Thursday, November 19, 2015

Something I don't get

Syrian refugee children in Lebanon
Possibly this is a little more political than I get here usually, but it is genuinely something I don't get. Currently, a wave of fear is going through America at the thought that 10,000 Syrians might arrive on American soil because there is some very remote chance that a radicalized terrorist might slip in among them.

Yet if some innocent citizen should happen to go to the movies, walk into a mall or go to school, we are totally unprepared to protect them from acts of violence by people similarly armed with automatic machine guns or anything else. And unwilling to do anything in light of these deaths to protect them. This disconnect seems to me insane.

Because we seem at this moment in time to let our children go out in a world where there is no protection against unstable, racist or militant people with guns, I feel justified in saying that our fear of letting people into our country who made a hazardous journey in overcrowded, leaky rafts with no guarantee that they or their children would even survive the trip is more than a little crazy.

Here's the MSNBC video where Richard Engel boards a Greek boat which patrols to help Syrian refugees in distress. Greece, which as he notes is ill-equipped to take in masses of Syrians, nevertheless accepts them without qualm because they understand the crisis in  a way that we apparently do not.

I happened to watch the Benedict Cumberbatch production of Hamlet from National Theatre Live last weekend. He closed it with a plea to donate to Save the Children and a  few fragments from a poem by Warsan Shire called "Home". This is how it starts:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well



 Here is a link to a place where you can read the whole thing. Read it and then consider donating to one of the many places geared to help the people in the leaky boats. If you can't figure out what these might be, please write me. If you're a state governor who is going to try and keep Syrian refugees out of your state, well, I'd advise you to go elsewhere to spread your message.

a picture from The Daily Impact


12 comments:

  1. Thank you, Seana. I do not understand it, either.

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  2. Thank you for saying it so clearly. Living in Texas aggravates my sense of disconnect.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I think one of the oddest things to see about this is that our hearts turn warm and then cold again so fast. If we had never identified with the plight of these people it might be easier to understand the way we as a nation have now turned against them.

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  3. It is pretty odd that we seem to be turning in on ourselves, shutting ourselves off from foreign influence in ways that do not, however, include shutting the doors to Gulf oil or Chinese clothing. I defy the United States to start a popular movement in which, at the stroke of noon Saturday, everyone in the country, wherever he or she happens to be, removes every article of apparel made in China that he or she happens to be wearing. See what happens to the number of indecent-exposure arrests.

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    1. Peter, yes, we like their products but maybe not the people so much.

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  4. We like what corporations like, I think. There has to be a better of way of managing (relative) decline that we are doing it. I wonder if the Dutch have anything to teach us.

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  5. Peter, I don't know how the Dutch did it, but I'm pretty sure we'll go down kicking and screaming.

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  6. Thanks for reading here, Kathleen.

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  7. Seana, I agree with you whole heartedly. You said it so well, when you said our hearts turn warm and then cold again so fast. Instead of thinking logically and reviewing the facts, so many make judgments just based on their current mood or emotions. Janet

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