~black and white wednesday~ the least of these

for today’s post i’m sharing photos by sebastiao salgado.

it was a couple of hours of my time well spent, wandering through the berkeley art museum back in 2002, absorbing salgado’s amazing collection migrations: humanity in transition. i was adrift myself, recently relocated far from home in a post 9/11 political climate, when i took in these visually stunning photos of displaced people from all over the world. something about them really touched my core; my account of the exhibit and the feelings it evoked, complete with the exhibit pamphlet and newspaper clippings of salgado’s photos, fills several pages of my journal from that time. that journal is full of many other long entries as i was sorting out a lot of my own values and beliefs – as you do when you’re 23 and know absolutely no one. i had landed a technician job in a marine mammal genetics lab, relocated 3000 miles away in my 1988 corsica, which promptly blew a head gasket, and i spent the next 5 years making my way around the bay area on borrowed and second-hand bikes. at the time i saw this exhibit, i was still pretty fresh off a schooner, both broke and nursing a broken heart, and eating rice and beans and whatever fresh vegetables i could fit in my backpack on the 6 mile uphill trek home to the oakland hills.

there are adults who have lived their whole lives in camps where only the oldest remember where they were displaced from. there are children who have been separated from their families in the chaos of flight from violence, warfare. whole orphanages full of them.” the journal entry was seriously grappling with the privilege i felt guilty to be enjoying, compared to the poverty and fear experienced by so many.

i don’t feel such overwhelming guilt now, but i do feel a sense of responsibility for maintaining an awareness of the plight of people much less fortunate than myself. as elie wiesel put it so well, “as long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. as long as one child is hungry, our life will be filled with anguish and shame. what all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs.”

elie wiesel is also quoted as saying, “no human being is illegal.” which, when you think about it, is a no-brainer. i like how he thinks, which i guess is why i’ve kept insisting on quoting him recently. he seems to have understood that someone else having rights, not only doesn’t detract from one’s own rights; on the contrary, it enhances everyone’s freedom.

a country based on freedom should have policy that reflects it. i remain unconvinced of the supposed threat we face from refugees, and remain convinced that it is our responsibility to treat “the least of these” with compassion. in the aftermath of muslim ban 1.0, before the judicial system rightfully put a stop to it, many legal permanent residents were cast into uncertainty about their lives, careers, and futures in their legal country of residence, scrambling until judges upheld their right to not be illegally deported, their right to have their families reunited. a breastfeeding (american citizen) baby was separated from her (legal permanent resident) mother at an airport, for hours, unable to receive comfort or nutrition from her mother because of this chaos. an eleven month old infant: truly, the least of these.

muslim ban 2.0 cannot be allowed to stand either. my safety, my security, my freedom is not enhanced by separating nursing infants from their mothers; it is degraded. my security is not enhanced by refusing to accept someone who is without a homeland.

i understand that those who want to join our country need to be vetted. but this is already happening. what part of the already extensive vetting process needs improvement? what’s the plan to improve it? in the meantime, how can you evaluate the vetting process accurately without seeing it in action? if it was truly so flawed it needed to be halted, what were the problems that were identified? who slipped through the cracks, what harm did they cause, how did they get through vetting undetected? what is the actual threat prevented by a ban? (hint: there isn’t one.)

this author, who claims, “i’m pro life, but i hope to become more so,” put this lack of threat in perspective. “since 1980, three million refugees have been resettled in the united states. in that time not one has taken the life of an american in an act of terrorism. the conservative cato institute estimates that the likelihood of an individual american being killed in an act of terrorism committed by a refugee is one in 3.64 billion a year. somehow it does not feel truly and fully pro-life to be unwilling to give up one-3.64 billionth of my security to make room for someone bombed out of their city, someone who is homeless, cold and unwelcomed.”

this article outlines all “major terrorist attacks” since 9/11 on american soil… “of this list, zero fatal attacks were carried out by immigrants from the seven muslim-majority countries targeted by the ban. two attacks were carried out by individuals with ties to the seven countries: the 2006 unc suv attack, and the 2016 ohio state university attack. neither of those plots resulted in american deaths.”

