Dwindling Rural Communities Can’t Afford to Say No to Immigrants

With local legislators uncritically lapping up anti-immigrant hysteria (“become better educated on the refugee discussion” from a woman who says McCarthy was right? Really, Spencer Gosch?), with decent South Dakotans having to take to the streets to defend simple Christian neighborliness, it’s nice to hear the cautious business media step out gently on the side of decency.

Prairie Business posts a column this morning from rural marketers and columnists Annette Tait and Katy Kassian about the self-preservatory need to welcome newcomers and involve them in rural community life:

With rural populations on the decline, this is something no small town or rural community can afford. The population of rural America declined by 116,000 from 2010-14, the first period of rural population decline on record for rural America as a whole, with rural population dropping to even lower levels than during the farm crises of the 1980s. Modest upticks occurred in 2015 in counties with economies based on recreation, mining and government, but counties supported by farming, manufacturing or non-specialized industries continued to lose ground.

We need to do everything we can to keep life in rural America.

…When we pigeonhole our people — new and existing — into the “who’s who,” the “us versus them,” and the “not from here,” we narrow our opportunities as well. Just because they’re not prominent or we don’t know them doesn’t mean they don’t have a toolbox chock full of great ideas and the know-how to bring those ideas to life [Annette Tait and Katy Kassian, “Rural Communities Need to Welcome New People, New Ideas,” Prairie Business, 2017.04.10].

Tait and Kassian aren’t writing specifically about immigrants or the ugly surge of xenophobic groups that’s making our rural communities look bad. But their text applies quite nicely to welcoming any new people to the community: shutting our doors to newcomers shuts our doors to economic and cultural opportunities that our dwindling rural populations cannot replace.


58 Responses to Dwindling Rural Communities Can’t Afford to Say No to Immigrants

  1. One thing that I have noticed in small rural villages is the lack of wanting competition or anything that might bring competition to the area. Not with big box stores, but with something that may take away a line of merchandise that the store does not want to give up. Even though it may bring more people to the village, they do not want that to interfere with what they have. The fear of something new or perhaps the fear that it may make the property taxes go up, drives ideas away.

  2. Last nite’s 60 Minutes segment on the CEO of Chobani Yogurt was an eye opener. Look what immigrants can do. What’s Twin Falls, ID got that Rapid City doesn’t ??

  3. Buckobear, what Twin Falls ID has that Rapid City doesn’t is a far less provincial, insular, bigoted attitude toward those who aren’t white or Christian. Rapid City is very unwelcoming to anyone seen as the slightest bit different from the white, Christian “patriotic” norm, just as it’s very unwelcoming and openly and blatantly bigoted towards native Americans, even those who pump plenty of money into its economy by patronizing its restaurants and businesses. This unwelcome attitude is very palpable and easily felt even by those of us who ARE in the majority. Rapid City has lost out on many business and cultural opportunities because of it.

    Rapid City also has a very backwards attitude toward any kind of progress or change, and that is very unappealing to businesses and potential workers that would move there.

    I live in “rural America” and I am sick to death of its provincial insularity, its hypocrisy and ignorance, its bigotry and small-mindedness, its strong sense of superiority and entitlement and its continually voting for the party that screws it over while blaming the party that tries to implement, maintain and fight for the policies that help it and that they economically rely on. And it’s difficult enough to get needed medical access in many rural areas, it’s only going to get worse with the short-sighted locking out of immigrant physicians as it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible in many areas, to get American doctors to practice in those areas.

    And the same farmers and ranchers around here that scream about “immigrants” and “foreigners” and the like rant about being self-sufficient and not needing any “gubmint handouts” while having their hand out for their millions in farm subsidies (Kristi NOem, are you listening?) are now complaining that they can’t find any workers. And they see no connection between their hatred of immigrants and foreigners and that lack of workers.

  4. Dang—and I like visiting Rapid City so much! I guess I’d experience Rapid differently if I were a bit more than tan.

  5. bearcreekbat

    According to ele’s link, this is a story about misbehavior by 3 youngsters who happen to be from immigrant families. Here are some highlights from the story:

    The incident touched off months of turmoil in Twin Falls after the story was spun into a fake news account that exaggerated or flat-out falsified many of the details, including that a knife was present, the attack was perpetrated by a Syrian gang of adult men, that a rape had occurred and that the attack was celebrated by the perpetrators’ families as city officials orchestrated a cover-up.

