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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

USA Should Welcome Syrian Refugees

Americans who are clamoring for refusal of Syrian refugees entry into the United States of America brings to mind an event that happened in USA history involving President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 that is just as shameful as denying the Syrian refugees today.

"The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 908 Jewish refugees from Germany, after they were denied entry to Cuba, the United States and Canada, until finally accepted in various European countries, which were later engulfed in World War II. Historians have estimated that, after their return to Europe, approximately a quarter of the ship's passengers died in concentration camps."
ref: Wikipedia article, MS St. Louis

"On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba. On the voyage were 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. Most were German citizens, some were from eastern Europe, and a few were officially "stateless."
The majority of the Jewish passengers had applied for US visas, and had planned to stay in Cuba only until they could enter the United States. But by the time the St. Louis sailed, there were signs that political conditions in Cuba might keep the passengers from landing there. The US State Department in Washington, the US consulate in Havana, some Jewish organizations, and refugee agencies were all aware of the situation. The passengers themselves were not informed; most were compelled to return to Europe."
ref: Holocaust Encyclopedia, VOYAGE OF THE ST. LOUIS

I had written these things over on Facebook. If you can, you should take a look-see and read the comments I received over there.

Today, many Americans want to refuse admittance of refugees into the United States of America. It is not unlike American attitudes of yesteryear. Please go on over to The Washington Post to read the article, What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II.

As with the previous reference in regards to the MS St. Louis incident, I had also written this comment about American attitudes over on Facebook. And as with the previous reference, if you can, you should take a look-see and read the comments I received over there about American attitudes today being similar to those of the past.

SHAME on those people sharing xenophobic comments, messages, and memes that actually spread hatred of refugees fleeing their countries of origin (especially Syria right now) seeking to escape torture and murder by violent extremists. WWJS

Emma Lazarus was an American Jewish poet born in New York City. She is best known for "The New Colossus", a sonnet written in 1883; the lines of which appear on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The sonnet reads:
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "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!"
Before proclaiming opposition to Syrian refugees seeking sanctuary, I say: Think, people, think!
Please go over to Frontline Fellowship in order to read A Christian Response to Xenophobia.

I refuse to apologize for having the ability to think. Nor will I succumb to the sheeple who parrot Conservative prejudice, discrimination, hatred, and xenophobia.

I say loud and clear:
The USA Should Welcome Syrian Refugees


CWMartin said...

Roland, this is the single most ashamed I've been of any of your posts. This is indeed a delicate post, and you choose to blame honest concern about this nation's safety on politics and xenophobia. IF you ever bothered to do a little research, it would be obvious to you that the refugee train has and is being used to smuggle in terrorists under the noses of well meaning individuals much like yourself. You say I shouldn't judge the whole on the example of a few... and yet, you are judging them all on the example of a majority. The bold fact is, we have to be careful about this, and that ids what a conservative led congress is TRYING to do. But to you, it's not concern or common sense, it's race hate and xenophobia. I have no problem in helping out those who DESERVE help, and in fact live in a town that has led the nation in Burmese resettlement.

Look at it this way- say you are given a chance to give a convict a place in your home, to give them a new lease on life. The rub being, the parole board gets to pick the guy, you get no right of refusal, AND they don't tell you if he was a pickpocket or a serial rapist. Do you go along with that, or do you want to know what you need to to protect your family?

I know you are trying to do the right thing. But you are wrong in two ways. Number one, you are putting your head in the sand over the possible ramifications. Number two, with your accusations you are doing the very fear mongering that you are accusing the "xenophobists" of.

CWMartin said...

Read this, which I stumbled on quite by accident:

Pay careful note to the Arab survey about halfway down. Why would we be so giving to people who, in large part sympathize with the barbarians? Maybe I'm not the only sheeple here...I'd like to think neither one of us is.

dalepertcheck said...

Mr. Martin. You are wrong on so many levels, it's hard to begin.
Roland posted facts about previous xenophobic actions by America against those fleeing tyranny. You made no comment about them. I suspect you did not, because these actions were and are indefensible.
You remember Communism, don't you? Do you remember how paranoid America was about the Communist threat? Do you have any recollection, or have you ever read about the Communist "witch hunts" of Joseph McCarthy and others? One of the great ironies in this debate is that Sen. Cruz is one of those leading the fight to keep Syrian refuges out. Ted Cruz's father fought in the Castro army, but fled to America to seek asylum AND WAS ADMITTED. Get it. He fought with the commies! Cuba was still a Communist nation. How many Cuban refuges did we NOT allow into America in the late 1950s and 1960s because we feared they would be Commie infiltrators? Thousands? NO!!
Will a Syrian refuge ever do harm in America? The odds say, yes. But, when we react in fear, the terrorists win. The vast majority fleeing Syria want the same things my 4 grandparents wanted when they fled the Russian pogroms a century ago. They want the freedom to worship as the please and the opportunity to have a better life for themselves and all of their progeny.
Personally, my wife and I have been to the local mosque in Perrysburg many times. Every time we go, those leading the tour always note that they feel that their religion has been hijacked by the terrorists. The same could be said of those of other faiths who have had people attack others in the name of their religion.
The current refuge program has been in place for many years. Refuges are not merely allowed into the country and turned loose. I'm afraid that too many Americans believe this is the case.
The President of France has stated that France will continue to take in Syrian refuges. He sees it as the humanitarian thing to do. Mr. Martin, You obviously believe that you know more on this issue than does President Obama. Do you also believe that you know better than President Hollande?

CWMartin said...

"The current refuge program has been in place for many years. Refuges are not merely allowed into the country and turned loose. I'm afraid that too many Americans believe this is the case."

Actually, I learned this very thing a while later. So then, if the President has the moral high ground here, why did he not just come out and tell the American people what it takes to get in, instead of just doing the childish "afraid of women and children bit"? Both sides knew better, and both sides are playing us.

I actually agree with your entire comment ( aside from the digs at me, natch), and I believe you are right that most Muslims feel "hijacked". Unfortunately, our President left them "jackassed" as well. Why not get the word out there? Both sides wanted to turn this into something it isn't. I keep hoping that Roland will give up his meme-war and address this very thing. But on his latest post, he's doing much the same thing, relying on Al Franken to be anything but what he is- a big dumb joke. Frankly, I don't care to be told I love this country like a four year old. But every few months, we have to go from legit discussion (which I noticed you were the only one so far that brought up the point I quoted) to "let's see how many ways I can insult the side that I disagree with". In closing, Dale, I appreciate your comment. And I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner, but I forgot to hit the e-mail button.

Roland Hansen said...

Another interesting read is The Syrian Refugee Debate Takes to Social Media: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Rabbi Jason Miller.