I’ve given some serious consideration to the video that so many people enjoy sharing of a man, supposedly in Iraq, explaining in a “non-political” way (quotes because of the absurdity of trying to claim the comment was not inherently political, a point which automatically makes the remainder of the statement problematic for me), why we should not allow refugees from majority Islamic countries that we don’t have strong economic ties with. I have problems with it. I feel like sharing my problems.
1. It’s completely un-American. It just is. No matter how they try to spin it, the United States is a nation of immigrants. Some fool just a few days ago claimed we were a nation of settlers; that’s offensive and ignorant. The land was settled when Europeans got here. There was no settling; there was moving in to other peoples’ land and claiming it for their own. The inscription says, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Just because other people act in a certain way does not mean that we need to do the same.
1A. Let’s be honest, though. The United States has a long history of doing things that are completely un-American, from the very founding when it was decided that some people were only worth 3/5 of a white man, and some people just didn’t matter at all. We had a war about whether you could legally own a person and later tried to force generations of people to learn that that was not the reason. Jim Crow. Anti-Chinese laws.
Miscegenation laws. The St. Louis. Internment of Japanese Americans. Segregation. The list could go on. We unfortunately all-to-often refuse to review or study those periods of time, and so find ourselves repeating mistakes, or worse (as in the case of segregation), never solving it in the first place.
2. It’s completely un-Christian. Not a surprise, because all too often people claim things (like on the above list) are Christian as they do them and only come to realize later that they were wrong. Still, your Bible says that vengeance belongs to one person. It says to turn the other cheek. To love your enemies, to specifically do good to those who hate you. It sums up the teachings of the Torah as “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” It says, “Go and do likewise.”
2A. See the above list. Slavery, miscegenation, even eugenics, were all once argued from a christian standpoint. Not just that they were morally correct, but that christianity specifically made it correct. Christianity changes, and with it the belief of what is right and wrong.
3. It completely ignores recent history and glosses over reality. Could there be a possible reason why the average Iraqi would not be happy to see an American? We as a nation try to erase our history, but we cannot forget that it was less than twenty years ago that we invaded their country without cause, destabilized their nation (allowing a small, unimportant death cult to suddenly rise to prominence and spread around the world), and killed thousands upon thousands of their people. Anybody willing to take a moment to look at things from another person’s perspective would see why they might have problems with American people.
Those are just some of my thoughts. I’ve had many more. Some about the “all refugees should serve in our military.” Some about other things. I don’t want to wallow in the hatred that people put out there, but sometimes I feel that it cannot go unchecked.