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Hit the Road, Toad. No Different People Wanted

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Hit the Road, Toad. No Different People Wanted

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Most of the refugees from Syria do not look like us. They do not look Western. They look different.

And we live in a world today where different can be dangerous.

On Thursday, two bombs killed 43 people in Beirut. It got scant attention compared with the bombs and guns that killed 129 people in Paris the next day. One reason had nothing to do with numbers.

Beirut is part of the Middle East, and Paris is part of the West, and we care more about the killing of Westerners.

We don’t like to say this.

Remember the picture of that little boy whose dead body washed ashore in Turkey? It really tugged at your heart.

His name was Aylan Kurdi, and he was 3 years old. He drowned and washed onto the beach like a piece of debris.

His brother, Galip, age 5, also drowned, as did their mother, Rehan. They were Kurdish refugees from Syria.

Part of the reason our reaction to little Aylan was so strong is that he looked so Western. He was dressed in Western-style sports clothing — a red top, blue pants and sneakers with Velcro straps. You could just imagine how much he loved strapping on those shoes every morning.

The boys were trying to get to Canada but probably would have been delighted to make it to the United States — where at least 31 of our states would not be delighted with them.

More than half our country wants to ban Syrian refugees, though some states are willing to take Christian ones.

Why? Because Christians are more like us than Muslims, even though we are supposed to be a nation where all religions are treated equally.

(Muslim terrorists do kill Westerners. But we are supposed to be better than the terrorists. That’s how people are supposed to be able to tell us apart.)

Marco Rubio, who brags in every speech about how his father fled Cuba, once was considered a champion of immigrants, but not anymore.

“You can have 1,000 people come in, and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence,” Rubio said, “but one of them is an ISIS fighter. If that’s the case, you have a problem.”

“There’s no way to vet that out,” he continued. “There’s no background check system in the world that allows us to find that out, because who do you call in Syria to background check them?”

Ted Cruz was born in Canada of a Cuban father and — luckily for Cruz’s presidential hopes — a mother from Delaware. Cruz, too, gets all choked up when he talks about his father’s fleeing Fidel Castro’s tyranny.

But what about those fleeing tyranny today? Well, according to Cruz, it depends on their religion. No Muslim refugees should be allowed in America today, only Christian ones, because, says Cruz, “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”

All this reminds me of the bitter chant from the ’60s: “If you’re white, all right. If you’re black, get back.” Today it’s religion instead of race. But it’s the same old hatred.

Barack Obama’s reaction to this has been shame and disgust.

He said Monday: “When I hear folks say that ‘well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims,’ when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are.”

But it is who we may become if one of these anti-immigrant jokers is elected president.

Take Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor talked to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday, and Hewitt asked about those poor tiny refugee kids. Couldn’t we let them in?

“What if they were orphans under the age of 5?” Hewitt asked.

“You know, Hugh, we could come up with 18 different scenarios,” Christie said. “The fact is that we need appropriate vetting, and I don’t think orphans under 5 are being, you know, should be admitted into the United States at this point. … We need to put the safety and security of the American people first.”

On a whim, I decided to check up on the religion of those Americans who fought and died to protect the safety and security of American citizens and are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

There are at least 61 different symbols on the graves at Arlington that recognize numerous branches of Christianity, plus Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Native American religions, as well as atheism, secular humanism, and Wicca.

So non-Christians are free to give their lives for America. We just don’t want any more of them here. Not even toddlers.

Wizened rich guy Rupert Murdoch, who became an American citizen at age 54 so that he could own TV stations here, tweeted this Monday night:

“Obama facing enormous opposition in accepting refugees. Maybe make special exception for proven Christians.”

Proven Christians? We are raising the bar? Simply saying you are a Christian will no longer be enough. You will have to prove you are a Christian.

Murdoch, by the way, claims he is a Christian. And in America, we don’t make anybody submit baptismal forms or church records to prove it as they did, say, in Nazi Germany.

But we could test people. For example, who said the following?

