If the sadness and shock of the terrorist attacks in Paris were not enough, I was in shock this week as Islamaphobia and fear overwhelmed politicians and citizens. Some politicians were tripping over themselves to stoke the flames of fear by turning on the Syrian refugees. I don’t know about you but if I lived in Syria and there was a war in my neighborhood with madmen from both sides going berserk, I’d be a refugee, too. Oh, by the way, did you know that Steve Jobs father was a Syrian refugee?
This was seemingly fueled by what turns out to be a very sketchy report that one of the terrorists posed as a refugee. That has since been discredited but the conclusion jumping was already in full swing. Some politicians tried even to separate their distain for refugees by religion but there is no religion that makes terrorism its creed and there have been terrorist from many religions. It is when hypocritical fanatics of any religion feel that they can impose their will upon others that conflicts arise.
Way back when the USA was young, our friends in France sent us a gift. The Statue of Liberty proudly stands by our shores with the inscription that defines who we are as a nation:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
When we succumb to the fear the terrorists win. When we change who we are, the terrorists have won. When we let prejudice trump common sense, the terrorists have won. We must lead by example and the example of shunning refugees is the wrong one. In the height of the worst terror since WWII, President Hollande of France recommitted to taking Syrian refugees saying “We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values.”
We cannot change who we are – unless you are a native American, you are a descendant of refugees and immigrants. This anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, anti-refugee wave of fear is unAmerican and is born of ignorance and hate.
How do you feel about this trend towards exclusion of refugees and immigrants? Share your opinion at our blog – blog.smalldog.com