The Nefarious Somalis
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Let me start off by putting one point out there loud and clear. As an Ethiopian-American, I've always had misgivings, and even prejudice against Somalis for as long as I can remember. More often than not, my position has been strengthened by the various evidences that have been revealed. Whereas I have not been swayed away from my opinions and beliefs, I have long been impressed by the generally liberal attitude of Minnesotans, at least those in officialdom. However, I have also felt that these officials have been a tad too naive in their understanding of certain cultures. I might even say that Minnesota has been far too gullible and far too accommodating to these vociferous and pushy newcomers!
We all know that Minnesota is home to a rich and substantial contingency of immigrants from all corners of the world. To cite the latest additions (over the last 42 years), we have Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Ethiopians, and Eritreans. Somalis are actually more recent additions as they have been pouring here in great numbers and becoming dominant in the last 25 years or so. That is all not bad in and of itself.
However, unlike all the other new citizens, Somalis have been in the news more often in bad light than in good. Unlike the rest of us, they have never been adept at keeping a low profile while being productive members of society. Their religion , Islam, is not a problem. Other ethnic Muslim groups (from Africa, the Middle East, or Asia) living in the United States have certainly been good, patriotic citizens, and the country has been enriched by them. They have adapted better and have fared generally well up until the new, hostile Washington administration came to power.
But to the specific topic at hand, ... if ever there was a time when Somalis need to be even more circumspect in their visibility and their noisome notoriety, now is it. The recent news of a Somali policeman killing an innocent, law-abiding woman for no good reason is an example. What caused this reckless and stupid act? Was the policeman on drugs (qhat)? Was he afraid for his life like the disgraceful Jeronimo Yanez?! And on a tangential matter, will the Police unions now stand behind this Somali officer? But that is another topic for another day.
I will conclude by saying that I wish this latest police atrocity never happened ... but even more importantly, I fervently hope that we, the quiet and law-abiding ethnic groups, are not bundled, in a willy nilly fashion, with this notorious band. The burden is on the Somalis to improve their image and work hard, and quietly toward a peaceful coexistence with all fellow citizens.