There is No Us and Them.

By Terri Sloan

These days we hear a lot of lies and a lot about lies. Everyone is lying. No one can be trusted. Lies roll off the lips of politicians so often that we scarcely question them anymore. So what are we teaching our kids?

One of the main campaign promises that Donald Trump has made is to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States. He has repeatedly said, and I quote:

“We have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States. We don’t know who they are. They have no documentation and we don’t know what they’re planning.”

“We have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say, Trojan horse. Watch what’s going to happen, folks. It’s not going to be pretty.”

(Click here to read the facts from NPR)

Donald Trump is fear mongering. Worse still, what he is saying is not true. But this lie is helping to move Trump toward the White House.  Because people, who have brains and can think for themselves, believe what they hear and never question what is being said. They believe the lie because it’s easier. They believe the lie because it plays on their fears.  And then they repeat it, in front of their children, and to their children, and the children repeat the lie. To my grandkids.  And later, those sweet kids come to my house and ask me, “Nana, why do the Muslims want to kill us?”

This is deplorable.

Syrians are caught in the crosshairs of lies. Those who haven’t left Syria are in peril of being bombed to death on a daily basis. Those who have left Syria are caught in overcrowded refugee camps completely out of their control, in miserable circumstances, in muddy tents, unable to seek employment, families with pregnant women, children, and babies. They are not Trojan horses… they are human beings. They are the unfortunate victims of the power struggles of world governments. They have become Republican campaign pawns.

To Donald Trump, Syrian refugees are collateral damage.

Repeating words which are not true is lying.  If we don’t take the time to verify facts before passing along information, we are equally as culpable as the originator. We become liars. And when we repeat them to our children, we make them liars too. Why would people want to pollute the minds of their impressionable kids? Kids these days must feel so much anxiety about what is going on in the world around them. But kids who are taught to hate, well, they grow up to hate. It’s frightening to think how much worse the next generation of haters can become when their parents haven’t provided them with the tools of truth and reason – not to mention love and compassion.

If we don’t draw a line in the sand and keep to the side of truth, there will be no hope for us. The truth is all we have. Our society is sinking into a murky dark sea of upside-down-ness. The only way to stay upright is to know the truth and stick to it. It’s possible. It’s possible not to get dragged into the murkiness and keep our heads above the water. And it’s imperative that we are ever vigilant to guide our children gently toward truth. It’s imperative that children can separate fact from fiction, imperative that they know and understand – just because someone is different from us doesn’t mean they are evil. There is no us and them.

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