Tread lightly


Sarah Lentz, Opinion Editor

Terrorist attacks in unlikely places, like Paris, will always make the news.

The world was blindsided by Friday’s events, but we are urging people to take a breath. Let it sink in and think about what you read, say and post.

Our brains are hardwired to make snap decisions after a tragedy like this, but now is not the time to make hasty decision.

We are still living with snap decisions made after 9/11. Trillions of dollars, millions of lives of soldiers and civilians and 14 years later, we’re not sure we hope the decisions would be the same. But that’s easy to say when our collective blood isn’t up.

ISIS should not be allowed to wreak havoc all over the globe. Let’s not forget that Syria, Beirut and much of the Middle East have been more terrorized than Paris. People live in those places too.
And the refugee crisis is linked. One of the suicide bombers gained access to Europe as a refugee. However, we can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Gov. Pete Ricketts released a letter to resettlement agencies yesterday, asking them to discourage people from coming to Nebraska.

In this letter, he wrote, “Nebraska is a welcoming place for families seeking a home to live, work and raise a family.” But not for refugees, because one of them might be a terrorist.
This was the wrong way to handle the fallout of Paris and the refugee crisis.

He might as well have said Nebraska is a great place to live if you’re a white Christian.

The world as a whole cannot give into the propaganda and hate that ISIS is trying to spread. If we turn our backs on these people because of Islamophobia and xenophobia, we are no better. Not every refugee is going to be a terrorist and neither is every Muslim.

Friday night in Paris was a shock to the system, but there’s still news developing from that. Let’s get the whole picture. Let’s be better humanitarians and let’s just catch our breath before we spout off more hateful rhetoric, or make a call we will question 14 years down the road.