December 18, 2013

NYT: Minnesota ends, Somalis hardest hit

A new study finds that in Minnesota white and Somali children have catastrophically high rates of autism. Here's how the New York Times covers it:
Study Links Autism and Somalis in Minneapolis

A new study found that white children and Somali children living in Minnesota both suffer from a disabling form of autism at a higher rate than the national average. 
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. 
A long-awaited study has confirmed the fears of Somali residents in Minneapolis that their children suffer from higher rates of a disabling form of autism compared with other children there. 
The study — by the University of Minnesota, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the research and advocacy group Autism Speaks — found high rates of autism in two populations: About one Somali child in 32 and one white child in 36 in Minneapolis were on the autism spectrum. 
The national average is one child in 88, according to Coleen A. Boyle, who directs the C.D.C.’s Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. 

According to Wikipedia's account of Census data, the Somali population of Minnesota numbers about 25,000. The Census reports that Minnesota's non-Hispanic white population is 4,430,000, or 177 times larger. In contrast, the Somali autism rate is 1/8th higher. Thus, there are a couple of orders of magnitude more white autistics than Somali autistics in Minnesota. But who gets the headline?
But the Somali children were less likely than the whites to be “high-functioning” and more likely to have I.Q.s below 70. (The average I.Q. score is 100.) 

"Autistic" has become something of a catch-all phrase for many kinds of retardation other than the more friendly varieties, such as Downs Syndrome. These days it often doesn't mean super-nerdy Temple Grandin-types, but instead just children who need lots of help.
The study offered no explanation of the statistics. 
“We do not know why more Somali and white children were identified,” said Amy S. Hewitt, the project’s primary investigator and director of the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living. “This project was not designed to answer these questions.” 
The results echoed those of a Swedish study published last year finding that children from immigrant families in Stockholm — many of them Somali — were more likely to have autism with intellectual disabilities. ...
Black American-born children and Hispanic children in Minneapolis had much lower autism rates: one in 62 for the former and one in 80 for the latter. ...
All the autistic Somali children in the study had I.Q. deficits, Dr. Hewitt said. ...

The implication is that the Somalis have more severe autism than the whites, which could well be true. Alternatively, it could be that whites have more real Temple Grandin-style autism while Somalis have more catch-all retardation, or that Somalis have IQ deficits in general.
Autism rates vary widely across the 14 communities the C.D.C. follows, Dr. Boyle says. Alabama has low rates, while Utah’s and New Jersey’s are high. ... 

New Jersey has traditionally offered excellent social services for autistic children. I know a family with multiple autistic children who seriously considered moving there for that reason, so its high numbers may be a recruitment effect rather than the result of all its chemical refineries or whatever.
Generally, says Michael Rosanoff, a director of public health research for Autism Speaks, white children are the most likely to have an autism diagnosis, but that may be because they are more often sent to diagnostic specialists. 

Or, then again, maybe not. Nobody seems all that sure. But who has time to investigate whether Minnesota's white children having an autism diagnosis rate 2.44 times the national average is a real problem when there are Somalis to worry about who have autism at 2.75 times the national average?
Somali parents in Minneapolis have complained for years that many of their children had autism symptoms — failure to speak, reluctance to look others in the face, screaming and repetitive behaviors. 
At onetime, 25 percent of the children in local special education classes were Somali, while Somalis represented only 6 percent of the student body. While some children back home had the same problems children everywhere do, parents said, autism was so unfamiliar that there was no Somali word for it until “otismo” was coined in Minnesota. 

It's not like Shakespeare used the word "autism" frequently.
“I feel good, actually,” Idil Abdull, a Somali mother of an autistic child who was one of the first to demand an official investigation, said when she heard the results. “I was afraid they were going to say, ‘We don’t see anything.’ And we know that our kids can’t talk. 
“Autism is silencing the kids of a nation of poets,” continued Ms. Abdull, who has spoken about the issue at the United Nations. “Whether it’s something in our genes and you add it to Minnesota snow or what, I don’t know, but something’s triggering autism. My dad taught me to recite poetry at age 4, and my kid is 11 and he can’t say two sentences. It’s heartbreaking.” 
Dr. Hewitt and Mr. Rosanoff say they want to see more research comparing Somali children with autism to those without, including intelligence testing and genetic workups.  

The utilitarian notion of the greatest good for the greatest number has been turned on its head over the years without anybody specifically explaining why.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just teach them to be 'creative'.
Intelligence doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

I think the point here is that they are trying to talk about Somalis and found the convenient excuse to do so.

Btw, how are the adult Somalis doing? I live in Stockholm and we're being told that unlike here the Somalis in the US are successful. Anecdotal evidence points to them being the least successful immigrant everywhere but I'd like to know more.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking in Somalia, it's just called 'dumb'.