    In fact, police and prosecutors said, there was no rape, no knife was present, and the incident involved young boys.

    . . .

    After an investigation, two boys ages 14 and 10 were detained and charged. A third boy involved in the incident, age 7, was charged later. The youngest boy is from Iraq and the two older boys, who are brothers, are from Eritrea, an African country.

    It is a case about very young kids (two not yet in puberty, and one just entering puberty) breaking rules as most kids do at one time or another. It is not a case about immigrant misbehavior due to religion, place of birth, nor any other nefarious reason.

    Here is a real story right from Fox News for ele about a non-immigrant purportedly Christian adult actually raping young foster children right here in good old SD:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/01/17/south-dakota-lawmaker-gets-44-years-for-raping-foster-daughters-in-egg-donor.html

    A case of when a non-immigrant loving children gets out of hand.

  6. Roger Elgersma

    First we had to accept workers not getting paid well for their work. Although it takes work to get things done. When the farm prices rose in 1973 was the first time since records were kept in 1914 that farmers made the same amount per capita as city people. So as a senior in high school, I thought the world just got fair. It did not stay that way. Farmers gradually got paid less as farms got more efficient. Now with NAFTA we got used to factory workers getting paid less. If this helps our cost of living we like it if the other guy gets paid less. Now farms are becoming larger and work gets specialized so an immigrant works in a hog confinement all day instead of a family farmer working in the hog house two hours and then go plant corn. If the immigrant worker will work cheaper, the farmer does not just get economy of size, but makes more money from cheap labor. The cheap labor working in the hog house all day will die from resperitory problems. But will we go back to farm products being more expensive just so the worker will get paid. We had a voter revolt in the last election from workers not being tolerant of thirty five years of trickle down actually being flow up of money redistributed from workers to management. Do we want workers to be our slaves for the prosperity of the rich, or do we what to be fair to those who do the work. South Dakota is wantabe millionaires who want to promote business just in case I get rich some day. Well that is the majority of conservatives, but not everyone.

  7. Thanks bearcreekbat This has to be fake news! Everyone knows how much the Muslims love the Jews!
    German boy beaten, kicked by Muslim schoolmates after telling them he is Jewish | National Post

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/german-boy-beaten-by-muslim-schoolmates-after-telling-them-he-is-jewish

    Just another example of Muslims loving people to death

  8. bearcreekbat

    ele’s link to a story about German-Muslim youths bullying a Jewish classmate seems a bit misleading in its headline and would, indeed, probably qualify as fake news. While the headline does use the terms “beaten and kicked,” the body of the story says only:

    The boy was . . . pushed and threatened. On one occasion, another pupil hit him twice in the back.
    . . .

    One older pupil pulled a replica gun on the boy. . . .

    While such behavior by adolescents is improper and bullying, such bullies certainly are not limited to any particular religion.

    It seems a stretch to blame the Muslim religion and other Muslims for some stupid behavior by children. And to describe the victim as having been “beaten and kicked” seems another stretch, given the actual content of the article.

    One thing stood out, however, the mother of the bullied boy said:

    I’ve never experienced such direct anti-Semitism before in all the years I’ve lived in Germany.

    She obviously must be pretty young as I recollect a lot worse treatment of Jews in Germany by Christian Nazis.

    Meanwhile, here in the good old USA it seems both Jews and Muslims are in danger of being bullied and attacked by angry American Trump supporters.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/jewish-cemeteries-destruction/518040/

  9. mike from iowa

    Anti-semites in action-those darned Muslims are raising monies to repair vandalized Jewish Cemetery.

    http://forward.com/fast-forward/363765/muslims-overjoyed-as-130k-in-donations-pour-in-for-vandalized-st-louis-jewi/

  10. happy camper

    But it is a fair question to ask if Muslims generally, or more and to what extent than the average populace have ill will against Jews. This article from 2014 of the very liberal Guadian suggest it is significant (in addition to the far right): Antisemitism on rise across Europe ‘in worst times since the Nazis.

    So what is driving the phenomenon? Valls, the French prime minister, has acknowledged a “new”, “normalised” antisemitism that he says blends “the Palestinian cause, jihadism, the devastation of Israel, and hatred of France and its values”.

