More Aberdonian Fear and Ignorance About Refugees Debunked

Oh, the things my neighbors say.

As a volunteer committee meets to discuss how to include the 200 to 400 refugees currently living in Aberdeen in our community and to consider whether Aberdeen might make a good primary resettlement site for refugees, the Aberdeen American News prints this letter to the editor from another xenophobic American who doesn’t understand how refugee resettlement works and how immigrants in general make Aberdeen and America stronger.

Let’s go to the line-by-line:

I do not believe that the taxpayers of Aberdeen want their hard-earned money to go to paying for free education, housing and health care for refugees that will not be paying taxes for years if ever [Dee Blanchard, letter to the editor, Aberdeen American News, 2016.04.28].

Refugees pay taxes the moment they arrive and buy their first sack of groceries. Refugees arrive eligible to work. Lutheran Social Services, the organization that handles refugee resettlement in South Dakota, expects refugees to achieve self-sufficiency within eight months. That’s how long refugees are eligible for cash assistance, and to get that money, refugees have to participate in an employment program with a case manager, six hours a week of English language training, and 36 hours of community orientation. (See Fact Sheet on this LSS-SD webpage.)

Our education system will be hit hardest. The number of students per teacher will go back up again if more teachers are not hired. We cannot even pay the teachers we have a good wage without raising state sales tax [Blanchard, 2016.04.28].

Refugee kids won’t swamp school budgets. The new K-12 funding formula will fund Aberdeen’s public schools to maintain a 15-to-1 student-teacher ratio. If Aberdeen’s refugee population adds, say, 150 kids, the state will allocate money for 10 more teachers. The funding formula also includes a boost for Limited English Proficiency students to cover the extra English classes immigrant children need.

We have a shortage of good doctors and dentists. Our crime rate is on the rise. Charitable organizations cannot provide for those that need assistance as it is [Blanchard, 2016.04.28].

Refugees are doctors and other professionals. Fear that refugees bring crime is rooted more in fear and rumor than rigorous reading of data. Immigrants are less likely than us natives to commit violent crime or go to jail, and even as illegal immigration tripled in America, violent crime dropped 48% and property crime dropped 41% [see this July 2015 Wall Street Journal commentary].

God tells us to take care of our own. We have more citizens in this country that need our help that are not being provided for now. Let’s put our time and money into taking care of those U.S. citizens [Blanchard, 2016.04.28].

I don’t know which God Mrs. Blanchard follows, but the Christian God I hear about tells us we are all aliens and commands us to show hospitality to strangers. And the citizen who thinks America can’t take care of all citizens and refugees alike has a poor, pessimistic view of what this great, rich country can do and what this nation of immigrants should do.

I am not a racist or ignorant. Do not call me a racist and do not call me ignorant. Using these names to intimidate the citizens of Aberdeen is wrong! [Blanchard, 2016.04.28]

Mrs. Blanchard responds here to a comment attributed to Mayor Mike Levsen by the local paper about not having time for racist or ignorant attitudes in the discussion of welcoming refugees to Aberdeen’s workforce and culture. I’ll refrain from labeling any of Mrs. Blanchard’s words racist. But every line of her letter is rooted in ignorance. I don’t say that to intimidate my neighbors; I say that to tell the truth and to encourage my neighbors to welcome all the new neighbors who will make our community stronger.

38 Responses to More Aberdonian Fear and Ignorance About Refugees Debunked

  1. Robin Friday

    Five gold stars for that column, Cory–from another Aberdonian. :)

  2. We addressed all this in another column in which after I proved you wrong with numerous sources, you gave up and then started it up again here. If you keep throwing your agenda out there, eventually it will stick to a few people. When it quits being sticky throw out a new one and try stick to a few more.

  3. mike from iowa

    Stumpy-make Cory an offer for his blog and then you can make up your own rules. Speaking personally,I think you’re nuts. That proves it-your nuts.

