Thursday, November 26, 2015

Why Refugees?

Note: An apology to my Facebook friends. This was originally a Fbook post, but as this is a somewhat different audience, and due to the number of emails and questions I receive regarding this issue, I decided to post it here. Don't worry, i'll have something new in the next few days!

NO REFUGEES!

Look, I get that allowing "suddenly" thousands of people into the country might be a bit frightening, particularly when they come from the Middle East, which, we are told, is a breeding ground for terrorists. The numbers suggest that surely a few of those people will be terrorists, right?
The answer is "no." A resounding "no." First of all, it takes years to get through immigration, even as a refugee. And the vetting process is long and arduous. There is nothing "sudden" about this process, and when someone like PM Trudeau suggests that he wants to speed up the timeline, he isn't talking about just opening the doors and letting a stampede through.

LIES

Nearly all the news regarding the refugees coming from places like Fox news is racist propaganda. The information is as true as free swampland in Florida. Most (nearly all) terrorists are homegrown. Studies have shown that. Further, most of these refugees are women and children, mostly children. They have nothing. The places they have to live as they wait to get processed are a nightmare, so is their journey here. If you were to meet any of these refugees, most of you would be out the door in a second with blankets and water and food.
And as for those who do not want the refugees here, especially those who seem quite adamant about it, what's clear is that they have never spent one second working to help the poor. I see memes suggesting we should only help the poor born in Canada. The question is why? I know many people involved in working with the homeless and the poor here, and all of them are in favour of helping the refugees. Why? Because they work with the poor. They get it. They aren't fooled by the propaganda or the false dichotomies.
There is so little chance that any of these refugees are terrorists, that to even suggest such a thing makes me question how one leaves the house in the morning. Last year, in the US, 17 people were killed by falling furniture. 4 were killed by terrorists. At some point, we have to stop allowing OUR extremists dominate the conversation. It's as if we are determined to give Westboro Baptist Church the microphone, even though we all know what they are.
There's nothing wrong with being afraid. But in this case, those fears are being fanned by outright lies. And by not doing our due diligence, we are advocating that suffering people continue to suffer. That people who are dying continue to die. That may not be the intent, but the effect is the same. C'mon, folks. Let's choke the lies, and fan the flames of compassion with what's REALLY going on. You can do this.

-Steve