    In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.” Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt; an elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin. In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: “Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone,” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/07/antisemitism-rise-europe-worst-since-nazis

    Also worth observing the sentiment against Jews expressed by this member of the Mulsim Student Association who supports rounding up the Jews to exterminate them. At 2:50 she’s especially creepy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuNva3j12X0

  11. Roger Cornelius

    If you google hate crimes you will find page upon page of stories just since Trump took office, many of them actually involve murder and violence.
    And, don’t forget Dylann Roof who just a few short years ago walked into a Black church in South Carolina and murdered 9 parish member in a bible study class.
    We can go back and forth all day long citing hate crimes, whether real or perceived, and all that can be concluded is that people of all colors and cultures commit hateful crimes.
    No murder or act of violence is worse than another.

  12. happy camper

    All are wrong, but I would disagree we shouldn’t be concerned from where they originate. Religion in the U.S. is relatively benign. Not so in the Middle East.

    “At least 44 people were killed and more than 100 injured after suspected suicide bombings in two different Egyptian cities at Coptic Christian churches Sunday.”

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/09/523170444/church-explosion-in-egypt-leaves-at-least-21-dead-dozens-injured

  13. Roger Cornelius

    Just as I said camper, we can go back and forth on this all day long and nothing is accomplished.

  14. happy camper

    What’s been realized is that Liberals can’t be trusted with national security, so in response the pendulum has swept too far to Trump and others.

    I’ve often wondered why Liberals are so afraid to judge and think that some group is different. It’s good to be cautious about such judgements, but when given enough evidence we have to accept the reality of it.

    The Middle East, their fanatical religions, are right now the source of way too much violence. We ain’t perfect, but stay here or go to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria? Easy choice.

  15. bearcreekbat

    happy, projecting what is in the minds of individual terrorists seems overly optimistic. You seem to assume that each attacker had a religious motive in the Egypt case. Did someone interview these attackers to determine what they expected in return for committing murder?

    While the “Islamic State” may claim responsibility and a religious motive, that doesn’t reveal the motives of the individuals committing the atrocities.

    After the US pre-emptively declared war on Iraq, attacked and broke up Sadam’s army, where were these guys supposed to go? The US wanted nothing to do with them because they fought for the defeated enemy Iraq army. It seems illogical to assume former Sadam soldiers decided to join the “Islamic State” for religious reasons, when they were forcibly removed from their jobs and their country was in chaos as resistance to the American occupation continued. Indeed, rather than religion as motive, perhaps the motivation was try to regain power and control of part of Iraq.

    And perhaps there are other reasons, beyond religious indoctrination, that might entice someone to join, such as to ward off threats against families, or to seek financial security for families, in exchange for joining the “Islamic State.”

    Regardless of their motives, folks who join IS and commit crimes should be held fully accountable. People who don’t join IS or other terror groups and who don’t commit horrendous crimes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, even by those of us that think their religion is mere wishful thinking.

  16. mike from iowa

    Exactly how many 9-11 attacks happened after Libs took over, HC? How many times did Obama have clear and convincing evidence- Planes will be hijacked and flown into buildings in America- did Obama and his administration receive and ignore before the attack was carried out?

    How many PDBs did Sec of State HRC waive around after said attack -claiming who knew terrorists would do this thing-9-11? Condo Rice and dumbass dubya would have known the attack was coming if either of them could read or pay attention to all the warning signs intelligence told them about.

    Libs kept us safe for all of Obama’s tenure as legally elected twice Potus. Obama even bagged OBL and still played better golf than either dumbass dubya or Drumpf.

  17. mike from iowa

    How about anti-Semitism in this WH. Today Drumpf Spokeman said not even Hitler used poison gas. Huh? But what about the Jews, Spicer?

    Hitler did not use gas against his own people like Assad did.

    So there weren’t any German Jews? Fecking wingnut Morons!

  18. happy camper

    Oh come on now, I’m trying to put together a response, but Trump’s son-in-law is Jewish. Spicer said something completely stupid, but you can thank Kushner for probably pushing out Bannon.

  19. happy camper

    Yes, we destabilized Iraq but Sadam’s army did not become ISIS. The detention camps became a place to network by the radicals. It may be true there are other motives than religious fundamentalism, but still, many of those tie to religion.

