Try an Airplane.

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There's a lot of conversation about the refugees, and I hate to add to indiscernible white noise.

Most of the politicians, pundits and people next door balking at allowing Syrian immigrants into the country have never been to the Middle East. I am going to assume—say what you will about assumptions—they've never set foot on Muslim-majority soil. And I will bet my bank account they've never been to Syria.(1) Further still, they've never met a Syrian (and if they have, they're guilty of deeper ignorance and racial profiling any one person may be permitted).

 

Every villain in film since the Cold War had botched Russian accents. There's a reason for that. Every villain in media since 9/11 has been an Arab. It is possible your perspective on Arabs has been informed by a shallow entertainment industry. I'll simply say this: put your perspective on Arabs and Muslims to a test. Hop on a flight to Istanbul, Amman or Erbil. Hang out for a week. Enjoy the free food they'll hand you because you're new and they're hospitable. Watch the women in hijabs tend to their children with the same affection you attend to yours. Listen to the latest Western Top 40 blaring out of the retail shop you're walking past. Text your family on the same kind of iPhone the university student next to you on the bus is using to Instagram the selfie they just took.

 

Buy a bottle of water from the educated and displaced Syrian husband and father on the sidewalk in the blistering sun who had to lose everything he had provided for his family simply so he could keep his family.

 

Go there. 

Meet them.

Let your racist nationalism crumble.

 

Then call your governor and tell them to get their act together. 

 

 

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(1) This wouldn't be much of a loss, so don't get excited.