A Neither Polite Nor Gentle Guide to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

The same ol’, same ol’

I don’t think it’s a stretch when I say that a great many people don’t want Syrian refugees in the U.S. because white people don’t want brown people touching their stuff.

I realize I’m generalizing.

But maybe not.

And I’m not the first one to make this observation.

The big picture

Something like 4.5 million living, breathing human beings on this earth have nowhere to live and are taking their children as they run from violence in their own hometowns.

They’re just trying not to get killed.

The U.S. is taking a fraction of that number—34 thousand Syrians, max. It’s not the 200K Trump is talking about.

Good lord, someone teach that man how to use Google.

More people are affected by the civil war in Syria than were affected by Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia combined.

This is not just some random tussle happening in a faraway land to people who wear biblical clothes. This is the worst humanitarian crisis in our time.

Yet we’re acting all Just-Say-No about it?

We’re not in survival mode, America, but some people are

We can do better.

I want you to consider this: If these refugees were, say, Swiss refugees, and by that I mean, they looked like Heidi and her parents, say, I bet you that whole fucking billion dollar Powerball prize people’d be falling all over themselves to find those good folks a place to live.

Think about this.

Now think about it some more.

And if you have to say, “I’m not a racist, but…” then I don’t even want to hear it. 

Should we add a moat?

Keeping Syrians and/or Muslims and other assorted brown people out of our communities will not solve terrorist problems. This shit is fucking bigger than that.

We can’t just close our eyes and make it all go away.

But damned if people aren’t jumping all over the venom being spit at us by carnival barkers like Donald Trump who has no better solution than to pretty much build a fucking wall.

What is this, a damned castle?

What we need to worry about is not that some crazed Muslim will sneak in with the refugees and blow up a bunch of us.

NOPE.

What we need to worry about is our next mass shooting.

Will it be in my town or yours?

Those freeloading refugees

The vetting process for people hoping to take refuge in the U.S. is pretty damned stringent. Plenty of Americans wouldn’t make it in. An applicant goes through layer after layer after layer after layer of scrutiny—it takes a year or even two years before someone can even set foot in this country.

It’s not like we’ve got Syrians running across the Mexican or Canadian border by the thousands. That’s just now how this refugee thing works.

Lock the doors, Mabel

In the town where I have lived for a coupla’ decades now and have raised two fine children if I do say so myself, one of our local commissioners has gone and put together a most inhospitable resolution to keep brown people out of town.

Let me be fair—not all the brown people. Just the ones who aren’t here yet, from countries “including but not limited to Iraq, Lybia, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.”

See what I mean. That could be any-fucking-where.

Brown people, if you’re not here by now, forget it, invitation’s off

This commissioner, Scott Dacey, put together his little proposal because the brown people in question are from “countries that pose a threat to the very existence of our society.”

Them’s the fightin’ words he’s using to get his fan club all riled up over terrorists comin’ to town, but what he’s really saying is that he doesn’t want to help these (brown) people, and he doesn’t want to spend any county money doing it, either.

How can I be so sure? Well, because in the same Syrian-terrorists-are-coming-to-kill-us-all breath, he whines on about how much it’d cost this quaint lil’ town to help these Muslims—it’d just really put us out, is pretty much what he says.

Now don’t give me any shit about this. I remember watching helicopters land in the 70s, and out came these lost, frightened, desperate families who were running for their lives.

These were human beings. It really got to me.

Oops, there’s a log in our eye

Yeah, I know, someone from somewhere could be a terrorist because now we have such a thing.

Like we’re not killing each other at a far, far, far, far more alarming rate than terrorists are killing us.

We hear the numbers all the time.

Americans kill each other hella’ more often than terrorists kill Americans, because the fact is, we’re a violent and angry society. Muslim terrorists got nuthin’ on us.

Sing it with me: “But we have enough problems of our own!”

I hear ya’ moanin’, folks who say we’ve got to take care of our own damn country before we start lettin’ in (brown) strays.

To that I say let’s do just that.

Let’s figure out why we’re killing each other at such an alarming rate, and let’s figure out how to stop doing it. Can we not agree on this part, at least?

And I also say to the folks like the good Mr. Dacey who don’t want to share the love with any-fucking-body, just what are you doing to help all these people needin’ help at home?