    Even our allies like Kuwait are very misogynistic and based on a cast system. You saw that article of the Ethiopian maid who was laughed at while she dropped likely to her death (thankfully didn’t). Abuse of “others” is extremely common there.

    People like Roger can say there is violence here, there is violence there, so it’s really all the same, but it isn’t comparable. The beheadings, the regular terrorists attacks in the name of Allah. Horrible, horrible images and things they do, those are not happening here.

    In Egypt they have called for more attacks against Christians, so when you look at the whole, it is mainly about religion. Yes, religion is about power and other things, but it is still mainly about ISIS using the fundamentalist interpretation of Islam as their playbook.

    We have had more terrorist attacks here, just not on the scale of 9/11. Europe has had many more, and more cautious people don’t want that to happen, which means restricting people that cannot be vetted.

  20. Roger Cornelius

    mfi,
    Anti-Semitism in the White House?
    Doesn’t presidential advisor Steve Bannon have some strong opinions about Jews?

  21. mike from iowa

    Drumpf’s S-I-L’s religion has nothing to do with anything. Bannon is a big Russia fan just like Drumpf. I don’t see Bannon going anywhere. If he does the entire WH gets stabbed in the back. Bannon will play for keeps along with his white nationalist friends.

  22. Sounds to me as if Ele rejects basic Christian principles. Also sounds to me as if Ele would rather rural America just die out rather than attracting new immigrants to come, just as our forefathers did, and make a living here.

    I could go through the crime blotter and find how many crimes were committed by white Christian males, then try to hold a rally talking about how we have to keep white Christian males out of our community for our own safety… but good grief, how tiring it would be to throw up such propaganda, just to make myself feel better about prejudices that are better disposed of than reinforced. Why, Ele? Why?

  23. Bearcreekbat, you do great work setting stories straight. Thank you for your contributions to intelligent discourse.

  24. Dying rural communities aren’t really in a position to great newcomers with, “We don’t want your kind around here.” There is no immigrant influx that will leave South Dakota unchanged. Welcome new people and new customs, or go the way of Junius and Quinn. Accept change, or die alone in a state your kids and grandkids don’t really want to live in.

  25. bearcreekbat

    !Y gracias Cory por darnos un foro para estas discusiones!

  26. happy camper

    I know someone who worked in the Middle East it was terrible for them. They came back shaken, troubled by what they saw and experienced admitting they were naive and had a lot to learn. Now, the strange thing is, after getting back on their feet a few months later the same liberal outlook took over again, and that person’s views were just like before like in denial of what they learned.

    So apparently some of these value systems are so embedded even when confronted with conflicting evidence they can’t change. Like religious people who continue to thank god though he does nothing to stop pain and suffering. Gods will, what a great guy, but this is why I don’t trust people who identify as modern day Liberals or Progressives to set policy. There’s some sort of rational disconnect they refuse to use their brain.

    Can’t talk sense to you, and you bash Junius!

  27. “liberals can’t be trusted with national security”

    Yeah, that darned Franklin Delano Roosevelt, losing World War Two and all.

    And Barack Obama, letting Osama bin Laden escape.

  28. Assuming this is the population of rural America (60,000,000)*, the population drop of 116,000 is a drop of less than 0.2% which is a statistical blip. Further, if this minuscule drop takes rural America’s population below what it was in 1980, the population of rural America has been flat for at least 35 years (I think it has actually been flat since the end of WWII but I could be mistaken).

    Whether one wants to make a case for inviting immigrants to our communities or not especially on cultural grounds, constructing/basing the argument on meaningful data might be more helpful. The US accepts roughly 1,000,000 legal immigrants every year. Unless one is suggesting we force all legal immigrants to locate in rural America (regardless of where they might have friends or relatives), immigrants aren’t going to materially change the reality the population of rural America has been flat for generations.

    * Quick google search on population of rural america: https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-live-in-rural-America

  29. Troy, no one is talking about forcing them to come here. And sure, the numbers aren’t on our side. But the numbers don’t change the imperative of making our communities inviting to all willing comers. We may put out the Welcome mat and still only get a fraction of the people we need. But if we put out the “F-You, Strangers!” mat, we’ll get even fewer of the people we need. Maximize outcomes—welcome immigrants.

