Letter: Gov. Baker gives in to fear, ignorance

Gov. Baker gives in to fear, ignorance

To the editor:

This letter was submitted to the Mass.gov on Nov. 19.

I am writing to express my profound disappointment with the governor's recent statement regarding the acceptance of Syrian refugees. At a time of crisis, America cannot govern based on fear, hatred and ignorance, yet this seems to be exactly the course that Governor Baker has chosen.

Let me be blunt, no one cares if the governor is "interested in accepting refugees" or not. His office does not give him the power to decide such a matter. Therefore, his statement seems to be nothing more than part of a coordinated attempt to create a partisan wedge issue for the 2016 elections.

While this type of pathetic game can usually be tolerated, this is an instance in which people's lives are literally hanging in the balance. I have to wonder if the governor thinks that not accepting refugees that will otherwise be left to wander around Europe will somehow make our allies safer or if he believes that refusing to help children at their time of need will somehow make them less likely to fall under the sway of al-Qaeda or Daesh as they get older.

No, this is a burden we cannot allow our allies to bear alone and if we want to stop the cancer of militant Islamic extremism we must not betray our values and refuse to extend our hand to those who face desperation.

One only needs look to the French, who have responded to Daesh's horrific attack on Paris by agreeing to take in even more Syrian refugees, despite the fact that they don't have the same opportunity to vet every last one the way our country does, to see how hollow and clearly political the anti-refugee statements by Gov. Baker and other public officials have been.

I must remind the governor that he leads Massachusetts, and while in some parts of the country, such behavior may be accepted, here he will be held to a higher standard. I can only hope that he keeps that in mind before he carries on with such unpatriotic sentiments.

Do better.

Adam Orazio, Pittsfield


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