How Do You Feel About Minnesota Taking Afghan Refugees?
As we watch the events that are happening far away from home, it's hard to think about the innocent families and children that are caught in the middle of government and political business. Not that we don't have our own issues, (Boy do we ever!) but the humanitarian in all of us can feel the pain, fear and helplessness that our fellow humans experience. If these things were happening in our country, I would hope we would be able to count on other human beings in different areas of the world to help us out.
WELCOME TO MINNESOTA
Governor Walz recently sent a letter to President Biden about the situation in Afghanistan, and made it clear that Minnesota has a strong tradition of welcoming refugees into our state, and that Minnesota is open to helping Afghan families and individuals with resettlement in our state. In his letter to Biden, he says that we are eager to help families and children reestablish here in Minnesota, to help them achieve their highest potential and help them become contributing members of Minnesota.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
I was happy to see that most Minnesotans feel this way, but there are also many people that are afraid. People with different backgrounds that don't know anything about Minnesota? Moving here? How will it work? Will they be able to work? Will they get everything for free while we get nothing? These are the comments that you here depending on where you go. Fear. Plain and simple. Fear.
I encourage people to put themselves in the situation of the refugees. Fearing for your life. The life of your children. It's so easy to turn the other cheek for many. Others feel that people from different parts of the world will turn on us once we open our doors to them.
Change is hard for anyone. I get it. But I can't imagine how it must feel to be so fearful that you have leave the only place you know. Everyone you know. You have to move to a different land, learn a new language and try to find a way to make it feel like home. Talk about change. That's change.
They also may be fearful of some of us; without question, they should be. I'm hoping that our Minnesota community will be welcoming. Instead of talking and making assumptions about others, maybe we can try to learn about them. Show them kindness. Give these people comfort. They are afraid. They are sad. They are tired. They are people that we can learn from.