Syrian Refugees, Security Debates, Fear Mongering and General Stupidity

Note: I know this post is a little out of character for me. I don’t rant or use foul language often and I generally try to avoid political topics. So no worries; I won’t be insulted if you decide to bounce right now and go read someone else. I promise to be back to posting pretty pictures tomorrow.

The ridiculous amount of verbal diarrhea I’ve heard and read in the last week or so about the Syrian refugee crisis, in both the mainstream media and on social media has left me pissed. I’m livid and I need to let it out.

Have we really all forgotten here in Canada and the U.S. that we are an entire continent of immigrants?

Remember, unless you have native aboriginal blood coursing through your veins, you (or your ancestors) came from somewhere else.

Over the past few centuries North America has become home to those fleeing religious persecution, political strife, war, famine, and poverty. And we’re rightfully proud of the fact that our countries have been founded on the concept of allowing people to come here in the hopes of a fresh start, to build a new and better life for themselves and their children.

Yet with each successive generation of immigrants and refugees, there has always been a small but vocal minority of ignorant loud-mouth asses there to object.

“Yeah but they smell funny, look funny, talk funny.”

“They’re dirty, they’re poor, they can’t be trusted.”

“They don’t dress like us.”

“They don’t speak our language, they don’t eat the foods that we do.”

And now it would seem, “They don’t pray like us.”

Ignorance, bigotry, racism, fear of the unknown, call it what you will but it’s not okay.

“Yeah, but how can we be sure that terrorists won’t try to sneak in as refugees?”

Well first of all genius, if you took five minutes to inform yourself about the refugee screening processes already in place and you have at least a few functioning brain cells, you’d realize there are a lot easier and much faster ways for those intent on causing trouble to enter Canada or the U.S.

Use your brain. Who in their right mind would willingly live in a tent, in unsanitary conditions, in the middle of nowhere, in some godforsaken refugee camp for months on end, in the hopes of being sent to Canada or the U.S. so they can blow shit up?

Remember 9/11? Then you should already know that not one of the cowards who carried out those attacks entered the U.S. as a refugee. They flew in directly from overseas on student and tourist visas. Every single one of them.

“Yeah but why should we help these people when we can’t even take care of those who need help here?”

Very good point there sparky! But does it really have to be either/or? Why can’t we do both? Or can we at least try?

And while we’re on the subject, let me ask YOU since you’re suddenly so concerned about the people who need help here; When was the last time you donated money or gave up part of your day to pitch in at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter?

If your answer is: you haven’t, it’s someone elses job, or that there are groups and government agencies to take care of that, then you’re a bloody hypocrite; so do the world a favor and shut the fuck up!

Frankly I have been astounded by the ignorance and ill-will displayed by so many in recent days on social media. I mean we’ve come to expect it from self-serving politicians pandering to the lowest common denominator , but now I’m watching friends, family members, and other acquaintances who I would normally consider to be fair, reasonable, intelligent people get hysterical about keeping out refugees.

In a way I guess it is kind of fascinating to see how easily we can let anger, fear and emotions in general, trump logic, common sense, and compassion.

It is fascinating, but it’s also heartbreaking.

Or is it just sadly ironic?

I mean really, if you stand there on your moral high ground proudly declaring that we should happily welcome the desperate and destitute, but only if they pray from the same book as you, then maybe it’s time you go back and re-read that book.

Just look at ourselves and what we are becoming! Blathering on social media about how we should keep people out, while the bodies of innocent FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS wash up on beaches.

Ranting about it on Facebook and Twitter serves no purpose other than displaying your own ignorance to the world. So to all those who’ve been doing it; please, just stop already!

Deep breath…let it out slowly. Take a few more if you have to.

Yes, it’s real easy to get caught up in all the negativity. We’re bombarded with it every day from a gazillion different media outlets, each one increasingly more desperate to attract our attention. And they know that tragedy, fear, and general hysteria will keep people watching and reading…all so they can sell more advertising….

And we all sit on our fat lazy asses and consume it.

So why not try this instead? Step away from the computer, turn off the TV, put down that smartphone and go for a walk.

Not only will it help you to calm down but it’ll clear your head so you can think straight.

Then look inside your heart and find that spark of compassion; the one that lives in all of us.

Yes, even when we’re scared, angry and frustrated, or understandably outraged by the brutal and cowardly actions of others, the one thing that makes us all human is our ability to feel for and then lift up others.

Whatever our religious beliefs or non-beliefs are, we all have that spark inside of us – the desire to do good.

Look, we all like to think of ourselves individually as good people, don’t we?

Then isn’t it obvious that there’s only one question we should be asking right now?

What can I do to help?

 

Postscript: Yes I am fully aware of the irony that this is a rant on social media about people ranting on social media 🙂

In case you are wondering, I have deliberately turned off comments for this post. If you agreed with what I had to say, terrific but no offense, I didn’t write it for anyone’s approval.

If you don’t agree, I don’t care and I’m not interested in debating it with you. Instead of wasting your time arguing with people over the internet, put your money where your mouth is and go help out at a local food bank. Christmas is only five weeks away, I’m sure they’d appreciate a hand.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel a need to go for another walk.

 

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About Norm 2.0

World’s youngest grumpy old man & heart failure wonder boy. Interests: writing, woodworking, photography, travel, tennis, wine, and I know a bit about power tools.
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