But we had to bring them here and make it OUR problem.

Damn that idiot Bush for dragging us into Somalia. Invade, invite.

Maybe autism makes for good pirates. At least they are 'creative'.

Hepp said...

"Or, then again, maybe not. Nobody seems all that sure. But who has time to investigate whether Minnesota's white children having an autism diagnosis rate 2.44 times the national average is a real problem when there are Somalis to worry about who have autism at 2.75 times the national average?"

Probably because for the most part these kinds of diagnoses are subjective. Seems to me that needing some kind of medical term to explain an undesirable behavior is more of a "Blue State" thing.

Anonymous said...

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmConservative-2002nov18?View=PDF

An early TAC story, with a funny edgy cover. They were going to Maine, but I guess found Minnesota was better.

Terrific post, btw

Hunsdon said...

As fate, or coincidence, would have it, I am actually reading Mark Bowden's book Black Hawk Down (as opposed to just watching Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down). One thing I take away from it is a respect for the fighting prowess of the Somalis.

If I was supposed to guard something, and got word that Delta (OD-D), backed up by 3/75 Rangers and SEALs, with air cover provided by 160 SOAR, was rolling hot in my direction, I might remember I needed to get my nails done.

The Somalis didn't just stand there and take it; they kept coming. That's some good stuff right there. That's Afghan level willingness to die. No, beyond that: That's Chechen level refusal to roll over.

Of course, then the question becomes, isn't importing Somalis to Minnesota kind of like putting Richard Ramirez in juvie, where he can mingle with all the twelve year olds?

Lisa said...

There doesn't seem to be an autism crisis among the many Somalis in Maine, with similar weather and latitude.

Whiskey said...

Steve, religious fervor explains why the majority does not count. White original sin, Black redeemers.

Why, its almost as if Barbara Walters thought Obama was the "next messiah" ... hahahaha.

Yes. She said it.

Anonymous said...

"I'm thinking in Somalia, it's just called 'dumb'."

Um, no. It's just called 'fella'.

Gilbert P.

candid_observer said...

A recent study tied autism to rainfall.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/11/04/us-autism-rain-idUSTRE4A34WG20081104

Perhaps it's lack of exposure to sunlight that's the real problem, which would extend presumably to Minnesota, northerly as it is (more oblique rays on average, smaller amount of time outdoors because of cold).

Mike said...

"I live in Stockholm and we're being told that unlike here the Somalis in the US are successful."

I live in Minnesota and can tell you that if Somalis here are "successful" it is probably in comparison to the local American negro population. The Somalis seek and get employment (typically in some form of unskilled labor like driving a cab or being a parking ramp attendant, but heck - it's still a job), whereas native-born blacks seek and get welfare.

Why so many Somalis came here, from their warm dry country to our cold and snowy one, I have no idea. However, at the moment they seem to have more in common attitudinally with other immigrant groups than they do with the native-born black population. It would not surprise me if the next generation of Somalis backslid somewhat into the dysfunctional American black culture, but they may also retain a little edge over American blacks in the same way that blacks of Jamaican extraction do over them.

Anonymous said...

Autism used to be a distinct disease in the vernacular--you know, a kid whose in a self-contained world, who barely interacts except occasionally lashing out at changes in routine.

Now it's just a word on the euphemism treadmill: cretin, idiot, retard, mentally handicapped, and now autistic. I'm sure I left out dozens.

ricpic said...

A nation of poets struck dumb by the Minnesota cold...or snow...or something. Anyway one thing's sure, the West is guilty GUILTY GUILTY!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if their symptoms might improve if they returned to Somalia. It is worth a try.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your friend who considered moving to New Jersey for the highly rated social services, you might be interested to know that Glendale, California, just around the corner from you, has an elaborate special ed program. Glendale is a prosperous town with lots of very nice houses, but the special ed programs disproportionately serve apartment renters. That is, people are moving to a pricy town like Glendale and paying high rents in order to get the services. Much closer than New Jersey.

A Working Class American said...

steve sailer wrote:
"The utilitarian notion of the greatest good for the greatest number has been turned on its head over the years without anybody specifically explaining why."


Why? Because Big Money gets what it wants in america.

Mr. Rational said...

Neither Minnesota nor Sweden is good for Somalis.  This is a very good reason for us to make their social benefits payable only in Somalia, no?  We should strongly encourage them to return.  It's For The Children!

Anonymous said...

At onetime, 25 percent of the children in local special education classes were Somali, while Somalis represented only 6 percent of the student body. While some children back home had the same problems children everywhere do, parents said, autism was so unfamiliar that there was no Somali word for it until “otismo” was coined in Minnesota.
Mild retardation is more difficult, some people have score at mild retardation at age 6 and score low average from 85 to 90 at age 12. Some mild retardation unlike moderate or severe might be cultural.

