My Dad was a holocaust survivor who lost his entire family in World War II. My mom, though a Catholic and not imprisoned in concentration camps, was almost killed twice herself during the war. When my parents met and married years after the liberation and came to America by ship, it was not with the promise of gold-paved streets, because indeed they never became wealthy here. They came with the promise of freedom from persecution. They learned the language, assimilated and took great pride in all things American. While no country is perfect and there is blood on every flag, we still stand as a beacon to so many others who do not enjoy freedom of speech, of religion and the possibilities extended in a land of opportunity.
My parents treasured living in a country where the rule of law means something. Though they never got over their understandable fear of authority, they took quiet comfort in a life safe from mortal danger. Though my father would have, and my mother still is, mortified by my outspoken nature, the very existence, without repercussion, both of this website and my published book calling out mainstream media culprits who pick our presidents is but one small example of the freedoms we enjoy which must be protected at all costs.
Born and raised in New York City, our diversity is one of the things I have always treasured most about my country. I have also treasured what I thought was our tolerance. But like millions of Americans, I have watched in horror as our erratic new “President” signs one executive order after another, one more grotesque than the last, but perhaps none so heinous as his #muslimban halting entry from seven middle eastern countries. All this can accomplish is to spread hate and reinforce some of the worst prejudices about America to those who would use such tools to recruit terrorists.
Another interesting and troubling fact:
I hope we’re all paying attention. https://t.co/vcpcdquogB
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 27, 2017
The 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt & UAE–not the 7 nations in the immigration ban. These all do have Trump properties though.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 28, 2017
Mr. Takei’s provocative tweets point out once again that the alleged motives for these bans, while ill-conceived, are not what they seem.
So before we buy into hysteria and punish refugees, we would do well to remember that they are fleeing terrorism and are not terrorists themselves. Unless one is a Native American, we are all immigrants.
From WaPo’s Michele Ye Hee Lee, some fact checking, What You Need To Know About Terror Threat From Foreigners And Trump’s Executive Order,
Security precautions are always well advised. Persecution and cruelty are not. The example we set, the rules we live by define us. Trump’s authoritarian rule threatens to undermine the very fabric of who we are. Fear and hate mongering do not keep us safe but merely play into the hands of the very people who would do us harm.
I am proud that millions of us are standing up for our values.
I pray that Congress finds the spine to do the same.