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November 18, 2015


Today I was informed on the internet that 28 governors don’t want any Syrian refugees within the borders of their states, citing terrorist and other concerns. One of such pieces invited a response. Here is the one I submitted earlier today.

Not to worry – governors are not presidents – they have no authority to decide who can come into this country or where they will alight. That is purely a federal issue, and more specifically, a decision for our president to make, and all because of that nasty little piece of paper called the Constitution of the United States of America.

Strange, isn’t it, how these same governors who want to circumvent the plain language of the Constitution are quick to insist on the protection of that nasty document’s Second and Tenth Amendments? It adds up to a new dimension of the old saw that “It makes a difference in whose ox is being gored.”

When discussing gun and state’s rights that nasty document is magically transformed into a sacred scroll paid for by the blood of our forefathers. When refugees are involved it’s as though these governors are illiterate grandstanders unable to read the plain language of that (nasty or sacred – take your pick) document, and having to listen to such claptrap from them is akin to listening to Casanova giving a speech on the virtue of chastity to employees of a house of ill fame.

Many if not most of us are descended from refugees who fled from potato famine, British-style religion and royal dictatorship, Prussian militarism, poverty etc. Others from Africa are enforced refugees involuntarily brought here to perform cheap labor. Our predecessors, some of whom were indentured servants and inmates of debtors’ prisons, were shown some compassion by an America that needed labor and ingenuity to corral our resources, and they did a good job of it.

My advice to these governors? While reading all of the Constitution beyond the Second and Tenth Amendments, take a look at the history of your own relatives who have come and gone. You may well find that you would not exist but for compassion shown to your “refugee” predecessors.

Finally, it occurs to me that we already have millions of Americans who can fairly be called internal refugees in this country due to poverty, lack of opportunity and education, politically skewed distribution of the economy’s income and wealth etc. I have some questions for such governors. What are you governors doing about these problems – anything? When are you governors going to do your own jobs instead of butting into trying to do the jobs of others? Are you grandstanding to divert attention from your own sorry records? We “refugees” await your answers to such questions, and we are tired of waiting. When are you going to start doing your own jobs and knock off the political grandstanding? When? Ever? (End of response)

I can’t think of a much lower gutter politics than that of politicizing the refugee status of scared and hungry people wherever they go to church, temple or mosque or if they are atheists or agnostics. Senator Cruz is suggesting we admit Christian refugees from Syria but exclude others. Is he telling us that Christians are by nature and belief not terrorists? If so, then how does he explain Timothy McVeigh, a blue-eyed blonde-haired Christian and even a veteran, who killed more people in Oklahoma City than the ISIS-backed terrorists did in Paris just recently?

History has proven that murderous thugs come in all religions. I am sure, for instance, that the British thought of our forefathers as seditious and murderous thugs both before and after the Revolution, and, of course, there were Jewish thugs who murdered British caretakers in Palestine prior to formation of the State of Israel. Thug or patriot? The answer depends upon the identity of those asked; it’s a subjective matter. Who would ever call George Washington a thug in this country, and who would ever call Menachem Begin a thug in Tel Aviv? Few if any, I am sure.

There are ways to vet would-be Syrian refugees to particular states, and the governors should leave their gutter politics and fear-mongering behind and adopt a compassion shown in many cases to their own predecessors who were refugees. We have some 320 million American citizens and residents in this country and the president has said we will accept a measly 10,000 refugees. Are 10,000 vetted refugees to be feared? Hardly.

America was built on inclusion, not exclusion, as the symbolic Statue of Liberty attests. Let’s tell our governors to get off the political treadmill and for once, to be Americans.   GERALD   E


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One Comment
  1. billy1926 permalink

    One of your best, amigo. WOB

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