My mother was born in a refugee camp in Austria. My father was an ethnic-German refugee from Romania. They came to America in the 1950s, met each other in Chicago, got married, and raised an American family. I never experienced the hardships of being a refugee, but I've heard the stories my entire life. It's hard to imagine not having empathy for people in that situation, but maybe I'm just too close to it.
I should say that I never post political things on facebook (unlike this blog), precisely because I don't want my friends getting into a nasty fight--and I have friends on all sides of the spectrum. But I honestly thought this was an innocuous comment. I just wanted to express my concern for the refugees. What could be controversial about that? Holy crap did that unleash a shitstorm. Most comments were supportive (or defended me from the ones who were not), but there were a few that got pretty upset with me. Here are a few of the over 100 responses...
*My parents and grandparents and great grandparents and uncle came here from Ukraine in 1952. All legal, followed all laws, paid taxes and worked their asses off and appreciated the opportunity to be here. Important to note Ukraine was not a hot bed for terrorists and never sent terrorists to kill Americans. If people don't know the difference between our ancestors and our situation today they should stay off FB until they learn some history not to mention facts. Saturday over 3000 entered the US and 109 were "temporarily" detained. Proud of my family for teaching me to respect this country even when I might disagree with an issue. And while the whiners were out in full force this weekend the US came to agreements with other nations to establish Safe Cities. Which Obama should have done. THAT is not only having empathy but actually better than splitting families apart shipping them all over the world. Empathy and wisdom can work well when given a chance.
*Muslim Sharia Law worries me. It's legal to kill gays and treat women like cattle. Why would we import people with that intolerant mindset??
*Mine we're from germany and afew other countries they worked ,, paid their taxes, raised their children to be polite and respectful to everyone. and appreciate the fact that they could live in a land of opportunity and a better life for their children.... the differance is that they respected america and learned our language and didn't try to make america conform to how they lived in countries where they came from and these people are offended by everything about us.. ... that's not america..i have a great grandma that came from poland with stories of hell there that they ran from too. it's in everyones family.. we sure don't want our children reliving that hell..
*Rick, its the kind that want to blow us up that we're trying to keep out.
*This ban has nothing to do with empathy. Not sure why you're throwing empathy into the mix.
Some pretty sweeping generalizations about these refugees who aren't even here yet, but I'm guessing no amount of reason (and some of my other friends tried--some more respectfully than others) will change the mind of anyone who commented.
One of the comrmenters was a friend of 30 years who felt I didn't support him enough when my other friends went after him. He implied that our friendship was now over.
I'm guessing the word empathy no longer means what it once did.
What in the world is happening to this country?
LATE UPDATE: Cardinal Blase Cupich said the following...
“This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history. The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values. Have we not repeated the disastrous decisions of those in the past who turned away other people fleeing violence, leaving certain ethnicities and religions marginalized and excluded? We Catholics know that history well, for, like others, we have been on the other side of such decisions.”