With President Biden’s decision to hastily withdraw U.S. forces from the two-decade-long war in Afghanistan comes the question of what to do with the tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who now fear that remaining in their native land could lead to deadly reprisal from the Taliban. The only moral answer is that we have to resettle these brave men and women who fought and bled alongside American forces inside the United States. To do anything less would be a betrayal of the cruelest kind.
Not surprisingly though, the usual Republican xenophobes are already shouting that we shouldn’t accept these refugees, echoing the same tired and racist arguments about “demographic changes” that they always toss around. Nativism is so deeply embedded in the core of the GOP now that members of the party that started the War on Terror in the first place are boldly suggesting that we turn our backs on the Afghans who helped fight it. They are morally bankrupt on a fundamental level and seemly solely interested in pandering to the worst instincts of the conservative base.
Yesterday, Newsmax’s Steve Cortes, as odious and ignorant a talking head as one is likely to find anywhere in the right-wing discourse sphere, tweeted the now-famous photograph of hundreds of Afghans loaded into a U.S. plane as it fled Kabul. He asked his followers to raise their hands if they’d be happy to have that plane land in their town.
The not-so-subtly racist implication was that nobody could possibly want these refugees in their town. Perhaps Cortes wouldn’t because he sees them as somehow less than human, but countless Americans appreciate the sacrifices these Afghans have made and would be happy to call them neighbors.
Raise your hand if you want this plane landing in your town?
America paid unimaginable costs in Afghanistan because of uniparty globalists who dominated the Bush & Obama administrations.
No more… pic.twitter.com/OBIUapUmMK
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) August 18, 2021
Thankfully, not all of us are ghoulish psychopaths like Cortes and instead of agreement with his xenophobic agenda, the tweet prompted an outpouring of empathy from Twitter users who said they’d be thrilled to have the Afghans in the photo settle nearby and contribute to their communities.
Raise your hands, America. 🙋🏼♂️ https://t.co/hK3h7Iganp
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) August 18, 2021
Unless you’re a Native American I have a feeling that your great grandparents immigrated here also.
— Right Wing Cope (@RightWingCope) August 18, 2021
I would gladly take every one of them before even one of these: pic.twitter.com/NE8IqA7eAu
— Dr. Ohm 🇺🇲🌊 (@HereToRebuild) August 18, 2021
Same shit, different century.
MS St. Louis, loaded with Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, refused refuge in multiple countries INCLUDING THE US and Canada, and sent back to Germany, where the majority ended up murdered or in concentration camps. pic.twitter.com/lpXCxb4OZu
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) August 18, 2021
Boy, a lot to unpack here. Especially relating to your character, cherry picking of information and failure to note your family’s history. Shame
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) August 18, 2021
Right here. Raising my hand.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 18, 2021
Had my ancestors come here on a plane, that's what they would've looked like. I'm glad they were allowed in.
Can you tell us what concerns you about the people in this photo?
— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) August 18, 2021
We'd rather have them than anti-American Trump/Putin white supremacist fascists like you.
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) August 18, 2021
MAGA version of Matthew: 25 takes a turn https://t.co/77T5B0woY1
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 18, 2021
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. https://t.co/ft5xManhz5
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) August 18, 2021
— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) August 18, 2021
Yes, Steve. Raising my hand. Now a question for you: Why wouldn’t a country founded by people who fled religious persecution & who yearned to be free welcome people today who are fleeing religious persecution & who yearn to be free? Especially people we hurt because of this war? https://t.co/BrbsvgSU2e
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 18, 2021
Did we all get to raise our hands when your father immigrated to the United States from Colombia? https://t.co/eGu0J4durW
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 18, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.