terrorist attacks carried out by american citizens from  montana, tennessee, arkansas, texas, wisconsin, new jersey, kansas, nevada, south carolina, and colorado did, though.

which is why i think it’s important that we keep the “countering violent extremism” program focused broadly on all forms of violent extremism, including the domestic white supremacist brand.

another article succinctly laid out the facts concerning the “phantom menace” a muslim ban would claim to combat:

nationals of the seven countries singled out… have killed zero people in terrorist attacks on u.s. soil between 1975 and 2015.


six iranians, six sudanese, two somalis, two iraqis, and one yemeni have been convicted of attempting or executing terrorist attacks on u.s. soil during that time period…

over the last four decades, 20 out of 3.25 million refugees welcomed to the united states have been convicted of attempting or committing terrorism on u.s. soil, and only three americans have been killed in attacks committed by refugees—all by cuban refugees in the 1970s.

between 1975 and 2015, the ‘annual chance of being murdered by somebody other than a foreign-born terrorist was 252.9 times greater than the chance of dying in a terrorist attack committed by a foreign-born terrorist…’

i mean, call me crazy, but i’ll take my chances and open my arms to refugees.

in the words of jack white, “love is the truth – it’s the right thing to do.”


32 comments to ~black and white wednesday~ the least of these

  • Holly.

    To be honest, you have convinced me with this post. I wasn’t hard to convince because of my Catholic faith, but the facts are hard to deny. I do think people are overreacting a bit calling it a Muslim ban, but I don’t want to ban refugees of any religion, creed or skin color.

    What about the real fear people have and what about what’s happening in Europe? Have you read about what’she been happening in Germany? What can we do to help these refugees get back home because that’s where they want to be anyway?

    Lastly, there’s a lot of talk about Muslims, but what about the Christians around the world? They are currently the most persecuted group around the world in modern history. Why are they being left behind? (I don’t have the source to back this up, but I’m 98% sure it’s true.)

      • Holly.

        May not beven most persecuted in modern history…it was late when I wrote that last night.

        • have i left christians behind? who is leaving christians behind? i didn’t mention them in this post, but in saying i don’t think we should ban refugees, i am including anyone of any religion who is being persecuted and is fleeing violence, not restricted to any particular religion. are those who are in favor of a ban able to say the same? i am in agreement with you, no discrimination against refugees of any creed, race, etc. the prez was explicit about instituting a muslim ban during his campaign, so that’s why i’m calling a spade a spade, as that was always his intent, in fact it was a campaign promise.

          i’m reading through the link from fox and following links within it but not seeing how these numbers are being compared to numbers for any other religion. i’m in agreement that christians are being persecuted and that these numbers are much too high, no one should be killed or threatened or harmed for their beliefs. but, in addition to my lack of understanding how we win anything in a competition of who is being “the most persecuted,” i cannot seem to find evidence that it is even true. (it also says “for second year” but doesn’t even report last year’s numbers, that i can find.) lots of people are persecuted, for every religion they might belong to, and none of it is acceptable. so far all i can see from that fox link is the christian numbers, but no comparison to numbers for other religions, so how they can say it is more than for other religions i am not sure. you will never hear me say christians should be persecuted, or that their persecution should be overlooked. but you will also not hear me hold christian persecution up as more important than other forms of religious persecution.

          as far as helping refugees go home; in the cases where that is their desire (and i doubt such a blanket statement can be accurate about all of them; in many cases home is no longer there), i am not sure how much we can control that, or should control what is going on in their countries. what we do have control over is on our own turf, whether we shut them out right now, in the moment they are fleeing violence and upheaval.

          you and camp boss both mention germany, so i’m going to tackle that in my response to her so stay tuned.

          • Holly.

