The politics of prejudice: how passports rubber-stamp our indifference to refugees

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I am completely, totally in favor of admitting those refugees who otherwise would probably die in a concentration camp. Then, and now.

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It is utterly shocking that anyone, anywhere would disagree.


Well, I think “indifference” is the wrong word.
Russia made a formal decision. No Jews.

The story is about finding loopholes to get around the Official position.

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Of course, when considering the refugees who have entered/desired to enter the USA in the last, say, three years, the segment who were, in their countries of origian, under threat of transport to a concentration camp is not large.

So that could be read two ways. A plain statement about the very minimum of human decency, or a mealy-mouthed hint that some refugees’ suffering just isn’t horrible enough for your standards.

It would only be charitable to assume the former, and I was prepared to be pleasantly surprised at agreeing so much with you. After your second comment, though, it’s really hard to see it as anything but a pusillanimous jab at Syrians merely fleeing a horrible war where millions are dying. Hopefully I’m wrong, and that’s too much for you?

In any case, it seems like there are enough people determined to learn as little from the Nazis and holocaust as possible. We all say we should never allow that to happen again, but we can always define that to mean that specific form of genocide, against Jewish people, by an Austrian-born German dictator, during the 1940s. However much it takes to ensure there is no lesson that ever applies. :disappointed:


That seems like an unreasonably high standard for admitting refugees. After all, we didn’t know at the time that many of the Jews we turned away in the 1930s and early 1940s would later die in concentration camps. We just knew that they were trying to flee a dangerous and inhospitable environment.

I don’t know that the people fleeing Syria will get rounded up into camps if nobody takes them in, but I can certainly sympathize with those who want no part of a civil war that would force them to choose sides between a violent despotic regime and a resistance led by terrorist groups including ISIS.

“We’re not going to put you in a concentration camp. We’re just going to force you to watch us rape your wife and children before we blow your brains out unless you support our [CHOOSE ONE: despotic regime or terrorist resistance].”


I’ll go out on a limb and assume that no one here believes that

“My country should unconditionally accept, and provide sustenance of unlimited duration, to anyone who claims refugee status. No considerations of available resources or the claimant’s background should ever be applied.”

If none of us believe that, then it becomes a question of exactly what such considerations should be applied, and that’s a discussion and a policy making process which should take place openly. I welcome that.

My issue with the article, and the reason I replied to it as I did, is that to me it used the twentieth century’s most blatant case of persecution as a surrogate for all recent refugee claims.

And I would also note with reference to Nazi persecution that within a few years the world had put an end to Nazism except as a crackpot fantasy of a few backyard Roderick Spodes. Many of the world’s current refugees are fleeing conditions caused by incompetent and/or corrupt national leaders, and to simply expect the rest of the world to take in the refugees while allowing the incompetence and corruption to go unabated is counterproductive in the extreme.

I can agree that in a purely theoretical sense it would be silly to allow someone upset at limited ice cream flavors to be a refugee – they should be an immigrant. In practice, though, I’m not sure there is a country in the world at serious risk of going too far that way.

In the present context, the great majority of refugees are fleeing an absolutely horrible conflict, and bigots are trying to keep them out. It makes sense to consider how doors have been shut even during the worst atrocities, while the vanishingly small worry of undeserved refugees is at best a distraction from real concerns, a shameful bogeyman like welfare queens.

Here’s hoping. But while it’s nice that England, the Soviet Union, and allies got together and stopped Nazi Germany, it seems irrelevant to whether people should have been helping their victims. Sweden rescued thousands of Jews despite being neutral and having to allow permittentraffik. They’re justifiably proud, but are we really happy that was exceptional?

It does make sense to say that if a situation is producing mass numbers of refugees, others should help address it at the source as they can. If not, though, what does that have to do with the people who get away? Right now countries are making an effort supposed to improve the situation in Syria, and it’s not at all clear what will, but it’s clear how a tiny fraction of the price can help millions of Syrians. That’s not counterproductive; our indifference to them is.


Why stay there and watch the war (that they were presumably trying to get away from) happen firsthand, instead of riding it out in a tropical island paradise well out of harm’s way?

Noticed that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar aren’t accepting any, and I mean any, Syrians?

You expect far out views from Fox News, but this appeared on my Facebook page yesterday:

14 people died, which just goes to show that the very survival of the United States is at stake. This is terror on a scale unseen in weeks.

You need to make a plan; how you’re going to protect yourself, your family, and your kids.

This is not about politics. It’s about being safe. It’s about surviving.

She then goes on to outline the five points that Americans must follow if they are to survive this coming genocide:

Number one. Get a gun. Buy one legally. Learn how to shoot. And be primed to use it.
Number two. It is time to weaponize your local police. They are the first line of defense in this Islamic terrorist war against us.
Number three. We need to close the borders. From Mexico and from Canada. Pure and simple.
Number four. We must stop the refugee resettlement program immediately.
Number five. Get ready to give up some privacy.

I think a good idea would be to build a huge bunker where guys like these could hide out, which they could guard with machine guns and which would be surrounded by a two mile border fence. No Muslims allowed, just people like this who could cower in their hole and escape the oncoming Islamic terror.


So you know, it’s not only Fox news. I noticed in the commercials of a show I recorded last night that one of the regular channels (CBS or ABC, can’t remember which) used the same verbiage. As soon as the killer(s) using multiple legally-obtained weapons happen to be Muslim, all of a sudden the resulting mass murder isn’t swept under the rug, it’s “terrorism”.


It was shared by someone I’ve mentioned here before - personally, she is open hearted and not scared of anything. She’s a military veteran and is used to travelling the world alone. She’s now living in South Sudan, which basically has a risk assessment of “nope”. When it comes to anything Fox News has to say though, she’s ready to pass on the message that everyone should cower in their homes and watch for Muslims. Anyone in Europe is basically on borrowed time at this point.

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That is simultaneously sad, frustrating, bizarre and incomprehensible. How could someone who knows what real terror is be that easily swayed by Fox rhetoric?

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Yes, some governments are horrible, sadly no surprise in that. Right now it should be much easier to do the right thing ourselves than to persuade them, though. So is this another red herring, or another callously dismissive point you aren’t quite articulating in full, or what?

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