  4. Call me names when you can’t prove me wrong! That shows desperation!

  5. mike from iowa

    Can’t prove you are alive or even human,either. Prolly some articles you can google. There that proves it.

  6. crossgrain

    Stumcfar – just because everyone quit arguing with you on this issue doesn’t mean you were “right”. All it means is that everyone else decided it wasn’t worth the effort. You were making assertions, and when challenged on those assertions, rather than offering up facts and documentation, you challenged the others to prove your assertions wrong – that’s not how any of this works.

    The “evidence” you finallyoffered in your links was largely incomplete, misleading, and in the case of the WaPo article, actually proved your assertions inconclusive at best. Just because you got in “the last word” doesn’t make you right, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you debated your way to any sort of victory. All that happened was people got tired of your —- and gave up on the grounds that it’s impossible to argue with a lunatic.

  7. “Go tell Trump that I saved the lives of one of his people so he won’t deport me”
    That was the line that a Syrian-born cardiologist I work with told me in jest after we saved the life of a gentleman that went down in cardiac arrest at a political event.

    Going through the list of physicians at St Luke’s and Sanford Aberdeen, that sounds like a line I wouldn’t be surprised to hear in Aberdeen. Hopefully they will be there to save Ms. Blanchard’s life if she needs it and not dissuaded to leave the community by her “non racist, non ignorant” speech.

  8. Stump, please clarify what you’re talking about.

  9. Jeff Endrizzi

    I followed the earlier interactions….it’s pretty clear that this blog isn’t about discussion, it’s about getting together and group thinking until the left reaches some state of uber-Nirvana. I think “Stumpy” made some clear points, but the Team from the Left keeps ignoring the evidence and continues to blast those with differing opinions off the page. Bravo, Leftonians. Bravo.

  10. It is true that refugees are hard workers and pay taxes like everyone else. But for the grace of Allah and the fortuity of our birth in the US, we could be in their shoes. We should welcome them here.

    But the letter writer was not 100% wrong. Refugee families arrive here with little to nothing, and may need public funding for years in the form of WIC, SNAP (food stamps), rent and utility assistance, medicaid, TANF, and the earned income tax credit. Do a lot of natural born citizens who contribute less to the economy and more to the criminal justice system than refugees receive these same benefits? Yes.

    Instead of condemning refugees for being born in a volatile part of the world and seeking a future for their families in a place of peace and opportunity (wouldn’t we all do the same thing if we were in their situation?) we should welcome them with open arms. To whom much has been given, much will be expected.

  11. mike from iowa

    Stumpy made some clear points? Riiiight! Care to share them with the left?

  12. Darin Larson

    Stumpy spoke last so he wins the argument. It is that simple folks. Just like the state legislative candidate in Rapid City some years ago that said he should win his race because he got his signs up first. Unfortunately, I think that candidate was mentally challenged.

  13. Mr. McFar seems to have made his point on the other blogging. I think here he is basically just saying “ibid.”

  14. Don Coyote

    @cah: I believe the Hebrews/Israelites of the Old Testament had two classes of strangers, the resident aliens (gerim) and the foreigners who were considered more or less visitors (zarim). The laws mentioned in Exodus and Leviticus on the treatment of strangers/aliens didn’t apply to the zarim.

    Also the laws found in Leviticus and Exodus applied to the Hebrews. The New Testament made many of those laws not applicable to Christians e g dietary laws, clothing, facial hair, blood sacrifices, etc.

  15. Darin Larson

    “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

    Amen, Rorschach!

  16. Undoubtedly some of my forebearers, who arrived here in the very early 1700s when the population of the little colony village of New York had 3000 souls – may have thought that the later arrivals of Ms. Blanchard and Stumpy’s forebearers absolutely ruined the America that my forebearers had come to know. Yet, they assimilated, somehow. This xenophobic, racist hate gets so old.

  17. Darin Larson

    John, thank your ancestors for letting my ancestors in from Norway and Sweden in the 1880’s.

  18. owen reitzel

    what evidence Jeff Endrizzi?