            I read my response. It was late. I gut reacted so I didn’t make it clear that I meant discussion of Christian persecution is going way under the radar (not your fault, its not being reported) while Muslim persecution is not. The fact is Christians are the most persecuted religious group. You don’t trust my source, understandably, it’s Fox. This is not the source I heard it from originally. I trust the facts from the other source, but that was Relevant Radio, so I’d have to go back in the archives to find it. I stand by the claim and maybe I can link a better, more trustworthy source. This problem of sources is underlying much of the political conversation /dialogue problem. Somehow we all have to dig deeper. Again, I was not accusing you of not supporting Christian refugees, I was asking questions. Same with the question about refugees who would really prefer to go home. How can we help stabilize a region so they can? And I personally am concerned about the way Europe is going with their migrant/refugee population. So that’s why I asked that too. Hope that clarifies a bit.

          • Holly.

            Here is a link from Huffpo, I didn’t follow the links, but the source is good, right? Plus, I find the author’s viewpoint very much like my own, it is just better stated. 🙂


          • i think huffpo is pretty straightforward about their liberal bias, if that’s what you mean, but i feel they do actually usually present factual information without as much inflated hysteria-generating hype as sources like occupy democrats. od has a lot of facts too, but you have to wade through tons of opinion and hype to find them. there’s plenty of conservative bias in the media as well, and bias is all well and good if we can acknowledge it and get past it to the facts. i don’t inherently trust huffpo or fox or nytimes or any media source, without being able to understand where they got their information. and then when i have information i do feel i can trust, i try to form my own opinion. if a media source has shown again and again they present non-factual information, then i inherently distrust them.

            i appreciated that article as well, but again, i don’t see any comparison to statistics of persecution for other religions, so the claims of “most” and “more” fall flat. at least for me. i followed their link to the report and once again, all it states are christian statistics, with the claim “more than” without a quantity they are supposedly comparing to. hard for a nerd brain to grasp why they’d present data in such a way. it’s a valid point that “these stats are high, too high, unacceptably high” without saying they are “most” or “more”. if they can’t prove most or more, why say them?

            still working on the camp boss/germany response. hang in there you two.

          • as for germany.

            neo-nazi mobs and destruction of refugee shelters are the forms of violence that have arisen as a result of a major increase in refugees flooding into germany. i can see reports and evidence of this.


            “Arson attacks on refugee shelters continue on an almost daily basis. Reports of refugees being greeted at the doors of their new homes by neo-Nazis humming Third Reich songs or being pelted with banana skins are not uncommon. There are mounting concerns that elements of the far-right have found new oxygen in the crisis by tapping into ordinary people’s fears that Europe’s largest economy may be unable to cope with the decision to allow so many to take refuge within its borders.”


            this one makes a very good point:

            “there’s a difference, she pointed out, between the refugees the United States resettles and the asylum-seekers arriving in Germany. In the former case, individuals are carefully vetted outside the destination country and only then resettled in that country. In the latter, people are flowing over the border—effectively presenting themselves on the ground—and then asking for state protection.”

            those articles are both from 2015, when there was a lot of press about syrian refugees pouring into europe. so was my article about the refugees the pope personally welcomed, a few posts back.

            so when you guys find references to all those attacks by refugees in europe let me know. 😉 good night!!!!

          • Holly.


            It bothered me that I might not be telling the truth about Christian persecution vs other religions so I did find this pew study from 2013, so maybe I didn’t pull it out of thin air.It does put Christians at the top, but really, when it comes to refugees it doesn’t matter who is being persecuted. No one should be.

          • thank you for finding this for me! i checked it out, and it does present numbers to compare to… very helpful in forming conclusions. 102 countries had harassment of christians, while 99 had harassment of muslims, in 2013. that seems closer to a dead heat to me, but as we mentioned it’s not really a contest. i found it worthwhile to read how they break down whether they were measuring government restrictions or social hostilities. when broken down that way for 2013, government harassment in countries of muslims (73) and of christians (85) while social hostilities in countries of muslims (84) and christians (71). so, harassment based on religion is a big problem for both of these major world religions is what i’m taking home, but that harassment can come in different formats.

            and holly, i hope it did not sound like i felt you were ever untruthful, or even that you pulled it out of somewhere. i fully trusted that you had read it or you wouldn’t be saying it, and that was why i asked if you could share a reference. i was getting testy about this topic being raised because i wasn’t feeling the relevance to the refugee matter, which was the topic i was hoping for dialogue about, but discussing religious persecution on this level of dialogue on its own merits i can dig into a bit more.

            and of course, we both are saying no on should be persecuted for religious beliefs. really that’s the bottom line on that topic.

