I admit it….the past few days I’ve been angry, overwhelmed, disappointed, and concerned. The world is shifting towards a time that has past and the is not a positive thing. Have we learned nothing from our sordid history? The Super Bowl ads made me question all of this more. What was it about the Budweiser’s immigration ad that would have made someone want to boycott the company? What is wrong with the Airbnb commercial that was insensitive or offensive? What was the message from Coke that made your hairs prickle in anger? Why was the 84 Lumber commercial not allowed to be shown in its entirety? All of these commercials touched upon the best of humanity to me, and provided a sense of unity.
I am confused because I hear Christians touting and praising Trump for his actions with immigration, but it seems to be at odds with what Jesus would have done or would condone. The justification makes even less sense to me as people proclaim that it is the same as locking your doors at night to keep criminals out of your home? How is that the same? Is this an attempt to ease your conscience so you can sleep at night as you quiet the cognitive dissonance? It seems a more fitting anology would be that people who are proper, resemble you, and share common interests come to the door and you invite them in for tea, while others show up covered in the dust of a 3000 mile journey, tattered and bruised from the horrors they’ve faced, and are told that they must go back to the land from which they seek asylum and await… for we are afraid. You cannot justify your actions by saying that people from these countries are more likely to atrack us, because we kill more of each other here each year without any help from those on the outside. Do terrorists exist? Of course they do, but we can be vigilant in our vetting, as we have been since 9/11, and prevent as many of the attacks as we can. They will not go away, and the exclusion and exile of a group will only breed more hostility and hate.
The fervor against immigrants has risen to a deafening clamor and we must reset our thinking to remove the unfounded fears that the nationalists and extremists are touting.
The other argument I often hear is that immigrants are welcome, as long as they go through the proper channels. That is incredibly easy for us to say, as we eat our dinners, lounge in our recliners and sleep in beds without ever hearing a bomb go off in the not so distant town next to us. It is easy for us to turn away those that we don’t give a face to. It is easy to make generalizations about those we don’t try to know. People don’t leave their homes and try to escape persecution without a cause. People fear for their lives and their children’s lives, as well as for their loved one’s lives. If we turn away the ones that seek refuge more desparetly than anyone, what does that say about us?
We were fortunate enough to either be born into this country, or to be offered citizenship through another means. This doesn’t means that we are better than anyone else or that “God” loves us more. Have your mission trips taken you to the places you are most afraid, or do you go to the areas that are poor, but safe? Do you think your God would approve of you denying access to families from the most war-torn countries because you are afraid? Do you think that loving everyone only applies to some of humanity?
I also hear people claiming that the immigrants are taking “our” jobs. This is far from the truth and unemployment is lower than it has been in years. Immigrants take the jobs that few are willing to do here and they often work longer at these jobs because they are appreciative and thankful to have them…not entitled by thinking they are “their” jobs. We are all immigrants in some form or fashion and the jobs offered here were created by immigrants, so to whom do those jobs belong?
I want to try to understand your perspective, but it doesn’t make sense to me. That is why I’m asking the questions throughout because I can’t find a reasonable explanation that isn’t a canned response, or one that is rooted in superiority and judgment.
I love this country, but that is because of how far we have come and everything we have overcome. I don’t want to revert back to a time where we praised isolationism and nationalism. I don’t want to devolve into a time where discrimination, racism, and sexism was acceptable and rampant. I want to progress…to move forward…to evolve…to be kind…to remain free.