I really, really wanted to lighten things up around here today and back away from politics in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
But there’s one more piece of unfinished business.
I’ve spoken about how the most powerful way to combat terrorism is to show that it hasn’t taken away your spirit or your heart. And I know that sounds like an overly simplistic, idealized, Care-Bearish way to think about it, but I firmly believe it’s true.
New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman today said the most tangible accomplishment terrorist groups like ISIS can achieve is to inspire fear. They can’t establish the type of Islamic state that they so badly want to. Not in Paris, certainly not in the U.S., not anywhere.
They win when their actions cause us to panic. They win when they make us rush to react. And they especially win when they divide us.
And I’m afraid that seems to be what’s happening right now. At least in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s attacks.
Barack Obama has stood firm in his stance to not put American troops on the ground to fight ISIS. His administration has, however, coordinated with the French military in its airstrikes of ISIS strongholds in Syria over the last two days..
At least one presidential candidate, Governor Lindsay Graham of South Carolina — whose polling so low he wasn’t even invited to FOX’s undercard debate last week — wants to send troops, warning that the next “9/11” is on its way from Syria.
But what’s most alarming is the xenophobic, anti-Islamic sentiment that has erupted across the U.S. At least 23 governors — all but one of them Republican — are taking action to prevent Syrian refugees from entering their states.
Another presidential candidate, Bobby Jindal — whose so irrelevant I don’t even remember if he debated or not last week — issued executive action to blockade Syrians from Louisiana.
Donald Trump said he wants to inspect mosques for signs of terrorism. Ben Carson wants Congress to defund federal programs that resettle Syrian refugees in America. Jeb Bush said we should favor Christian refugees over Muslims.
It appears that people are forgetting that the United States’ history of acceptance of all people is what made it the global superpower and world leader it is today. We set the standard for diversity.
Quite simply, the America we know does not exist without the infusion of immigrants.
Does that mean we all get along? No. But the sudden discrimination of Muslims is as anti-American as can be. And it’s all because of the perverted view of a small minority of religious extremists.
It’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be upset. And it’s certainly understandable to crave justice.
But remember who the enemy is. When we start discriminately searching for people to blame, that’s when we lose all the values that make us who we are.
Do you know what takes real courage in the face of hardship? Not giving into intimidation or fear tactics, especially those spewed by political stakeholders who have their own ulterior motives.
It’s up to you to make up your own mind.