Virginia mayor rejects Syrian refugees, because it worked so well when we locked up Japanese Americans

"It seems to me to be better safe than sorry."

This is troubling on a dozen levels. In Virginia, the mayor of Roanoke joined the growing chorus of intolerance, calling for the suspension of help in relocating Syrian refugees to the area. To make matters worse, he cited the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as historical precedent for his reasoning. Oh hell no.

Roanoke Mayor David Bowers: No Syrian refugees to Roanoke Valley until security assured

On Wednesday, Mayor David A. Bowers issued an unsolicited statement requesting area governments and nongovernmental agencies to suspend and delay any further Syrian refugee assistance "until normalcy is restored," warning of safety concerns in the wake of the apparent bombing of a Russian airliner, Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris and threats on Washington DC.

"I am convinced that it is presently imprudent to assist in the relocation of Syrian refugees to our part of Virginia," Bowers said his statement, which also vowed to "protect Roanokers from harm and danger from this present scourge upon the earth." Oh, but wait, it gets much worse.

The statement goes on to compare the "real and serious" threat of ISIS to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and how President Franklin D. Roosevelt "felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals" during that time.

You've got to be kidding me. Sorry, but is the mayor not aware that most people generally look back at the internment of Japanese Americans as an injustice? News flash, David: it was a bad thing. And what is this "sequester" bullshit? Not only does Bowers get the facts wrong -- the U.S. government rounded up and incarcerated innocent American citizens -- this is not even close to an analogous situation.

Here's a copy of Mayor Bowers' statement:

When did Americans forget that this nation was founded by a generation seeking refuge from violence, tyranny and oppression? If an elected official is citing one of the darkest moments of American history as sound justification for turning our backs on refugees, and there are people backing this xenophobia, we are fucked.

An astounding level of injustice and ignorance, all in the name of "better safe than sorry."

More here: Roanoke Mayor David Bowers: Reject refugees like U.S. interned Japanese


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