I’M FULL OF CRAP, IT’S TRUE.

After my blog about a terrorist lurking at every corner I got this message:

You are so full of CRAP.

My answer to that message:

Thanks for the chuckle. I like honest opinions. If you only know how many people I know who have said, “Oh, that could never happen in my community.” I think it would be a good idea to ban Christian men. Have you ever heard that song? Rueben, Rueben, I’ve been thinking, what a nice world this would be if all the men could be transported, far beyond the deep blue sea.” Thanks for writing.

In all fairness, though, I don’t really believe there is a white extremist Christian male lurking on every street corner, and my title was written with a bit of tongue in cheek. However, the statistics hold up to scrutiny.

If you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe a WWII vet and pastor who once supported Hitler.  He wrote this dialogue that has become famous and was quoted in a newspaper article in my local paper by journalist Deborah Baron, appealing to sensible immigration, and asking that we rethink banning Syrian Refugees for fear they will become terrorists.

Here is Pastor Martin Niemoeller’s fine words:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Niemoeller spent from 1937 to 1945 in Nazi Concentration Camps. He died in 1984.

Deborah Baron wrote in her article:

If you are concerned about terrorists hiding among refugees, remember- these people are leaving EVERYTHING behind to get away from terrorists. The history of the refugee resettlement program has a nearly spotless record when it comes to ensuring that those offered a place in the U.S. are not inclined towards committing acts of terrorism.

Depending on your accident of birth you may be a Syrian or an Italian, or a Jew. We are being asked to help people from one of the largest mass immigrations since WWII and encouragingly many people are stepping up to the plate in countries around the world. People here in the US are sending donations and are offering what help they can. Governor Brown has extended a hand of welcome. Obama is accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees.

 Among those refugees may be the person who will find a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease or the invention of clean sustainable energy. Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, Werner Von Braun were people who many Americans at the time may have felt we should not allow in the country. Von Braun had worked with Nazi’s on building bombs and rockets, it was a risk allowing him to live here but he went on to develop the rockets that launched America’s first space satellite and first series of moon missions. Godel is considered one of the most significant logicians in history who made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century. Steve Jobs biological father is Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, a Muslim from Homs, Syria. Brilliant genius minds do not come along every day.

Scrutinizing and researching a refugee’s qualifications and background would be an essential part of asylum and it  is already a part of the process. Secondly, consider the sense of pride and honor and gratitude a person who has given up everything and escaped with meager belongings will have for their new country.

Unfortunately, America does not have a heart warming record of refugee treatment. We know now that a quarter of the 908 Jewish refugees from Germany we turned away on the MS St. Louis died in death camps.  Japanese internment camps are a stain on our collective culture.

child

Personally,  I’m disgusted that the U.S. House voted to make it harder for Syrians, mostly women and children, to immigrate by requiring proof that a refugee poses no threat to the United States. Eight of 39 California Dems, joined all 14 California Republicans to approve the measure that will, the Democrats promise, halt Syrian immigration. 
Of course, the presidential candidates are jumping on board. Trump wants a database to track Muslims, Cruz and Bush want to admit only Christian refugees. Christie says, no Syrians in New Jersey.
Cowards, the whole lot of them.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
I thought this is who we are?
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