2Degrees said...

Anonymous said:

"Btw, how are the adult Somalis doing? I live in Stockholm and we're being told that unlike here the Somalis in the US are successful. Anecdotal evidence points to them being the least successful immigrant everywhere but I'd like to know more."

I don't know about the US, but New Zealand's very small Somali community is one very big pain in the derriere. Here are a few of the many stories I could send you.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/6671681/Publicity-sparks-fear-among-refugees


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4067427/Woman-jailed-for-hijack-attempt

http://www.newswire.co.nz/2011/11/somalis-fear-slur-from-suppression-breach/

Power Child said...

Abdull's last sentence reminds me, Somalis are in some ways a pretty interesting people. The sad connection Abdull draws between being a nation of poets and her son's muteness is itself very poetic.

Anonymous said...

Swedish researchers explore Somali-autism link

http://www.thelocal.se/20110328/32862

"The lack of sunlight in Sweden, combined with the use of sun protection creams and general precautions taken to avoid direct sun exposure is known to cause vitamin D deficiencies. Vitamin D deficiencies could be a contributing factor to the incidence of depression and some experts believe, autism."

So what's different about Somalis and others of African descent?

Sulla said...

I figure it is either Lutheranism or the snow. Perhaps a principal component analysis is necessary to sort this out. :-)

Power Child said...

@Anony-mouse:

Maybe autism makes for good pirates. At least they are 'creative'.

Look at me. Look at me.

I am the captain now.

Harry Baldwin said...

But the Somali children were less likely than the whites to be “high-functioning” and more likely to have I.Q.s below 70. (The average I.Q. score is 100.)

The average IQ for WHITES is 100, you New York Times imbeciles. We can assume IQs below 70 are more likely among all Somalis, whether or not they have autism.

I think the Somalis are suffering from homesickness. There's a cure for that.

Anon87 said...

My dad taught me to recite poetry at age 4, and my kid is 11 and he can’t say two sentences. It’s heartbreaking.

Face facts, your child is not smart. No magical catch-all "disease" to explain away what they were or weren't born with.

Anonymous said...

Why are there Somalis in Minnesota? Wasn't Minnesota getting along just fine without them? How are Somalis making life better for the people there?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at 2:51 PM:

Anyone who has told you that Somalis are a "successful" people or desirable immigrant group is LYING to you. I can't think of a more useless and dysfunctional group of people. In a sane world they would be the very last group of people allowed into the west.

Auntie Analogue said...


"'[A] nation of poets.'"

Somalia? A nation of poets? Who knew! No wonder the country can't feed itself - there's no one there but starving artists!

Now let me recite that world-famous Somali sonnet. Wait. Wait. It's on the tip of my tongue, right next to that world-famous Somali haiku.

Poets. Huh. I must have had Somalia mixed up with a land of savage warlords, brutal child soldiers, human traffickers, brigands, sex slavers, and pirates.

The incidence of autism among Minnesota's Somalis exceeds that of White Minnesotans - maybe the Somali young aren't hearing enough words spoken in their home environment. Amazing how fast our Diversity-enriching refugee scammers cotton to the liberal victim script, isn't it? Better sign them up for Obamacare, tout de suite.

Anonymous said...

Oh, they are discovering Somali children are cognitively challenged and have to blame it on autism.

Egads. What will the Progressives do? Pretend whites society is infecting those poor third world refugees.

Isn't now a good time to talk of African IQ? Evolution?

Progressives love to talk about the environment. They love to pretend they are scientifically literate. Perhaps now is the time to teach them about selection and the environment.

Alice said...

Interestingly, living here in MN,I have heard often about the astronomically high Somali autism rate,but never that the Caucasian rate was high. What is usually reported is that the severity of the symptoms for the Somali is off the charts, unlike the Caucasian cases.

Here are some possible reasons for the high rates in MN:

Much more comprehensive surveillance of children than other states. For decades, MN has had Early Childhood Family Education, a branch of the public school system that offers free ongoing courses to parents and children from birth to 5. These courses involve parents and babies meeting weekly in small groups with teachers to discuss child development, parenting issues, health. etc. for years. The children come with the parent as infants, and then are provided childcare doing these class times as they grow older.

All of the school districts require a pre-kindergarten health screening, which looks for any issue that would cause a child to need Special Education. This screening checks your health and vaccination records automatically, too.

There is a major concern here that the Somali population has this high incidence because of some developmental growth mechanism dependent on Vitamin D. the Somali have incredibly dark skin, and wear headdresses and abayas, and they do not have any cold weather outdoor recreation.

