A Life’s Worth

(originally from a FB post I made this afternoon, expanded here with links where appropriate)

I keep hearing variations of “We have to protect our own. Think of our safety!” re: the immigration bullshit the Cheeto-in-Chief has set in motion, and I’d like to address that line of thinking.

Here’s the thing: Your life is not worth more than an Iranian of the same age/gender/occupation/life stage just because you were privileged enough to be born here. You didn’t EARN being American. You don’t deserve your freedoms more than innocent civilians in the banned countries do. So get that misguided, xenophobic thought out of your head; silence that insidious nationalist whisper. You won the birth lottery. They didn’t. Why wouldn’t the onus be on us to HELP them, to WELCOME them?

What would your precious Jesus do (assuming He could still even enter the country, being a brown Middle Easterner and all)? How would He feel about this ban? He’d weep right along with the Statue of Liberty, that’s how He’d feel. And He would implore you to open your heart to your Syrian, Iranian, etc. brothers and sisters.

And don’t tell me “We need to help our own first” — this is not an either/or, despite what you may have been told. That’s called a false dichotomy and politicians (and Facebook meme-makers) love them. Some of these people across the ocean are the future — or current! — doctors, scientists, deep thinkers we are going to NEED to keep America as great in the future as it already was.

I just said my final farewells to my grandfather, a heavily decorated WWII veteran. He would absolutely decry this ban — this is not in keeping with the “land of opportunity” that he fought for and was wounded defending. Refugees ARE NOT terrorists. After 700K of them from these countries over 30 years and 0 terrorist killings by them, that sure looks like substantiated truth to me. Lawnmowers and lightning pose far greater threats than refugees do.

And you know what? Even if there was a .000000000000001% chance that one may someday commit an act of terror that costs me my life — I’d be willing to take that chance in order to save the myriad men, women, and children who will DEFINITELY face horrors and/or death in their home countries if we send them back. My life is not worth more than all of theirs simply because I happened to first draw breath on American soil. I’m not ignoring my desire to protect my children from harm; I’m acknowledging a Syrian mother’s same feelings. My life traded for the lives of thousands of refugees? No regrets there.

(Besides, statistics say I’m in far more danger from American right-wing extremists than from radical Islamic terrorists, and so are you. Refugees are already heavily vetted; don’t let politicians and white nationalists tell you otherwise. The process can take two years; they aren’t just randomly rushing our borders and getting in, despite what the Angry Orange would have you believe.)

Compassion, dammit. Quit clutching your pearls and find some.

Silence is consent. Do not consent to the barbaric notion that the United States should sentence thousands of refugees to return to war-torn conditions, to a lack of sanitation and medical care, to horror and death. There’s a statue in the harbor for a reason. Her purpose has not changed. Our purpose has not changed. We are the United States of America, melting pot. Land of opportunity. We accept those who come in their hour of need — and we are stronger for every strand of diversity in our beautiful tapestry.

I am ashamed of this ban, I am livid that the President would act so heinously and without the People’s consent, and I am absolutely terrified for the men, women, and children his actions affect. If your heart isn’t broken watching this video, you need to ask yourself some hard questions.

America is less great now.