The Somali community in Edmonton has had lots of their young men killed, police think it might be drug related. Okay, they know it is drug related. Every time another young Somali male dies, the community blames our police, who are doing handstands to help their community, but it is never enough.
Clark's anger stems in part from what he sees as a lack of trust between local Somalis and police after a substantial amount of resources were invested to improve the relationship. In the wake of dozens homicides that claimed young men from the community in the past several years, the city responded with several town hall meetings, sports tournaments, an African Centre and other efforts to elicit change. Edmonton also created 18 organizations to help facilitate integration.She doesn't blame her community members for allowing their young men to sell drugs, she blames the police for "racial profiling".
"So when we hear people in the Somali community and these ethnic communities complaining about city administration it frustrates us," said Clark on Sunday.
But Ilham Ahmed, a board member of the Somalia Community Centre, argues police are wrong to pin all the responsibility on the community.
"Why do we have to look for our own criminals?" she asked. "What I see is negligence from the police community because when you are trained to investigate a murder you are not supposed to be make special - a criminal is a criminal. He doesn't have a face, he doesn't have a race."
Still, Ahmed argues there is a sense of isolation in the Somali community, and a sense of disconnect between her culture and the city at large. She says she struggles to feel at home, even 20 years after immigrating to the country.Maybe Ahmed should start contributing to Canada and Edmonton. After 20 years she should not be in a community of only her own "people", she should be an Albertan. Nothing has been done for her community? What about the 18 programs mentioned earlier? I think little Ahmed doesn't want to integrate into our community, she wants to be a victim all her life. Maybe she would feel better if we moved her community out of the city to the deep woods, then maybe she would be happy with her culture.
"Nothing has been done for this community. We are left on our own," she said.
Some people who live in the area are doing everything they can, funny the name doesn't sound Samoli.
Lew Rodney has battled for five years to get the upper hand on crime in his downtown neighbourhood.No one wants to join, they hide from the police. Now why would that be? Meanwhile Ahmed is crying crocodile tears about how she doesn't feel welcome here. Okay lady, I could care less about YOUR culture, it's about time you started to care about your young people, they are killing each other, and YOUR community REFUSES to tell the police who did it. Enough sniveling and blaming everyone but yourself. If you refuse to integrate, you are your own worse enemy, and your young kids are dying because of your ignorance.
And the 3 a.m. New Year's Day shooting death of a young father-to-be at the Papyrus Lounge near 112 Street and 107 Avenue has only strengthened his resolve.
"My home is here, my business is here, why should I move?" said Rodney, who can see the Papyrus Lounge from his window at his land surveying firm in the Queen Mary Park neighbourhood.
"We want them to move — they need to go, not us."
Rodney is referring to the "criminals and prostitutes that walk around and act like they own the area."
Rodney took matters into his own hands when he joined the 107 Avenue Safe Squad about five years ago. He is one of just two community volunteers who split foot patrols in the area every two weeks.
He says progress is being made, but it's slow.
"We want to make this neighbourhood respectable," said Rodney, who notes Safe Squad efforts have made progress tackling graffiti.
"But we need to do more and it's hard and takes time, especially when no one around here wants to join, they just hide from the police."
It's the reluctance of people in the community to talk or get involved that frustrates Rodney, who's lived in the Queen Mary Park area since 1983, the most.
Mahamad Accord, president of the Alberta Somali Community, blames the city and police for not doing enough to prevent and solve such bloodshed.Mahamad joins Ahmed in blaming the police, but one small voice Mohamed Abdi speaks some sense and actually seems to be doing more than just whining like Ahmed and Mahamad. Stop blaming everyone but yourselves for allowing your kids to be out dealing drugs, it seems to be part of YOUR culture, not mine as a fourth generation Albertan.
But Mohamed Abdi, spokesperson for the Somali-Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton, says the majority of the over 10,000 Edmontonians of Somali descent are just as frustrated as everyone is.
And Abdi stresses that the act of a few Somali does not represent Edmonton's growing Somali community.
"We are doing our best to provide alternatives to the Somali youth," said Abdi, who organizes after school sports and homework clubs at the Africa Centre, located at 13160 127 st.
"We want to enrich our youth with self-esteem and skills they need to be productive."
How about you take your drug dealing "culture" and go back to Samoli where I am sure you will feel more welcome. We don't want your drug dealing kids selling drugs to our kids.