  • camp boss

    Seeing what is happening in Europe with the influx of refugees and the pretty direct correlation of violent attacks by those refugees against the people of their host countries, is a red flag for me. There have been some shocking and scary things happening in GB by Muslim immigrants who have been there for a few years. Those instances are happening here in America to. I found several articles and news posts speaking about increased harassment or physical/sexual attacks against American women by muslim immigrants. Others might not want to call it terrorism but I am pretty sure the women harassed and attacked felt terrorized. And these happened in the last year or two.

    The FBI and Homeland Security have both acknowledged gaps/lapses and flaws in the vetting process. They have also stated how challenging and near impossible in some cases it is to accurately check facts and records since many of the people seeking refuge have no legitimate identification and have been displaced for a significant period of time.

    I would say that the claim that there have been no terrorist attacks since 9/11 is bull crap. From the article linked by People magazine 90% of the attacks were by people who immigrated or were children of immigrants, and they did it for religious (Muslim) reasons. Only 2 where done by white supremacist.

    Do you think if the ban blocked primarily Christian refugees it would be getting the same media coverage and public outcry????

  • camp boss

    I guess I haven’t found the balance of complicit silence and over verbosity either. But I too am striving for balance.

  • camp boss

    I actually NEVER mentioned Germany! I said Europe and Great Britain or GB. just saying.

  • i find it hard to reply to you. and sometimes i just don’t, it turns out. i came close to that on this one, too, but i already said i would. i have a lot of “deleted scenes” accumulating in a document that i cannot seem to get to a place where i feel good about posting them. i think you remind me of a former self, and it’s making it challenging.

    can you back up the “direct correlation of increased violent attacks by refugees” for me, with a source? i cannot find any, except for one breitbart article which is completely substanceless as far as supporting its claims (and that would fall into the category of sources i inherently distrust). what i can find a whole bunch of, is evidence, reports, facts, details, about the increase in violent attacks against refugees in europe, for example, in germany by neo-nazis. you said you found several articles of women attacked by refugees, can you provide me links? because i am not finding them. i agree, that experiencing violence would make anyone feel terrorized. feeling terrorized and describing an act as a terrorist attack do differ. i experienced violence at the hands of someone who was not a terrorist, yet it felt terrorizing, for example. everywhere there are people, there will be some violence, we all know this, you’ve shouted at me in my comments about it before. i just think you’ve bought into hype and fear that isn’t justified, if you think that because violence exists among refugees, they should not be allowed to migrate, or that because violence exists, it is therefore because of being refugees that is making them violent, or any other assumption about it (islam), without some evidence to back that up. you put a bunch of people in one place, someone will eventually be violent, that doesn’t mean it is because that group of people happen to be of a certain religion or race, it is because they are people. so if we’re going to say things in a quantifiable manner about said violence and said characteristics of people, i’m going to insist on accuracy.

    speaking as a person who collects data for a living, if you’re going to claim an item has increased, you have to show that it was lower before (with a number) and higher now (with a number). and then say how those numbers were collected. and if you’re going to say an increase in one thing correlates with an increase in another thing, you need to quantify them both, at two time points, and show that these numbers do get bigger in sync. then if you want to show causality, that the increase in the one thing caused the increase in the other (and wasn’t co-varying with some other variable you didn’t measure, say, poverty, or just coincidence) you have even more homework. one number, taken out of all other context, can never show an increase!

    yep all violence is bad. that much we agree on. what we’re not in agreement on is the causes and amounts and solutions it seems.

