I think that sometimes we forget that real people are involved in the news stories that are so breathlessly related to us by some form of media. We read the headlines, and the throwaway quotes, and go back to the football or video game or current reality show that is so important in our lives. But there are real people involved in each of these. When we talk about refugees, many are people like ourselves who made the best decision possible for their families by fleeing a war torn area where a six-sided gunfight with major weaponry was being held. Most rational folks with children and homes being blown apart would probably make the decision to leave the general area.
Yet our leaders and many of our citizens simply look at the survivors as statistics. We don’t really want to be bothered with finding solutions and go with the most negative approach possible.
The following is a piece I wrote for the Concord Monitor and which was published this morning, that comments on this issue.
Concord Monitor, December 19, 2015
Apparently, common sense has become a very scarce commodity among the leadership in this country.
In a global society more integrated than ever, we are resorting to solutions like the Willows Palisades and the Berlin Wall to deal with the flood of refugees that have been swept like loose flotsam into camps too small to sustain them.
Our country has been feckless in dealing with the cancer called ISIS that has been growing in the Middle East and now, as the side effects spread across the world, we appear to be equally clueless in dealing with those members of our world community who have been cast adrift.
It is part of being a humane society to offer help to those in extremis. Some of our politicians, however, are busy posturing, and shouting out the first reactionary thoughts that come to mind from an unsuccessful playbook that was written centuries ago. Here’s a useful update for the isolationists and wall-builders. The planet is now like a big open room with no exits. We are not going to be successful if we spend our time trying to build walls out of chairs and blankets like kindergartners looking for a hiding place.
The global society is long past where we can just close our doors as a nation or a community and think the misfortunes of life will pass us by. People come into this country every day illegally. They have no screening, and yes, some wish to do harm. Building high walls won’t change that. As the world shrinks, we need to find better solutions. Our nation has retreated from the world scene in recent years. And the primary leading candidates of both parties are not providing much hope for positive change. But we need to get our act together quickly.
Glenn K. Currie