My friends, I am broken anew tonight, awash in grief. There are so many cities swimming in grief from the dead and wounded. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away the lines are being sharply drawn on whether the support is fake or real, heartfelt or hypocritical. Add to that swift pronouncements from governors in 31 states in the US saying they won't "accept" Syrian refugees. I found this CNN article helpful:
To summarize, refugee admittance to the country rests not with the individual states but with the federal government. By refusing to cooperate though, they can make it much more difficult. 1,500 Syrian refugees have come here since 2011. 250,000 have died since the war broke out and more than 22 million people have fled their homes.
The same social media that quickly told us to #PrayforParis is now giddily swimming with commentators reveling in keeping Syrian refugees out. This country was built on people escaping persecution, war, famine and death. I have no doubt my father's ancestors came here to escape the potato famine, and I'm equally sure they weren't all completely law abiding citizens. My maternal grandfather was Scotch-Canadian, fell in love with my grandmother, an American, and renounced his citizenship to stay with her and fight for the US Army during WWII. We are a nation of immigrants, remember ... "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me"
My grief comes not from this hypocrisy but from this article:
Most war photography is gripping, but these children, these poor babies are not only an unfortunate fact of war but an undeniable example of the depravity of humanity. If you can look at these faces and still tell me that we can't find some way to help, to save them, then I fear that there may be no hope for us. Look in Tamam's eyes, as she lies there with her too aged 5 year old eyes, fearing that as her head touches the pillow the bombs will now come. Look at the Pietà that is Sham and his mother. The tiny bruised toes of Gulistan.
Do we turn our backs on these people, on these children? If you cluck your tongue at me or chide me at my sentimentality, tell me that we can't be too careful ... then we have lost our humanity. Do not tell me that you are a religious person, a spiritual person, if you feel this way. No God I know, or have read about, would agree with you. There is more and more darkness coming, and we must be on the side of light, of hope, before a generation is lost.