Xenophobia and religious prejudice

SUBHEAD: It should be obvious by now. The world is descending into xenophobia and religious prejudice.

By Juan Wilson on 19 November 2015 for Island Breath -

Image above: Photograph by Rav Vadgama of Ralia, 7, and Rahaf, 13, who live on the streets of Beirut. They are from Damascus, Syria, where a grenade killed their mother and brother. Along with their father they have been sleeping rough for a year. They huddle close together on their cardboard boxes. Rahaf says she is scared of “bad boys,” at which Ralia starts crying. From (http://kawaehawaii.blogspot.com/).

Got an email from Gary Hooser today. Yes he's running again for our Kauai County Council. And yes we will support him. Besides some personal notes and observations he ended his email with this.

... Like most, my work and life is focused primarily on the community in which I live.  However, events of the past few days have made us all keenly aware of the greater world around us that seems to be spinning out of control.

The discussion that has erupted around the question of accepting refugees into our State and Country has brought out the worse.

I have no answers or solutions but know that collectively we all need to take a deep breath, close our eyes, pause for a moment and think deeply about who we are and the core values that support our humanity.

Please read if you have a moment my friend Luke Evslin’s well written and deeply personal blog piece on this topic http://kawaehawaii.blogspot.com/2015/11/thoughts-on-syria.html

A woman who was seemingly distraught at the thought of bringing Syrian refugees to Hawaii posted in response a furious rant opposed to allowing refugees to enter Hawaii.  Her point was similar to many others that have been expressed recently “We don’t have the resources to take care of our own problems and have no business trying to help others until we help our own.”.

My response to her was:
“In this time of fear and angst on many levels and on many issues, both global and local - pushback against the concept of bringing more people into our home is understandable. But if a homeless child from any country or any religion or a family through no fault of their own was fleeing violence and seeking safety were to knock on my door, I would be hard pressed not to find them some small corner of my humble hale where they could lay their heads safely, at least for a little while. Luke Evslin speaks for me on this one.” ...

I commend Gary for speaking out and recommend reading Luke Evslin's blog article. We are putting a permanent link to his site on ours. Here's just the start of his observations that end with some compelling photos of Syrian children who are refugees.

Thoughts on Syria
I was robbed on Friday. They took four computers, jewelry, and possibly our two favorite ducks. I have never felt such shame and anger towards my fellow humans. This feeling is new to me. But not because some young punk broke into our house and violated our privacy. Crystal meth is creating a lost generation on Kaua'i who are driven to unconscionable acts. I can understand that.

It's our collective response to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II that makes me want to vomit. It's the venom that is coming out on Social Media that's making me lose faith in humanity. From my friends-- people I know to be smart, good people.

That, I can not understand.

In case you missed it, Governor Ige said that Hawai'i would welcome Syrian refugees with aloha. And Social Media exploded in vehemence. This xenophobic outburst caused Governor Ige to partially retract his statement yesterday by saying "I suppose in hindsight I should probably be more thoughtful about my statements."

Yes-- Governor Ige, you should have known better. While we don't talk about it, we all know that under the thin veneer of the aloha spirit, Hawai'i harbors an intense distrust towards outsiders. But no-- Governor Ige, you shouldn't have to apologize for Hawai'i's lack of humanity. This is one of those rare times where it's important to say "fuck public opinion, I'm doing what's right."

My wife was born in a Cambodian refugee camp. My grandparents and great-grant parents were refugees. Most of my grandfather's family were shot or gassed because they could not get political asylum quick enough. Jews were painted as communists, and communists were thought to be dangerous. Nearly 70% of Americans were opposed to accepting Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II. ...

It should be obvious by now. The world is descending into xenophobia and religious prejudice.   Corporations and the military-security structures are taking over the commons and our public resources.

The Republicans are falling over each other trying to prove who's the least tolerant and most afraid of anyone who isn't a white Christian man. 

R. James Woolsey Jr. is an ex Director of the CIA. He is an idiot and a warmonger. The proof? He has been an adviser to John McCain.

Woosley claims the deal to slow Iran's nuclear program is "Worse than Useless" and that Edward Snowden should be executed by hanging because of the recent fatal attacks by terrorists in Paris by revealing the nature of the National Security Administration's universal unconstitutional illegal snooping on Americans (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/260817-ex-cia-director-snowden-should-be-hanged-for-paris).

Where do we go from here? Probably more war.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Federal Court's NSA Smackdown 11/10/15


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