Question and a rant

<p>Question first: Is this a hate crime? <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Rant: Our church has a preschool for members and non-members. As part of our community of faith, members of the church take turns cooking a meal, baking a cake or something for people in times of need, illness or with a new baby. Zoosersister is an amazing and well-educated cook (classes in NYC for years) and is part of this ministry. A young family had a new baby to go with their pre-schooler and ZS was assigned to make a meal for them. Great, she tries to contact them a few times and no can't get through. No biggie. Finally gets through and the wife acts like she is doing a favor and says "oh, I don't know, call me again and we'll see." So ZS thinks she is tired, stressed, whatever. May very well be. Tries again a few more times and the family won't answer the phone although we know they're not taking the baby out. Fine. Finally after about two weeks we find out that they don't want her cooking for them because people might think they're poor. Got that? Jeez, they've been jerking her for two weeks. Couldn't they just have declined in the first place? Nice. Rant over.</p>

<p>Would Zoosersister like to send me meals? It will have to be under cover of darkness though, so no-one thinks we're poor. :)</p>

<p>Re: the Ham. While I do think it is offensive, I don't know why police would be investigating it. I'll take the ham too. :) :)</p>

<p>Hey Choc, she took classes from a famous pastry chef and makes a serendipitious flourless chocolate cake (I'm assuming from your name . . .)</p>

<p>But, hey, is ham a hate crime?</p>

<p>People can think I'm poor all they want...I'll take any food I can get from an amazing and well-educated cook! (I'm not known for my cooking...;)...another 'family joke'.)</p>

<p>When I was growing up, a lady was trying on a dress at a tailor's shop, and basically he had ruined her fabric; in her anger she called him a stupid pig...he stabbed her with his scissors, and the police did not charge him :eek:</p>

<p>Can she cook for my husband, he is the only one that wants these elaborate meals, the rest of us are fine with a caeser salad</p>

<p>as for the lady with the new baby, a better system should be in place, with a person contacting them to see what and if they need anything, and that person funneling out the information, some people just don't have the social skills to figure out how to decline an offer, or a request, so have a neutral party who contacts the families, instead of the preparer or cook then its a much clearer process</p>

<p>as well, maybe the church needs to advertise the program in a better way, so that people see its a gracious and loving gesture to help those in times of various transitions, and has nothing to do with social status</p>


Whoever did it definitely intended to 'pick' on the Muslims, but there was no crime as far as I can see. Maybe if someone forced another person to the ground and force-fed the ham or something..., but just leaving it on the table was just a mean joke. Obviously I don't know if there are actual religious implications there.</p>

<p>"as for the lady with the new baby, a better system should be in place, with a person contacting them to see what and if they need anything, and that person funneling out the information, some people just don't have the social skills to figure out how to decline an offer, or a request"</p>

<p>That's what's weird. They were asked by the program director and actually chose their own menu!</p>

<p>But what if hamsteak in a bag was someone's potential dinner and was just left there?</p>

<p>Ya well, either way, the police don't have a case. If it was in a bag, the students had no right to open it? Who knows? The world keeps getting dumber everyday.</p>

<p>I can't speak to whether or not the police should be investigating the ham; but I do know there is a bit of history there. Lewiston, Maine was historically one of many Maine towns which were havens for French Canadian immigrants (still many there) who, at one time, were the downtrodden minority group in that part of the country. It has recently become a relocation area for newer immigrant groups, Somalis and other African groups (some Muslim) among them. There have been some incidents of hate-type crimes. I think that the mayor wants to be especially careful to let the Somali community know that such behavior will not be tolerated. Hence a quick reaction to any hint of such activity.</p>

<p>Not a hate crime, and thus not a case for the police; but it may have been intended to be offensive.
I'm having friends who are observant Jews over for dinner tonight. They have pretty much the same dietary restrictions as Muslims, so no ham.</p>


<p>When I had my baby, my HMO paid for a caregiver to come for a couple of days to help out with the new baby. One of her tasks was to cook dinner. She made some sumptuous roast chicken. Zoosergirl would have been very welcome at my house!</p>

<p>At the grocery store where I shop, there is a Hindu woman at the register who picks up my beef, chicken etc., scans it and does her job. I asked her once if she minded handling it, and she said that she does not like to, but it did not violate her religion to touch it, just to eat it. And so she does her job.</p>

<p>We were making sandwiches for a soup kitchen last week, and there were an assortment of people helping, 2 of whom I knew were Hindu, but they handled the meat and made the lunches.</p>

<p>At Target, supposedly, (and it's in the news) the check-out girl refused to scan the pepperoni pizza and the customer had to wait while they got someone else to handle that item.</p>

<p>What an enlightened HMO, Marite! I doubt that any insurance companies offer this benefit these days. </p>

<p>Add me to the line for Zoosersister's meals - can I pretend to have a new baby? Those people sound truly bizarre.</p>

<p>Oh, and about the "hate crime." I would consider this an offensive, bad joke, but I wouldn't involve the police. I'm not surprised that the responsible person was a MS-aged boy.</p>

<p>ZS would love to cook for people! She seriously thought of being a chef, but realized that she's a tad too impatient and surly to serve the public.</p>

<p>The thing about the ham, though, is that it was INSIDE a bag. If you were going to commit a hate crime, wouldn't you want the thing seen?</p>

<p>A student would put the ham in a bag if s/he didn't want it to be noticed by teachers/lunch room monitors; didn't want anyone to see it when s/he placed it there. But did want the Somali students to open it and get the feeling they were being mocked or hated or whatever. Life in middle school, I guess. But in the context of issues in that particular community, well, maybe there was more to the story before the kid was suspended; who knows?</p>

<p>Dont know what the legal definition of hate crime is there in Maine, but I agree that this incident has to be taken in context. There's already ethnic tension in the neighborhood and this kid's bad joke is only adding to it. He has to be called to acoount. But it is a risk: Haul him up on charges and you risk angering the Downeasters. let him off and you risk angering the Somalis who are clearly facing antagonism. You have to do something though. Letting it pass does no one any good. </p>

<p>As to the church situation it appears to me that this couple is simply "unchurched" I know several people who have no idea whatsoever what churches do in a community or for their own members--usually because they didn't grow up in one, or think "church" automatically equates to an evil plot by right wing southeren evangelicals, or they left their own churches as disillusioned without realizing the support and friendship the right kind of faith community can bring. give them a break. treat them nice. they'll figure it out.</p>

<p>"give them a break. treat them nice. they'll figure it out."</p>

<p>Wasn't that what we were trying to do?</p>