by William Skink
A recent anti-refugee protest in Missoula has brought the issue of resettling Syrian refugees back into the spotlight. The protestors appeared to be mostly scared-stupid old white people who came to Missoula from other parts of the Pacific Northwest to rail against Muslims and our negro president from Kenya.
That said, I think the efforts of the group Soft Landing to annually resettle 100 refugees in Missoula is equally ignorant. Let me explain why.
First, it should be a prerequisite for anyone entering this debate to be informed about why there is a refugee crisis in the first place: American foreign policy.
America’s imperial crusade to destroy any non-aligned nation is the primary factor in the refugee crisis. Under the sociopath of state, Hillary Clinton, the Libyan state was beheaded as a gleeful Clinton celebrated the execution of Gaddafi. Syria was supposed to be next in line for regime change, but those pesky Russians successfully stopped a Libya repeat in Syria.
If American foreign policy is primarily responsible for the crisis, then we have a responsibility to do something for the refugees, right?
The desire to do something and actual logistics of doing something are two entirely different creatures. While there is a solid argument that America should help the refugees that our disastrous foreign policy have created, I’m extremely skeptical about how the reality of this “help” is going to materialize.
Back in November, the Missoulian reported on these good intentions from Soft Landing. From the link:
Volunteer agencies work directly with the U.S. State Department to sponsor refugee families and individuals. They help refugees in a specific city connect with federal funding, housing, English classes and employment.
On Tuesday, a representative of one such agency, the International Rescue Committee, was in Missoula to get a feel for the community and to look at the resources available.
The initial visit went well and was well-received by community stakeholders, Poole said.
“The IRC was able to give a presentation to our group about the process of becoming a refugee who is placed in the United States, what our resettlement program looks like and an overview of the very rigorous security screenings that take place,” she said.
Unlike the scared-stupid old white people who think resettling refugees is a government-sponsored invasion, security is not something the concerns me about this issue. The reality of what Missoula is, though, does concern me.
Missoula is a beautiful mountain town where, simply put, wages just don’t pencil out with the high cost of rent for LOTS of people. Almost everyone I know from my college days 12 years ago moved away because they couldn’t afford to live here. The person making your fancy coffee drink probably has a Masters degree in biology. When I first moved to Missoula, I was shocked that I needed a resume for a dishwashing job.
But some Missoula moms saw a picture of a dead toddler washed up like trash on the beach and they vowed to do something. Great. Kids are in terrible situations all over the world, even here in Montana. Especially here in Montana.
People outside the crisis happening with Montana’s child protective services don’t know how bad it is, but it is. I had just one conversation with a social worker last week who knows she has several pregnant patients actively using meth, and people would be shocked how bad things have to get in order for a child to be removed. Adult Protective Services is no better–perpetually under staffed and under funded with a critical lack of infrastructure to safely place our increasing aging population.
But I guess there aren’t pictures to break your heart coming out of this crisis so it just simmers as a task force tries to figure out what the fuck to do. Maybe tap that fat rainy day fund, Governor. Or is that nest egg more important as good optics for your reelection effort?
If the well-intentioned Missoula moms want to help, they could be foster parents to help alleviate the quiet crisis happening in their own backyard.
At the very least, it would be nice if they educated themselves about why there is a refugee crisis happening in the first place. If Americans were more aware of what their tax dollars do when militarily directed, maybe they would question how effective quadrupling military efforts against “Russian aggression” will be when it comes to cooling off the war zones refugees are fleeing from.