. Why?????

-- Posted by time2relax on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 2:44 PM

Robert Allison . . . I can no verify the impact of Hispanics in the county but I can verify the impact of the Somalis from personal experience of living next to them at Davis Estates. Before the Somalis started moving in to Davis Estates, the apartment complex was a decent place to live. Sure, not everyone was perfect and we had some problems with various people which is normal for an apartment complex no matter the price range or condition. When the Somalis moved in the complex however, the complex started to deteriorate rapidly. Not only would they start fights in the parking lot while intoxicated, they would also run in and out of hallways during the middle of the night with no consideration of the other tenants. We also began to experience horrible and foul odors coming from the apartments that would no go away and they would damage property. Many times they would try and cook on the countertops by starting fires which would ruin the countertops and do various other things that was destructive to the property including driving a car through one of the walls. I tried being nice to them when they first moved in but they continually were rude to me and if I asked them not to yell in the hallways at night, then they would proceed to sling vulgarities at me. I even had the Somalis set the fire alarm off in my apartment because they were dumping gallons of water on their floor (which was carpeted) and it seeped down into my ceiling and set the alarm off. There were just so many bad situations that I had seen or dealt with when the Somalis moved in that didn't exist before their arrival.

So no Robert Allison . . . my views are not based on bigotry or hate but on actual experiences and I am tire of people like you saying that I am a bigot for how I feel. Maybe if you actually had to live or deal with these people on a constant basis like I did then maybe you would see the other side but yet you judge on something you have no clue or knowledge on.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 1:06 PM

Mr. Melson:

Have you done an analysis of the police blotter and compared the number of arrests and convictions with the population of each ethnic group?

Who are the ethnicities that are not "hard working?"

Who are the dirty ethnicities?

What is the point of a post like yours?

You are a good journalist. Why go this route?

-- Posted by some common sense on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 12:08 PM

When you said that the Chinese in Bedford County were better than other ethnic groups because they "work hard," "stay out of trouble," and "keep themselves clean," I assume you must think that some other local ethnic groups are lazy, dirty criminals.

-- Posted by Robert Allison on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 9:55 AM

I don't know if that's what Mr. Melson was inferring, but he did hit the nail on the head. I have yet to encounter an Asian that has not been polite, respectful and always smiling. In description of their children in public; they are respectful and well behaved. The children are also always dressed nice and neat. The Asians are not pushy and rude in the stores such as Walmart and Kroger.

....I cannot say the same from my personal experience with Hispanics and Somalians.

The Hispanic children are loud, run around the stores knocking things off shelves and the parents of these brats seem oblivious to what their children are doing.

I haven't seen many Somalian children, but the parents are rude, pushy and stink. They don't obey our laws, they can't drive and basically get away with everything that we, as AMERICANS, cannot.

Praising the twelve or thirteen Japanese immigrants who live in Bedford County....

-- Posted by Robert Allison on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 9:55 AM

For the record, there are more than 12 or 13 Chinese and Japanese that live in Bedford County. I have seen more than that number working at the Chinese restaurants. I wish the numbers were reversed on the population of each. I'd much rather live in unison with a large Asian population and only have to deal with a handful of the crappy Mexicans and Somalians.

-- Posted by time2relax on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 11:51 AM

Pointing out facts is not "picking on" any group. Look at the jail intake listings and you'll find your facts. Also note that I wrote, "some, certainly not all" and didn't imply that everyone in any particular ethnic group was undesirable.

I almost put in that blog entry that many innocent Hispanics and Somalis suffer due to the actions of a relative few.

To clarify, I didn't say "better than" and didn't intend to imply such.

-- Posted by David Melson on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 11:43 AM

Let's see.... Just look at the weekly jail intake. I haven't noticed any Chinese or Japanese names in there. Mostly trash and Latinos. As for the Somalis.....if I have one of those loosers walk up to me in Kroger and ask me to use my cell phone one more time, I"M GOING TO SNAP.

-- Posted by sameoldstory on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 10:21 AM

Mr. Melson:

Praising the twelve or thirteen Japanese immigrants who live in Bedford County does not make it morally acceptable to pick on other groups.

When you said that the Chinese in Bedford County were better than other ethnic groups because they "work hard," "stay out of trouble," and "keep themselves clean," I assume you must think that some other local ethnic groups are lazy, dirty criminals. Please have the courage to be direct. Who are the lazy, dirty criminals? I know that another poster will answer this question but will you?

If you think that Somalis or Mexicans are bad additions to our community, why not offer up specific facts and statistics about their impact to support your view?

-- Posted by some common sense on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 9:55 AM

"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."

By certain.. does that exclude a typical "American" led city government that is full of corruption and favoritism or are we continuing to take jabs only at people who aren't responding.

Also, you can be fooled into believing that somehow the Asian citizens in this city partake more so in sports than say the Hispanic population.. but something tells me you are blind in one eye and can't see out of the other.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 8:47 PM

Remember,the Europeans who settled here a few hundred years ago were pretty much the prisoners and misfits.

No one was looking to institute a "brain drain" onto Australia,New Zealand or the Americas.

These areas did seem to be good dumping grounds for the impoverished,the dissidents,redundant women and "spare heirs".

If we take on the unfit and anti-social elements today as we did a century ago or more,we might wind up with same hybrid vigor that gave us so many of our current blessings.

(Accept their music,food,stories and hard work.

Don't accept any treaties or disease-ridden blankets.)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 8:19 PM

The groups you refer to that seem to "fit" well, in your opinion, happen to be a very small percentage of the population (making up approx. 1% of the population for all Asians), therefore have less of an impact and, as a general rule are more educated and of a higher socio-economic status than most of the Hispanic and Somalia immigrants which helps their transition to assimilation easier. There is no way to fairly compare the Asian population to the others you mentioned. If we happened to attract the middle or upper classes of either of the other countries, we would not have nearly as many problems.

So, what you appear to be saying is that you are not prejudiced against immigrants or foreigners, just the less educated and lower classes? That is an understandable position, but please do not try to compare apples to bananas in an apparent attempt to justify your beliefs.

As long as we have jobs that seek out workers who will do the jobs that no one wants, at a low wage, we will have "fresh off the boat" lower class under-educated immigrants. I would suggest that our community (or their employers) begin developing a way to assist them in their assimilation rather than pointing out what their problems are. It is after all, easy to see the problems.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 7:13 PM

Excellent article! A big "Amen" to you David.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 6:50 PM

Well spoken! Excellent, I have low tolerance for people not trying to adapt to American life, but I am not a prejudiced bigot.

-- Posted by dmcg on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 6:19 PM

I agree totally.

-- Posted by michaelbell on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 4:47 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.