Shout out to RI representative Aaron Regunberg for standing up to the ignorance of fear in our home state. In the debate about refugees he said this:
I am alive today because – after great desperation and hardship – my grandpa was able to flee Nazi Germany and find safety as a refugee in the Philippines. Most of his friends and family members were not so lucky.
One of the questions most young American Jews ask when they first learn about the Holocaust is, “Why didn’t our country save more European Jews by accepting them as refugees during this terrible period?” The answer – bigotry and fear – always stuck in my mind as a mark of shame for our country, an example of the United States falling short of our ideals.
Looks like we’re at another decision-point. Let’s resist our basest instincts, and choose the path that stays true to our ideals and to the inscription – first chiseled by our French brothers and sisters – that has long stood as a beacon to the world:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door”
I would add that considering that the attacks in France were carried out by European nationals, we can safely put this topic to bed.