Tell Me This Isn’t Really Happening..

According to the New York Times and other media outlets, “The Donald” has proposed a mandatory registry of Muslims in the United States. Trump has also suggested that Muslims in the United States be required to wear special badges identifying their religious beliefs.

Because that worked out so well in Germany…

Trump may be the most visible, but he has lots of company. Responses to the desperate plight of Syrian refugees in the wake of the attacks in Paris have been chilling.

Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz have suggested that we “might” resettle those who can “prove” they are Christians. Ben Carson called Muslims–not just radicalized jihadists– “rabid dogs.” Chris Christie insisted he wouldn’t even accept five-year-old orphans in New Jersey. And 20 plus Republican Governors–including, of course, Indiana’s embarrassing Mike Pence– have announced that, Christmas season be damned, there’s no room in their state inns for any Middle Eastern supplicants.

Pence argues that his “suspension” of resettlement is warranted as a safety measure. Let’s deconstruct that argument.

  • Governors have no legal authority to prevent resettlement. Pence and the others undoubtedly know that; they’re using this as an opportunity to pander to the GOP’s increasingly xenophobic base.
  • All of the terrorists were French citizens, including the three who lived in Belgium. The Syrian passport found near one of them was fake.
  • As Condoleezza Rice and others have noted, shutting out Syrian refugees is exactly what ISIS wants. It helps their recruiting. (The French, who “real Amuricans” like to dismiss as weenies, and who were the victims of the recent attacks, understand that, and immediately reaffirmed their acceptance of 30,000 Syrian refugees.)

What is heartbreaking is that these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists that our politicians say they are trying to “protect us” from, and the very small number (10,000) that the U.S. has agreed to resettle—the vast majority of whom are women, children and people over 60– have been undergoing 18-24 months of very rigorous vetting.

Could any sentient American really believe that the politicians demanding that we turn these people away are relying on an assessment of the risks involved?

Pence and the other “we’re-just-being-prudent” politicians issuing dire warnings about the risks of admitting refugees are, by and large, the very same politicians who adamantly oppose the most cursory background checks for gun purchases, even checks intended to weed out convicted felons and the mentally ill. They are perfectly willing to assume that risk, which–unlike the risk attendant to Syrian refugees– is anything but theoretical; guns kill 32,000 Americans every year.

Since 9/11, hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants have been safely woven into the fabric of this country. Furthermore, terrorist attacks in the U.S. are more likely to be perpetrated by homegrown religious extremists and racists than by Islamic radicals. According to the New York Times,

Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.

For that matter, the magnitude of the terrorism risk, both homegrown and jihadist– the risk that has Governor Pence and others so panic-stricken– is minuscule: In 2011, the National Counter-Terrorism Center calculated that Americans are as likely to be “crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year” as they are to be killed by terrorists.

Let’s be honest. What motivates Mike Pence and those like him isn’t prudence. It’s bigotry. And we’ve been here before.

In 1939, the United States turned away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees. Nearly half of those sent back to Europe later perished in the ovens.

The officials refusing to allow the ship to dock argued that some of those aboard could be Nazis. The rhetoric was all too similar to what we’re hearing today, as politicians played to, and stoked, popular fear and hatred of “those people.” Then, as now, their rhetoric reflected polls showing that most Americans wanted to keep the “others” out.

As the President has said, it’s unAmerican.

Maybe we should rewrite the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Stephen Colbert has suggested an amended text: “Give us your tired, your poor, mostly Christians, and maybe one or two Indian guys with engineering degrees.’”

We should be ashamed.


  1. I rarely agree w/Gopper. I find the antisemitism in his comments offensive. (There are valid bases upon which to criticize the modern State of Israel, but a fallback to Jewish bankers’ control of things is retro and as out of touch as the matters to which Gopper provides links.) However, I do not believe he should be banned. Of course, that is the Professor’s call to make. This is, after all, her blog site or whatever one calls it. To eliminate voices is to homogenize the “marketplace of ideas.”

  2. Mark,

    Sheila has given Gopper many, many months to make his point. He knows what he is doing. He went way over the line yesterday. He wanted to be banned.

    Now he can say, “the Jew banned me.”

  3. Pete, thank you for validating my argument. The driving force is money/power. Religion is sometimes the excuse, but not the cause.