    And remember, Troy, over the past 40 years, counties losing population in South Dakota outnumber counties gaining.

  30. CH,

    First, as you know but not sure all your readers know, I have a different view on immigration and immigrants than many Republicans.

    That said, I am concerned highlighting it either a solution or a problem does a disservice to all. People move to a place for principally three reasons (family, friends, or a job). Helping rural America to be more prosperous requires us to:

    Engage friends and family to invite/expose people to the merits of our communities/region AND create an environment where there are more and better jobs.

  31. happy camper

    The thing is Cory, as you’ve posted before refugees who are just trying to find safety don’t stay. They’ll go back to their native countries when they can, they won’t’ be here long enough to reinvigorate small towns.

    But every time there is another terrorist attack, you never cover that, cause that’s conflicting evidence to your narrative. Each one of those reflects the connection between Islam, Islamic Terrorism, Immigrants, Refugees, and the difficulty in vetting and merging that culture with the west.

    For me it holds some fascination how our biases, which we all have to some extent, can drive people, including those who consider themselves logical human beings to ignore information we don’t like, digs our heels in, and get tribal about the belief systems we wish to maintain.

    The New Yorker and these other articles did a very good job of explaining the psychology behind our biases. I would ask you and BCB to explore it since you are both intelligent people willing to examine and challenge yourselves, as are most DFP readers who appreciate digging down deeper to gain further understanding:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-risky-is-it-really/201007/why-changing-somebody-s-mind-or-yours-is-hard-do

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

  32. mike from iowa

    It appears perjurer AG Sessions has stock in companies with ties to for profit prisons and stands to make money from potentially every detainee.

    Texas gets the first of many new detention centers. 1000 bed outfit to be on line late next year. No conflicts of interest has ever been seen in this administration-or properly addressed and a wingnut congress apparently could care less.

  33. bearcreekbat

    happy, your links are interesting and thought provoking – thanks!

    The point of all three articles (as it pertains to the thread) seems to be that people who fear immigrants and refugees will accept and stereotype any news event that validates that fear, while rejecting any and all evidence that such stereotyping is a mistake in fact.

    Meanwhile, people who stereotype immigrants and refugees as simply fellow human travelers in this life will maintain that stereotype despite news stories describing atrocious criminal behavior of particular immigrants or refugees, even where there are strong factual connections to groups of immigrants or refugees.

    An interesting question not addressed by the articles, however, is how we come by our particular bias’. Perhaps that is when facts actually matter the most – in helping people form bias’ or reject bias’ in the first instance.

    Are we merely automatons biologically incapable of processing information that conflicts with our bias’, or do we have agency (or even free will) that allows our minds to recognize when new facts matter?

    Personally, I suspect my bias’ flow from French existentialism, in particular Sartre’s philosophical approach. This has colored my viewpoint about human beings and the nature of people generally. The “freedom” Sartre describes is a human consciousness that is necessarily free from having to think any particular way – no one else can cause us to choose to feel fear. If we choose to fear immigrants and refugees, we alone are responsible for that choice. Attempting to blame others, such as immigrants or refugees or a crazy uncle, for such fears is an unsatisfactory attempt to deflect our own responsibility for our choices.

  34. happy camper

    I suspect we have less “free will” than what we want to admit to ourselves. An enlightening experiment was done with 10 college students lined up in a row, all being asked the same simple questions. The first 9 were in on the experiment, the 10th, and always last to be asked the question, was the one being examined.

    So it went like this in a series of questions:
    – 5 plus 5 is 10. All in agreement.
    – 2 times 6 is 12. All in agreement.
    – 12 divided by 4 is 3. All in agreement.
    – Quite a few of those, everyone is feeling good about themselves, until
    – 3 plus 4 is ……

    All of the first nine people in on the experiment answered 9, not 7. All of the students in the 10th position got very uncomfortable and stressed, visually you could see this, sweaty and red in the face, as the number 9 kept repeating, to the point that most answered 9 rather than 7, denying their own knowledge of simple math, because of the social pressure to do so.

    My guess is that much of our eagerness to agree to a group bias, or even more so to things which are completely inaccurate or without evidence (like a belief in god lets say) has to do with that hypersocialability they refer, because we are social animals dependent on fitting in with the group. It’s in our biological makeup to stay within accepted standards of the group, which is more important than being right, as far as survivability goes.