Difficult to say how the adult Somali population is doing-compared to what? The Somali and African- American communities are at odds. We have race riots in Mpls high schools between the groups.. The Somalis don't want their children having anything to do with the urban Black population. that is how they end up in Islamist mosques, to keep them from being thugs..

ironrailsironweights said...

Btw, how are the adult Somalis doing? I live in Stockholm and we're being told that unlike here the Somalis in the US are successful. Anecdotal evidence points to them being the least successful immigrant everywhere but I'd like to know more.

Many Somalis in Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States work as taxi drivers. Not the sort of thing where you'll get rich, and not always the most pleasant of jobs, but at least it's decent work with relatively low barriers to entry.

Peter

Hail said...

Steve Sailer wrote:
"According to Wikipedia's account of Census data, the Somali population of Minnesota numbers about 25,000"

This figure is a bit meaningless if divorced from any context. Digging in census data, I find Somalis of school-age may be as much as 2-3% of the entire Minnesota school-age population, an enormous number when just 25 years ago it was very near zero.

Here is how I determined that:
Within census.gov, the dataset called "FIRST ANCESTRY REPORTED / 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates" says Minnesotans with Somali "first ancestry" number 30,000-35,000 with a few hundred more reporting it as "second ancestry", which itself is far above the 25,000 Wikipeople came up with.

The problem with even this is that the figure for "Sub-Saharan African ancestry" is reported at only 100,000 for Minnesota (equals <2% of state) , but Blacks actually number 300,000 in Minnesota (5.5% of the state, (according to this). Black-Americans are much less likely to answer the ancestry question. Maybe a similar dynamic is at work for Somalis. There may easily be 50,000+ Somalis in Minnesota. If they under-report at the same rate as Blacks in general in the state, there are 100,000 Minnesota residents of Somali ancestry (to say nothing of uncounted Somali illegal immigrants, if any).

Now, it's also true that Blacks in 2010-2012 in Minnesota had an average age of 26.8, including 23.8% ages 5-17. "White" (I cannot find figures for only non-Hispanics ) average age is 40.2 in the same period, including 16.0% age 5-17.

Say the high 100,000 estimate is correct for Minnesota-Somalis. This would mean 23,800 Somalis are of school-age in MN, but probably higher, as I presume Somalis have an even higher share than Blacks overall of school-age. In other words, 100,000 may be a bit high for total Minnesota-Somalis, but 23.8% of school age may be too low, and these may cancel each other out. The total 5-17 year-old population in MN is 925,000 (census, 2010-2012). Thus, Somalis may be 2-3% of the entire youth population of Minnesota, and that may reach or exceed 5% in Minneapolis itself. Just Somalis.

Anonymous said...

"Men Take Computer Science; Women Take Cooking Classes

Recent demographic data from online education company Coursera shows a gender divide in course enrollments."

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/men-take-computer-science-women-take-cooking-classes/282300/

"A lot of the data plays into gender and age stereotypes: Older students are interested in the humanities; younger students want to learn about computer programming. Women want to learn about childrearing; men want to learn about computer science. Ninety-five percent of the students who signed up for Principles in Scala were men. Meanwhile, in Child Nutrition and Cooking 2.0, women made up 80 percent of the class. The gender divide continues in other classes: The top ten classes with the highest percentage of men are all related to computers and programming."

"Coursera offers a wide breadth of classes, the barrier to entry is minimal, and no one has to know what courses you are signing up for. These are characteristics that were supposed to level playing fields and break glass ceilings. Yet despite this anonymity and ease, stubborn patterns remain."

agnostic said...

Are Scandinavians more susceptible to autism? Minnesota whites apparently have a very high rate, and Utah leads the nation.

Utah is a Puritan, Saxon-Scandinavian enclave within the former Wild West. It also boasts the same do-gooder liberal internationalism that Minnesotans do, only framed in a religious missionary worldview. Salt Lake City has a large Somali population itself.

Because Utah and Minnesota don't share regional culture, history, latitude, elevation, rainfall, density of mosquitoes, etc., that suggests something shared farther back, at the genetic level (or Puritanism).

I'll buy the idea that New Jersey's rate is so high because they want to recruit newer and wealthier citizens who have autistic kids. So I wouldn't make too much of the small number of Scandis there.

Anonymous said...

I thought autism is supposed to make one MORE creative, not less. Or am I thinking of Aspergers?

Dai Alanye said...

Let's get a bit racial. "Whites" are Caucasian, and Somalis, like Ethiopians, are largely Caucasian as well, despite dark complexions. Racially they are nearer to Swedes than to Central Africans, and far nearer to Jews and Arabs. So what's the autism level among Semites?

