Wretched refuse

Oh, look, it’s another day and people are behaving badly again. Shocking.

This time it’s “patriots” spitting on and shouting at children who are seeking refuge in this country.

I have been paying pretty close attention and have tried to follow both sides, and I’m sorry but I can’t understand people with so much hate in their hearts that they think the sane and rational response is to surround busloads of children and scream at them. Pretty sure that is not the love thy neighbor vibe Jesus was talking about.

And, now, since it hasn’t devolved far enough into farce, here comes silly Sarah and her merry band that wants to impeach the president because of refugees. Although, in her defense, that makes as much sense as the usual “arrgle bargle” that falls out of her mouth. Coffers must be low, so she’s out peddling her particular brand of nonsense.

Her I can ignore; others not so much.

Let’s see if we can stop playing politics with these people’s lives. This crisis has been decades in the making. Aided and abetted by interference and intrusion by us for our own national interests and our failed war on drugs.

We created this problem and now it has come home to roost, literally.

I am glad to see states, including Massachusetts, step up and assist during this humanitarian crisis. The southern border states are bearing the brunt and the other states need to give as much aid as is necessary, not just according to our laws but also to our conscience.

While I am picking the bones clean here, I find it curious that the people complaining that we “don’t help our own” are the usually the same people who don’t want to take care of our own.

Honestly, talk about chutzpah!

I think the first time I heard it my head almost exploded from the hypocrisy. Really unbecoming. Of course, there is always a financial cost in a crisis such as this, and we should and must bear it, for if we do not then the cost to our collective conscience will be heavy and our nation’s standing in the world greatly diminished.

When this happens overseas, we demand that other counties act with compassion and treat refugees with respect and dignity. We should demand no less of ourselves.

Concurrent with this humanitarian crisis we need to address our immigration crisis as well. We need a national conversation free from posturing and empty, damaging rhetoric. The solution must be multi-faceted, since one-size-fits-all may be great for sloganeering but it is not so great for living in the real world. We will all have to give up the idea that what we want is all that matters. We have real issues that need solving, including what to do with the “Dreamers.” They are young adults now and this is the only home they have ever known. America is, and should remain, their home. They were raised as Americans and they identify as Americans; they are Americans in all but name. They must not be punished for the sins of their parents nor should they be sacrificed on the altar of politics. We also need to punish the companies that are fueling the demand for undocumented workers. There is a pipeline that needs to be cut off. Every other solution is just window dressing. We are, despite all of our petty infighting and posturing, still a beacon, a symbol of freedom and a better way of life. And we need to find a way to impart more balance into our immigration policies and live up to the words of Emma Lazarus: ”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!”

We are the guardians of the door and we are failing miserably.

Originally published July 30, 2014 in The Old Colony Memorial and online at wickedlocal/plymouth on 7/31/14



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