  35. happy camper

    Along these lines BCB, people with my way of thinking do not like welfare programs because they allow groups to remain separate, not interdependent. The very rich social programs in Europe have encouraged some Muslims to be alienated rather than dependent on the larger group, so they retain their fundamentalist values. It would be wrong to assume that this group with extreme non-liberal values should not be feared. This same line of reasoning is why some believe welfare in our country stopped advancement and became a trap for “minorities.” I’m in this camp.

  36. bearcreekbat

    happy, I am not sure I follow your argument about “welfare” programs allowing groups to remain separate.

    The generic term “welfare” programs is too broad to be meaningful, unless you object to any governing body, local, state or federal, using public revenue to assist anyone in need at any time, such as the aged, infirm, and impoverished children. There are town and city programs for the homeless, country poor relief programs for indigents, state programs for the impoverished and federal programs, along with federal help to the states and counties.

    Which particular “welfare” program or programs are you referring to?

  37. Hap, I guarantee you that if a terrorist attack happens here in South Dakota, I’ll cover it.

    One would think that the fact that terrorist attacks don’t happen here in South Dakota would help attract people to rural communities.

    Troy, I’m not sure we’re disagreeing on much. I don’t see the disservice done in pointing to immigration as one important, logical part of the solution to South Dakota’s workforce shortage and dwindling rural communities. Promoting immigration certainly feels more palatable than telling locals to have more unprotected sex.

  38. happy camper

    BCB I’m not saying take away entitlements for the needy, but when welfare benefits are too rich that allow people not to work and assimilate, that encourages Muslim ghettos in Europe.

    Muslims are much more integrated in the U.S., but still, we are the dominant society with values we must expect them to accept, freedom of speech and others being integral to our advancement.

    So Cory, I realize in this video the interviewer could be cherry picking, but these Somalis in Minnesota are not embracing basic American values. To whatever extent this exists, it is a problem when they support Sharia Law, wanting to outlaw depictions of the prophet, arranged marriages for underage girls, etc. They care more about their own culture, not ours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfmywzjdtRM

  39. Hutterites don’t embrace basic American values, either. Kick ’em out?

  40. bearcreekbat

    What exactly are “American values” anyway? The Constitutional protections for freedom of speech and freedom of religion aren’t limited to “American values” are they? Don’t these protect the right to dissent, the right to seek a different form of government through lawful means, the right to have “values” that are not shared by other groups?

    happy, could you elaborate on your response to my which “welfare” question. Which welfare programs do you think pay “welfare benefits [that] are too rich that allow people not to work and assimilate?” If you are going to object to providing such “welfare” benefits, it would help if you could clarify the specific programs that you find objectionable.

  41. mike from iowa

    but when welfare benefits are too rich that allow people not to work and assimilate, that encourages Muslim ghettos in Europe.

    Would taking $600000000.00 from medicaid to pay for taxcuts to the wealthy qualify as “too rich” benefits? The wealthy don’t assimilate, they hob nob with other beasts of their ilk.

  42. happy camper, “To whatever extent this exists, it is a problem when they support ______, wanting to outlaw depictions of the prophet, arranged marriages for underage girls, etc. They care more about their own culture, not ours.” Here is something that is more or less the same, and it is practiced right here in South Dakota near Pringle. “This latter method of freely choosing marriage partners is still predominately used by most Mormon fundamentalists who believe in or practice plural marriage. Most fundamentalist Mormons, apart from the FLDS, do not practice arranged marriages.” Change Sharia Law in the blank for FLDS Law, and you have yourself a winner. I also might add that it does not seem our Muslim brothers and sisters use Food Stamps for fraud either, just sayin..

    I really want to know exactly, what is our culture? After seeing their governor in Alabama get ousted for a sex scandal (typical republican right winger), their legislature gave this https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/11/alabama-church-police-force-senate-vote

    “Your” culture might come up to you and demand that you start going to the church and paying your tithe currently and your back dues as well. Until then, practice the art of Zen, let your mind flow to new horizons and stop being so hateful to those that have been diminished because of climate change and loss beyond comprehension.