This has got to be a cultural not racial issue, assuming that mis-diagnosis isn't the major problem, with autism being used as a catch-all category to make the work of psychologists easier.

Paul Bunyan, Badger said...

Doesn't everyone in Minnesota go to Cretin Hall High School?

rob said...

I'm thinking in Somalia, it's just called 'dumb'.

hahah. In Somalia, it's probably just called being a Somali.

From the article
But the Somali children were less likely than the whites to be “high-functioning” and more likely to have I.Q.s below 70. (The average I.Q. score is 100.)

This is true and funny when read as referring to regular Somalis and Minnesotans.

Seriously, all the autistic Somalis had IQ deficits? Compared to whom? Compared to whites? No duh. Compared to other Somalis, how do they stack up?

It is interesting that Somalis were more autistic than Minnesota blacks. There's some evidence that schizophrenia and autism are opposite disorders, and schiz rates are really high in male blacks. If I had had to guess, I would have thought schizophrenia rates in Somalis would be sky high by our standards of crazy, and autism rates pretty low.

They didn't give a male:female breakdown. That's suspicious.

Oh my God, I have a horrifying hypothesis for increasing autism rates. Really, really vile.

Anonymous said...

It's not like they're inbred, or anything.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

Why, its almost as if Barbara Walters thought Obama was the "next messiah" ... hahahaha.

I hate to break it to you, but Barbara Walters is not a Christian. Just like your other examples, Simon Kuper, Jonathan Chait and Gideon Rachman, she is not a gentile.

Alice said...

Steve, re: the Somali population, it is difficult as the schools lump Somalis in their "african-american" bin, but it seems likely if you extrapolate from the TIMSS dats: MN is currently able to say it is doing well, relative to the US, except the ethnic breakdown scores show that the only rising populations and the ones who are flunking the TIMSS.

on the bright side, they typically leave MN and return to Somalia to be terrorists.

Here's a taste of the bad feeling between the Blacks in town and the Somali community:

http://donny-allen.us/2013/03/04/sb-mps/

Anonymous said...

Utah is a Puritan, Saxon-Scandinavian enclave within the former Wild West. It also boasts the same do-gooder liberal internationalism that Minnesotans do

Utah is among the most conservative states:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/01/conservative-liberal-states-gallup-poll/1885131/

Minnesota isn't.

Mike said...

"Utah is a Puritan, Saxon-Scandinavian enclave within the former Wild West. It also boasts the same do-gooder liberal internationalism that Minnesotans do, only framed in a religious missionary worldview. Salt Lake City has a large Somali population itself.

"Because Utah and Minnesota don't share regional culture, history, latitude, elevation, rainfall, density of mosquitoes, etc., that suggests something shared farther back, at the genetic level (or Puritanism)."

Puritanism is specifically an English manifestation of Calvinistic Protestantism, with a strong emphasis on preaching and strictly moral personal conduct, coupled with a very diminished and austere version of the traditional Christian sacraments. Characteristic theological aspects are the doctrines of predestination and election. The American descendants of Puritanism are the Congregationalists. This denomination is predominantly associated with New England.

Neither Utah's Mormonism nor Minnesota's Scandinavian Lutheranism are very closely connected theologically, liturgically, or organizationally with Puritanism. Both, inter alia, preserve the ancient office of bishop, which would have been anathema to the Puritans!

Mormonism is probably best understood as a Christian heterodoxy as broadly deviant from the mainstream of post-Nicene Christianity as many of the ante-Nicene Christian splinter groups were. Indeed, it has some doctrinal resemblance to the Valentinian heresy. Historically, Mormonism derives from the Zwinglian or Anabaptist strain of Reformed Christianity; Joseph Smith and Brigham Young somewhat resembled John of Leyden (especially in respect of their polygamy), but with the exception that they succeeded where John of Leyden failed. Some ritualistic borrowings from Freemasonry are also thrown into the mixture with the other elements.

Lutheranism - especially as practiced by Swedish Lutherans - is very close to what Episcopalianism once was. It is has a much more sacramental emphasis than does Calvinism, which abhorred anything redolent of "popery." Sweden became "reformed" during the reign of Gustavus I Vasa because he differed with the papacy over who was to be given one of the Swedish bishoprics - it was a political and not a theological reformation, much like that of Henry VIII, but without the soap-opera aspects. The independent Swedish church did not adopt a definitely Lutheran character until the 1590s - quite late.

There is certainly a pietistic character to Swedish Lutheranism, and some of this has carried over to its Minnesota version. But what this would have to do with causing a high rate of autism is difficult to see.

