I have met Kirk Johnson on several occasions and he is always impressive to me. Watching him on 60 Minutes was awesome. He spoke so clearly and directly about the problem. When you sit and think about it, can you believe that what we are talking about is a list of 1,000 names of men and women who risked their lives to work side by side with Americans in Iraq. How can a country of our size not reach out and help these people? Sweden took in over 40,000 refugees. Other countries took in all the Iraqis who worked with them. It seems so simple, so uncomplicated. These people went through extensive security checks to get jobs with our troops. They risked their lives standing shoulder to shoulder with our soldiers. Our soldiers trusted them with their lives. Doesn’t that count for anything? I was saddened and angry when I read some of the responses on the CBS website after the show. The comments that made me angriest were those that were based on fear of these people simply because they are Iraqis and perhaps Muslims. Such comments caught me off guard.
Although I do not agree with their logic, at least I can understand those who advocate for taking care of those who need help here in the U.S. Helping the 1,000+ people on Kirk’s List and taking care of those who need help here in America are not mutually exclusive goals. Just as we should also help those struggling after the natural disasters in China and Myanmar. Although I am young, I understand the problems with our economy. There are many ways to help that involve little to no money:
- Don’t be content with the sound bites on the nightly news.
- Write your Congressman.
- If a List family is resettled in your community, lend your support and a helping hand.
- Write a letter or card that can be forwarded to a List family to let them know they are welcome.
- Speak up when you others engaging in hate-mongering or spread misinformation based upon ignorance.
The List Project is focused on helping a very small subset of people that have already proved their trustworthiness and loyalty to the U.S. Don’t get lost in the rhetoric.