  43. happy camper

    BCB in this video the immigrants in Sweden say they get housing, food, education, clothing, and cash. It’s become the rape capital of the world with no-go zones although the government denies it. Two policemen confirm this and the cover-ups, the increase in violent crime, the reporter gets attacked while making the video, so you tell me what to make of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En-OI_l_tlo

  44. mike from iowa

    In Sweden, touching your secretary’s arm is considered rape. If you touch her once a week for a year that is 52 counts of rape. Rape in Sweden is nothing at all like rape in America. That is why stats of rapes in Sweden are so high.

    https://www.thelocal.se/20170221/why-sweden-is-not-the-rape-capital-of-the-world

  45. happy camper

    In today’s world you have to be a skeptic. The two policemen later said about their interview:

    “It was supposed to be about crime in high risk areas. Areas with high crime rates. There wasn’t any focus on migration or immigration,” Göranzon explained to Swedish website Dagens Nyheter. “We don’t stand behind it. It shocked us. He has edited the answers. We were answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism.”

    The upset police officer also made it clear that he was appalled at journalist Ami Horowitz, whom he described as “a madman.”

    http://www.salon.com/2017/02/20/this-is-bad-journalism-swedish-cops-blast-fox-news-story-based-off-madman-filmmaker-referenced-by-president-trump/

    Everybody’s got an agenda!

  46. So then, lets take a look at what communities have gotten out of having immigrants welcomed in their midst. How has Huron done economically? Why even that Sioux Falls paper had a very good article about immigration some time ago. One of the highlights, in my view was this,
    “Even the 4,000 undocumented workers in South Dakota likely contribute more to the economy than they soak up in services, the report says, as they often pay taxes using the Social Security numbers of others without collecting much in federal health or welfare benefits.

    “One paper written by researchers at Arizona State University estimated that undocumented immigrants in Arizona pay $2.4 billion in taxes each year — a figure far eclipsing the $1.4 billion spent on the law enforcement, education and health care resources they use,” the report says, citing 2008 research.”

    That paper goes on further to say “From 2010 and 2014, immigration to South Dakota jumped by 9.4 percent, compared to a 5.3 percent average in the U.S. as a whole. Immigrants in South Dakota earned $430 million in wages, paid $33 million in state and local taxes and $58 million in federal taxes in 2014” So to me then, it is clear. The reason rural communities are fearful about immigrants is the same reason everyone was fearful of them when they came to South Dakota. These Catholic Russian and Germans from the regions of Upper Volga and beyond do not want to erase the racial purity that they feel may loose from open integration.

    Immigration is what makes the communities work as a cohesive unit. The more diversity, the greater the chances of economic growth and sustainability. Think of it this way, had it not been for Muslim invitation to Spain, we may have bought the practice of taking a bath twice in our lifetimes. http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/medieval-europe-before-the-advent-of-the-black-moors-of-spain/ Innovation as well as a willingness to get the job done is what is gained by welcome immigration regardless of religion or skin tone.

  47. happy camper

    Yes Jerry, just like the Native Americans loved immigration back in the day, all the diversity it brought, all the love for the new culture. It made everything very cohesive, and today that’s why Native Americans encourage, with nearly an open-door policy for everyone, especially immigrants to come live on the reservations.

    I asked one of my Native friends, who has a French last name and mixed heritage, why he never talks about his French history. Without skipping a beat he said “Cause they’re the invaders!”

    Immigration in and of itself is not a panacea. It’s about the circumstances as they are today, and a realistic look at economic interests. How to help refugees is really a different issue.

    Even the tech industry whines there isn’t enough talent in the U.S., we need foreign workers, but if you read the tech blogs they just don’t want to pay U.S. workers a competitive salary. It’s about the money and cheap labor.

    Over 2,000 economic migrants were just pulled from the Meditarian in one day. That’s not sustainable. Every country has to control its borders.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-italy-migrants-20170415-story.html

  48. bearcreekbat

    happy, thanks for clarifying the bogus nature of the video you posted by Ami Horowitz. A little checking online suggests that he is an anti-immigrant Fox film maker with little to no credibility. One of the first red flags that a film might be designed to create a bogus false impression, rather than relate any meaningful or accurate actual facts, is foreboding music in the background designed to elicit a negative and fearful emotional reaction, apparently intending to derail rational and critical thinking about the content of the film.

