Native American

Native American

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Home of the brave?

The author
People - mostly people who call themselves republicans - keep asking, "what's wrong with a 'temporary' ban to make sure people coming here aren't terrorists?" Here's my two biggest complaints: 1) There is no evidence that this "temporary" ban (indefinite for Syrian refugees) is based on any imminent threat from those people who have already been subjected to extensive vetting (over two years) and are now cleared to come here but for Trump's ban; and 2) even if the current vetting process could be better, and keep people here in the US "safer" (from foreign-born terrorists), we are already infinitely safer than so many of the people coming here, and certainly all of the refugees who are fleeing, literally, unimaginable horror, at least if you've lived here you entire life.
Is there a risk that a "bad" person will slip past all of the extensive screening we already have in place? Sure - there is absolutely no way to ever guarantee with 100% certainty that a foreign-born terrorist won't slip past every safeguard we put in place. But while we wait using the excuse that there's nothing wrong with making us safer, we are arguably already the safest place on earth and the dangers we face from our own citizens is exponentially higher than the extremely remote danger that we will be killed by a foreign terrorist.
The odds are much higher that we will be killed by a homegrown terrorist; that we will be killed by gun violence unrelated to terrorism; that we will be killed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver; in a plane crash due to pilot error; by being struck by lightning; in a vending machine accident for Pet's sake.
While we sit safely in our comfortable homes with no thought of a bomb falling on our heads during the nightly news; or drive to work in our mine-free highways; or drop our kids off at a school with all the walls and ceilings intact, there are literally tens of thousands of people, just like you and me, who love their families just like you and me; who have dreams like you and me; who just want to live a meaningful life, like you and me; who live in constant fear - in terror in fact - of the imminent danger that the ceiling will implode at any moment, or the ground will erupt beneath their children's feet as they walk to school, if there even is one; who live in dread of the moment when armed men will come through their door and rape their daughters and their sons, or drag their parents off into the dark, never to be seen again.
We keep talking about "immigrants" and "refugees" and "Muslims," but what we're really talking about are people. Fathers. Mothers. Children. Just like you. Just like me. They're people.  
 A boy touches his crying father during a Nov. 19 protest by angry migrants from Pakistan and Morocco who blocked a section of the Greece-Macedonia border after Macedonia began granting entry only to refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (CNS photo/Georgi Licovski, EPA)

We can't help them all, but we can certainly help a few thousand every year and right now. Under any number of labels we as individuals proudly claim to prove our humanity and nobility, don't we have an obligation to incur some risk to save those who are in such dire circumstances? And especially, to save America, don't we need to act a little bit like Americans?
Does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? You tell me.