I'd look for genetic causes, since the ancestral populations, both of Mormon pioneers in Utah and of Scandinavian immigrants to Minnesota, were small, and their descendants have tended to stay put where their great-great-grandparents settled. If the respective churches have anything to do with it, it might be that Mormons tend to marry other Mormons, and Lutherans to marry other Lutherans. Given the small size of the two gene pools, this might tend to encourage recessive traits to manifest themselves.

Steve Sailer said...

Anonymous said...
It's not like they're inbred, or anything.


Right, I was thinking I should check out Consang.net.

Reg Cæsar said...

Some observations from a longtime Somali watcher:

Somali kids in our neighborhood don't go out to play in the winter. Nor do the Ethiopians, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, etc. Hell, when the windchill is -11, as it has been the last week or two, OUR kids ain't goin' out.

Do they add vitamin D to goat milk? Somalis don't touch the cows' stuff.

In recent years Ramadan has been coming in the summer, and they can't eat at all until around 9pm. That wouldn't affect the kids, but it would their parents. A mini-famine every 11 1/2 months.

Somalis are notoriously poetic in their own language, in their own country. It's practically their national sport, with competitions and all. You'd think they might use it as a substitute for war. But without combat, what would they have to be poetic about?

Their girls, for one thing. Young Somali women are lithe, feminine, friendly, fashionable, modest, chaste and rarely angry. In other words, they ain't assimilatin'!

In one sense, they're like Asians. In 20 years I've never seen a single Somaliman show the slightest interest in women outside their community. Their women seem like they'd be more open to outbreeding but, unlike Asians, aren't free to act on it. But note that the only Somali most Americans can name is married to David Bowie.

I want to know where Somalis fall on the ADD scale. I imagine it's very high. Thom Hartmann wrote of an Eskimo village in Canada in which every single child was diagnosed with it. Nothing wrong with them, it's just the way their minds work, a holdover from hunter-gatherer times-- in the case of Eskimos, the day before yesterday.

The Somali I know best tells me their men hate to work for someone else. Cabdriving and airport service jobs are perfect for such types. No boss in sight. Great for ADDs, not so much for autistics!

Matthew said...

Anecdotal evidence points to them being the least successful immigrant everywhere but I'd like to know more.

Oh no, no, no - it's just that every country, everywhere in the world is racist against Somalis. It has nothing to do with the Somalis themselves - it's just this huge remarkable coincidence!

Nobody seems all that sure. But who has time to investigate whether Minnesota's white children having an autism diagnosis rate 2.44 times the national average is a real problem when there are Somalis to worry about who have autism at 2.75 times the national average?

Kinda like how everyone knows that the highest suicide rates are among Asian men and black women.

Matthew said...

"Somalis, like Ethiopians, are largely Caucasian as well, despite dark complexions. Racially they are nearer to Swedes than to Central Africans, and far nearer to Jews and Arabs."

Huh? Are you insane? There are distinct differences on the Y chromosome between Ethiopians and Central Africans. They are probably the result of Islamic conquests. On their Y chromosome Somalis have more in common with North Africans than with Central Africans. But they have nothing in common with Swedes - or with Europeans in general.

On their mtDNA they are mostly just like other Sub-Saharan Africans, which further suggests their differences are the result of Muslim conquests.

Matthew said...

"I hate to break it to you, but Barbara Walters is not a Christian."

So for Walters, Obama is the first Messiah. Got it.

The Somali I know best tells me their men hate to work for someone else.

An alpha male complex. They have to be in charge. To accept someone else's authority is to acknowledge your own inferiority. Of course the way authority is exercised in Somalia (and, increasingly, everywhere) why would you trust someone with authority?

Anonymous said...

Power Child said:

Abdull's last sentence reminds me, Somalis are in some ways a pretty interesting people. The sad connection Abdull draws between being a nation of poets and her son's muteness is itself very poetic.

To me, it seems that Somalis are a very uninteresting people. I had no idea that they were supposed to be a "nation of poets", but I guess that's because they're so insular. They share many of the common pathologies of black Africans, but they don't seem to have any talent for the performing arts, unlike West Africans. Nor do they seem to have any special athletic talents, except perhaps for long-distance running (see: Mo Farah).

Dai Alanye said:

Let's get a bit racial. "Whites" are Caucasian, and Somalis, like Ethiopians, are largely Caucasian as well, despite dark complexions. Racially they are nearer to Swedes than to Central Africans, and far nearer to Jews and Arabs.

That's nonsense. East Africans are about 50% negro and 50% Arab.

Gottlieb said...

A long time since I started venturing in psychology, I have questioned me about the very likely racial differences in autism, both in intrarracial quality, as the number of cases among the races.

