Syrian Refugees Flee War-Torn Country for Cable TV?

If you were questioning your sanity after the Mike Huckabee Q&A, don’t worry — you heard him completely correctly. The former Arkansas governor said, in some attempt at twisted humor,

“Are they [Syrian refugees] really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV?… [Syrian refugees] could be people who have a nefarious purpose for wanting to be here.”

While Syrians are drowning, being humiliated, and beaten while crossing borders – here’s some news for you: they’re not coming for your cable TV.

We know what you’re trying to do here, Huckabee. People like you use these disgusting comments to downplay such serious situations, in an attempt to brush off the magnitude of what we are dealing with: the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Spewing ignorant comments as such will only allow the cold-hearted to keep believing that people from another part of the world, people who are suffering, are the “others.” As if there is no real obligation on us to do anything for them. As if they are not deserving of our sympathy. Are they not human beings? Do they not deserve the same safety, peace, and tranquility as you do?

You may think Syrians have ‘nefarious purposes’ for leaving their war-torn country – but answer me this: What nefarious purpose would push Aylan Kurdi’s father to placed his three-year old on a rubber boat, only for him to be founded laying lifeless on a Turkish beach? What nefarious purpose would force seven-month pregnant Najibah to walk for eight long days to get to Hungary? What nefarious purpose could possibly make a parent choose the possibility of their children’s death over miserable life under a dictatorship? Your 150 channels of cable tv?

I ask you, sir, to review YOUR ‘nefarious purposes’ when dehumanizing the thousands of refugees fleeing their war-torn countries. And for you to search for your long lost humanity. Try to place yourself between a war-torn country and a sea sparking a hope for survival – and you might just stumble upon something called empathy.

Written By Sabena Chaudhry