Compassion at Risk

Editor, News-Register:

The first sentence in the preamble of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights reads: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

The Declaration asserts that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” A belief in “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” is core to Unitarian Universalism: “every person, no exceptions.” Or as Michael Connelly’s fictional character Harry Bosch says: “Everyone counts or no one counts.” I am profoundly dedicated to these commitments to everyone. I am a citizen of the world!

For the most part, “the United States is a nation of immigrants.” Of course we haven’t always lived up to our inclusive creed such as when we refused to accept the ship St. Louis full of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis in 1939, resulting in the horrible deaths of hundreds of them after the ship was forced back to Europe with its human cargo.

Basically we have tried — very hard — to be welcoming and compassionate most of the time. Our immigrants and their heirs have shaped the world in freedom, justice, science and productivity. And for the most part we have been there with generous helping hands when needed.

At least until now when the ugliness of hate and bigotry have reared its head against people of color and non-Christian people seeking refuge in our country where there is plenty of room.

I am appalled that Americans are using bogus nonsense to harm millions of Hispanic and Muslim people. How can we rip a toddler from his mother’s arms or deport dreamers (many U.S. soldiers) who have lived here most of their lives? This conduct of the Trump administration is not American.

America’s nobility and compassion are at stake. We must oppose Trump and his ilk.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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