Americans are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving in commemoration of our nation’s first harsh days for those who came here as refugees. We cannot ignore the irony that our nation’s people are simultaneously discussing whether we should slam our borders shut to the current group of refugees from Syria.
We hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday this November. We hope also that you have been wisely following the information on the care our nation and the United Nations take in making sure refugees are people of true need, not violence.
We now fear for the safety of the petitioners as well as the existing 750,000 refugees admitted to our shores since 9/11. The voices of opposition to have begun scapegoating those from the Mid East and those who are Muslim no matter where they have come from.
This is entirely contrary to who we are as Americans. When we have given in to fear, we have been ashamed. We have no call to do that again. No concentration camps. No ships sent away. No exclusion acts. No “markers” to distinguish people’s religion. That is NOT who we are; it is not what we should ever do again.
This Thanksgiving, please remember the “lost and tempest tossed” who have found refuge here – our own families – and those desperate for safe haven today. We will ask you to raise your voices in support of them soon, but for now, have a blessed Thanksgiving with everyone you love including in your celebration both gratitude for what we all have and prayers for everyone still in need.