“But whoever has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

Yep, you got it. That was Jesus of Nazareth, a proven Christian.

But he was from the Mideast and older than a toddler. So we might not let him into America today — even if he wanted to come.

Roger Simon is Politico‘s chief political columnist. His new e-book, Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America, can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

A volunteer lifeguard carries a baby as a half-sunken catamaran carrying around 150 refugees, most of them Syrians, arrives after crossing part of the Aegean sea from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis

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28 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila November 18, 2015

    What is influencing the decision of people like Cruz, Trump, and two dozen Republican Governors to reject refugees trying to escape the brutality of ISIS and civil war, is neither religion nor cowardice, but political opportunism. They are seizing this sad human tragedy to score points with those who fear anything foreign, anything that does not look or sound like the rest of us, members of other religions (even though many of the refugees are Coptic Christians), to score political points. Clearly, they don’t really care how the rest of the world looks at us, or how much damage they are doing to a country that takes pride in its freedoms, laws, history, and bravery. The fact that millions of Americans support them, and do not see the damage they are doing to our country speaks volumes for our intellectual acumen, and what passes nowadays as patriotism.

    Reply
    1. Daniel Jones November 18, 2015

      Those who encourage then exploit unthinking idiot fear are passive-aggressive terrorists in my way of thinking.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila November 18, 2015

        I find the comments made by so many, allegedly, intelligent people embarrassing. Demonstrating what is likely to be a combination of cowardice, religious intolerance, xenophobia, arrogance, greed, and an absolute lack of humanity, our political wannabes are destroying everything this country stands for. From the “home of the brace”, to being a welcoming nation willing to accept the “huddled masses”, to religious freedom, everything this country country stands for is rapidly succumbing to political opportunism.
        Expressing fear at a time when Germany, a country about the size of California, accepted 800,000 refugees, and several other European countries are accepting them as well in spite of their economic problems and high unemployment, does not say much for the USA when our charlatans voice terror at the probability of accepting 10,000 refugees. One of them is Rick Scott, the Governor of my home state, who opposes accepting 400 refugees because of the threat they represent to our state. Never mind that many of those refugees are Coptic Christians, never mind that we have accepted hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees, including lots of criminals and mentally ill people during the Mariel migration; in this case they are – shudder – Muslims!

        Reply
  2. Joseph Simmons November 18, 2015

    When Muslim refugees flooded into France from former colonies, they did not integrate into society at large. They self-isolated into small communities, that soon became hotbeds of crime and drug trade. I know people who said they would never return to France after being robbed and threatened in the Paris suburbs. ISIS has been planting operatives in the refugees, with the intent of attacking westerners. They have said all along their aim is to ultimately destroy the U.S. and take over the world. Do you want to wait until they start attacking the U.S. from within?

    Reply
    1. Paul Bass November 18, 2015

      Fear and loathing have been the enemy of freedom forever.

      You, joseph are an American, but why are you afraid?

      We Americans are NOT afraid of someone of a different color
      We Americans are NOT afraid of someone of a different gender
      We Americans are NOT afraid of someone of a different religion
      We Americans are NOT afraid of someone who might love someone we don’t
      We Americans are NOT afraid of tyrants and others with different views

      We are a really strong nation, not afraid of any of these fools, so why are YOU so fearful?

      Reply
      1. Nick November 18, 2015

        We are not afraid, but we’re not stupid either! Those people need to stay in their country and fight for what they believe in at all costs.

        Reply
        1. Paul Bass November 18, 2015

          …need to stay in their country…

          Sorry Nick, sounds like you are afraid, don’t be, we Americans are stronger than they.

          Reply
        2. Arie November 18, 2015

          I guess you would also have said that to the Jews in Nazi Germany?

          Reply
          1. Nick November 18, 2015

            Think about the early ancestors of the United States. They did not run to another country when they wanted their independence. They stayed and fought to the death in many battles. Now look at us today. We would not have a great nation if they had ran away. We are not doing these people any justice by allowing them to come. We are actually oppressing them from becoming a great nation and a strong competitor against us. I do not have a problem going back over there to help them fight if that’s what they actually want to do. This problem will not go away until these people stand up and fight.

