Headline, May 19 2019/ DREAMERS : ''' '' SOMALIS -AMERICA- SOMBER '' '''



 SOMBER '' '''

HE ORGANISES - AS PART OF A GROUP CALLED ''C-CUBED,'' for ''concerned community citizens''. He blames new ghettos.

He promoted a ballot initiative [that failed] that demanded the council somehow ban settlement of any more refugees.

Young men take sips of sweetened tea from plastic cups. Their hang-out is the Somali Grocery and Restaurant, a scruffy, brightly lit spot a few steps from the Mississippi river in central Minnesota.

The men, while enjoying a televised football game, discuss the difficulty of finding well-paid jobs. A biochemistry graduate, Abediweli Barre, says career-building is tricky in St.Cloud, a city of barely 70,000.

It might be easier an hour away in Minneapolis, a global hub for the east-African diaspora. IIhan Omar, a woman from Minneapolis, just became the first Somali American elected to Congress.

But these tea-drinkers and a growing number of Somalis prefer smaller-town living. They say St.Cloud is safe and, on balance, congenial.

That is despite its notoriety after a 2016 incident when a Somali refugee stabbed and injured ten people in a mall [he was shot dead.] The cafe was once pelted with eggs, insults and bottles have been thrown at women wearing hijabs in the street.

The tea-drinkers complain about racism among police and employers, and they laugh at others' misconceptions - ''people who believe we don't pay tax, that we drive free cars and live in free houses,'' chuckles Mr, the graduate.

But he suggests that among locals ''80% are good people'' and he knows discrimination exists elsewhere. In late November a gunman in Eden Prairie, a similar-sized city also Minnesota, was arrested for threatening a group of Somali teens/students, whom he accused of buying burgers with welfare money.

Concerns about this pattern runs through a recent book by Reihan Salam, an author of Banagladeshi -descent. He argues that historically high rates of low-skilled immigration have resulted in the creation of ethnic enclaves and helped to worsen economic inequality by keeping down wages.

Together that threatens to make an ever more ''dangerously divided society'' split between groups of ''irreconcilable strangers.''

He argues the remedy is to choke off low-skilled immigration. Only if fewer outsiders arrive will those already here integrate. The alternative, he suggests is a permanent, non-white underclass.

On average Somalis in St Cloud are indeed poorer and worse educated than others in Minnesotans. They are also self-starters. The city is home to dozens of small firms including money-transfer businesses, and clothes shops at a Somali strip mall.

Custom is brisk at the Mogadishu Meat and Grocery, beside a low-rise brick mosque crowded with women in bright head scarves. That suggests dynamism, but also a community apart from the mainstream.

Haji Yusaf, who owns a communications firms, says mingling happens slowly, partly because Somalis strong cultural pride - ''just like for Jews and Italians''.

Yet a backlash is also evident. To see it visit Culver's, a cafe five minutes from the first. All the patrons on a recent day are white.

John Palmer a retired academic from St Cloud University, calls Culvers his ''campaign office'', brandishes a red, ''Make St cloud Great Again'' cap and says the city is near terminal decline.

Mr. Palmer is a fan of the president's, for slashing refugee resetllement. He says the Somalis will not assimilate and complains that Somali women dress in a way that ''certainly causes fear''. He also calls low-income newcomers a burden, even if many have jobs.

Others are more extreme. Some churches have hosted  firebrand anti-Muslim, anti-refugee speakers. Natalie Ringsmuth of Unite Cloud, a charity says they appeal to lower-income anxious, white residents.

One man erected a sign of a pig  on his lawn, then screamed at a neighbouring Muslim family. Mr. Ringsmuth calls the city ''ground zero'' for online, alt-right extremists.

But like the tea-drinkers in the Somali cafe, she is phlegmatic. She expects strangers to reconcile, given time. 

The Honor and Serving of The State-of-the-World affairs, continues. The World Students Society thanks, The Economist.

With respectful dedication to the Grandparents, Parents, Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tales To Time '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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