While we, as Americans, may agree on little these days, I think one thing we can all agree on is that President Trump has made some significant changes during his first 10 days in office. Possibly the most controversial, as of right now, is the ban on refugees entering the United States. Diversity of thought is a big reason why the United States is so great. The purpose of this is not to persuade anyone to agree with my position. Rather, it is encourage people to think about why those who disagree with you feel the way they feel. Chances are, it isn’t because they are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic etc. It’s far more likely that they see the same problem as you, but see a very different solution to the problem. So before we boycott companies, unfriend people on social media, or distance ourselves from longtime friends, take a minute to let yourself see another perspective.
Here are some common things I have seen on social media regarding President Trump’s executive order on refugees and an alternative perspective on them. Please read with an open mind. I am simply providing an alternative perspective to a few things I have seen on social media the last few days.
- It is un-Christian to support the temporary ban on refugees- The first thing I want to say to that is what values are we considering “Christian”? I am not a devout Christian, but I do know that the bible says to “love thy neighbor”. Are our neighbors other countries or literally our next door neighbors? My answer would be both. Is it possible that some people think that this temporary ban protects both? Many refugees come to the United States in search of safety and stability. If we cannot properly screen for the very people innocent refugees want to get away from, then are we really protecting them? And what about our neighbors right next door to us? Literally. Say your next door neighbor’s daughter is overseas in Iraq fighting to protect our safety, health and well-being in the states. She is putting her life on the line everyday to protect us so we don’t have to worry about protecting ourselves back home. If we cannot tell who is good and who is bad coming into our country, then we are selfishly letting innocent refugees down as well as our troops fighting for us overseas.
- Trump conveniently excluded countries he does business with- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. Four countries that are excluded from the temporary ban that Trump does business with. Yes, that looks quite suspicious at first glance. I’ll admit that. But, if you take a look at the terrorist risk these countries pose and the stability of their governments compared to the countries included in the ban, the facts paint a very different picture. The excluded countries do not pose a high risk terrorist threat to the United States at this point in time. Remember, Obama’s administration originally identified the countries included in the ban as high risk terrorist countries.
- This ban discriminates based upon race and religion- The seven countries that are on the “temporarily banned” list was actually created by the Obama administration. His administration identified these countries as high risk countries in regards to terrorism. It is no surprise that Obama and Trump have very different ideas on how to go about handling these high risk countries, but make no mistake, the list was not made based on discrimination. And if you still think it was, then you can also put Obama and his administration in the camp of discrimination based upon race and religion.
- Boycott companies x, y and z if you don’t support Trump- Seriously? Have we really come to this? I mean, I get it, but there is a fine line between being intolerant of issues and intolerant of beliefs. When a company takes a position that supports our beliefs we are “Gung ho!” for that company. When they take a position that differs from our own, we want to boycott them. However, when they take a more neutral position, we also boycott them? We live in a democracy where we are supposed to encourage diversity of all kinds. If you ask me, boycotting a company that simply doesn’t publicly agree with us defeats the whole purpose of fighting for democracy and the right to have a voice. Like I said, there is a fine line between being intolerant of an issue and being intolerable of those who don’t agree with you. The latter is entirely counterproductive to our values as a nation.
Like I said, I am not asking you to agree with me. I am simply asking you to take a minute to consider why those counter-points make sense to many Americans who do support the temporary ban on refugees from high risk countries until we have a proper way to weed out those with bad intentions. And on a bigger scale, I hope that we all can learn to look at things from a different angle, rather than just looking from the one we have always looked at.
Written by: Cassandra Hewlett