Beggars can’t be choosers
Sept. 22, 2014
by Ivan Raconteur

I am beginning to wonder if people come to this country just to whinge about the way we do things, and if so, why do they come here in the first place?

Members of the Somali-American community are now whining because they don’t like the food that is available at our food shelves.

While many Minnesotans were busy at work, a group of Somali Americans, protest signs in hand, were marching on the Hennepin County Commissioners’ office recently demanding that taxpayers fork over money to develop a food shelf that caters to their particular dietary preferences.

A spokesman for the group was quoted as saying “It’s about human rights also, basic human rights to get the proper food and also healthy food.”

It amazes me how, when people come to this country, they seem unable to understand the laws that require any responsibility from them, but they sure do figure out their “rights” the minute they cross the border.

It is estimated it will cost $150,000 in tax dollars to get this exclusive food shelf up and running, but there have been no estimates as to what the ongoing costs to taxpayers will be.

I’m not sure why taxpayers are responsible for catering to their religious preferences, but maybe I am just not very smart.

It makes one wonder, though, where it will all end.

These people think it is a violation of their rights to expect them to eat what other Minnesotans eat, even when it is given to them for free.

I suppose the next grievance will be people who accept donations of clothing will want taxpayers to step in and make sure that people only donate new, designer-label clothing to those charitable organizations, because the recipients won’t want to be seen wearing “ordinary” clothing.

Then, they will be expecting taxpayers to pay for them to ride around in chauffeured limousines, because it violates their rights to expect them to ride on public transportation side-by-side with other Minnesotans.

We will probably also have to change our language, because having one language is almost certainly a violation of the rights of people who can’t be bothered to learn English.

If they can’t understand the language, they might miss out on some right they haven’t exploited yet.

We will probably have to abandon some of our customs and traditions, too, since they might be deemed offensive to some of the newcomers.

Food shelves are fine things. I admire the people who support them, and they provide a much needed service for many Minnesotans who are experiencing hard times.

However, I am old enough to remember when people said “beggars can’t be choosers,” and meant it.

Essentially, the point of that old adage is that those who depend on the generosity of others are in no position to dictate the terms of that support.

Somehow, the logic in that statement seems to have been lost on some people.

I believe we have a duty to help those in need when we can, but I am sick of hearing people who got here five minutes ago whine about how their rights are being violated.

Other Minnesota citizens and taxpayers have rights, too, and it is time we remembered that.

If people get hungry enough, they will be happy to eat whatever others are kind and generous enough to donate.

If the Somali-American community or any other special interest group is not willing to accept that, they can toddle back to the place from whence they came.

If things here don’t meet their expectations, I’m sure they would be happier in their former homes.

Perhaps I am being insensitive. Maybe I am being unkind. But the fact is, I am sick of the culture of entitlement, and I am a lot more concerned about the rights of citizens who have been living here, paying taxes, and contributing to their communities than I am about the rights of those late arrivals who showed up with a begging bowl in one hand and a protest sign in the other.

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