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Sense of responsibility for refugees has waned


Date published: 7/22/2014

For those of us who remember the Cuban Mariel boatlift in 1980, the humanitarian crisis on our Southern border is hauntingly similar.

This time, the refugees are children sent by desperate parents to escape rapidly deteriorating conditions in their native countries, something that our news media avoid talking about.

Our government at both the federal and state levels is completely incapable of handling even half those numbers, let alone pretending to.

We have closed facilities like military bases and downsized the local social services agencies and community medical clinics to where they couldn't handle a severe outbreak of cholera.

While it's clear that Castro not only dumped his dissidents on our shores, he also emptied his jails and mental institutions, the national consensus to this rotten deal seemed to be that, as a nation, we would not shirk our humanitarian responsibilities.

Based on the hateful protests we've seen in California and Arizona and the Not in My Back Yard community responses in Westminster, Md., and last month in Lawrenceville, Va., it's clear that the country's sense of responsibility toward our fellow human beings leaves much to be desired.

In the case of Lawrenceville, you've got to love how carefully hidden their native racism was under concerns about "protecting public safety and health." You've got to wonder if they felt as strongly about their health and safety when it came to the massive coal ash spill in the Dan River flowing into the nearby Kerr Reservoir.

As Fox and other media outlets continue to promote their brand of hysteria, any arrangements to deal with this refugee crisis will be dead on arrival. Nice country we've got.

Jon Taylor

Louisa