WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration agreed Wednesday to greatly expand the number of Iraqi refugees allowed into the country and to pay more to help Iraq's Arab neighbors cope with the human tide fleeing increasing violence and economic hardship in their country.Now, I realize this sounds slightly bigoted, but the simple fact is, we in the blue states have our fair share of immigrants to deal with. We get news ones annually. They like staying here because, well, they know they won't be lynched.
The decision to allow about 7,000 Iraqis to come to the United States answers mounting political and diplomatic pressure on the administration to do more to remedy the consequences of a war it largely started. Only 202 Iraqis were allowed in last year.
So here's an idea: take these 7,000. Let's set up a community for them in a red state...one with a lot of bigots...let's say Tennessee...or Kentucky...someplace rural where the rednecks outnumber even the dogs.
Now, let's plop down a town of 7,000 Iraqis. Right there, in the middle of Pennsyltucky. We can even provide them with a prefab community: prebuilt housing, we'll give them their own police and fire departments, sanitation, hot and cold running water (that alone ought to cheese the neighbors off), and then let them be. What we WON'T give them is jobs or stores.
Let them interact with the surrounding towns. Let's see what happens.
But you know damned well that's not how it would play out, but I'd be curious to see how these immigrant interact with the residents. And I think it would be an eye-opening experience for all of us to see what happens when a community opens its arms to strangers in big numbers. Mostly, I think it would introduce a level of learning and tolerance unprecedented in American history.
See, America is so big that its easy to get away from a local problem. "There goes the neighborhood"? Move to a new one, hell, move to a new state! Region! Coast! Get away from the problem!
And then you can sit there in your moss-covered tower and spit invective at the people who stuck it out and were rewarded with a new culture, new friends, new ideas. You can hold antiquated regressive reactionary thoughts in your head, never realizing there's an entire world out there that not only are you missing out on, but that you are by definition a part of and wouldn't it be nice if you kept up?
It's a pity there are so many people like that out in the world. I think this idea can make that population that much smaller.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky