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America is Not Oz, Nor Should it Seek to Be

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Hussein Malla

From a long-term perspective, the current ethnic, social, and political strife in America has historical and global parallels. When you add it all up – serfdom, discrimination, indentured servitude, human trafficking, slavery, genocide, ethnic cleansing, wars, and skirmishes, added to earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, dust bowls, pandemics, epidemics, and famine – it’s evident that a significant portion of the global human population has experienced, or has ancestors who have experienced horrendous times, conditions, or upbringings. 


No Let Up

As we proceed towards eight billion people in the world, humankind doesn’t appear to be progressing, en masse, toward some more hallowed state, wherein we learn to share the planet effectively. 

Ancient rivalries and hatreds, some lasting thousands of years, seem to be as molten today as they were in antiquity: the Sunnis versus the Shias, Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics, Albanians and Serbs, Armenians and Turks, Tutsis and Hutus, Jews and Palestinians, Japanese and Chinese, Indian and Chinese, everybody else and Chinese, Indonesians and Malaysians, and Assamese and Bengalis, among dozens of others. 

Today, persecution of Jews is occurring in unprecedented ways, on many levels, particularly in France, but alarmingly as well in Great Britain, Germany, and other supposedly enlightened nations, largely fomented by extremist Muslims or Aryan holdovers. The Atlantic recently featured the article, Is It Still Safe to Be a Jew in America? Muslim attacks on Christians are occurring worldwide. Christians are not the instigators.

Statute of Limitations

With so many people here and abroad descending from ravaged lineages, how much acknowledgment are surviving members supposed to receive? Is anyone to be entitled because of what happened 100, 500, or 1000 years ago? What is the expiration date on a special status?


When does engendering a “protected class” impinge upon the rights of everyone else? How long should the state be responsible for the income and livelihoods of those who are downtrodden, perhaps legitimately so? Where is the sunset clause that says after so many years of welfare, it's time to get going on your own?

The internment in 1942, of 117,000 Japanese Americans in the U.S., as we entered World War II, involved forced relocation and then incarceration in sealed off camps. Roughly 62 percent of those interned were actually U.S. citizens, with most living on or near the Pacific Coast. Remarkably, they remained in such camps for the duration of the war as directed by Democrat president, Franklin Roosevelt. 

It's been 78 years since the first Japanese families were led to the camps. Do you see Japanese Americans marching in the streets these days? Are they reeling against the discrimination that the U.S. government perpetrated upon them? Or, have they long since gotten back to work, rose to the heights based on their own initiative, and become one of the most prominent subcultures within our society?

Likewise, we could review the history of numerous groups that, at one point or another, faced injustice or had the odds stacked against them, who in the present, however, claim no special status, want no special treatment, and indeed, would be embarrassed if either of the two situations were to occur.


This is Not Oz

What about our immigration policies? Socialism, extreme poverty, and corruption in South America and particularly Latin America lead to untold masses who want to escape to America. What do you do with the actual family at the border? The situation is like the ship Exodus – which countries are willing to take in the poor and persecuted?

Those who’ve experienced earthquakes, other natural disasters; pandemics and epidemics; and man-made hostilities and skirmishes, cannot come to our shores or our southern border en masse, where we will accommodate them in such numbers that our sovereignty will eventually be lost. Indeed, we can’t take in all who have even survived indentured servitude, slavery, or attempted genocide: The numbers would swamp us.

Politically and economically naive voices, nonetheless, tell us that we are prosperous enough to do so. Sure, we can take them in! Simply defund the police, cut back on the Department of Defense, and no problem! All who come to our shores or cross our borders will be accommodated

With 330 million people populating our country now, we need delicate management skills. At a population of 400 million, or 450 million, and all too quickly, we would be overwhelmed, perhaps permanently..


In America, we cannot open our doors to every refugee on earth, even in our own hemisphere. Nor can any one nation. It is time for a global response and the shared burden of responsibility.

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