Minesotans are predominantly liberal , from what I have read . Liberal people have a higher tolerance to different people , well, actually , many of them tend to be the type weird . Nerds , eccentric and creative , only ordinary crazy people with no talent , experiencers , among many other types are common between you Americans call a liberal . Here we call ''esquerdistas''.
As a result , you are first dealing with a population with minority cultural trends , which suggests genetic recessivity. Liberals are a bio -behavioral phenotype that exists as a minority in all human societies , in general , they would like the extra men that confer some evolutionary advantage of group. Greater creativity can most likely be one of them.
Already the population of Utah is predominantly conservative and a Mormon. However, the recessive is also positively selected. Overall, the recessive traits are always selected in any human population , because without them , we become closer to colonies of ants , where everyone is more or less the same thing . The essence of being human , will disappear .

Gottlieb said...

Here in this case what happens is very close marriages between cousins ​​, close relatives . The same way that marriages between different people can generate behavioral complexity , suggesting the most common expression of recessive genes , exactly the same happens with people that strive for genotypic culture, the culture that places great emphasis on the establishment of uniform genes , or genes in common , a culture that strives for collective transcendence ( and suppression of individuality and dissent ) and racial or ethnic ( cultural-ethnic ) speciation .
The ever constant presence of these recessive traits that result in disparate behaviors seems to suggest that despite its recessive character , they are very common in human populations , because people seriously affected by them as schizophrenics , autistics among other neuro - distinct groups , have low fertility rates . I would go further and suggest that any human being on earth , especially the Euro-asians , have potential to express these genes through its offspring , depending on the type of mating in which to engage .
Epigenetic factors may also interfere with this process .
I have a theory , as easy to prove wrong , but anyway , I have nothing to lose by exposing it .
The autistic ( and other natural variations in humans) are more common in certain environments such as urban than in rural centers , because these regions could be like emulators environment where prehistoric humans evolved , an environment full of complexity (humans and not animals ) , feeling lonely or with less people ( despite the crowd , the masses tend to atomize the individual, big cities, great number of peoples but less friends and relates, small cities, little number of people, more % of know and friends) and the presence of an atmosphere heavy and difficult to be manipulated (ie , polluted cities represent the return of the human inability to manipulate the environment in its favor ) .
Summarizing this nonsense , when found in harsh environments , certain recessive genes can be expressed , not only by showing the individual with cognitive advantages of double expression, but also because its sensitivity generates a greater sense of caution and wariness among their relatives . Ie , beyond the multiple biological and cognitive advantages genetically indirect in having these individuals within the family , they still may have potentiated the effect of inferring new emotions and possibilities of behavior these people . They are beings with great potentiality to cause disturbing events of family routine and therefore may cause significant increase in awareness , understanding of love as well as care and seeks to avoid taking risks . Fatherhood or motherhood naturally provokes this feeling in parents, imagine when you have an extremely sensitive to all sorts of conflicts be?

Anonymous said...

Lisa, tell a Mainer that you think your kid's autistic and they'll tell you to take that stuff down to Massachusetts.

Rohan Swee said...

2Degrees: I don't know about the US, but New Zealand's very small Somali community is one very big pain in the derriere.

Anon: Anyone who has told you that Somalis are a "successful" people or desirable immigrant group is LYING to you. I can't think of a more useless and dysfunctional group of people. In a sane world they would be the very last group of people allowed into the west.

Reminds me of a PJ O'Rourke comment (from All the Trouble in the World, iirc) about Somalis. Something about there being good and bad in all groups, except "Somalis are all assholes".

Once had a chat with an Englishman of casual acquaintance, who was permitting himself some quite tame, only mildly un-PC observations about the various populations of vibrants in Britain. He caught himself when he got to Somalis, mumbling some English equivalent of "whole 'nother ball game" and moving on. I mentioned their having a sizable presence in Minneapolis. He looked genuinely shocked. "Good God! Minneapolis? How did they get into Minneapolis?" One could only chuckle sardonically in response.

Good-lookin' people, though.

carol said...

Why are there Somalis in Minnesota?

Blame Lutheran Family Services and other "church group" refugee hustlers. They get govt $$$$ to place these people. They get a burr up their ass that MN or NH needs more "diversity" and next thing you know, there they are.

Highly recommend this site to keep track of them.

carol said...

Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?

Bill in England said...

“Autism is silencing the kids of a nation of poets,” continued Ms. Abdull, who has spoken about the issue at the United Nations.

Groan....

Jon said...

" Wasn't Minnesota getting along just fine without them? How are Somalis making life better for the people there?"

You ask the wrong questions. The right question: how many 100s of thousands or millions a head could they pay them to stay in Somalia and have it still be cheaper than the welfare/ward costs plus quality of life for natives compensation (considering the present value of money against the future cost of their descendants as well)?

