An excellent op-ed in today’s Times from Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, in which he explains his support for accepting Syrian refugees into the United States.
“It’s easy to lose your way in moments like this when we are so fearful,” Inslee writes, but “America has been swayed by fear before. And we’ve lived to regret it.”
Recalling the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Inslee says “that wasn’t consistent with who we are as a country, and today we look back at that period with shame.”
That is by no means a perfect analogy to today’s circumstances and controversy (historical analogies are never perfect), but Inslee’s fundamental point absolutely applies: “We are a nation built on holding dear our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our humanity and our relationship with the rest of the world.”
It’s precisely at moments like this that it is most important to affirm our values and not retreat from them .