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Michael Gartner: Iowa's Embrace of Southeast Asian Refugees

posted on July 25, 2008 at 12:45 PM

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In 1975, nobody knew how bringing people who were so different to Iowa would work out. Michael Gartner says it was a good thing for everyone.

First of all, it’s brought some wonderful people to the state who have made great contributions. Second of all, it's added diversity to a state that historically has not been very diverse and still is not real diverse when you consider the nation as a whole. Third of all, it's made us and our children aware of the world, aware of the many cultures in the world and has furthered our education I think. Fourth of all, it's probably made us more tolerant people. I think we're a tolerant people anyway, but I think that it's made us even more tolerant. And for those people who opened their houses, opened their churches, opened their schools when this happened it has to have been for many of them a life changing experience. And all of those are good things. 

And name something bad. You know, there's nothing bad.

Tags: Asia culture immigration Iowa refugees