Syria: A mile in their shoes

Brent_Nichol_webImagine if the KKK gained members and military strength. Now imagine that very same group went town to town and killed anyone that opposed them. You see them going door-to-door and continuously killing people. You go to the same church as your neighbors but they just killed him saying “these are not true Christians”. They will do the same to your family for not hating people different than you.

You are one person, they are many, and you must protect your children. This would not be the time to puff out your chest and be prideful; this would be the time to use your head and either hide your children and spouse or take them and run. You must flee quickly or possibly watch your children murdered or worse.

Now imagine you do find a boat that could take you to safety, but you just found out that no other country will have you.  All because they fear that the same hateful people terrorizing you might just be amongst the refugees you’re with.

Throughout history, this scenario has been replayed again and again. For example: in some towns in the U.S. just after the Civil War, in Germany in the 1930s, now in Syria and other middle eastern countries.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These words were written by an American woman named Emma Lazarus and would later be placed on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty herself. The speech would end up being quoted by many politicians; two very famous ones are John F. Kennedy and Barrack H. Obama.

Unless you are 100 percent Native American, your family even existing, let alone being on this continent is because of an immigrant. Let’s face it folks, the majority of immigrants over the last 300 years have come here because of one of these few reasons: War, Famine, Disease, Religious persecution, or poverty.

I dislike the fact that this piece of history even exists but I will point it out anyway: in the late 1930s most Americans did not want Jewish refugees to come to this country, and many Americans such as Henry Ford were known for being anti-Jew.

Almost from the start our country has been xenophobic, maybe that is because we are afraid that the new immigrants might do the same as the first immigrants.

There are no plausible reasons in today’s age that could warrant such fear; there is a camera on almost every commercial building. Almost every American has a camera, video recorder, tracking device, phone in their pocket. This isn’t Paris, Americans are allowed to have guns and protect themselves and others. That is if liberal politics don’t try to take guns from us as many other countries have seen the down fall of that.

Republican politicians say President Obama is afraid to stand up to Putin yet they are afraid of the innocent women and children escaping war. 

Many governors such as our own Terry Branstad (son of a Jewish mother and Norwegian-American father) and Chris Christy (German, Irish, Scottish, and Sicilian descent) want to refuse entry to Syrian refugees; apparently they have forgotten their ancestors.

Beyond the immigrant situation, there is a different problem now showing its ugly head, one that has always been there but is quite opportunistic. It sickens me to say this but many Americans are bigots. They spout anti-Muslim slurs and anti-Arab racist terms. Just the other day one of my supposed “friends” cracked a joke about Arabs having sexual intercourse with goats.

Many have raised the question to others and myself: if the majority of Muslims do not agree with extremists why are they not fighting back? The answer is they are but Americans don’t pay attention to that part. The information is out there people; you just have to educate yourselves. Even PBS had a special on Syrians fighting back last year called “Syria’s Second Front”.

I have seen the plight of Middle Eastern people when they have terrorist groups invade their cities.  Many would argue that is the reason we need to keep Arabs/Muslims out.

Some soldiers focus on certain traits of the enemy they fight. I feel sick when hate speech comes from a fellow vet. When does freedom of speech end and hate speech begin.

People just state opinions but writer Harlan Ellison said it best “oh I’m entitled to my opinion, no schmuck, you are not entitled to your opinion! You are entitled to your informed opinion, without information its just babble, hot air, and farts in the wind.”

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