What are you doing to help the homeless and to solve the immense and heartbreaking homeless problem in this grand country? How about our veterans? How about those people on the side of the road with cardboard signs? ‘Cause there’s your homeless and your vets in one spot!

How about hungry children? Old people who can’t afford their medications, let alone their light bill? What are you doing about grown people trying to make ends meet on $7.25 an hour?

What the fuck are you doing to help these Americans right here at home?

Show me your timesheet, show me your receipts, show me the results. Then I’ll believe you’re not just talking out of your ass about fixing our problems at home.

I’m serious, do not tell me we have problems at home if all you’re doing is bitching about the president taking this country down and how we need to take it back.

I repeat, show me exactly what you and your able body are doing to help.

Because getting rid of Muslims would solve everything

Meanwhile, in a lovely town they call the “city of seven hills,” Lynchburg, Virginia, there sits an institution of (supposedly) faith-based higher learning called Liberty University, whose president, Jerry Falwell, Jr., decided it’d be a good idea to get everyone on campus armed.

He told ’em all, “I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in…” This was after the shooting in San Bernadino, California.

I honestly don’t think Mr. Falwell and the students at Liberty University ought to be so ready to shoot Muslims, even if Mr. Falwell did clarify later that he meant terrorist Muslims.

Of course he did.

Luckily, not all Christians are alike.

Just Say No is not a solution

I get that terrorism is bad. Obviously. I get that religious extremists are some of the scariest people to ever walk the earth.

(Hello, Jerry Falwell, Jr!)

I get that ISIL/ISIS is real. I get that people want to solve a problem here.

What I don’t get is why we’re trying to solve a problem with basically a big fat band-aid because “Just Say No” is not a solution.

The hate just keeps a’ comin’

Back on the subject of brown people in general and not just brown Muslims, let me point you to the Governor of Maine, who made a shockingly racist remark about drug dealers impregnating young white girls. He, of course, later explained that he meant to say “Maine women,” not “white girls.”

Yeah, no, that’s so not convincing.

See, people let it slip how racist they are. Yeah, true, some people aren’t even trying to hide it.

They think they can go around hollering, “The terrorists are coming, the terrorists are coming,” and we’re all gonna build a fucking wall around our castle then go on to Panera Bread for our tomato bisque in a bread bowl, and everything’s gonna be JUST FINE.

But we can’t just lock the doors and pull down the shades and be done with our problems.

We’re in too deep

Maybe it’s obvious, but listen, we’re part of a world economy now, and unless we’re gonna to go all prepper and turn 100% self-sufficient (good-by iPhone!, good-bye Chevy Silverado, good-bye everything from WalMart!), it would behoove us to handle things like goddamned grown-ups instead of 300 million brats in a high school clique.

This refugee crisis is not an “us and them” situation. Everything in the world affects us, and what we do affects the whole world.

America is not supposed to be a fucking country club.

Or does “land of the free, home of the brave” not mean what I thought it meant after all?

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8 thoughts on “A Neither Polite Nor Gentle Guide to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

  1. I wish we can follow Canada’s lead on welcoming the immigrants from Syria. That was so great to see their prime minister welcome them with open arms and I believe their countrymen have done the same. Let us not make the same mistake that we as a country did during World War II and the Jewish refugees who wanted nothing more than to escape the horrible fate that awaited them at the hands of the Nazis. As they say “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.”

    • George Takei calls the American reaction a hysteria: George Takei on ColorLines.com

      Canada’s got a grip on this. The more we in the U.S. stick our collective fingers in our collective ears, the worse this situation will become, and the more danger we’ll be in. The fear of terrorists is not unfounded, but our lock-the-doors-and-turn-out-the-lights approach will only breed more terrorists and more terror.

  2. We’re almost surrounded with a moat if you look at the Atlantic and Pacific oceans along with the Gulf of Mexico! Then we can just build a wall along Canada and Mexico and voila- totally protected. Just kidding of course. Well written, Coco. Hope it’s read and assimilated by the masses.

    • And once we have all our moats and walls in place we can just put some soldiers up there on top of our mighty fortifications to shoot at intruders. Problem solved!

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