America — the melting pot of only Americans

December 4, 2015 Commentary, Editorials Print Print
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editorialAlmost 1 million foreign nationals became U.S. citizens in 2013, according to Migrationpolicy.org. In that same year, 173 million temporary admissions were given. Not that many people seemed to care about either of those numbers

But now, as hundreds of thousands of refugees seek shelter, food and a safe place from the slaughter happening in their own country, many U.S. citizens say we need to turn our backs to protect our own.

Katie Axtell

Katie Axtell

To those hypocrites, I ask you: What do you do to protect our own? To those who say no to the refugees because we have a homeless population I ask you: What have you done to combat that issue?

If you’re one of those who share and post on Facebook how we need to help our own first while you work on a big dose of diabetes by eating a triple bacon cheeseburger and drinking a Big Gulp, but don’t do anything to actually help the homeless, then sit down and shut up.

Many Americans are so comfortable with our easy lifestyles that include pumpkin spice everything, diet plans and having only to worry about whether the person you invited over will really just want to watch Netflix and chill, that we often forget how good we have it. We can’t seem to fathom the thought of what it might be like to be running for our lives with nothing but blisters and blood as companions.

We are busy debating whether the lack of snowflakes on a red cup is offensive or if Glen from “The Walking Dead” is still alive while these refugees pray for no snow or harsh conditions in a place with no shelter from the storm.

After Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 U.S. citizens were imprisoned in remote camps just for being Japanese, according to ushistory.org. Even those who were born in the U.S. were forced to sell all their belongings and be degraded because of our fear of their ethnicity.That reaction still remains a dark mark on the nation’s record of respecting civil liberties and cultural differences.

The smithsonianmag.com documents the time the U.S. turned away Jews fleeing from the Nazis. According to the article, the St. Louis, a German transatlantic liner carrying around 900 Jewish refugees, was turned away from Miami forcing the ship to return to Europe where almost half of those refugees died in the Holocaust.

Much like our current situation, the majority of the U.S. population had rejected the idea of bringing over Jewish refugees. Hundreds, if not thousands, of lives were lost in both situations because of fear, prejudice and stereotyping. Let us learn from history.

Yes, there are risks to letting the Syrian refugees in. And, there are risks to not letting them in.

There may be an infiltration in those we let in. There may be an infiltration of those already let in. There are too many variables and too many questions for anything to be definite. But, what gives us the right to say that our lives matter more than any other human beings?

Who are we to deny refuge and a safe haven when we came here and damn near committed genocide to possess this country? Oh, that isn’t who we are today? Well, the Syrian refugees are not all part of ISIS and they might not get a tomorrow.

America is supposedly a melting pot, but the only thing I see melting is our sympathy, our compassion and our humanity.

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