Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Personal and National Responsibility
We can't support policies that lead to/contribute to other nations being poorer and more hellish (ie, "shithole..."-like) AND simultaneously complain about those nations and their poverty and dysfunction AND simultaneously refuse to assist those fleeing these nations.
Not and be moral and rational people.
The US has a long history of negative impacts upon other nations. I was just meeting tonight with a new friend who was speaking of how the US (under the Obama administration, I will hasten to note*) accepted a coup of a democratically elected president in Honduras. As we've done there in the past. Our policies have helped make it unsafe to live in Honduras. Our policies of this last year are only exacerbating the problem and accelerated the harm, there. As a result, people strive to leave Honduras and come here, where it is considered to be safer (and this, even given the many very real threats facing them here).
We can't create/exacerbate a problem that causes harm to people and simultaneously demonize and refuse to aid those people to whom we caused harm.
It's just basic responsibility.
Here's a good article talking about US involvement in the lives of those beautiful people in the nations that the current administration views as "shitholes."
I should be clear: I'm not saying that the US or the West is exclusively responsible for the problems of poorer nations. I'm not saying that they/we are primarily responsible. International policies and how we affect other nations is complex and impossible to nail down specific blames for bad situations. But, as you can see in that article, when OUR policies have been to prop up dictators, rogue regimes, oppressive administrations and when we've done so in ways that have been in opposition to our better democratic ideals, we own some good part of the harm that has resulted.
I'm saying that western - and specifically US - policies have contributed to some serious problems in other nations. I'm saying that business policies and wealthy lifestyles have contributed to some serious problems in other nations.
I'm saying that, as a matter of personal and national responsibility, we are obliged to not turn away people who are hurting and/or in danger as a result of our decisions, our policies, our lifestyles, our benefits.
I was reminded of that tonight in my conversation with my new friend. I owe it to all my new friends and unmet friends to keep pointing this out.
*NOTE: This happened under Obama's administration and Secretary of State Clinton okayed the notion that they weren't treating it as a coup... and yet, they both said it was a coup!? I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention at the time and I'm not sure what happened, but clearly, they goofed.