  19. W R Old Guy

    This was on CBS news this evening.

    I know there are websites that say Lewistown is a ghetto and crime ridden because of the immigrants. Apparently the locals feel thay have helped the community.

  20. Don Coyote

    Yep, ESOP’s (Employee Share Ownership Program) can be sweet if the company stays healthy and doesn’t tank like Enron did. And it’s not total altruism on Ulukaya’s behalf as there can be enormous tax benefits for him by donating the stock and making later contributions. And of course you don’t get any of the $$$ until you reach retirement age unless you want to pay penalties. Then you still have to pay income tax on the disbursements from your rollover IRA (you can’t keep the stock if not an employee) but not on the capital gains.

  21. Don—ah, so Dee Blanchard is an Orthodox Jew? Now I understand.

    Stu has never proven anything other than his failure to grasp basic rules of debate and burden of proof. His shouting “Ibid!” is a neat way to avoid discussing any of the points made here and any new information I may ever present on how helping refugees is a net plus for America’s practical and moral interests.

  22. Darin Larson

    Cory, since you got the last word in and Stumpy has given up, you win this round based upon Stumpy rules. Darn it, now you are tied 1-1 and we will have to have a winner take all final round!

  23. mike from iowa

    Maine is governed by a flipped out wingnut whose family may have been responsible for the white school paste all of us kids used to eat because it tasted so minty fresh.

    LePage is a complete moron. One of the worst of the worst and that is saying something when the best wingnut guvs are total morons as well.

  24. happy camper

    We have to help but it’s worth learning about Islam. Ayaan Hirsi Ali knows it’s a dangerous doctrine that urges war. ISIS and Jihadists actually follow the Koran very closely. She says Europe failed because they didn’t educate refugees in liberty and tolerance which left the 2nd and 3rd generation open to influence. The screening process is only half the battle. This is a good clip where she explains how Saudis Arabia has been funding extremist teaching and touches on why Somalis in MN were able to be radicalized. Why pretend this is not a serious problem. Be ready before they come. Nine minutes from a brave woman.

  25. David Newquist

    This letter resurrects a Dick Gregory satirical quip from the civil rights era: “I’m not racist; I simply hate n*^^+rs.” Those claims of the harm done to Aberdeen citizens are specious and false, but show the way endemic hatred programs the brain to concoct justifications for malice.

  26. Steve Sibson

    Here is what happens when you allow anti-American racists into the country:

  27. Darin Larson

    Steve Sibson, we can’t keep Trump from coming back into the country as he’s a US citizen, I think.

    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a copy of his birth certificate.

  28. oh Christ Sibson. your and trump’s race baiting knows no bounds. immigration is hardly the issue.

    In 1565 the Spanish developed a trading route where they took gold and silver from the Americas and traded it for goods and spices from China and other Asian areas. The Spanish set up their main base in the Philippines. The trade with Mexico involved using an annual passage of Manila galleon(s). The Eastbound galleons first went north to about 40 degrees latitude and then turning East they could use the westerly trade winds and currents. These galleons, after crossing most of the Pacific Ocean, would arrive off the California coast from 60 to over 120 days later somewhere near Cape Mendocino (about 300 miles (480 km) north of San Francisco) at about 40 degrees N. latitude. They then could turn south down the California coast utilizing the available winds and the south flowing (about 1 mi/hr (1.6 km/h)) California Current. After sailing about 1,500 miles (2,400 km) south on they eventually reached their home port in Mexico.

    The first land party, led by Rivera with Father Juan Crespí,[15] famed diarist of the entire expedition arrived in San Diego.

    The first permanent mission in Baja California, Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, was founded on October 15, 1697, by Jesuit Friar Juan Maria Salvatierra accompanied by one small boat’s crew and six soldiers.

    establishment of Missions in California after 1769 were located about one day’s horseback ride apart for easier communication and linked by the El Camino Real trail. These Missions were typically manned by two to three friars and three to ten soldiers. Virtually all the physical work was done by Indians convinced to or coerced into joining the missions. The padres provided instructions for making adobe bricks, building mission buildings, planting fields, digging irrigation ditches, growing new grains and vegetables, herding cattle and horses, singing, speaking Spanish, and understanding the Catholic faith—all that was thought to be necessary to bring the Indians to be able to support themselves and their new church.

