Friday, November 20, 2015

Refugee Situation True Test For America

GOUVEIA: Have they no shame?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size
Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2015 10:38 pm

Governor Baker — shame on you. Shame on you and other governors participating in the effort to ignore thousands of refugees — men, women and children facing death with nowhere to run. All based upon little more than their religion, heritage, and your own politics and fears.
Congratulations to governors in states like Rhode Island and Connecticut who refuse to set aside the principles upon which this country was founded. It is sad when simply doing your job is so unusual it becomes deserving of special attention and praise.

Nowhere are governors given the right to determine who can live in their state. They can flex their political muscles all they want, but they are politicking instead of leading.
Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are running for their lives. Staying in their homeland is an option only if they wish to die. Saying they are desperate is a tremendous understatement.
Yet here, many leaders — and I use that term loosely — are actively seeking to deny them refuge. They claim the reason is security. They believe some radical Islamic terrorists are using the refugee crisis to sneak agents into the United States to attack us on our homeland. And undoubtedly, some are.
They are not swayed by the fact the screening process today is the toughest it has ever been. They ignore that it takes 18 to 24 months of scrutiny before a refugee is allowed to move about freely in the United States. No, they are just focused on protecting their people.
Yeah, right.
Long before the terrible attacks in Paris, conservative leaders and citizens were fighting the potential arrival of Syrian refugees. Their primary fear is not of being attacked, but of poor foreigners moving into their communities and possibly adding to their social welfare budgets. They believe Muslims pose a threat to Christians — and that’s who this country belongs to, right?
Hold a fundraiser for these poor souls and Americans will gladly give. We’ll send a check, make a donation, feed a family for a month. We are generous that way.
But, let them come here? And possibly live among us? Maybe even next door? Whoa, that wasn’t part of the deal. Not in the America some see today.
This is a dangerous world in which we live. Terrorism is a real and serious threat. We must take strong steps to protect our security and freedom.
More than ever, we must ensure our vetting process is stronger and more stringent than before. On that, there is no argument.
But in order to protect America, must we stop being America? Do we have to abandon the principles upon which this country was founded in order to preserve it? Must we become the enemy to defeat the enemy?
On social media, you often see this popular analogy for the refugee crisis: “If you had a bag of 100 apples and you knew five were poisoned, would you eat any of the apples?”
The reply to that is this: “If you saw a boat sinking with 100 children on it, and you knew five were suicide bombers, would you let the other 95 children sink and die?”
When Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded 680 others on April 19, 1995, did we stop letting white Christians into the country?
“We should be spending money on our veterans, not refugees”, some loudly proclaim. But ignoring these refugees and allowing them to die will not result in one penny more for veterans — and those making these statements know that. Using brave veterans as pawns in a political battle is disgusting.
The Statue of Liberty has these words mounted upon it: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore ...”
That is now considered by many to be outdated, given modern day realities.
Yet the words, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is held as absolute, despite the complete change in weaponry since they were written.
This is the same sort of flawed, fear-driven philosophy that put Japanese-Americans into internment camps.
Here’s hoping our fear and prejudice does not keep us, as a country, from doing the right thing.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime local official. He can be emailed at aninsidelook@aol.com and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

2 comments:

Jim said...

