Is it better to struggle to make a living in a major metropolitan area with a lot of previously established ethnic diversity, or to try to make a homestead in more easily affordable small communities where the population is more homogenous and potentially ignorant? It's a quandary illustrated by the case of a white guy in Maine rolling a frozen pig's head through a Somali mosque.
While they admit the act was the work of one man, it has heightened simmering tensions in this overwhelmingly white, working-class city of 35,000, where Somali refugees started flocking about five years ago, after first settling in more urban areas of the United States. Many said they came here because housing was inexpensive and Lewiston seemed a safe place to raise their families.
OK, so this incident was just a dumbass who is racist by default because he doesn't know any better playing a "joke" on the dark-skinned people that just happened to turn out to have the worst possible consequences for all concerned. Can we say the same for the open letter the then-Mayor of the town wrote in 2002?
Hussein Ahmed, 31, said the mosque incident came as Somalis here felt that they had finally started to move on from a 2002 open letter written by Laurier Raymond, then the mayor, which asked them to stop other Somalis from coming to the city. Mr. Raymond contended in his letter that the city was â€œmaxed-out financially, physically and emotionally.â€?
Overall, though, it seems like the people of Lewiston, ME are good and accepting people. It's good to see.