Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Are we going to be Americans, or not?

It put your money where your mouth is time, America.

If we're going to claim we embody all the virtue and values that we've harped on and on about in every campaign speech and every state-of-the-union address-

If we're going to live up to the image of ourselves we've painted, both literally and figuratively, on the walls of our schools-

If we're going to act like we have ANY business at all discussing how other nations should behave in a global setting-

-then we've got to stop this isolationist bullshit right fucking now.

This is our mess.

Daesh is a direct result of Bush administration policies. The Syrian refugee crisis is a result of a lot of things, but many of them are things the United States has played a very large role in, both directly and indirectly.

We are Americans god damn it.

If we're going to pretend we give a fuck about honor, decency and being a land of opportunity, then we damn well better had make sure that people are being offered security and opportunity by coming to our shores. 

If you want to pretend America is a christian country, well I'm pretty sure Jesus would have some choice things to say about people who refuse hospitality to those in need, especially so close to the celebration of his birthday.

If you want to pretend we are a nation of laws, well our constitution and federal laws lay out that state governors have no place saying who is or is not welcome, so they should probably shut the fuck up, or start crafting policies to help the people who come to their states thrive because they're coming like it or not. International laws that the US is a signatory to make it clear that we have an obligation to Syrian refugees.  If we are a people of our word, then we will honor those commitments.

There is absolutely no part of our stated ideology that says we only care about ourselves and refuse to protect and foster those in need of a home. That's not how we claim to roll.

The plaque at the foot of the statue of liberty does not say: Give me your upwardly mobile, Caucasian, entrepreneurs with excess capital yearning to invest.

It says:

...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!"
And there is absolutely no interpretation of that verse that allows us to shut that door in the face of those who need us and call ourselves Americans.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How to Retaliate

You want to take action that will frustrate the Paris attackers and harm their interests? Show them that they can't win?

Ok. Here's what you gotta do:

  • Embrace refugees with open arms, and do everything you can to see them healthy, happy and secure in a welcoming new home.
  • Refuse to see violence as an endemic trait of Islam, and view terrorist action as what it truly is, cynical, political, and tactical, not scriptural or spiritual.
  • Don't let the grief you feel over Paris blind you to Beirut, Bagdad, Palestine, and countless other people and places who deserve your concern and empathy. Prove that you don't need people to resemble you physically to recognize their humanity. Prove that kindness is not a limited resource.
  • Resist the impulse to rush to violent response when so little is known about who, what, where and when ANY kind of response military or otherwise, would be effective.
Violent radicals use violence as a way to enrage and radicalize the world. They want the world to embrace and operate on their simplistic, good-guys vs bad-guys ideology. They want to erase nuance and any 'greyzone' because they know they are in the minority.

If you split the world in half for them, you swell their ranks and you legitimize their view of you.