Even with 9/11 and Charlie Hebdo and Nigeria and Kenya and now Paris, never mind the gross disregard for human dignity and history in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan…
I can’t prescribe to the attitudes we’ve been hearing since Friday, the loud and angry voices of people saying refugees and immigrants are to blame. Nor can I prescribe to the declarations against Muslims and Islam.
I stand with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, an American football player and his comment after a fan in the crowd shouted some off-color remark during the moment of silence to honor those victims of the Paris terror attacks:
“I must admit, though, I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was who made a comment that I thought was really inappropriate during the moment of silence. It’s that kind of prejudicial ideology that I think puts us in the position that we’re in today as a world.”
Make no mistake, I believe we (the Western world and all who support peace and moderation) are at war with extremists that threaten our way of life, our liberty, our very existence. All extremists are purveyors of hate and should shouted down, hunted down, silenced, destroyed.
That said, we in these United States [in particular] must not submit to fear and xenophobia. We have a special responsibility, not to save the world — far from that — but to uphold the ideal that our nation has stood for these 239 years and counting, and eloquently written in the poetic verse inscribed, as below:
From the “New Colossus” on The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France given to the United States in 1883.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
That’s the America I want to live in. That’s the America I believe in.