    what gaps/lapses have the fbi and hsa acknowledged? references? if the gaps are known, let’s fill them in pronto, no need to shut it all down and stop progress to fix known bugs. yes, it’s true that vetting is very difficult, but that is why fewer than 1% of those who seek asylum are granted it. they have to be able to prove who they are and that they are displaced and why, so what you’re saying is true, yes it’s challenging, and those are legitimate reasons why… so… are you suggesting we shouldn’t try to help anyone because it’s hard? i find it hard to follow this line of thinking.

    neither i nor any of my sources that i cited, claim that “there have been no terrorist attacks since 9/11” so… not sure why you said that, other than maybe you misunderstood me, or unless you are suggesting that there have been fatal attacks on americans in the u.s. by nationals from the 7 countries in question that are not reported here (that was the non-bull-crap item i and the source i cited claim to be zero, for a specific period of time, actually it’s since 1975 not 2001; the time article does also say this about the time period since 2001, but the guardian article, with the good data collection, went back farther). we could talk about all the americans killed by terrorists from saudi arabia, or we could talk about egypt, for example, since you guys want to talk about christian persecution (quite the red herring you two have there. you can’t distract me with your diversionary tactics), but they have economic ties with our commander in chief so they’re not on the list of people we’re banning. the people magazine article lends no support to the idea that banning muslims or refugees or any immigrants of any kind would help reduce violent extremism. having immigrated or being descended from immigrants is true of every single one of us americans, and most of us aren’t terrorists. (happy st. patty’s by the way.) i think you are reaching when you say someone who attacks because they were inspired by isis are doing so for muslim reasons. it’s just as insulting to say white supremacists are attacking people for christian reasons. a person committing violence may say they represent a religion, but does the rest of the religion agree with them on that? no, in the case of both christianity and islam.

    the reason i mentioned white supremacists had to do with the downplaying of focus on white supremacy groups in the countering violent extremism program that is the goal of the president. see the link in that paragraph if that helps make more sense.

    but, since you brought it up, i count 3 white supremacists in the people article, but several other anti-government or christian-motivated white extremist gunmen. not all those who claim islam as their religion in that list had been immigrants or even children of immigrants, some were american converts to islam, and if they were muslim that wasn’t necessarily why they committed terrorist attacks. in some cases the shooters did claim they did so for religious reasons (see above how that does not reflect on their whole religion). some of those who did, were christian and i know some very nice christans. 😉 let’s just be accurate.

    and never you mind about germany, since that’s apparently not your thing. i’ll get back to holly on that one instead. (actually see that comment, it pertains because, europe.)
    xoxoxo sis.

  • Holly.

    This is what I’m talking about in Germany (link at end).

    I could not agree with you more about sources and facts. It’s very hard to determine what to trust and not to trust without spending a lot of time diving into the details of the story. Time I don’t have. I admire your desire and expedition of fact finding. In no way do I want to perpetuate un-truths or half truths. Thank you for your acute attention to detail, MB.

    I think we can safely say that the majority of migrants and refugees are not violent or people to be feared, but what about those who are? Don’t governments have an obligation to keep theit citizens safe? Maybe, just maybe, we could take Trump’s travel ban for what he says it is: a temporary stop to better assess the situation in those volatile countries. He may (emphasis on “may”)want to “ban all the Muslims,” but he hasn’t done it yet and I for one would take to the streets in protest if he did.


    I know you said so much more than this, but as usual, time is my enemy. I hope there is no love lost in this exchange. It’s not personal, right? I see us as three gals trying to get to the bottom of things in the dysfunctional wold of truth, half truths and lies. None of of are anti-immigrant.

    Oh, and thank you for bringing up the Irish immigrants on St. Pat’s day. 🙂

    • Holly.

      Oops. I just saw that you had a report on the sexual abuse in Germany and whether or not it’s a migrant problem…so, ok. Maybe it’s not a migrant problem? Could similar standards be applied then to the neo-Nazi problem? Maybe there is a similar hype thing going on?

