April 22, 2019 | 52° F

White terrorists face lighter judgments

Opinion Column: Reason in Revolt

Almost half of the nation's governors have promised to block Syrian refugees from settling in their states since the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which ISIS took credit for. One of the cited reasons for these statements is a Syrian passport that was discovered near one of the suicide bombers. Although official validation of its authenticity or ownership has yet to be confirmed, many of these governors stated that the federal government failed to give more transparency on the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and this means they need to take necessary measures in order to protect their citizens.

In response, the White House promised more transparency and cooperation on resettling Syrian refugees. However, comments by mostly conservative politicians and presidential candidates reveal the ideologies that perpetuate this stream of fear-mongering outcries, revealing currents of anti-immigration, Islamophobia and nativism.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), a 2016 presidential candidate, said on a conservative radio show, “I don’t think orphans under 5 (years old) ... should be admitted into the United States at this point.” Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), a son of immigrants, issued an executive order to block Syrian refugees in his state. Their sentiments are only a few of the countless statements that contradict their veiled attempt of empathy and concern for humanity.

What does it mean when they say they want to balance opening their states to refugees while “ensuring” the safety of their citizens? Which citizens matter?

Where was the outcry of government officials, namely conservative representatives, for gun reforms and reproductive rights after the recent mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado? Where were their cries after the murders of black American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina?

The problem is that the terrorism women, LGBTQ communities and people of color experience in their daily life is discounted because it happens way too often. It is the marginalizing policies we live, that privileges a wealthy small sum and oppresses anyone who is an "other."

White supremacist, racist and sexist ideologies perpetuated in our country have no influence whatsoever in their actions? It's because they're insane. Got it.

While the Obama Administration plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees, these refugees go through rigorous security screenings that can take 18 to 24 months. In addition to prioritizing women with children, the elderly, people who were tortured and with those in need of modern medical treatment. So far, most refugee families have women as the head of households, half of the accepted refugees are children, a quarter are elderly folks older than age 60.

Ironic as this sounds, a country that prides itself with its immigrant roots — starting from when the Mayflower ship landed — has a knack of giving immigrants and refugees a hard time. As an immigrant who came here 10 years ago because my parents thought that leaving our country was the only way to break free from rampant corruption, the words "immigrants" and "refugees," are two words in conflict. So what kind of violence does it take for an immigrant to experience to be considered as a refugee?

Rachel Landingin is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies with minors in art history and digital communication, information, and media. Her column, “Reason in Revolt,” runs on alternate Mondays.

Rachel Landingin

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