Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snakes and maidens

A Somali born young man got caught before he could bomb a Christmas tree lighting in Oregon. I am not surprised. About five years ago Catholic Charities and the Episcopalians brought a huge number of Somalis to my building. It was not a happy experience. The Somali men were stunned by the normal behavior and dress of even modest American women. The women had never seen stoves before and the fire department had to come every week sometimes two or three times in a single week. By the time the state, the Episcopalians and Catholic Charities moved them out they had created a huge black eye for the refugee program. Neighbors of mine who never once thought about Catholics one way or another now associate us with the reasons why they and their children were shivering in the cold while waiting for the fire department to put out yet another fire in the middle of the night. And Catholic Charities still hasn't learned anything. Just last week the School Board of Fredericksburg, Virginia wrote a letter to the governor asking him to halt more Somali settlement in their town by Catholic Charities.

I don't know who brought Mohamed Osman Mahumud to America but I'll bet it was an organization of kind hearted souls who never heard the story of the snake and the maiden. It's a tale about a naive woman who rescues a dying snake. He of course bites her as soon as he's recovered. As she lies dying he slithers away with the remark, "You knew what I was when you picked me up." Before anybody has hysterics, I'm not calling Somalis snakes. However, if you bring a Muslim from an incredibly backward war torn culture do not expect him or his kids to become American in a few years. Do not expect a man from a primitive culture to feel happy amidst the Great Satan. He is horrified and frightened every time he goes outside and sees how we live. There have been few exceptions but the Somalis I've met who have adjusted well were either not members of the Bantu tribe, Christians to begin with or lived in towns.