“The brazen nature of these terrorist attacks creates significant concern over refugees from Syria to the United States, and specifically, the State of Georgia; NOW, THEREFORE, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: That all agencies of the State of Georgia halt any involvement in accepting refugees from Syria for resettlement in the State of Georgia until such time as the United States Department of State has reexamined the security concerns and established new processes for accepting refugees from Syria.”
I can only imagine Nathan Deal signing his grimy, childlike John Dickcock at the bottom of this recently released executive order; if I were there I surely would’ve broken the pen before he could finish. Deal now lumps Georgia in with several other Republican-fronted states that have taken an anti–Syrian refugee stance purely for show in the past several days. The states legally have no ground to prevent a federal sanction (one that, if Obama’s plan goes accordingly, will see 10,000 refugees arrive in the US by next year), and so Deal and others are signing pen to paper just for the sake of being xenophobic one-percenters.
Most of us experience the dialogues surrounding these events via social media bandwagoning or rampant Islamophobia oozing out of the “Old Friends from Back Home” (or, more unfortunately, the “New Friends Who Are Actually Jerks”) cracks in our news feeds. Facebook has facilitated all of this, with profile pictures painted up in transparent French flags and peace signs with Eiffel Towers in them. I wonder if Deal feels this same kind of publicly expressed empathy about the Parisians concerning his executive order. Meanwhile, we’ve got to ask: What will our community look like if we’re continually attracted to sensationalism on our screens only to ignore the very real ways that sensationalism plays out IRL?
The same scummy Nathan Deal who issued this executive order banning any Syrians from coming into Georgia until further notice is the same scummy Nathan Deal who signed the Safe Carry Protection Act in 2014. Also referred to by hilariously cynical protesters as the “Guns Everywhere Act,” the bill allows licensed gun owners in the state of Georgia to concealed carry in various public and private buildings. Hardly a day has gone by in 2015 without a mass shooting in the United States, leaving over 11,000 people dead. We’ve seen deaths like that of Matthew Ajibade in our own communities and no one to hold accountable, not even the systems designed to “protect us,” with little to no outcry from the same folx who immediately changed the filter on their profile pictures this week. Those same systems are now enforcing laws to prevent victims of similarly violent crimes from escaping them.
So, just in case you didn’t catch that, terrorist attacks only look like terrorist attacks when our governor decides the people holding the weapons aren’t white enough to be dismissed as “lone shooters” or “troubled misfits” or “protecting themselves.” Cause nothing says misfit like being run out of your own country and then rejected from everywhere else, too, amirite?