With all the sad news of terrorist attacks in Lebanon, France and Mali, the multi-faceted wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and refugees fleeing Syria and other nations, I can’t help but think of the people living in the crossfire of war and terrorism. I can’t help but cringe hearing or reading the words of politicians running for President; fear-mongering for personal and political gain (i.e. the Iowa and New Hampshire polls).
I am reminded of my mother’s side of the family, who came to the U.S. after World War II. I would not be here otherwise, if my mother, siblings and parents had not come to America in 1946. They came to the United States after living under Nazi occupation in northern Italy, and living under the Mussolini regime.
Using the logic of some politicians these days, my mother’s family would have been labeled as Nazi’s or Fascists, just because of where they came from, and who was in power at that time.
They were just working people of little means who lived in and survived the crossfire of war. Their region was bombed by U.S. warplanes. Nearby Lucca was hit hard, and churches were bombed.
They were sponsored by a relative who came to the U.S. in 1938 before the war. They left behind many other relatives. Today, our extended family is spread across two continents and four countries.
While there are many, many good and decent Italian families who came to United States, a few bad apple Mafia families were also let into our country as well. I’m sure Donald Trump and Chris Christie are aware of them being in their region. A fictional TV show was made about some of them (The Sopranos).
There are a few bad apples from every country. We have a few here as well… I am more afraid of Four-Pinnochio Politicians like Donald Trump than I am of innocent people fleeing the crossfire of war.
We should not fall into the trap of “fear-mongers”, who want to divide and conquer peoples for their own personal or political gain.
By the way, in addition to the Japanese internment camps in World War II, there was also internment of Italian Americans during WWII. This is a lesser known fact about WWII. I only recently learned this from the PBS documentary, “The Italian Americans”. Coincidentally, that documentary aired the same week that Rudy Giuliani made his comments questioning President Obama’s patriotism. Rudy Giuliani said:
“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
I wonder if Rudy Giuliani was aware of how Italians were interned during WWII when he made those comments?
Today, Italy and America are again allies and NATO Partners. Same thing goes for Germany. Japan is also an ally and trading partner. Vietnam is now a trading partner.
The world is a lot more complicated then the simple-minded sound bytes from a few fear-mongering politicians.
Our politicians keep telling us that “entitlement” programs like Social Security is going to go bust. There are not enough people working today to cover the retirees. Well, many Syrian people are educated (doctors and engineers), and many are entrepreneurs (merchants).
Let’s properly vet those refugees seeking to come to America, and “welcome” them after they pass successfully through the security screens. Like other immigrants before, like those in my family, they can more safely raise their families, and help build a better country and economy here in America.