Since the tragic events in Paris earlier this month, the question of what to do with Syrian refugees coming to the United States has gained a political and fearful edge. Because those attacks in Paris were partly carried out by those who used the refugee crisis as cover, a slew of republican Governors have come out aggressively against admitting any refugees to their state. Of course, that’s all symbolic, as governors do not have the legal authority to reject refugees accepted by the Federal Government. Still, symbols have great meaning, and will have a powerful effect on the way the country feels, and therefore the way we act.
Cathy Baskin pointed me to an interview on NPR with a governor who felt a little differently. Gov. Jay Inslee, of Washington, is more than willing to take refugees in his state, precisely because it is in times like these, so full of fear an confusion, that we most need to live out our best values. And because there have been times when we have not done so, to our great shame, as when we sent Japanese Americans to internment camps, even as their sons fought for us abroad.
He articulates his position so well, I thought it was more than worth sharing. Now is not the time to do evil in the name of safety, but to do what we know to be right, in spite of our fear.