Ever since the shootings in Paris which were not directly tied to Syrian refugees, there has been a national wave of paranoia and calls for excluding Syrians from our refugee program. Even though residents of the country which has been in a state of unrest since 2011 comprise a tiny fraction of the people we give refuge to annually, that hasn’t stopped uninformed people from having a collective freakout.
Urged on by the conservative media and hysterical fear-mongering from politicians, the public has come to the conclusion that ISIS/Daesh terrorists would use the long and heavily-screened refugee process to gain access to the United States and commit mass shootings like the one we saw in Paris.
While there have been very few mass shootings by radicalized Muslims here in America, there have been quite a few committed by young, white men. This was pointed out by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on MSNBC.
The mayor reiterated that point to MSNBC and said “ISIS is no more Islamic than Nazi senior staff was Christian.” He added that he’s more concerned about mass shootings than risk of violence from refugees.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said.
He referenced his Friday night walk around Oak Lawn in the wake of robberies and beatings there, saying “those are the things mayors are worried about.” (Source)
In case you missed it, don’t worry, hardly anyone watches MSNBC on Saturday mornings. That’s a shame, because they have some good programming like UP with Steve Kornacki, and guests like the mayor of Dallas.
Mayor Rawlings is also right that we’re playing into the hands of ISIS/Daesh by demonizing Muslims when we associate all of them with the acts of the terrorist group. America has far more to worry about from angry white men with guns than it does from Daesh trying to hide potential terrorists in the ranks of refugees who are already subject to rigorous background checks and a process that can take two years.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take very much for a would-be domestic terrorist organization to put together a plot and get their hands on guns, which we saw in a recent conspiracy by white supremacists in Virginia that was broken up by federal authorities.
If you didn’t hear about that story on Fox News or Breitbart, or through conservative clickbait media sites, that’s because it doesn’t fit into their fear-mongering campaign that we should be in mortal fear for our lives because of a very small number of refugees who go through strict screening before they’re allowed into the United States.
There is a terrorism issue in our country that we should certainly be concerned about, and it isn’t from people who are trying to escape religious and sectarian violence in the Middle East – it’s from the religious extremists and gun fanatics who already live here.
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