Monday, January 9, 2017


I have been traveling, but I am back now with some observations on my travels across the country, but first something I read about in the Northeast.

Rutland, Vermont is a lot like many communities in America. The mayor there has agreed to resettle 100 Syrian refugees in the area. Some members of the community are upset that they had no part in the mayor’s decision and don’t want to “foot the bill” for the arriving refugees.

That’s the “crux” isn’t it?

It’s always, “Who’s going to pay for it.” “Not from my pocket.” “Let somebody else pay for it.” “Why should my family coffers suffer for somebody I don’t know, especially a foreigner, who may not believe the way I do.”

I am a steady and valid fan of Vermont. I have a good friend’s there. I like their community participation in local government, schools and social services. The rest of America should take notice and participate similarly. Vermonters are solid citizens of the republic and noble descendants of our democracy.

But where does refugee acceptance stop or start?

We either embrace into our democracy all refugees to refuel our republic, as our ancestors did, or we die on the vine of retribution because we fear the “other.” Emma Lazarus put it this way in her sonnet that emblazons the State of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

Congress, Trump, Vermont and the rest of America, who see 2017 and beyond through the vail of fear and unknowing, must make the choice to be the America of original grace and embrace the acceptance of difference or change us into something else.

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