I wrote this on Sept 10, 2015 and it is still very relevant, though the context has changed –
The refugees fleeing from Syria inspire me and make my heart ache at the same time. I have been reading and watching videos about this crisis, and the more I get informed, the more I truly believe this is a time where a humanitarian spirit is needed. We make it seem complicated with politics, religion, funding, bureaucracy, and fear of the unknown preventing us from providing humanitarian relief to these refugees. But if there is money to pull off the kind of bullshit that America pulls all the time, there is a way for our government to figure out how to help these refugees. We are taught from an early age that America is a melting pot – where people from different lands can flee to, in hopes for a better life. This is a time for our government to make room. Our history is marred by (and all the dumb ass actions of closing our doors and creating borders to entire races) demands it. No more of this rhetoric, if we can’t actually do what we preach.
I saw this NY Times article and the headline is, “Obama Directs Administration to Accept 10,000 Syrian Refugees” – as if 10,000 is a heroic number. Not to downplay that, as other countries have offered as low as 40, but the article states that “Germany has talked about taking upward of 800,000″ and “Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria more than four years ago the United States has taken only 1,300 refugees.” Although the article suggests actions will be taken, as “White House officials have had frequent meetings on the crisis,” as a person with a beating heart, I’d like to see plans be put into action at a faster pace. Though “the issue is likely to become central in the presidential campaign”, we need to see it more as a pressing human need, to help these people, rather than a way to leverage votes in a candidate’s favor.
Because we live in the real world where American journalism will shamelessly turn a brutal and heartbreaking violent civil war into a discussion of the upcoming presidential elections, the article ends with commentary about Hillary vs the Republicans: “Hillary Rodham Clinton called for the United States to take in more refugees and provide more aid during a speech on Wednesday at the Brookings Institution; for Republican candidates the issue will become enmeshed in the debate over immigration.” If it does take a presidential election to force our government to meaningful action, so be it.