Opinion: The Refugee Crisis

Posted on 01 October 2015 by admin

Americans seem to have less empathy for foreign suffering 

defaultOpinionsBy: TONI ROBERSON
Staff Writer

The civil war in Syria began four years ago, but it seems that the western world has only recently become aware of the toll it is taking on so many of its citizens. I too was misinformed about what was going on overseas due to the media’s lack of coverage, and did not understand the situation fully until doing my research.

The United States is a country confident in its military power. We live in a nation where we can sleep soundly at night knowing that an extremist group is not marching down our streets and tearing people away from their homes.

No one is forcing everyday Americans to join militia groups to fight against their own families. In fact, the whole idea sounds like the beginning of a bad action movie where the hero bursts in and saves the victims.

While that is a nice thought, this is not a cheesy action movie. In reality, Syrian people have been forced to abandon their homes and their country, fleeing ISIS in blind hopes that another country will take them in.

To most of us, this sounds unbelievable; in Syria, people are forced to leave their home or risk being killed — that’s right, killed. Really think about that.

After further investigation, I wondered what America was doing to aid the displaced. After all, that is something that we do — we help other nations. What I found disappointed me. In the last four years, America has given asylum to only 1,400 Syrian refugees. Germany, on the other hand, has welcomed 98,700. Turkey has taken in 1.9 million — nearly 10 percent of the Syrian population. Of course this is partially because Syria is closer to Germany and Turkey than the United States; however, geography does not explain why the United States has given asylum to only 1,400 Syrian refugees when it was able to take in 132,000 Jewish refugees during The Holocaust.

In the information age, it is inexcusable that Americans seem to have less empathy for foreign suffering now than they did 70 years ago.

All of this information is useless if nothing changes. You don’t have to wait for Congress to pass bills to help the displaced. Organizations like The UN Refugee Agency welcome those who want to help Syrian refugees. Donate to the UN Refugee Agency; volunteer through Relief & Reconciliation for Syria. Even contacting local senators such as Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt can help Syrian refugees. From donations to volunteer work, everyone has the ability to make a change in Syria.

I believe that we should consider doing so, and lend a hand where we can. It has the ability to make a huge impact..

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