      • love you, holly. i appreciate the time you took, i know it is non-trivial. i do agree, our government has a responsibility to keep us safe. i don’t know how they will improve upon a zero record… so i do feel it’s important to hold them accountable to doing the enhanced safety efforts in a methodical and rational way. so far they don’t appear to be that to me, so i personally am unable to extend the benefit of the doubt to the administration.

        i see what you meant with applying similar standards to the neo-nazi problem… i will look into it more to make sure it’s actually an increase if i say it’s an increase, or just say it’s a concern if it’s a concern… i appreciate you bringing that to my awareness, i think we are both on a similar quest to be as accurate as we can with our words.

  • Lau

    So well written. So much truth.
    I appreciate the research and the numbers proving a point…in black and white…

    I am also going to take a moment to widely grin at the jack white quite…it’s the right thing to do.

  • Camp boss

    WOW!!!! I am sure you didn’t mean to personally attack my intelligence, Or my ability to read or interpret data!!!! Or imply I am racist, stupid, or “caught in hype or hysteria bigotry” or that I can’t think for myself. I am sure you didn’t mean any of that!

  • sebastiao’s work is incredible. i want those photographs up in my house. i want to be reminded of these struggles every day. i can’t imagine what it’s like to be a refugee. my heart breaks for them. that quote “no human being is illegal”… wow… good stuff. also, i enjoyed reading your own history. i love these posts.
    jenny recently posted..reading and resting

    • thank you, jenny. yes, i have been thinking i would like to get a copy of his book “exodus” so i can leaf through it whenever i want… he has some other really great projects… seems like he pours his whole life force into his photos, and it’s pretty incredible work.

  • Camp boss

    Not sure if me reminding you of a former self is an insult or a compliment.???… It seems kinda more like an insult, but I am not saying it is. the above comment show why I think that.

    • that you remind me of me, was my attempt at connecting with what was hard about replying, and finding a way to connect with you about this in general. i was not saying another version of me was better or worse and trying not to judge in any way, just saying that there are things about you that remind me of me, and that maybe it was making it hard for me to find the right approach to replying (maybe i need to investigate what blind spots i might have that make it hard for me to hear you? i don’t know, i haven’t fully articulated why dealing with a past me would make it more challenging, but it seems like it would/does sometimes in life). looking back at how i wrote it, i get why you were thinking it could be interpreted negatively, because i was also expressing that it was a challenge, but if you know me, you know i also don’t deem challenges as inherently negative (logic puzzles! building terraces! birthing a 12 pound baby! all positive!). i don’t regard me, or you, or past me, or challenges, as bad things. i recognize that seeing a past self in you and a challenge in it, may mean i have work to do on my self. it was never my intent to insult you. i felt like i was asking legitimate questions of the position you stated, and i would rather not have the conversation derailed from moving forward because we have to stop and reconcile misunderstandings such as “it seemed like you intended insult and it seemed like you were calling me names”. one reason i have “deleted scenes” is that when i first start typing, i am matching your tone (bull crap, lots of exclamation points, “emphasis”, generally responding to your tone vs to your content, etc) and then i dial it back and try to get back to the focus. i don’t feel offended by your “emphasis”, just unheard by the way you put words that aren’t mine in quotations and call them bull crap, or the way you hear name calling that i am not doing. because i’ve put such a tremendous amount of effort into being impeccable with my words, when they are read inaccurately and reacted to, it is very hard for me to continue. i’m not saying my “tremendous effort” isn’t flawed in its results, and i’m not saying pausing to fix a misunderstanding is beneath me at all, just that it seems to be occupying so much more of our effort than getting towards any common ground. i have over and over again said dialogue is what i wanted, not debate. i feel that i have made a serious effort to set a dialogue tone, feeling unheard is not accusing you of not hearing, and we have both acknowledged that words can fail us, especially on screen. i can read a comment that comes across as shouting to me (my perception, not your intention) and still hold in my heart that you care about me and are not intending to throw mud. can you do that too? if not, then maybe we do need to keep it strictly off screen. by which i mean, i keep writing here in my blog space, but if you choose to read, and you want to dialogue, we carry on with it off screen. you have continued to comment since we spoke about it, so i took that to mean that you wanted to keep dialoguing on screen. can you take a minute to ask yourself, if i was someone you didn’t know, and you were reading my blog about these topics, would you even be reading my blog or would you pass it by as not your thing, and if it’s something you would read, would you comment the way you do here? would you say what you are saying on screen, in person? none of this is to tell you what i think you should do or say, or read or comment on, and i would be sad if misunderstandings of what i wrote drove you away. if you are unhappy with how this is going, let’s figure out how we can do better.

