Let’s be clear here. This is about scientific thinking, not politics. So if you are one of the science nerds readers, this is for you. If you think this is something valuable from the politics point of view, you might be disappointed.
As of last night, half of the nation’s state governors made statements to deny Syrian refugees. Presidential candidate Gov. Jeb Bush even suggested a religious test, only accepting Christian Syrians, as a requirement for the program. The suggestion was criticized firmly by President Obama. He said that was shameful and not American. That made me feel urged to say something. I’ve been to Syria. I’m actually 3/4 of Syrian decent. I’ve family and family friends from all parts of Syria. I’ve known many Syrians who are Christian Orthodox, Christian Catholic, Muslim Sunni, Muslim Shia, and Atheists. They are not aliens to me. I know families who are going through very tough time. And refugees who are facing the harshest conditions of their life.
I thought that if we have 27 states saying NO to Syrian refugees, there should be those with good reason who will say differently. At that time, I only knew that President Obama was affirmative. But none of the other states Governers. Half of them said no, and the rest said nothing. So I sent a tweet to Gov. Brown:
Madam Governer @OregonGovBrown, Are we going to make Oregon open to refugees?
— Sami (@Samio_O) November 17, 2015
And I went to sleep and woke up in the morning with different things coming up on my plate, until I remembered that I have a talk show at noon without a guest. I decided to make a monologue about the issue in an open letter to Gov. Brown asking her to affirm that we will accept refugees.
I started the live radio show exploring the questions of should we or should we not accept refugees? Is our national security related to the issue? Remember, there was one or two of the attackers at the devastating attacks in Paris last week who was identified as Syrians one of whom came to France as a refugee. That is what built the narrative against the refugees, and I wanted to debunk that false narrative. I know that Syrians are victims of this violence as everyone else. My opinion is that we should keep our values of accepting people who seek safety without jeopardizing our own security. It’s an immigrant nation after all. Before going to a music break, I made the statement clear to ask Governer Brown to affirm that we accept refugees. To be the first state governors to say so after the issue surfaced as a national dialogue.
During the music break, I found Gov. Kate Brown did actually make a statement in about an hour before my show:
Clearly, Oregon will continue to accept refugees. They seek safe haven and we will continue to open the doors of opportunity to them. 1/2
— Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) November 17, 2015
The words on the Statue of Liberty apply in Oregon just as they do in every other state. https://t.co/A7hJcDznju 2/2
— Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) November 17, 2015
As the music finished I couldn’t hide my excitement and share it on-air. Reading the words on the Statue of Liberty was the best closure of the podcast:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Let’s get into the science here. Was this a causality or a correlation? Meaning, did Gov. Brown respond to MY request (Causality). Or did it just happened that she made the decision in the right timing. Well, check what happened the day before the news reported that Gov. Brown declines to take position on accepting Syrian refugees. So it’s a causality right? Don’t rush into glorifying or exaggerating the power my advocacy. Here is something I didn’t notice the first time skimming the article:
State Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, wrote to Brown Monday to ask the governor whether the state plans to accept more Syrian refugees.
And it appears that her tweet was a brief if her thorough response to the state law maker:
It happened that my tweet correlated with an interest in an issue by law makers and governors all around the nation. Oregon Governer was the second to announce after Washington state. By the end of the day we got several states saying YES. We are still opening our arms for those who seek the American liberty.
Spoiler: All the nay sayers on the state level kind of won’t have of a big impact. The federal government is the one that manages the refugees program.
One thought that I read today that it is notable that the ‘Bible belt’ is against refugees. I am hopeful that this is not an ideological issue. Jesus faced prosecution and most religions have stories and moral values that urge persons of faith to welcome those who are escaping prosecution. My knowledge of Moses, Jesus, Mohammad, and Baha’u’llah gives me more of visualization that they faced what those Syrian refugees are facing today. And this something that still can be thought of in a pure secular matter. America is the nation of all those who came as immigrants and found a safe heaven to build a thriving economy. The thoughts some are having today of fearing to welcome an entire group of refugees did exist before with other waves of immigrants influx during the lifetime of our nation.
So in a nutshell, if we stand for our American values and accept vetted refugees, we make it clear to everyone that we walk the walk. Because we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. If Muslim (and non-Muslim) Syrians find it safe and welcoming to be in America. The anti-western ideology is defeated. This is a causality relationship.
My letter to Gov. Brown last night and her statement today, just a correlation.
Folks, this was our scientific thinking lesson today about causality and correlation.