    The statements in the film told us nothing factual or meaningful about Sweden’s various welfare benefits. We don’t know what benefits are available nor what the requirements are to receive such benefits.

    Recall that the welfare benefits question I have repeatedly asked you relate to your comment:

    some believe welfare in our country stopped advancement and became a trap for “minorities.” I’m in this camp.

    I ask again, can you identify which local, state and federal welfare programs “in our country” that help immigrants and have become “a trap” for minorities and “allow groups to remain separate.”

  49. My French heritage speaks of trading and trapping starting in Quebec, near when the place first opened (we have been in North America for a few centuries). These guys were just trying to survive in a wold that did not offer much to those who did not have much to begin with. As you note, regarding dealings with the tribes, most French were welcomed as they did not have an intent on owning the lands, they were mostly nomadic just like some of those they traded with.

    You also mention the social welfare of Europe. Please be specific on exactly what those golden social programs are. Start with Sweden or you can go to any of the nations in the EU. https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/social-economy_en

    Tell me how these social programs are not in the very best interest of the people.

    I don’t suppose you ever look at climate and trade as to how migrations start to happen. Try that, regarding Italy as an example, and you will see why these people are so desperate to just survive. They realize if the boat sinks, they die, if they stay, they starve. Hope versus certain death, will always drive you to hope.

  50. BTW, We Americans have seemed to think that social welfare is not capitalistic. That is where we are wrong headed. http://www.worldfuturefund.org/Projects/Socialstate/Socialwelfare.html Why we think like that is because the wealthy want us to think like that. In fact, the billionaire club that is in Washington right now are finally coming into view. They have been there all along, but behind the curtains with their hands up politicos backsides manipulating deals that only enrich them further while taking what little gains normal folks have worked for. We can sit back and toss stones at the Europeans for having the gall to have paid leaves, tuition free college educations, universal healthcare, 30 day paid vacations, public transportation, disability, workmen compensation but we are an ocean apart.

  51. bearcreekbat

    Jerry, that is a most informative world future fund link- thanks!

  52. happy camper

    The thing is BCB, I find when I answer your questions, your goal is simply to find a fracture and swipe differing views away.

    Why is it so hard to just dig for the truth, whatever that is, and let that take us wherever we should go.

    In my mind, that existentialism.

  53. happy camper

    And also Jerry, while you recognize your mixed heritage, one Native friend would tell me that when arguing with other Natives he would tell them that he is more Native than they are in order to gain more influence over them. He is very liberal in most matters, but that sounds racist to me. At what point does this just not make any sense?

  54. The point where it makes no sense is when all of us look at immigrants and not see ourselves for exactly what we all are, immigrants. The point where it makes no sense is also when you look in the mirror and tell yourself that this is the best you can be, when you know better, but blame your shortcomings on immigrants. The point where it makes no sense is when you can read your Book and accept the brutality described and then look at the same context in another Book and denounce its brutality. The point where it makes no sense is to continue to elect the most likely to betray and steal from you each and every time because they hold the same hateful rage you do regarding race.

  55. bearcreekbat

    Actually, happy you have not once answered my question. And my goal is pretty straightforward – when I read generalizations and stereotypes that appear to demonize and hurt other people, I try to ask questions that might help bring light upon actual facts that reveal such demonization and stereotyping to be inaccurate and harmful.

    I have long heard attacks on “welfare,” which are typically dog whistles propagating false stereotypes about the people who receive benefits, rather than criticisms of particular programs based on actual facts. That seems to be your position when you blindly oppose “welfare” because it causes immigrants to behave in ways you have created in your own mind. But when you cannot even name a single welfare program for the poor and needy to blame, that undermines your entire argument and world view about the pernicious effects of providing welfare to the needy.

    At best I hope to open your eyes to the errors in your premises. If that is impossible due to our inherent bias’ then perhaps a reader or two with an open mind might find our discussions helpful in deciding whether or not to join you in stereotyping and demeaning immigrants and the poor.

  56. mike from iowa

    one Native friend would tell me that when arguing with other Natives he would tell them that he is more Native than they are in order to gain more influence over them. He is very liberal in most matters, but that sounds racist to me.

    Prolly something the white man taught him.

  57. happy camper

    Then I think it’s best to listen to independent Muslim women who are willing to criticize Islam. They understand the religion and culture better than we do:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw0XEnQ3jKI