The Courage to Be Kind

Can we never learn from the past? If we do not help the Syrians we end by not just destroying the lives of refugees but destroying the moral fabric of this country. Did we keep the Irish from immigrating to America because of the violence committed by the IRA?
11/20/2015 03:06 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2016

The anti immigrant stance of Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz reeks of hypocrisy. They are both the recipients of America's generosity to Cubans fleeing Castro's persecution, despite the fact that the Mariel boat lift of Cuban refugees included criminals and people from Cuba's mental hospitals.

Castro arranged for the inclusion of criminals and people with mental illness among the political refugees to discredit the innocent defectors from his regime. And all these arrived in Miami to become citizens. Yet Rubio and Cruz would ignore the words of their Pope, and, of course, disdain the wisdom of their President - he is their President although they are loath to treat him as such. These are despicable men who deserve nothing but contempt. I may only be a cultural non-observant Jew but I can still identify with the Jews who were turned away from our shores by an Antisemitic state department and a President Roosevelt - a good man who nevertheless played politics with humanity -and boatloads of Jews were sent back to die in Germany and France.

Can we never learn from the past? If we do not help the Syrians we end by not just destroying the lives of refugees but destroying the moral fabric of this country. Did we keep the Irish from immigrating to America because of the violence committed by the IRA? Is there one immigrant group that has not had violence among its own people. One of the great reasons that immigrants choose to leave their countries is the very violence at home that they fear, as we do. It is rarely if ever their intention to import that violence - seeking as they do a safe refuge for their families and their children. One of the great virtues of America has been both its hospitality to the persecuted and its courage to accept new people - people who eventually add to the glory and prosperity of the country. This act of cowardice in the GOP goes against every American tradition that has value. There is one important question to be answered. Do we have the courage to be kind?