People come first, politics come second

One of humanity’s greatest qualities is our ability to help others, even at the detriment of personal comfort.

Volunteers will rush to sites of natural disasters to help rebuild, clean former combat zones of dangerous material or donate blood to help offset an epidemic at a moment’s notice.

Yet, the second social media is brought into the equation, everything goes to hell. Now the word “refugee” has an unwarranted negative connotation and a fresh wave of racist assumptions swept the internet.

Last month a terrorist attack in Paris sparked a huge debate over the trustworthiness of refugees from Syria.

This is particularly ludicrous given that the gunmen and suicide bombers of the Paris attacks were neither refugees or Syrian.

Well, one guy had a fake Syrian passport, but that really shouldn’t matter in the age of instant news updates.

In normal situations I keep both Facebook and Twitter feeds relatively unfiltered when it comes to harmless content shared and posted by others.

Something that directly conflicts with my personal political or social leanings doesn’t necessarily prompt me to unfriend or unfollow someone. There is something to be said for having a bit of variety in life.   

Just because someone has different views on a position, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong.

Well, unless they take their beliefs to an extreme.

For more than a week people whom I’d originally thought of as being nice, normal human beings immediately transformed into assholes, spouting the same “keep them away” rhetoric about the handful of Syrian refugees entering the U.S.that made the rounds during the Bush administration.

I could use this as an excuse to launch into a political speech … so I will.

Regardless of feelings toward those of the Muslim faith, or feelings toward someone purely over their home country or skin tone: the United States of America has a statue in New York Harbor beckoning the world to “give me your tired, your hungry, your poor.”

It’s kind of a jerk move to turn away a bunch of tired and hungry poor people after setting that precedent.

Before hopping on the next big outrage, such as the Planned Parenthood terrorist, consider if your message involves the treatment of people more so than a political idea or group. Underneath it all, we’re people first.