            Reply
          2. Arie November 18, 2015

            A rather strange comment; many, many of these ancestors were fugitives from other countries. You can start with the pilgrims; they fled from England to Holland and subsequently to America.

            Reply
          3. Insinnergy November 18, 2015

            You could do with some education before you type.

            Reply
        3. Nick November 18, 2015

          Think about the early ancestors of the United States. They did not run to another country when they wanted their independence. They stayed and fought to the death in many battles. Now look at us today. We would not have a great nation if they had ran away. We are not doing these people any justice by allowing them to come. We are actually oppressing them from becoming a great nation and a strong competitor against us. I do not have a problem going back over there to help them fight if that’s what they actually want to do. This problem will not go away until these people stand up and fight.

          Reply
      2. 1Zoe55 November 18, 2015

        Thank you Paul Bass for your comments. I should have read yours before I posted my own opinion. I agree with you and I am not afraid.

        Reply
        1. Paul Bass November 18, 2015

          And I appreciate yours also, we obviously were on the same “wavelength”!

          Reply
    2. johninPCFL November 18, 2015

      When Cubans flooded into the US in the late 1950s, they did not integrate into society at large. They self-isolated into small communities mostly around Miami, that soon became hotbeds of crime and drug trade.

      Marco Rubio came from one such enclave.

      Reply
  3. dtgraham November 18, 2015

    There’s a lot of misinformation being purposely spread about the Syrian refugee vetting process by the political right. I found some interesting information about this process and thought I’d share it. It seems pretty thorough.

    In order to qualify for resettlement in the U.S., refugees must first be registered and referred by the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR. The U.N. collects biographic and even biometric data for the Syrian crisis to make sure applicants’ stories checkout, and that they are not pretending to be someone they’re not. The Syrian refugees have even been iris-scanned as a high-tech form of lie detection to ensure that they’re telling the truth about themselves.

    “People might say, ‘I was here during a barrel bombing or a gas
    attack on this date,’ so we have look to see if it was reported. If
    there are question marks, we can’t clear them,” said Larry Yungk, a senior protection officer with the UNHCR in Washington, D.C.

    Only the best cases are referred to the U.S., which has a reputation for having one of the most thorough vetting regimens of any country, Yungk said. The Department of Homeland Security then conducts its own
    security checks as well as individual interviews with each family
    member, which can last several hours. If there is any doubt about someone’s background — for instance, if family members contradict details of each other’s stories — “it’s a red light,” Yungk said.

    Hope this helps.

    Reply
    1. Ran_dum_Thot November 24, 2015

      I said nothing about banning immigration. I, in fact, stated that immigration is in part what makes this country so great. Rather, we do need to use some common sense and precaution when dealing with refugees and not lower our standards in the process. Too many people seem to think that going someplace will solve their problems. Yet many of the terrorists from Europe and North America are first generation westerners, unable or unwilling to assimilate into the life chosen by their families.

      Reply
      1. dtgraham November 25, 2015

        We’re not talking about immigration here. Refugees are something different and genuine refugees that have been designated as such by the UNHCR (and vetted) are supposed to be more of a rare, or at least uncommon event. It’s not common everyday immigration, legal or otherwise.

        True that. Many of these radicalized young Europeans are first generation. They were born and raised in Europe, and that’s a real concern. It’s less of a concern in North America because Muslims have been able to succeed and aren’t economically marginalized as much, for whatever reason. It still happens though.

        It’s so important for the gov’t and police to be in close touch with the Muslim community. It works because a lot of potential terrorist activity has been thwarted here after authorities were informed and tipped off by local Muslims. Just heard some data on that. You have to wonder why it keeps happening though.

