Assimilation inverted

Yesterday I had a meeting with representative of our local (to my company) charity network to discuss my company’s community involvement.

During the meeting the representative, a very pleasant middle aged woman, was telling is about how core funding was being slashed. One project that is jeopardised is one where Somali refugees and immigrants get together for Saturday schools – paid for by taxpayers – where they teach their children Somali languages so that “they can communicate with their parents”. Many of the parents don’t speak English apparently. This surprised me, so I asked the lady “Why don’t their parents learn English instead of teaching the children Somali?”. She looked at me as though I had just admitted to being syphilitic. She did not answer.

So here we have the mountain being brought to Mohammed or Mohammed being made to learn Somali so he does not “lose touch with his culture” and so that he can provide translations for mom, dad and granny.

How did we manage to invert the principle of assimilation and integration so quickly and thoroughly? How did it happen that we completely abandoned the only thing that can turn mass immigration into a something positive opting instead for Apartheid?

I have no problem with Somali kids keeping in touch with their culture and learning their language, but why is that funded by central government when the money ought to be spent on helping their parents assimilate?

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