Viewpoint: Relief for Refugees: At Home and Abroad
First I want to give thanks for the safety we enjoy as Americans. I thank God that we are not dodging bombs, bullets and barbarian bullies beating down our doors, hell-bent on killing us. And, we are not wailing in anguish over our own dead children or bleeding spouses. Military might is an awesome blessing that must be deployed properly. It should never be recklessly squandered on imagined dangers or imperial ambitions as so much of that might is simply people, human beings, our sons and daughters. We owe them.
That said, I cannot imagine the devastating terror of fleeing for my life carrying whatever I could on my back while tugging on children and shouting at them to hurry up, run, look out! My gratitude would soar and tears of joy would flow should anyone step in to protect us from further danger and provide us urgently needed shelter, respite and sustenance. Just think about that.
I am happy that our military is being used to relieve the desperate thousands (perhaps more than 100,000 ) who have fled to Mount Sinjar to avoid being slaughtered by religious fanatics, the ISIS gang, now running amok in Iraq. The plight of the Yazidi refugees is pitiful.Their suffering is immense, and their misery pressing. They fear for their lives. The least and best we can do right now is to speed relief their way. And our troops are doing that. They are doing the right thing, the compassionate thing.
I hope that we can also find it our hearts to welcome those desperate mothers and children who present themselves at our southern border. With little more than the clothes they wear, they make the arduous journey, fleeing unspeakable horrors in home countries where viole t crime, unbearable poverty, cruel injustice and predatory human traffickers are constant dangers.
They are not seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. Upon finally arriving at our border, they immediately surrender to the authorities. They seek the mandatory court appearance, the “Notice to Appear,” and it is scheduled for them. They hope to make a case in court for being granted asylum in our country.
We must have a heart for these poor unfortunates. We can no more turn our backs on them than we can ignore the refugees huddled high in the Sinjar Mountains. Our own “refugee problem” is not about ideology or scoring political points. It’s about humanity, compassion and doing the right thing.
What can we do? We are not powerless. We can pray and we can contribute money to organizations working on behalf of the refugees. And we can let our representatives in Washington know what we think and request their support for decency and compassion, as well as common sense, in our immigration policies. Then we can watch the Packers. Go Pack, go.
Ray Drake, Hayward