Lord knows I didn’t want to. I try not to alienate people who I might have to face in a courtroom or ask for a job someday, but here we are.
I thought you were the candidate I could vote for next year to lead North Carolina. Sure, we disagree on some things, and some are pretty important to me, but politics is the art of the possible, right? You seem to be the de facto candidate for the Democratic Party. We have no viable third party, and I’m not up for four more years of Pat. I’m admittedly lukewarm about your candidacy, which is part of the reason why I only donated $10 to your campaign in October. The other reason was I only felt like I had $10 to spare at the time.
You wrote a nice thank you note, though:
And I appreciate that.
What I don’t appreciate is the pandering to the worst bits of our human nature: the fear of the other and the unknown. In a post-9/11 world, this ploy has become de rigueur in politics. To my great disappointment, you cast your lot in with the fearful, the cowardly, and the hateful, when you decided to back a “pause” on refugee admission.
Shame on you. You know better.
Sir, kindly take a note from Francois Hollande, President of France.
“We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values,” …
“France will remain a country of freedom,” defending his decision to honor a commitment to accept migrants and refugees despite Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
“Life should resume fully,” Hollande told a gathering of the country’s mayors, who gave him a standing ovation. “What would France be without its museums, without its terraces, its concerts, its sports competitions? …
“France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives.”
In the same spirit, he added, “30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” explaining that they will undergo vigorous security checks.
Hollande noted that “some people say the tragic events of the last few days have sown doubts in their minds,” but called it a “humanitarian duty” to help those people … but one that will go hand in hand with “our duty to protect our people.”
Shoot, don’t take a note, just repeat that ish verbatim switching out North Carolina for France. Don’t be cowed by the fear-mongering rhetoric of this day.
Do better. Please.
Kate Woomer-Deters wrote an editorial piece published in yesterday’s N&O that explains why all of this is wrong. Her comments are addressed to the governor’s sorry decision, but they apply to you as well since you’ve decided to jump on the train to the land of the politics of cynicism. I’m going to reproduce Kate’s piece, here, just in case you missed it yesterday, and I’ll draw special attention to the good parts:
In announcing that he wants the federal government to stop sending Syrian refugees to North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory has chosen to cave to anti-immigrant sentiment. He also stated that his administration would be reviewing refugee security information from 33 additional “special interest” countries and made reference to Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan as potential countries on that list. He complained that North Carolina does not have enough information from the federal government on how the refugees in our state have been “vetted” and where they are residing.
Pandering to the politccs of fear. We already know one of the bombers was a Belgian national, but last I heard, we’re still letting Belgians in. And, of course, the refugees fleeing Syria are the people Daesh is trying to hurt. Details, details.
Further, McCrory’s focus on Syria and 33 additional “special interest” countries is a worrisome indicator that Islamophobia is at play. While McCrory did not list the 33 additional countries, he did note that Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan were included. Millions of innocent citizens in majority-Muslim countries struggle to live, work, go to school and raise their families each day while facing unimaginable threats of violence from within their own countries and from foreign actors. Conversely, people of many religions and ethnicities, including homegrown American terrorists, are inspired by misguided and hateful political rhetoric to inflict acts of terror and violence.
Some terrorists even consider themselves Christians!
To be effective in stopping acts of terror and violence, we must be able to distinguish true threats from innocent people who happen to share a nationality or religion with others who have committed acts of terror. This is true in local policing as well as in our policing of the world.
You know what else this reminds me of? The phobia of Asian immigrants during World War II. You know, like the Japanese internment camps that we should all be ashamed of? Oh, looks like I’m not the only one.
Most ironically, McCrory’s other actions have actively prevented our state from identifying and “vetting” the immigrants in our midst. McCrory was a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit against Deferred Action for Parents of Americans law, which was upheld by the Fifth Circuit last week. McCrory, who wants to make sure the 59 Syrian refugees in our midst are “vetted,” has had a direct hand in denying that very chance to the tens of thousands of immigrants living in our state who could potentially qualify for DAPA.
Roy, you remember this lawsuit, don’t you? Did you ever talk to the governor about it?
The DAPA program, as proposed by President Obama a year ago, would have given those immigrants already living in North Carolina the chance to come forward, identify themselves, tell the federal government where they are living and have their backgrounds “vetted,” in McCrory’s words. Further, North Carolina’s new law limiting acceptable forms of identification denies immigrants who want to present a valid, government-issued consular ID to law enforcement to identify themselves the chance to do so.
I know you remember this, Roy! Or at least, I hope you do. This policy has the potential to create a lot more work for the law enforcement agencies – work that doesn’t reduce crime or solve existing cases. What’s up with that, Roy?
McCrory fears that the refugees who are lawfully present and whose backgrounds have already been checked by the federal government are not vetted enough. But for thousands of immigrants who want to step out of the shadows and voluntarily subject themselves to a background check or show a valid ID to law enforcement, he denies them that chance.
What Kate is saying, Roy, is that this is counter productive. You’re talking about vetting that’s already happening, and the stuff you are doing makes people less safe, not more safe. Also, as Kate pointed out far more gracefully than I am about to, it’s petty and wrong.
What this badly muddled situation cries out for, of course, is a comprehensive federal policy that allows immigrants who do not pose a threat to our nation to come and contribute to our culture and our economy. Congress has already established such a program for refugees, and we should follow that program and allow those refugees a chance at contributing to our country. Congress should now do so for the other hardworking immigrants in our country who pose not a threat to us, but an opportunity.
I want to point out here, Roy, that you are not running for Congress. This is a job for Congress. Stay in your lane.
Unfortunately, McCrory’s recent actions and statements are not helping to advance the causes of justice or security.
That goes double for you, Roy, because you know the law here, you know better, and you are a candidate running under the banner of the Democratic party.
Please correct your statement from today, or send me my $10 back.