    Mexican territory stretched from yucatan to Oregon in 1821, after Mexico gained its independence from Spain. The territorial capital remained in Monterey, California, with a governor as executive official. The 1824 Mexican Colony Law established rules for petitioning for land grants in California; and by 1828, the rules for establishing land grants were codified in the Mexican Reglamento (Regulation). The Acts sought to break the monopoly of the Franciscan missions, while paving the way for additional settlers to California by making land grants easier to obtain. the mission Franciscan padres had performed a combined total of 87,787 baptisms and 24,529 marriages, and recorded 63,789 deaths [of Californian Indians].[25]

    the Indian towns at San Juan Capistrano, San Dieguito, and Las Flores did continue on for some time under a provision in Governor Echeandía’s 1826 Proclamation that allowed for the partial conversion of missions to new pueblos.[28] After the secularizing of the Missions, many of the surviving Mission Indians switched from being unpaid workers for the missions to unpaid laborers and vaqueros (cowboys) of the about 500 large Californio owned ranchos.

    in 1836…[27] [t]he Franciscans abandoned most of the missions, taking with them almost everything of value they could, after which the locals typically plundered the mission buildings for construction materials, furniture, etc. or the mission buildings were sold off to serve other uses.

    The first to hear confirmed information of the California Gold Rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), Mexico, Peru, and Chile. They were the first to start flocking to the scene in late 1848. By 1850, California had grown to have a non-Indian and [Hispanic] population of over 100,000 due to the California Gold Rush.[41]

    an unknown (but small as shown in 1852 CA Census recount) number of Hispanics in Contra Costa and Santa Clara county in 1846 gives less than 8,000 Hispanics statewide in 1846 before hostilities commenced. The number of California Indians is unknown since they were not included in the 1850 census but has been roughly estimated to be between 50,000 and 150,000.

    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo formally ended the Mexican–American War in February 1848. For $15,000,000, and the assumption of U.S. debt claims against Mexico, the new state of Texas’s boundary claims were settled, and New Mexico, California, and the unsettled territory of several future states of the American Southwest were added to U.S. control.

    Between 1850 and 1860, the state of California was reimbursed by the federal government)[61] to hire “militias” whose purpose was to protect settlers from the indigenous populations. These “private military forays” were involved in several of the above-mentioned massacres, and sometimes participated in the “wanton killing” of Native peoples. The first governor of California, Peter Burnett, openly called for the extermination of the Indian tribes, and in reference to the violence against California’s Native population, he said, “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct….” Several scholars, including Benjamin Madley and Ed Castillo, have described the actions of the California government as a genocide.[62][63] wiki

    Chomsky describes the two platforms underpinning USA’s establishment are black slave labor and genocide of Indians for land and gold. youtube

  29. when I hear B-1Bs powering up or down 10 miles away at EAFB deep in the quiet night, I know likely Obama is taking on terrorism.

    “The relentless targeting of AQ’s external operations has been arguably the most successful component in the U.S. and international [counterterrorism] efforts against AQ, keeping the group off-balance.” Neither al-Qaeda nor ISIS has managed to pull off a complex attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. The two deadliest attacks attributed to those groups in America since then, the 2009 Fort Hood shooting and the 2015 San Bernardino shooting respectively, appear to have been the work of independent shooters …”

    al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate “has been quietly playing the long game.” The group “intentionally does not control terrain; this makes it difficult to target, as it cannot be attacked directly without destroying the more moderate Syrian opposition groups with whom it is embedded. And it has safe-guarded itself against tribal uprisings by prioritizing local support.”

    As for ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: “If we got Baghdadi, I think it would have a great impact on the organization.”

