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[Xmca-l] forms of activism

Many of us are better at writing than marching. My colleague Larry Nackerud wrote this essay for today's local paper.

Posted February 6, 2017 02:52 pm
Larry Nackerud<http://onlineathens.com/larry-nackerud>
Nackerud: Fear won't make America great

Newly elected President Donald Trump promised to "Make America Great Again," but instead, through his early actions, he has shown how afraid we are as a nation.

To protect ourselves from Mexicans we must build a wall. To protect ourselves from Muslims we must suspend our political refugee program.

It is important to remember that persons seeking political refugee status do so after fleeing their homes and countries of origin due to persecution. These persons are persecuted because of their religion, their nationality, their membership in a social group or a political opinion they hold. A small number of these persons fleeing persecution are accepted for resettlement in countries like Canada, Sweden, Norway, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

The United States used to be a leader among this group of countries. The United States used to be a leader in the world for providing a safe haven for persecuted persons. Filtered into that provision of a safe haven for persecuted persons was our country's respect for and acceptance of cultural and religious differences. But now, as part of the fearmongering campaign that characterizes Mr. Trump's early days, the United States has lost its position of prominence in the international community.

Shutting down our entire refugee program by banning, even temporarily, particular persecuted persons from particular countries reveals not our strength as a nation, but our weakness and our fear.

When did the people of the United States become so afraid and the nation become a house of fear? To promote liberty, freedom and respect for all persons takes courage. I believe Mr. Trump has succeeded in showing us that fear and isolationism, not courage, is his and his followers' preferred method to "Make America Great Again."

Larry Nackerud

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