So let me get this right. The United States has had 325 mass shootings so far in 2015 according to the Mass Shooting Tracker, which is literally one per day (today is the 322nd day of 2015). This country is a shooting gallery for every mentally ill and emotionally disturbed individual exercising their “Second Amendment remedies” against their fellow citizens. This does not even include those shot in the daily carnage of gang violence or other violent crimes, or suicides.
Americans barely bat an eye at this daily violence in their own country.
But 129 people are gunned down in Paris by semi-automatic weapons (according to reports, the suicide vests of the terrorists only blew themselves up, and one elderly man at the soccer stadium. A full account of how the Paris terror attack shootings), and Americans freak out and go into a panic? Who are you people? You live with this kind of gun violence every day.
Would “John Wayne, American” be pissing in his boots out of fear of women and children refugees fleeing civil war and terrorism? Hell no! The Duke would be the first to defend and to protect these innocent victims of war and terrorism, and then he would mount up and go after the bad guys who caused them harm.
When America is at its best, this is what we do. It is who we are. It is our national identity. We have rode to the rescue of the downtrodden and the oppressed the world over.
But Paris immediately became a cause célèbre for Tea-Publicans and the conservative media entertainment complex to demonize all Syrian refugees fleeing civil war and terrorism as a “fifth column” of Jihadist terrorists. Panic! Be afraid! They’re comin’ to kill you! Sharia law! They appeal to our darkest demons when America is at its worst: ignorance, fear, and hatred of “others” born of nativism, racism, and religious bigotry.
It should come as no surprise then that the presidential candidates of the xenophobic nativist anti-immigrant Mass Deportation Party said “close the border,” “ban Syrian refugees,” “just take the Christians,” or “deport” those refugees already here. A Complete Guide To How The GOP Candidates Reacted To Syrian Refugees After The Paris Attacks.
Governors of at least 31 states, all but one a Tea-Publican, say they will not accept Syrian refugees. More than half the nation’s governors say Syrian refugees not welcome, including Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona who wants to ban all refugees, not just Syrians. Ducey seeks halt of refugee placements in Arizona.
The Tea-Publican House is to vote on a refugee bill on Thursday to “pause” the Obama administrations plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees. It will not become law. White House Affirms Syrian Refugee Plan Despite Paris Attacks.
The political calculus behind these gestures becomes apparent when you look at new polling data released today by the Public Religion Research Institute, which finds that a majority of Americans — 56 percent — say that the values of Islam are “at odds” with America’s values and way of life. What most Americans think of Islam today:
Republicans (76 percent) are especially likely to say Islam is at odds with American values, as are white evangelicals (73 percent) and white working-class Americans (67 percent), two important Republican voting blocs.
The survey was conducted before the attacks in Paris last week.
This xenophobic anti-immigrant fear mongering being fueled by the conservative media entertainment complex is rising to a dangerous level. Donald Trump Says We Should Close Mosques. A Tennessee State Rep. Calls For Rounding Up Syrian Refugees. And just as I predicted, a Mayor David Bowers (D) of Roanoke, VA Rejects Syrian Refugees, Says America Should Follow Model Of Japanese Internment (Sorry Donald, he beat you to it).
Even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who was a squish on the P5+1 world powers nuclear agreement with Iran, is once again a squish on resettlement of Syrian refugees. Top Senate Democrat: Rejecting Syrian Refugees ‘May Be Necessary’. (Schumer has forfeited any chance to be the next Senate Democratic leader).
While many Americans curl up in a ball in a hole in the wall out of fear and panic and want to reject Syrian refugees, France is doing just the opposite, increasing the number of refugees it will take to 30,000 over the next two years — three times the number that the U.S. has agreed to take — after the Paris terrorist attack. After Attacks, France Increases Its Commitment To Refugees.
Remember how conservatives always joked about the French being “cheese eating surrender monkeys” too afraid to fight? You don’t see the French (other than its anti-immigrant right-wing conservatives) putting aside human compassion and cowering out of fear and panic to demonize refugees. These cowardly Americans should be ashamed of the lack of human compassion and cowardice they are currently demonstrating. They should not call them self an American, they are not worthy of the title.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says there are more than 4 million registered Syrian refugees. It’s data shows that 50.5 percent of refugees are women. Females age 18 to 59 make up 23.9 percent of the refugees, while males in that age group make up 21.8 percent. Even younger males — age 12 to 17 — represent 6.5 percent of refugees, while females that age are 6.1 percent. The majority of refugees — 51.1 percent — are under age 17, including 38.5 percent who are younger than 12 years old.
A State Department spokesman says that so-called “military-age males” unattached to families make up just two percent of Syrian refugees admitted to date to the United States. State Department: Only 2% Of Syrian Refugees In U.S. Are Military-Aged Men With No Family:
Since the start of the Syrian Civil War in March 2011, the United States has taken in about 2,000 refugees from Syria. Last year, Syrians made up only two percent of the 70,000 refugees admitted, according to the New York Times. Of the 18,000 referred refugees cases from the United Nations High Commissioner for possible resettlement (of which the U.S. is taking 10,000) more than 50% are 18 years of age or younger.
The history of the refugee resettlement program has a nearly spotless record when it comes to ensuring that those offered a place in the U.S. are not inclined towards committing acts of terrorism. The Perfect Rebuttal To Governors Who Won’t Take In Syrian Refugees:
“The United States has resettled 784,000 refugees since September 11, 2001,” Newland wrote in a recent op-ed. “In those 14 years, exactly three resettled refugees have been arrested for planning terrorist activities—and it is worth noting two were not planning an attack in the United States and the plans of the third were barely credible.”
Two of the men were indicted and jailed for plotting to send weapons to terrorist organizations in Iraq. One Uzbek man was convicted of terrorism-related charges for possessing explosives and supporting a terrorist organization in Uzbekistan. [ Zero Syrians have faced charges related to terrorism.]
While it’s of course discomforting that three people who were granted refugee status in the U.S. went on to support terrorist activities, their actions are hardly a noteworthy stain on the record of the U.S.’ refugee resettlement program.
This is particularly true when considered in the proper context at the beginning of this post about the level of violence from home grown “terrorists” in this country.
UPDATE: Jeff Guo of the Washington Post reports, Hating Muslims plays right into the Islamic State’s hands, and the Post‘s Michael Gerson writes, America’s politicians are feeding the Islamic State narrative.
President Obama said, “I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate. They’ve been playing on fear to score political points or to advance their campaigns and it’s irresponsible. It needs to stop because the world is watching.”