Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chapter 3, In Which the Narrator Gets Pissed Off And Probably Pisses Off What Friends He Has Left In The Process

Dear you. No- not you - you. (And if you read this, and think, "Hey, I never meant THAT." - then don't worry, I'm not talking about you.)

Here is a Muppet News Flash: Being concerned that ISIS has infiltrated the Syrian refugees, especially when the past weekend has proven that it's highly likely, is not racist. It's being realistic.

It's not saying "All Muslims are terrorists."
It's not saying "The refugees are to blame for the attacks in Paris."
It's not saying "Round up all the Muslims and put them in internment camps."
It's not even saying America should refuse the refugees.

But it IS a valid concern. It is more than possible. And trying to shout down anyone who points it out as a racist is not going to change reality. If every single person who was concerned about ISIS infiltrating refugees was a card-carrying KKK member, it wouldn't change the reality of the situation.

Oh, and by the way, if you need to use false parallels to try and paint those with opposing views as bigots, then maybe your point is invalid. Just to correct a few false parallels:

Yes, Timothy McVeigh killed more people than the Paris attacks, and (gasp) was a white Christian. True, but no, Timothy McVeigh was not part of a global terrorist organization, which is the issue here. Try again.

Yes, some Americans were against Jewish refugees coming here back in World War II. Yes, those people were racist and wrong. No, there was no global Jewish extremist army at the time. No, there were no Jewish terrorists infiltrating the Holocaust survivors, and murdering random civilians within the countries that were taking them in. That's a pretty huge point to ignore, just because it doesn't fit your narrative.

Yes, Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian. Who gives a shit? Are you so elitist that you believe everyone who has concerns about ISIS infiltration doesn't know that they are individuals of varying qualities and accomplishments?
And by the way, Steve Jobs was a piece of shit, so I don't know why you're using him as an example anyway.

(I'm not going to get into how ridiculous it is to try bring Native Americans into this.)

To sum up:

"But I'm just against racism."
Good for you, so am I.

"I don't want people to think all Muslims are terrorists."
I don't either. I know some Muslims, and some are good, kind people. Some are dickheads. They're individuals.

"I feel horrible for the refugees."
So do I, it's monstrous, what they're going through.

"The refugees aren't to blame for what happened in Paris."
I 100% agree. But ISIS members who infiltrated them most likely had a hand in it. That's the concern.

"The refugees are not ISIS."
No, they're not. They're escaping from the terror that ISIS has caused. They should be helped. HOWEVER, there is a valid concern that infiltration by ISIS is extremely easy.

"I don't think hosting refugees in America would be a danger."
Well... I think there are some concerns, but if that's the way you feel, hey- good for you. Hopefully, you're right. You should feel fee to say that.

"Saying there is a chance of ISIS infiltrating the refugees makes you a bigoted, uncaring, unfeeling racist."
Fuck you.



bhartman36 said...

Hey, Tony.

Most of your points, I agree with. I also agree that it's a valid concern. I think you'd have to be blind not to be a *little* concerned about it.

And I agree with most of your counterarguments to the arguments we've heard. I'd point out two things, though:

1) While I, personally, am not a fan of Steve Jobs, I think you have to, in fairness, accept the point that we'd live in a very different society right now without some of the technology that Jobs marketed. (I won't say he created it or innovated it into existence or whatever.) His existence, and his access to American resources, certainly made a difference in the world, even if he was a huge, flaming asshole.

2) While the Jewish refugees were not terrorists, we've never before let the idea of terrorism make us so afraid as to not welcome people seeking asylum. We've welcomed Cubans, Russians, and even Iranians and Iraqis. We don't block out a whole group of people just because some of them turn out to be terrorists. That's not who we are.

3) McVeigh wasn't part of a global conspiracy, but he *was* part of a conspiracy. He wasn't a lone nutcase. More generally, pointing to McVeigh illustrates the fact that terrorism can come from anywhere. Stopping Syrian refugees from coming in doesn't even stop the individuals ISIS would send from coming in. ISIS could a) use our own people (which they have) or b) give one of their people over there a new identity, and they wouldn't even have to sneak over with the Syrian refugees.

4) Just as a general point, expressing an opinion != shutting opposing points down. You are free to engage anyone who makes one of the points you mentioned above, unless they block you or something.

I think it's safe to say no one wants to see what happened in Paris (let alone what happened on 9/11) happen here. That's not really the question. The question is, how much of who we are are we willing to give up to prevent it, and what's the best way to do that? I think rejecting refugees is too high a price to pay, and that we have to acknowledge the fact that turning our backs on them just creates *more* recruits for ISIS.

There is a cross-administration (if that's the right term) team in place to vet the refugees. The asylum process has done us fairly well before. We certainly shouldn't just let the refugees go about their business the minute we let them off the boat. But no one that I know of is talking about doing that.

Anyway, see you on FB and Google+ buddy. :)

Tony LaRocca said...

Brian- Your opinion always matters, ty my friend =)