Don’t let fear take place of compassion
At this time, many politicians are using xenophobia (scaring) people and tell us that welcoming Syrian refugees to our country is not a good idea because it will make us less safe. But I’d like to mention Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks on this subject — the truth, and several facts about refugees.
Here are the facts:
1) Refugees are the most vetted category of folks coming to the United States. They have to undergo interviews and a ton of security screenings from the Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense and more before they can come to the United States.
2) Syrian refugees can’t just “show up.” It takes an average of 18 to 24 months for refugee applications to be processed in the United States. And it’s actually taking a lot longer right now because the White House is being extra cautious about security concerns after the Paris attacks.
Also, here’s one for kindness:
3) Syrian refugees are fleeing some of the worst violence and terror — not unlike the violence and terror we recently saw in Paris. These folks are survivors. And we should stand with them, especially right now.
And in addition, someone tweeted this:
“It’s only during frightening times when you get to find out if your country really deserves to call itself the ‘home of the brave.’ ”
Finally, America in 1942 interned Japanese-Americans, Italians and Germans because the United States thought that they could rebel against our government/people. But it never happened. In fact, after the war, none of these American “enemies” living in our country rebelled and/or caused terror.
Let’s not fall prey to fear. America is a compassionate country. Let’s keep on helping the needy, the oppressed and the tired, as our Statue of Liberty reminds us.
Ottavio Lo Piccolo
Gloversville library in need of renovations
A beautiful and vital building in our city is in dire need of renovations in order to remain open. The Gloversville Public Library, a Carnegie library, needs our help.
Only one floor is handicapped-accessible and can be used for public activities. This greatly limits programming and space for materials and use by community groups. The plans are to open all floors for patron use and to update the building, while retaining the historic aspects of it.
Some of the changes: a new heating system to replace the original boiler from 1904; an elevator so all three floors are accessible; updated rest rooms, wiring, plumbing and a sprinkler system to bring the building up to code; more space for community groups and programming; more computer access; triple the space for children; and a room just for teens.
Help by joining the Gloversville High School/Bishop Burke Class Challenge. For information and to donate online, go to www.gloversvillelibrary.org.
Thank you for helping us to preserve and equip our library for the future.
Merry Dunn Brown
The writer is a member of the GHS/Bishop Burke Alumni Committee.
Confederate flag lets hatred have a voice
I recently read the Nov. 19 editorial in the Daily Gazette concerning selling Confederate flags at the Washington County fairgrounds. The editorial writer was ambivalent. His words could be interpreted as giving the green light to vendors of that divisive symbol. That would allow them to spread racial division under the banner of freedom of expression. That editorial was not written by a black person, I am sure.
If we want to leave the doors wide open for freedom of expression, the Holocaust, slavery, ISIS beheadings and other atrocities could be attributed to humans expressing their feelings. Rapists, children molesters and wife beaters should be allowed to crawl from under their rocks and express themselves.
I have many white friends, some from the South. My medical practice was overwhelmingly white. Most of those white people would react negatively to someone in their family or neighborhood flying a Confederate flag just to hurt, taunt or intimidate an American citizen.
With freedom of expression, they are allowed to do so. But like screaming fire in a crowded movie theater, there are things people don’t do unless they are morally handicapped, like Adolph Hitler or his modern counterpart, Donald Trump.
I don’t know many Germans eager to fly Nazi flags to manifest their pride of a time period when Germany was the most feared military machine and almost brought the world to its knees.
And that’s the point. General Lee surrendered 150 years ago. Time to mothball Confederate flags and find other ways to express Southern pride. We are Americans and our unifying flag is the Stars and Stripes.
Confederate flags have become a rallying point, a “cri de guerre,” (war cry), a hate symbol for KKK members, white supremacists, skinheads and overt racists. Selling them is not good for our country. That’s the message I would have liked the editorial writer to convey to the board members of the Washington County Fair.
Do the right thing; don’t give hate a chance.
Don’t be duped by Trump the character
I don’t know if The Gazette would publish this opinion. I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t. It’s not factual. It’s more like a premonition or an “I told you so,” or maybe it’s just a simple opinion of a skeptical person with decent education (RIT grad).
But I’ve been following the political scene, and something really scares me, for the first time, about the possibility of electing Donald Trump as president of United States.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually like the guy. He’s a character. He says some of the wackiest stuff. Comedians desperately want him to win because they’ll have guaranteed jobs and funny material for the next four to eight years. He’s perfect for the entertainment business. He says stuff that the normal working man (like myself) thinks and might say to their neighbor after drinking two beers and smoking a joint.
But people don’t realize that he’s also got tons of money, millions. He’s fed up and basically doesn’t really care what he says. I personally don’t have — and most of this country doesn’t have — tons of money and power that Trump has. Yet the nut keeps throwing this in little, poor-like-me-America’s face. Big red flag.
Trump can pay high-priced lawyers — most of us are hit hard by a traffic ticket. In a perfect world, or maybe a video game, it would be interesting to see what would happen if we built a giant wall around the United States.
Some foreign country would find some way to bomb us. They always do. It’s what they live for. But, people, please think.
Realistically, the man is definitely going to anger a Middle East country sooner or later, if not all of them. They might even team up on us. The United States is going to be further hated because of one character who would probably start some problems and buy himself and maybe his family a one-way ticket to Mars. Will I pull the lever for him come voting day? No way.
So think before you pull the lever for Trump. We don’t to look back and say we should have listened.