The current situation with the Syrian refugees is highlighting some concerning problems within the United States government. Instead of trying to help people who are fleeing a dangerous war zone, many politicians are encouraging the public to fear anyone who looks different and follows a different religion. Conservatives are encouraging xenophobia and Islamophobia because they do not want to help Syrian refugees.
Instead of catering to these hateful people, the mayor of Dallas is defending the Syrian refugees. Mayor Mike Rawlings criticizes people who claim that all Syrians are just terrorists trying to sneak into the country. Instead of giving in to ridiculous suggestions about ensuring that all Middle Eastern Muslims are not terrorists, Mayor Rawlings has pointed out a much bigger issue. He stated:
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue.”
Rawlings points out a huge issue that is being ignored. An average of one mass shooting happens each day in America. Movie theaters, churches, colleges, and even kindergarten classrooms have been massacred by white American men. Each time this happens, Republicans do not encourage indiscriminate hatred of one group based on a terrorist attack. Instead, they just dismiss the mass shootings as random acts of mentally ill men and criticize the people who overreact by wanting to create harsher gun control laws. This common Republican reaction to the current problems in the United States contrasts wildly with their reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
After the notable attack by the Muslim extremist group, Republicans suddenly start to encourage harsh laws that would harm peaceful Muslims who just want to escape the conflict. The fact that the Republicans do not blame all white men for the actions of a few while they blame all Muslims for the actions of ISIS just shows that many politicians are behaving in a blatantly racist manner. Rawlings encourages Texans to not give in to fear and hatred of Muslims. He says that “ISIS wants us to be divided on this issue. ISIS wants us to demonize these refugees, wants us to alienate these children.” If people began to harshly persecute Muslims, they are only supporting the ISIS claims that all Muslims will have to fight to be able to practice their religion.
Situations such as right wing extremists harassing Muslims who are trying to worship just feed into the ISIS propaganda. Hopefully, other politicians can follow Mayor Rawlings lead and encourage citizens to be tolerant and compassionate. It is necessary for all Americans to unite and help others who want to flee ISIS, instead of needlessly persecuting anyone from the Middle East.