Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, the U.S. Republican Party has turned to fascism in order to “keep America safe.” At least two dozen Republican governors have slammed the doors on accepting Syrian refugees. Republicans in Congress and the GOP presidential candidates have also called for denying refugees entry into the country.
Republican state lawmakers have echoed those calls. The current Republican mindset may be illustrated most clearly by Rhode Island state Senator Elaine Morgan (R) who has called for leaving Syrian refugees in internment camps, where they would be segregated from the general population.
we should set up refugee camps to keep them segregated from our populous [sic].
In her e-mail she also described her apocalyptic vision of the refugees’ nefarious plans, and she made sweeping false generalizations about the Muslim faith. She wrote:
I do not want our governor bringing in any Syrian refugees. I think our country is under attack. I think this is a major plan by these countries to spread out their people to attack all non Muslim persons.
The Muslim religion and philosophy is to murder, rape, and decapitate anyone who is a non Muslim.
After her comments received public criticism, Morgan backtracked saying that she had accidentally sent out the e-mail before she had a chance to edit it. She did not retract her demonizing of the Muslim faith however.
Morgan’s comments were rebuked by California Congressman Mike Honda (D), who issued a written statement saying:
I am outraged by reports of elected officials calling for Syrian Americans to be rounded up and interned. The Japanese and Japanese Americans interned after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was an outrage, as was turning away Jews at our borders who were fleeing German persecution. We cannot allow this to happen again.
Honda is right. The Republican response to the Syrian refugee crisis is disheartening, because it borders on embracing full fledged fascism. Terrorism is frightening, and in the aftermath of major terrorist attacks, reviewing policies and finding ways to improve security are paramount.
However, Republicans are asking for much more than beefed up security. They are calling for sealing our borders and creating internment camps for people, based on their ethnicity and national origin. If the GOP succeeds in turning America into a crypto-fascist security state, then the terrorists will have achieved victory. Far too many Republican leaders appear more than willing to let that happen.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.