In 1941 Dr. Seuss sent a message that, sadly, hasn’t lost its meaning.

In 1941 Dr. Seuss sent a message that, sadly, hasn’t lost its meaning. November 19, 2015

Dr. Seuss was actually a political cartoon contributor for New York’s PM Newspaper for part of his early career.  This was his piece on October 1, 1941:


This was in reaction to the fact that most Americans opposed Adolph Hitler’s anti-Jew policies while also being opposed to granting safe haven to refugee Jews.

And here we are again today, over 74 years later, where people are being executed by on occupying force and need to get out of the country.  Most Americans oppose ISIL in pretty much every way, yet the people who think a freshly fertilized egg is a human being for which anything and everything should be done are willing to turn their back on actual refugee children.  If it were their families in Syria they’d be begging for safe haven, but they just can’t put themselves in the other people’s shoes.  We’re safe, and that’s all that matters, right?

You want America to be a hero to the world.  Well here’s the news flash: heroes take risks.  They go into burning buildings to pull people out.  Bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the courage and the strength to do what is right even though you’re afraid.  And all the people who want America to be a hero simultaneously want her to cave to fear, fear ISIL purposefully has tried to impose upon us.  There are gobs of refugees in so many other countries, countries that aren’t separated from ISIL by an ocean, countries that don’t spend 47% of all the world’s military spending on their own military.  And yet, they’re the ones stepping up.

So much flag-waving.  So much faux patriotism.  You just want America to be viewed as a hero, but you want to make her a coward and it’s obvious why.  Sit down, because this is going to sting: it’s because you are cowards, racists, or some combination of the two.  You demand the world’s respect without wanting to do any of the work, without taking any of the risk that doesn’t include bombing places that contain way more innocents than terrorists.  That’s nice and 100% safe and the only price we might have to pay are a bunch of dead innocent people and for you that’s good enough to be a hero.  But it ain’t, that’s just your cowardice coming up with justifications.

Nobody’s asking you to run into a burning building, literally or metaphorically.  We just want to let people into a country where they’re safe – something that once meant a great deal to this nation if the inscription on the Statue of Liberty is any indication.  Yeah, a terrorist or two might try to come over and, who knows, they might get through the extremely strict screening process to get into this country.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it and deal with it.  But this argument rests on the presumption that if a terrorist sneaks through people might die and it ignores the fact that people are already dying and many more are certain to die unless countries help!  Other countries are, but your big, tough, macho Republican leaders are cowering like children.

We’re turning our back on desperate people who need us, and the rest of the world is picking up our slack.  And don’t think the rest of the world doesn’t notice.

Look, you’re afraid, and I get that.  Lots of us are afraid.  That’s what terrorism is designed to do.  But what you do in that moment of fear, whether you give up or step up, that’s what makes a hero.  And if you want America have the respect of the world then we need to earn it by doing something when the world needs us, not just talking big, even though we’re afraid.

Image from Special Collections and Archives, UC San Diego, made available for public use 
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