  4. Not intending to be argumentative, but I can suggest one reason why Pence and others oppose allowing Syrian refugees to settle in Indiana, and that is distrust of Obama and his policies. As a recent WTHR investigation established, the Obama administration allows illegals to “borrow” the Social Security Numbers of American citizens and has a policy of not allowing the IRS to even tell the unwitting “lender” that this has happened, much less to prosecute the “borrower”. If one of us actual citizens did this, it would be identity theft and a violation of other federal laws involving fraudulent misuse of SSNs. Therefore, when the Obama administration says that the vetting it does should be reassuring and provides sufficient safety to allow Syrians to settle here, even though the FBI admits that there are no accurate means to verify identification or to establish that a “refugee” isn’t a known terrorist, there is distrust. Obama seems to believe in a fully open door policy of allowing any foreigner to come into this country and to live and work here, even when doing so violates existing law, which is a policy many citizens and leaders do not agree with. That is not racism.

  5. Gopper’s rants reminded me of a team project where one of the members behaved uncivilly to others with whom she doesn’t share ‘lineage’. Disturbing!

  6. Natacha. . .are you frigging crazy with what you just wrote. You and people like you are the problem.

  7. I will not trust a government administration which refuses to do it’s constitutional duty to enforce the nations immigration laws. They have proven themselves anti-USA by these actions. They march to their own drummer and to hell with the legally expressed will of you and I.

    They claimed Reagan would drop the bomb because he expressed strong beliefs. We did not fear Reagan because we have checks and balances. Today we have Obama who has no fear or respect for the law. I believe Trump does. I fear Obama more.

  8. Natacha; below I have copied and pasted the information regarding those Social Security numbers. They are NOT borrowed from anyone and they are temporary for specific illegal immigrants who qualified for the amnesty program.

    “Obama’s immigration actions would allow parents illegally residing in the U.S. for at least five years, and who also have children who are citizens or legal permanent residents, to remain in the country for up to three years without the threat of deportation, if they register and pass a background check. If they meet the requirements, they would also be given work authorization for the three-year period and would be able to get a Social Security number.
    With that Social Security number, they would be able to file new tax returns, or amend old ones, and possibly claim the earned income tax credit that helps low-income workers.
    IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed that fact during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 11.”

  9. JoAnn: Did you see Bob Segal’s piece on Channel 13? He interviewed a couple of IRS agents on camera who said that the Obama Administration knows about the practice of illegals filing tax returns using citizens’ valid SSNs, and told them not to disclose this fact to the victims, who become very distraught when advised that their tax return has been rejected. It turns out the reason is because someone else has used their SSN. These agents said the Administration officially refers to this practice as “borrowing” a valid Social Security Number, and that in addition to being forbidden from disclosing the identity of the thief, they aren’t allowed to help them sort out the fallout. These agents went on camera because they believed what they were doing is illegal and just wrong. This is completely different from the temporary SSN that is issued for qualified immigrants. That is another matter entirely.

    There is also the inescapable fact that Syrians claiming to be refugees cannot be adequately vetted. Couple that with the basis for their attacks on westerners–religious extremism, we cannot be too cautious in protecting ourselves. Governor Pence does not accept the reassurance of the Obama administration that there is no risk in accepting Syrians and that is because the Obama Administration has established a policy of disregarding existing laws and common sense to assist illegals in residing and working in this country, even though there is substantial opposition. That is why there is mistrust. That is not unreasonable.

  10. And you believe all of that Natacha? The IRS has problems of their own; blaming Obama has become an epidemic. The IRS Commissioner confirmed the FACTS I copied and pasted from Keep up with the real news; Santa Clause will be here by the end of this week.

    Pence does not accept the reassurance that a former teacher is qualified to be the elected Superintendent of Schools in the state of Indiana. Republican Senator Long punishes fellow Republicans who speak publicly, as allowed by the 1st Amendment, and punishes them by making them sit with the Democrats in the Senate. His version of “go stand in the corner”. Are you bucking to replace Gopper?

  11. If you are going to present statistics or referencing a newspaper etc, then you should be sourcing them so people can check your claims and decide for themselves whether they are true or not. You only link one source and that was to a study that while having a methodology link gave no actual methodology. It also has a funders list that doesn’t actually list any specific people as being funders. Your entire article is easily dismissed because you failed to do the hard work of backing up your opinions.

  12. It is just as wrong to force Muslims to register as it is to demand all law-abiding, actual US citizens who choose to own a firearm to register. Yet certain groups are OK with demanding one or both of these groups of law-abiding people to register and show papers upon demand.

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