        Reply
  4. 1Zoe55 November 18, 2015

    The photo of the man carrying the baby could not be more appropriate, because he looks like the image of Jesus we had in our Catechism class, showing his belief “suffer the little children unto me.” Why are these governors and the other useful idiots so fearful–afraid of Mexican immigrants, afraid of women’s body parts (to be polite), afraid of black people, afraid of gays, lesbians and transgenders, and now terrified of Muslims. Is this what their religious belief has instilled in them? What a sad, sick country we are becoming if one of them becomes president. I still believe most Americans are better than that.

    Reply
    1. dtgraham November 18, 2015

      Most Americans are. The United States has a long history of resettling refugees. It has resettled a greater number than any country in the world in real numbers.

      Reply
      1. Ran_dum_Thot November 22, 2015

        A long history indeed—with many restrictions and limitations. It was
        never an open door policy, ever. If you had pink eye, a suspicious cough, no address to go to or no sponsor you probably weren’t going to be
        admitted. Quota systems came and went based on ethnicity, skill levels, education and what major war just ended. The earliest wave of immigrants, were mainly indentured servants. Why, then, do you
        think anyone should be allowed to enter the U.S.A. because he want to? No other country in the world allows open immigration. Our two next door neighbors have never been totally open about Americans working and living and owning property in their countries.

        Reply
        1. dtgraham November 23, 2015

          Every country has it’s rules on people working and living illegally within it’s borders. Just a question of how well those rules are enforced or not enforced. In this case, I was just referring to legitimate refugees.

          Reply
          1. Ran_dum_Thot November 24, 2015

            The problem isn’t the status of someone entering the US, but is immigration solving the root problems around the world. The answer is no. I welcome immigrants–the diversity that they provide is what makes us such a successful country in spite of the mix of people we have. To import “refugees”, who have no interest integrating into the American society is not a good policy. It matters not what their sad tale may be. There is a point in time when “no” is the best answer. We now have terrorists, religious fanatics, opportunists that use refugee status to perpetuate and spread their vile causes. I do not want to hear about a Shari law system being established in this country. We are a democratic republic with an established our legal system. Don’t like it? Leave or change it by working peacefully within the established legal system. I do not want non-citizens moving to the front of the welfare line (by any name) ahead of citizens. A guest to our country comes, but he also leaves. This applies to refugees. A bit of xenophobia is needed to protect Americans.

            Reply
          2. dtgraham November 24, 2015

            You’ve got some overblown rhetoric and fears/beliefs that are either unfounded or overstated; but I’ll say this much.

            Taking a relatively small and manageable number of true legitimate refugees on a fairly regular basis is fine and humane, but you just can’t solve problems by depopulating half the planet. The idea is for the more advanced nations to use their generosity and technical expertise to solve problems where they are insofar as possible.

            Reply
          3. Ran_dum_Thot November 24, 2015

            The depopulation of the world will be at the hands of the of the dictators that rule over most of the downtrodden. Western civilization merely has to stand back and watch the self-destruction. When most of Africa, a continent of almost unlimited resources can’t even produce clean water and bleach to fight a major health hazard like Ebola, can’t teach it’s people basic hygiene, there is little that we can do to help.

            Reply
  5. Arie November 18, 2015

    Rubio and Cruz are the most repulsive ones in this respect. For God’s sake, these low-lifes are the children of refugees. They have proven that they are NOT Christians.

    Reply
  6. Otto Greif November 18, 2015

    Aylan Kurdi’s family was living in Turkey, they wanted to get into Germany for better welfare, his father was working with smugglers.

    Reply
  7. Insinnergy November 18, 2015

    “…says Cruz, “there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.””

    I guess shooting up a church full of African Americans doesn’t count somehow?
    What a gigantic tool.

    Add to that the fact that homegrown, and largely Christian, terrorism kills more people in the US each year than anything related to Isis and you have an idea of what a complete a$$hole this guy is.
    If you ask him though, he’ll just say: “Well those weren’t ‘real Christians’, so they don’t count”….

    Which, oddly enough, is what most of the Muslim world would say about Isis.

    Reply

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