Chad Vader said...

Any chance the white Minnesota autism rate is due to parents having children later in life?

Bernard Rothmann said...

Historically, Mormonism derives from the Zwinglian or Anabaptist strain of Reformed Christianity; Joseph Smith and Brigham Young somewhat resembled John of Leyden (especially in respect of their polygamy), but with the exception that they succeeded where John of Leyden failed.

Uh, no. Zwingli detested Anabaptists just as much as Luther did. In any event, what reason is there to think that Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were actually influenced by Münster-style Anabaptism? The overlap of polygamy could just as well be a sign that they all read the same Old Testament.

spiraldance said...

Many parents told me the same story of regression I have heard a thousand times before.

"He met all the normal milestones until he hit 18 months," lamented Abdulkadir Khalif, speaking of his three-year-old son with autism. "He was a beautiful baby, running around, saying a few words, until about the winter of 2006, right when he got his MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) shot. He got sick and we went to the hospital, and he stopped talking immediately around that time."

"Do I know it was the vaccines?" Khalif asks. "All I know is he stopped talking right around the time of those shots."

Neither Khalif nor his wife (who was given a thimerosal-containing flu shot while pregnant, even though the label instructed the doctor to administer the shot during pregnancy, "only when medically necessary"), had ever heard of autism until the day their son was diagnosed.

Khalif says, it is "not possible" that autism could be this common in Somalia. "I've been living with it on a daily basis, with my own child. And I lived in Somalia and Kenya for a long time. If it was this common, we would have had a name for it, and we don't. That tells me it does not exist."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/minneapolis-and-the-somal_b_143967.html

Anonymous said...

Neither Khalif nor his wife (who was given a thimerosal-containing flu shot while pregnant, even though the label instructed the doctor to administer the shot during pregnancy, "only when medically necessary"), had ever heard of autism until the day their son was diagnosed.

Good point!! The medical establishment is shamefully taking advantage of immigrants.

Anonymous said...

“Autism is silencing the kids of a nation of poets,”

Can't they still write it out? I thought poetry existed in written form. Is Somali poetry only oral like def poetry?

Anonymous said...

Is Somali poetry only oral like def poetry?

More importantly does it sound like Def Leppard music?

paleopaleo said...

It's "Down" not "Downs".

mike said...

Bernard Rothmann wrote: "Uh, no. Zwingli detested Anabaptists just as much as Luther did. In any event, what reason is there to think that Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were actually influenced by Münster-style Anabaptism? The overlap of polygamy could just as well be a sign that they all read the same Old Testament."

I did not write that Zwingli and the Anabaptists shared all views in common; that's why I used the word "or," a disjunctive. There are, broadly, three branches of the Reformation: Lutheran, the most conservative and sacramental in its emphasis; Calvinism, more austere and less sacramental, still practising infant baptism, believing in predestination and election; and the rest, including both Anabaptism and Zwinglianism, rejecting sacramentalism generally, rejecting the sacramental element in baptism in particular, regarding it as a covenant with God - therefore not entirely rejecting free will.

Zwingli rejected re-baptism (the hallmark of the earliest Anabaptists) - but shared with them a common rejection of sacramentalism. This point of view represented the extreme left wing of the Reformation.

American Baptists treated baptism as a covenant rather than a sacrament, therefore baptizing only those of sufficient age to understand the covenant upon which they were embarking, and hence rejected Calvinism's rigorous predestination, embracing free will. For this, Roger Williams was exiled from Massachusetts to Rhode Island, which Cotton Mather described as "the fag end of civilisation." Baptists belong to the same extreme left wing of Reformed Christianity as Zwingli and the Anabaptists, despite their differences on other points.

Mormonism originated as a further heterodoxy amongst this group, as did Seventh-Day Adventism, Pentecostalism, snake-handling sects, etc. If there is a really very close match to John of Leyden, it's probably David Koresh, rather than Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. The Branch Davidians are a splinter of Seventh-Day Adventism, and of course Koresh ended as disastrously as John of Leyden. But he shared with Smith and Young (and Warren Jeffs) the same sort of convenient doctrinal invention that allowed him to justify having multiple wives.

Is there a direct connection between the Mormons and John of Leyden? Probably no more than there is between them and the Valentinian heresy, or with elements of the thinking of Giordano Bruno. Who knows whist underground rivers connect them? All we can say is that there is nonetheless a resemblance.

Mr. Anon said...

A month or so ago, Steve had a post on an old Newsweek article from the early 70s about Minnesota, and how it defied the trends of decay and malaise that seemed to be settling in on other parts of the country. I wonder what the people of Minnesota who were interviewed for that article would think of today's Minneapolis?