    One 2011 study of “leadership decapitation” of terrorist groups, conducted by University of Chicago, found that for religious groups like al-Qaeda, the death or imprisonment of a leader doesn’t hasten the group’s demise, and indeed may have the opposite effect. “What appears to matter most for the long-run trajectory of decapitated terrorist groups is popular support….”

    As the death of bin Laden, and other terrorist kingpins before him, demonstrates, the exact nature of that impact won’t be known for years.

  30. Maybe the University of Chicago should spend a little more time studying why there have been 1149 shootings in their city this year and leave protecting our country up to the experts.

  31. Crossgrain, the only thing offered up to prove me wrong was a couple of articles from the way left Washington Post, which all the sheep on here took as the gospel word. I gave several links to different sites, but of course all of mine were ” was largely incomplete, misleading, and in the case of the WaPo article, actually proved your assertions inconclusive at best.” But the Post articles I am sure were spot on accurate, because they took your side. The great debater who runs this blog, obviously couldn’t prove me wrong so as a great liberal took to denigrating the opposing viewpoint. I wasn’t a debater in high school or college, so I am wondering if that is how you are taught? When backed into a corner, throw out insults and smoke and who the opposition goes away??

  32. My answer stands. I have issued no personal insults. I am in no corner. I have stuck with the facts, evidence, and logic, and I have blown away Stu’s smokescreen.

    My local paper agrees that much if not all of the fear-mongering about resettling refugees is rooted in racism and/or ignorance:

    Try to keep up, Stu.

  33. “way left Washington Post”…right


    so you are the one. whutz yer deal?

    “throw out insults and smoke”…right

    experts? well, there is: Robert Anthony Pape, Jr. (born April 24, 1960) is an American political scientist known for his work on international security affairs, especially the coercive strategies of air power and the rationale of suicide terrorism. He is currently a professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST). In early October 2010, the University of Chicago press released Pape’s third book, co-authored with James K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.

    he was assisted by Dr. Jordan who received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago and M.A. in Political Science from Stanford University. She previously held a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include terrorism, population transfers, attachment to territory, and international security. Her book manuscript focuses on the leadership decapitation of terrorist organizations. Jordan’s research has been supported by grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation and the University of Chicago.

    are you looking for someone to tear you a new one? i’m yer huckle be

    we could start w/ NRA if yah like? have you ever been to Chicago, stumcfarlan? so far you are wrong above 4 for 4.

    care to discuss any of the Obama administration’s foreign policy achievments with a view to the left’s incompetence? if you don’t read well, here’s a ted vid for you.

  34. You stuck with your supposed facts and brushed mine aside, correct????? Why discuss your new information, when we have plenty of facts that I put out proving otherwise. I have stuck with the facts also, so how did you blow away my smokescreen? You got smoked on this one and now are trying to find a way out!

    Leslie, the Washington Post isn’t left????
    Leslie, are you telling me that the main followers of this blog disagree often, or follow each other??

    I have been to Chicago. Not sure what that has to do with the fact that 1149 have been shot this year or how people who have never been involved with interrogating terrorists or been directly involved with capturing or killing terrorists become the experts. So it would have been better to leave Al Qaeda in tact and Bin Laden calling the shots?

  35. bearcreekbat

    Stu makes sense – we have to protect ourselves from those folks who indiscriminately kill American citizens, even suicide killers. But Stu focuses on the wrong perps. I may have missed some, but it appears that refugees and terrorists have not been active in the USA in 2016.

    The true danger is from our nation’s toddlers.

    We need to round up our toddlers and send them to Gitmo before there are any other killings. Go get em Stu!

  36. bearcreekbat

    And we should definitely waterboard all those toddlers that have learned to say Dada and Mama for more info about their nefarious plans!

  37. mike from iowa

    It is godless wingnuts like Stumpy that force women to bring to term these murderous toddlers instead of letting upstanding libs abort every last one of the mean little killers.