  • Camp boss

    I am not sure if I linked these correctly or if the sources are good enough for you to believe, But they seemed credible and legitimate.they are at least appearing to be honest in reporting fact without worrying about hurting feelings. Fact don’t care about feelings!
    I have never said all Muslims are bad or violent but a very very large percentage of world wide terrorism and violence is coming from only 1 main religion,Islam. I did a little reading of the quaran and researched sharia law and Islamic history a little and it doesn’t appear very peaceful cult\religion.

    I had a few minutes so I tried to site some places that I have found some info from.

    I don’t think saying that there is NO violence or crimes being committed by refugees or recent immigrants is not being honest.
    If that boy was Quinn would you feel or think the same?? Or would you give some of the hype a second look??
    I don’t think Sharia law is good for America. If they want to peacefully practice their beliefs in a non violent way that doesn’t infringe on my rights so be it. What will happen to all the refugees who want to immigrate to America?? Who is going to pay for it all??

    • in response to the first link, there is a lot of comparable text in the bible:

      the second link is an interesting list, of terrorist attacks by muslims. it does not appear to be specific to refugees, or asylum-seekers, nor to list terrorist attacks by those of other religions, so it is impossible to compare. of course, none of this should be happening. neither should any violence carried out by anyone of any religion. (i also think cult is a highly inflammatory accusation to make about a major world religion… that’s my opinion.)

      the third link again seems to list only crimes committed by people who aren’t native german, and does not list those committed by citizens. there is still no way to judge the scale and compare whether this is truly a “migrant rape crisis” or simply a representation of what is already a human worldwide rape crisis.

      again, nothing i cited stated, nor did i, that there is no crime or violence by refugees or recent immigrants. i already stated that yes there is, but that i feel accurate comparisons are needed to place violence in context before blaming it on refugees disproportionately or calling it greater than or an increase above normal levels. i’m still not making this clear i guess. i don’t believe that preventing migration prevents crime.

      bringing in my son is below the belt, and i’m not going there. it also sounds like a problem in the austrian justice system with the understanding of what consent to sex means, which should be understood that it can never be consented to by a 10 year old, under any circumstances, even if a 10 year old thinks he is saying yes. a child is off limits and cannot legally consent. furthermore, iraq is not one of the 6 countries in the travel ban.

      the final link does not refer to refugees, migrants, or religious affiliation at all. if that is the status of any of the men, it is not stated. am i missing something?

      i am not sure why you would think there is any debate about whether sharia law is good for america. i also don’t know where the paying for it question is from? do you mean food stamps and other types of public assistance? refugees residing in the u.s. are expected to pay taxes, like anyone else, and if they follow the legal process to becoming citizens they are eligible for public assistance, like anyone else. many do not try to receive such assistance, because they fear entering their information into public systems will end up making them more likely to be deported.

      i care about both facts and feelings. i hope you’re not implying that i am acting in a careless manner towards feelings. i am going to reiterate that my words are not intended to insult or offend you.

  • Camp boss

    I am not yelling. Nor have I ever yelled on the blog. Emphasis is not yelling. 🙂

  • Lau

    All this recent political talk of refugees and bans has me remembering the series by Humans of New York


    I highly recommend it as Brandon never fails to remind us of the HUMANS in all of this.

    I cannot imagine these lives and struggles.

  • camp boss

    I have an idea….if you are game how about we make time very soon to speak in person. I have an idea of a way we can really try to hear each other. I am free anytime. Sunday evening is open.

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