The immigration issue is much bigger than the politicians want you to recognize. If you saw the movie Black Hawk Down, you will remember the crowd profiled here with more than a little concern. Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News tells readers about the culture clash as Somali Muslim refugees have come to town in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
“They’ve had an impact here. Unfortunately, it’s not been a good impact,” said Brian Mosely, a reporter for the local Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
Mosely won an award from the Associated Press for a series of articles he wrote for the paper about Shelbyville’s Somalis.
“I found that there was just an enormous culture clash going on here,” he said. “The Somalis were–according to a lot of the people I talked to here–were being very, very rude, inconsiderate, very demanding. Tthey would go into stores and haggle over prices. They would also demand to see a male salesperson, would not deal with women in stores”
Different People, Different Culture
“Their culture is totally alien to anything the residents are used to,” Mosely added.
The problems extend to local schools–where some Somali students won’t talk to female administrators. There have also been issues with local law enforcement.
“I’m not really sure whether that is because of experiences with the police in their country, or whether that’s just the way their culture is,” said Shelbyville’s Police Chief, Austin Swing.
Shelbyville is home to about 17,000 people. The town’s Somali population is estimated to be between 400 and 1,000.
Mosely says the Somalis have isolated themselves from the rest of the community.
“We’re talking about people who have not had any experience with Western civilization,” he explained. “They don’t know the language. Things like running water are a miracle to some of these folks…you don’t take people from a totally alien culture, put them into a community, and then say ‘alright, you must get along.’
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