For many, there is so much in this world for which we can give thanks, like family, friends, food and water, intellectual prowess — if we are so fortunate — but as 2015 comes to a close, I would also like to give thanks to a wonderful lady by the name of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose moving quotes show she's a real fighter for the people. Whether in regard to reproductive rights, economic equality and security, the drug epidemic, natural resources and energy, or our common humanity, America is more than lucky to have her.
On Nov. 17, Warren spoke about the Syrian refugee crisis, which was — and still remains — a point of contention in American politics. At that time, U.S. governors were petitioning to keep refugees out of their states. Islamophobia was ranked at its highest point since just after 9/11. Social media was exploding with polarized opinions on the issue, and people were trying to one-up each other with facts, graphs, charts, and quotations.
Although the United States hasn't reached a decision on this issue suitable for everyone, this Warren quote is a hopeful reminder that some American policymakers just get it. I hope it brings readers the same optimism it brought me.
And that is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees; a country made strong by our diversity; a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom. We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS murderers because some politician doesn't like their religion, and we are not a nation that backs down out of fear.
Our first responsibility is to protect this country. We must embrace that fundamental obligation. We do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation.
ISIS has shown itself to the world. We cannot and we will not abandon the people of France to this butchery. We cannot and we will not abandon the people of Lebanon to this butchery. And we cannot and we must not abandon the people of Syria to this butchery.
While Warren and those fighting for human rights face strong opposition, their message remains thoughtfully powerful amid the abundant fear. Her full speech on Syrian refugees is available to read or watch online, and it is definitely worthwhile. Here's to a less polarized and more accepting 2016.