I DON'T USUALLY TAKE TO YOUR BLOG TO DEBATE BUT I THINK YOU'VE GOT SOME THOUGHTS WRONG...AND I'M GOING TO TRY TO USE THIS MEDIUM TO SHARE AN IDEA WE BOTH HAVE AGREED UPON. THE GOVERNMENT BODIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VETTING HAVE TESTIFIED THAT THEIR VETTING IS WEAK AT BEST DUE TO THE LACK OF FACTUAL, CONFIRMABLE INFORMATION. I CONTEND NO ONE FEELS MUSLIMS ARE A THREAT TO CHRISTIANS...THIS IS A WRONG HEADED ARGUMENT...RADICAL ISLAMISTS ARE A THREAT TO ALL AMERICA...NOT JUST THE CHRISTIANS...THEY DESPISE AMERICA...THE GREAT SATAN, AND THEY (NOT ALL MUSLIMS...RADICAL MUSLIMS) ARE WILLING TO BLOW THEMSELVES UP TO KILL OUR PEOPLE...CHRISTIAN, JEW, HINDU, MUSLIM, ATHEIST...THEY DON'T CARE. WE ARE GENEROUS IN MANY WAYS...AND BEING CAUTIOUS REGARDING THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PRIME CONCERN SINCE THE DAYS OF ELLIS ISLAND.YOUR TIMOTHY MCVEIGH ANALOGY IS A FALSE ONE BECAUSE TIMOTHY MCVEIGH WAS NOT A CHRISTIAN...IN FACT CLAIMED TO BE AGNOSTIC AND NOT COMMITTED TO ANY "RELIGION". HIS IDIOTIC MOTIVATIONS WERE THE OVERTHROW OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT...NOTHING TO DO WITH FAITH OR RELIGION, AND IF YOU RECALL THERE WAS A STRONG CLAMP DOWN ON SUCH "MILITIA GROUPS"...MCVEIGH ALSO DIDN'T HAVE THOUSANDS TRYING TO FOLLOW HIS LEAD. THEN THERE'S THE FALSE EQUIVALENCY OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENT ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY VS. THE SECOND AMENDMENT OF OUR COUNTRY'S CONSTITUTION... THERE IS NO EQUIVALENCY. I AGREE ABOUT THE WRONG HEADED HANDLING BY THE FDR ADMINISTRATION OF THE JAPANESE AND I'D REALLY LIKE TO RE-SHARE MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU IN THE HANDLING OF THIS SITUATION...WHICH I REALLY THINK MOST AMERICANS COULD GET ON BOARD WITH...WE NEED TO STOP BEING "FEARFUL" AND INSTEAD BE TRULY BENEVOLENT... "I THINK I'M "RE-ASSESSING MY STAND ON THE SYRIAN REFUGEES...I TRY NOT TO TAKE A STAND BASED ON WEAKNESS BUT MAYBE I HAVE BEEN...LET'S REMOVE THE "FEAR" FACTOR...TAKE IN THE REFUGEES...ALL THE MEN 35 AND YOUNGER (AND WOMEN WHO CHOOSE TO AS WELL) SETTLE ON A MILITARY BASE FOR TRAINING IN DEFENDING THEIR OWN LAND MILITARILY. WOMEN AND CHILDREN BRING IN PER NORMAL CHANNELS AND RESETTLE THEM...THE REFUGEES THEN ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR HOMELAND...BE IT THE U.S. OR RETURNING TO SYRIA AFTER THE THREAT IS DEFEATED. MY GRANDFATHER FOUGHT IN WWI FOR HIS CITIZENSHIP...AND THERE WAS NO FIRMER "FLAG WAVING" AMERICAN THAT I'VE EVER MET. LEGACY'S MUST BE BUILT...NO ONE IS "ENTITLED" TO SECURITY AND LIBERTY WITHOUT PAYING SOME PRICE...USUALLY IN BLOOD AND PAIN...NO ONE CAN COMPLAIN IF THE MEN HAVE BEEN "PROVEN". THIS LIMITS U.S. "BOOTS ON THE GROUND"...YET GIVES THE U.S. A ROLE IN THE BATTLE. LET THEM EARN THEIR HOME AND LIBERTY AND GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE THE "GREATEST GENERATION" OF THEIR TIME IN HISTORY."

Bill Gouveia said...

Jim, I disagree with the top half of your response. MCVeigh was indeed a Christian, although he moved away from religion later in life. And he had a lot of followers, and in fact gained them after his terrible act. And there certainly is an equivalency with the gun issue. We expect our government to change as the world changes - but not on guns. Guns are the sacred cow. Forget the fact they are used by the crazy people we are trying to stop.