News quiz; what do these states all have in common?
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin.
Those state have all said they would NOT accept Syrian refugees…“The acts of terror committed over the weekend are a tragic reminder to the world that evil exists and takes the form of terrorists who seek to destroy the basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “I will not place Alabamians at even the slightest, possible risk of an attack on our people.”
In Michigan, which has a sizable Arab-American population, Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, said his state would not accept Syrian refugees, and he urged the State Department to review its procedures.
“Michigan is a welcoming state and we are proud of our rich history of immigration,” Mr. Snyder said in a statement. “But our first priority is protecting the safety of our residents.”
I am embarrassed for our country.
As I am embarrassed at the memory of the 120,000 Japanese we “relocated” by Executive Order 9066 to internment camps during WWII. It made no difference that most were American citizens, that some had served in WWI, and that many had sons fighting with American forces during WWII.
“Many families sold their homes, their stores, and most of their assets. They could not be certain their homes and livelihoods would still be there upon their return. Because of the mad rush to sell, properties and inventories were often sold at a fraction of their true value.
“When the order was repealed, (in 1945) many found they could not return to their hometowns. Hostility against Japanese Americans remained high across the West Coast into the postwar years as many villages displayed signs demanding that the evacuees never return.” U.S. History.org
Lt. General John L. DeWitt, in charge of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command in 1942 and instrumental in the development of Executive Order 9066, said “A Jap’s a Jap – it makes no difference whether he is an American citizen or not.” The National Archives.
That seemed to reflect the sentiment of the times.
The incredible thing is that during the war only 10 people were ever convicted of spying for Japan, and they were all Caucasians. History on the Net
Yes, there is the possibility that among the refugees might lurk some with evil in their hearts. Not dissimilar from our homegrown terrorists responsible for random killings in malls, theaters, churches and freeways across America.
Gov. Bentley’s statement that “terrorists seek to destroy basic freedoms we will always fight to preserve,” shows that for him, the terrorists have already won. They have cowed him and the other governors who have shown their fear and trembling in the past week. They are allowing the terrorist their own little happy dance in their fetid, reeking dens. Congrats, governors, you caved. You have quashed the basic freedoms you claim to defend.
But not all governors choose to live in that fear.
Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington, said, "'We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism. Washington will continue to be a state that welcomes those seeking refuge from persecution, regardless of where they come from or the religion they practice."
So too the governors of Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut and Hawaii saying that their states will keep their gates open to Syrian refugees. What's more, Martin Walsh, the mayor of Boston, site of the 2013 marathon bombing by Islamic extremists, issued a statement November 17th saying his city, too, will still accept all refugees.
“As a city and as a country, said Walsh, “it is not our custom to turn our backs on people who are in need and who are innocent.”
Now that is a man who knows exactly how to defeat terrorism; a man I can admire.
He and the handful of governors showing some backbone will have to wait while the others grow theirs.
It is too much to hope that they might grow a heart while they’re at it.