a reply to: crostkev
Not far from my home there is a giant apartment complex comprised almost entirely of Muslim Somalis. In front of it there is a Somali owned gas
station that also sells Halal goods. This gas station is part of a very small shopping center. There is a tobacco shop, a cafe, a liquor store,a very
good Chinese takeout place, and a laundromat in the back. In Minnesota there has been a MASSIVE influx of immigrants. In the 1990's there was wave
after wave of Hmong families moving to the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Then the Somalis. There is a large Hispanic community here as well as a small
amount of Pakistanis.
I will admit that I am not a racist at this point in time, though I have several issues that could be construed that way. A major one for me is my
daughter's elementary school. I sent her there because it is close to home,I attended this school and there are still very good teachers there. My
This school is very close to the Somali apartment complex and at the beginning of her first year 30% of the students were Somali. As the Somali
population rose at the school my daughter's reading, writing, and spelling grew worse and worse. Her math performance is better than excellent. As I
spent more time with her studying at home to help improve her english skills I noticed that as the Somali population rose in the school, other races
shrank. By the end of the last school year my daughter was the only non-Somali pupil in her entire grade(!) and still struggling with english. What
has me so angry is that I KNOW if it were reversed and she were the only Somali in her grade and was falling behind she would have her own special
tutor and probably the school would start a "minority encouragement" club or something of the sort---Because that was what happened at the time when
Somali and Hmong children WERE the minority. I had many meetings with her teachers , most of them agreeing with me but sickeningly apathetic and there
was not one that didn't point to the curriculum as the major issue, because I guess they are FORCED to teach it and it doesn't "work" with children
for whom english is a second language. REALLY?? I HAD NO IDEA! I spoke with the principal as well and got nowhere. So my daughter wont be attending
that school this year.
Unfortunately there is no way to deal with this issue without stepping on some toes. None of the faculty will touch it with a ten foot pole
(beyond their private complaints.) Everyone is terrified of appearing racist; ironically this is what turned me into a racist when I started junior
high. Every day the same kids would pull the same sh**. Breaking into lockers, stealing Starter jackets, throwing food in the lunchroom, ganging up on
other kids, constantly disrupting class, even breaking into teacher's desks and stealing their purses or whatever happened to be there. Not one of the
bastards were reprimanded or suspended. Unless there was a kid who got seriously beat up , nothing was said or done about the problem. And if there
was a serious beating the student at fault was expelled (which meant that both the beater and the beaten were expelled because no one dare point a
finger at a very obviously guilty person of color) and the faculty never discussed it. In high school it was worse and I wasn't going to take it
anymore. I never bullied anyone, ever. However, I would not sit back and be called "cracka-ass bitch" "honkey mutha#a" or anything else without coming
right back with the N word. I made quite a few enemies but soon other kids weren't taking it either and the teachers began to panic because they
couldn't really justify suspending one group for saying "'n-word'" and not the other for their racial slurs. As soon as I left school? All of my
racism disappeared. I believe it was due to not being confined in a glorified daycare center for juveniles where only the innocent suffered and the
adults looked the other way or punished the innocent with the guilty. It ALL BOILS DOWN TO THE ADULTS! When I became a grownup myself I finally
understood that my anger was not exactly pointed in the right direction. The immediate effects were caused by other students, but these students had
been taught by adults who did not hold them accountable for their behavior, did not reprimand them or attempt to correct their behaviors, and were
basically so caught up in being "politically correct" (huge buzzword in the early 90's) that it became a complete farce. It was a total joke.
I know this seems far removed from what you are talking about, but really it's not. If you can see things from a cultural
perspective instead of a race/color/religion aspect it can help a great deal. After 9/11 many Somali and other Muslim people were relentlessly
harassed and it's made things so much worse. I know 9/11 was a long time ago but a lot of the Muslim community still feel the sting and do tend to
keep to their own.
As for your concerns I have a few questions and a bit of info that might help. Is this a family run shop? Is the owner or manager a close
relative of the girl's? I ask because it is very unusual for a young(Muslim) woman to work in the company of men unsupervised if she is not a relative
or maybe a wife of another employee. What is she doing when you go there? Is she behind the counter? Unpacking boxes? Does she do any visible work?
Do you have an idea of her age? Does she wear a hijab? Or does she weir a complete veil? Some families are stricter than others and some sects of
Islam are stricter than others. Are you sure your presence alone isn't the problem? Have you attempted conversation with her beyond please and thank
you? That may be enough to make the males uneasy.
Thank you for noticing someone who may be in trouble and for your concern.
a reply to: crostkev
I think everyone else has already done a great job answering your question , thanks again.
edit on 30-8-2014 by bangoli because: to