Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 289-137 to curb entry by Middle Eastern refugees into the country. This comes in response to the attacks in Paris that killed over 100 people… even though all of the attackers appear to have been European nationals, not recent refugees.
Which means this House vote was motivated not by any sort of fact or rational response, but sheer political opportunism and xenophobia. If these politicians were so concerned about safety, or saving American lives, you’d think they might do something about the 300+ mass shootings of Americans, by Americans, this year. Does anyone remember the shooting in Umpqua, Oregon, that killed nine people less than two months ago? What got done after that? Jack, or Shit?
Of course, the reason any sort of gun legislation is a total non-starter is because most politicians are also pants-shittingly afraid of the NRA. And just to bring the hypocrisy full-circle, the NRA and their allies have so far blocked legislation that would prevent people on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List from buying guns. To date, over 2,000 suspects on that watch list have tried to buy guns, most of them successfully. Surely this is a more immediate threat than hypothetical refugees? Apparently not, given that the U.S. House hasn’t moved so much as an inch on any legislation to close this loophole.
Maybe it’s just that thousands of desperate refugees make an easier political target? Perish the thought, surely. Politicians will use their Christian faith to justify all sorts of things, from restricting women’s access to health care, to denying gay people the right to marry or start a family, but when it comes to one of the most important commandments in Christianity… they desperately seize on a false excuse so they can walk right on past the dying man.
These are the people our politicians are so mortally afraid of. Children with nowhere to sleep, desperate families risking death, fleeing the very same terror that our politicians claim to want to fight. But all we’re doing instead is adding to that terror, denying refuge to the victims we should be embracing and helping with open arms, because our Congressmen and governors are cowards. And clearly, they’re far more afraid for their jobs (as evidenced by their kowtowing toward the NRA, and xenophobic Fox News pundits) then for the thousands of Americans who really are hurt and killed by terrorism every year.
“But wait!” more than one person has cried. “Let’s take care of our own people first! What about the thousands of homeless veterans in this country?” Except that turns out to be a bullshit excuse, too, and most of the politicians who voted to oppose refugees also oppose expanded veterans’ assistance and expanded social programs in general.
Layers upon layers of cowardice, ignorance and hypocrisy at work here.
Every time the U.S. has denied entry to refugees en masse, it has been a black mark on the nation’s history. We’re in the process of adding another such mark right now.
I guess we’ll be shipping this back to France soon… Lord knows it’s not doing any good here.