On August 3, 2015 the Buffalo News published a story about this newspaper in their print version as well as online. The comments on the online article were so vile that the Buffalo News had to delete about 131 of the 174 comments and bar readers from further commenting.
The response was so bad that The Public wrote a story about it, saying “the comments left at the Buffalo News’ website in response to the article about Karibu were as heartbreaking as they are hateful.”
Not only were they heartbreaking and hateful, but many of the comments were blatantly incorrect and others posed questions that went unanswered.
We’d like to correct some of those facts, answer those questions, and provide an indelible space for a conversation so quickly eradicated from the internet.
“Buffalo’s poverty rate makes it America’s third poorest city. I guess they weren’t happy with their standing, they want to be number one!”
According to city-data.com the top 3 cities with the most people living below poverty level are Hartford, CT, Bronx, NY, and Monroe, LA. Buffalo, NY ranks number 11.
“When did we decide that our country was so dull that we needed thousands of Burmese, Somalis and a long list of others from the more donkey and camel-intensive parts of the world to spice things up?”
October 3, 1965… the day that Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“There goes the neighborhood. muslims should not be allowed in the US.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“True now there really aren’t any jobs especially in NY, why bring in hordes of people?”
“I work with refugees and I find them jobs. I don’t think they’re stealing anyone’s job, because employers are calling me saying “Chris, I need this job filled” If they’re stealing Americans jobs, where are these Americans to take these jobs, that don’t want to do these jobs? The immigrants are willing to work doing whatever it takes, and it’s very much the same as when the Italians and the Irish, the great immigration waves of the 1800s. They worked doing whatever they could. It’s nothing new.” -Chris Mathias
“How are they going to sound with a NY accent?”
Buffalo has a distinct accent and dialect that differs from that of New York City. They will probably sound like William Mattar.
“At what point does the unabated growth in both legal & illegal immigration make its residents unable to identify themselves as belonging to a nation?”
“Being fully American, as the United States defines its citizens, does not presuppose an ancestral linkage to the nation or to its predominant ethnic cultures or religious traditions. Americans, as individuals, participate in a multitude of historic cultures, but what they share with one another is something quite different. At the heart of their nationhood is an enduring social contract and the energetic process it sets in motion.”
“Americans are NOT part of some “community” of people from whatever country they emigrated from. They will become real Americans when they stop referring to themselves as “hyphenated” Americans.” If they do not accept this, they can go back where they came from. My ancestors cast off their “old country” language, customs and allegience. These new Americans should do the same, IMMEDIATELY.”
“It took immigrants from European countries like Italy, Poland, Germany, and Ireland three to four generations culturally to assimilate, so it’s frankly unfair and irresponsible to expect people from the Middle East or Burma to assimilate immediately; especially given that these new immigrants arrive with their foreign roots not just linguistically, but also visually evident. It bears mentioning that those new immigrants created their own communities and neighborhoods, and even set up newspapers and businesses that catered to their needs in their native languages.
Being American doesn’t just mean abandoning your culture and heritage – what’s so brilliant about this country is that it was among the first to truly invite and encourage not just assimilation, but also adoption of what other cultures have to offer.
I’ll bet you’d find that the people who chose to become Americans are as patriotic, if not more, than those who are American by accident of birth.
That’s why you eat a bagel for breakfast, grab cold cuts on a French baguette or Italian roll for lunch, and get pizza or Chinese or Indian or Thai for dinner. Our country has room for all sorts of Americans – hyphenated and otherwise. Anyone who risks everything to settle in what is to them a strange and foreign land deserves not just respect, but our awe and our thanks. Emigrating from one’s home culture isn’t something people undertake lightly, and outrageous and unreasonable demands from what are likely to be 2nd or 3rd generation Americans doesn’t make the assimilation process any easier.
Immigration made America great. It still does.”
“There is no place called Palestine. How could his parents be from there?”
You’re right, his parents couldn’t be from there. Tyler is a white Irish man, and Rubens is from Africa. It seems you didn’t read the article, Vicky.
Sara’s father hails from Palestine. Prior to 1948, Palestine was a country for both indigenous Arabs and Jews. When Israel was created, the boundaries of Palestine were revised as per the UN Partition Plan in 1947. Palestine and Palestinians are not a political concept, it’s a fact. Foreigners came in, took their land, and introduced political Zionism. Over 60 years of ethnic cleansing does not erase history. The history of Palestine will never disappear.