a conspiracy of charities

Okay, I was just gonna let sleeping dogs lie with this whole Tyson food/refugees/immigrants/etc thing, but this is just too hilarious to let pass. Just read this. In short, Brian Mosely is a reporter with the Times-Gazette in Shelbyville, following the uh “Somalian Question”, I guess, in Shelbyville. Brian seems like an astute guy, and a decent reporter, and I even mostly agree with a lot of what he has to say about our refugee/immigration policy. A lot of the situations these people find themselves in do indeed resemble indentured servitude – but in a metaphorical sense, at best. These days, the manacles are economic and structural, but more on that later. The part where he goes off the rails is towards the end:

I also have to say that I do not feel that I am “obsessed” or “fixated” with the topic of Somalis living here, as one blogger believes. The refugees have lived in Shelbyville for the past four years, and no one has even addressed the issue until the T-G published the series in December of last year.

I would also have to suggest that the blogger’s opinion is quite possibly influenced by the fact that she makes her living by working with the Nashville refugee community, as she states on one of her other websites.

Aside from the fact that the second link was a link to Christy’s myspace page (which strikes me as a somewhat unexpected, unprofessional and vindictive swipe at her personal life – especially given the, uh, “eccentricity” of the commenters focusing on this issue), let’s focus on what he’s actually implying here: that Christy has a vested interest in refugees coming to this country because she works in social work. Let that sink in for a minute. Are you done laughing hysterically yet? I’ll wait. Come on, collect yourself. Okay, now read these comments:

So, you are basically stating that Christy works for the Refugee program in Nashville and profits from their plight? Heh, no wonder she defends it.

– Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:01 PM

“Only in it for the rain.”

I think she means MONEY!
– Posted by Disgusted on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 4:26 PM

You can’t make this shit up. Social work: where all the scum and villainy of this earth goes to make a quick buck. I mean seriously. I have a lot of friends that are working with immigrants and refugees in particular. It’s insanely hard work with shit pay. I’d be offended on their behalf if it wasn’t more hysterical than it is offensive. The idea that anyone take a job like that for the money is so laughably idiotic that it borders on sheer insanity.

The Times-Gazette is doing a fine job of reporting on this issue, but I’d advise Mr. Mosley to lay off the personal redirection and speculation. I get the impression he’s imagining he’s on the cusp of some pulitzer-winning expose of a grand conspiracy of charities to bring refugees into this country. Or something. He’s either doing so out of ignorance to the economic complexity and sheer magnitude of the situation or he’s being willfully naive in order to, as Christy suggested, stir up controversy with the local yokels (which he certainly has).

Stick to calling for reform, avoid insinuating vested interest and conspiracy on behalf of the organizations trying to help these people. Someone might mistake you for an insane person.