‘We’re going to change history today,’ the master of ceremonies at the August 28, 2016 DCRally4Refugees proclaimed – incongruously – to a mostly empty house. The rally was timed to build support for the UN’s September 19th Refugee Summit and President Obama’s plan to seed thousands more Syrian Muslim refugees in American towns through the refugee resettlement program.
That may have been the intent, but it backfired.
The rally made a very poor showing, the refugee organizers touting their grassroots support but drawing an embarrassingly small crowd. The Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument looked more forlorn than a Hillary Clinton book-signing. There were more organizers than attendees. The organizers – at one point asking people to text their friends to get them there – played to mostly empty chairs in front of the stage and a mostly empty lawn. The lawn was dotted with water stations for a throng that never showed up. Water, water everywhere, but no one to drink.
The organizers were clearly expecting a big crowd, but hardly anyone was there to hear the “mindful meditation” in lieu of prayer that kicked off the proceedings (‘breathe in hope, breathe out fear, send loving thoughts everywhere’). There was no Washington Post story on the rally as of press time. So what was the point of this exercise?
Like all liberal propaganda exercises, the rally contained kernels of truth – inarguable factual assertions and victim stories.
Some refugees are kidnapped by radical Islamic groups; ISIS is creating refugees; some are rape victims; some are gays oppressed in their own countries; and, of course, ‘everyone deserves to live in peace’.
Several refugees told their heart-wrenching stories; some are now U.S. citizens ‘with American values’; some are professionals, even military veterans. Trying to argue with any of this would be like trying to disparage a Gold Star family waving the Constitution.
But what liberal spectacle would be complete without a parade of victims, preferably children? The iconic September 2015 photo of the drowned Syrian boy on the beach was shown. There was a video of a kid doing arts & crafts in a refugee camp. A handout from the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA cited the “plight of children impacted by war and conflict” and asserted the “fundamental right of children to education”. As if that weren’t enough to induce a guilt trip for days, spectators were treated to mournful songs, a constant barrage of trigger words (“solidarity”, “compassion”), references to refugees ‘literally running for their lives’, and the dubious proposition that ‘every religious tradition is grounded in welcoming the stranger’. No disrespect to mindful meditation, but that old-time religion sure comes in handy for propaganda purposes, from time to time.
The framing for all this is found in the hand-outs at the exhibitors’ tent. Literature from Vets for American Ideals exhorts the U.S. to “live up to the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty” (“Give me your tired, your poor”). Public officials exploited a climate of “fear and uncertainty” after Paris and San Bernadino to introduce legislation that is “discriminatory” (Arab American Institute). #NoBigotry. Yes, all bow down to the diversity gods. That is the only thing to consider, right? Brain. Shut Down. Now.
Event Funding – The master of ceremonies claimed that the rally was not funded by George Soros and the Tides Foundation as reported, but entirely by grassroots donors. Then the M.C. asked everyone to take out their phones and text a donation on the spot. Bizarre – this was to a mostly empty lawn. Given that there was no great outpouring of visible public support for this event, something doesn’t add up. The rally website itself calls for donations to be sent to the Tides Foundation:
Either click above to donate, or checks can be made out to Tides Foundation – DCR4R Fund (IMPORTANT: note “Fund 2094” on the bottom) and mailed to:
The Tides Foundation – Fund 2094
P.O. Box 29907
San Francisco, CA 94129
The Tides Foundation had over $154 million in net assets in 2014. George Soros has donated more than $7 million to Tides over the years. Discover the Networks. Moreover, the rally website thanks dozens of organizations – including the multi-gazillion dollar Southern Poverty Law Center – for theirSUPPORT. It certainly appears as if the claim of 100 percent grassroots funding is bogus. It would take complete transparency – opening the rally’s books – to dispel this conclusion.
Welfare – The master of ceremonies claimed that refugees are ‘not looking to sign up on the welfare rolls. They’re here for community and safety.’ The Arab American Institute was more candid in its hand-out. Refugees get three months of government assistance with rent, transportation, food, and clothing. Then they become eligible for Section 8 housing vouchers. However, the hand-out omits the fact that great numbers of them also roll off to food stamps, Medicaid, and other entitlements. Refugee apparatchiks consider such people “self-sufficient” when they go on these welfare programs.
Redistribution – Was this a rally merely a plea to deal more effectively with humanitarian crises? Not by a long shot. The master of ceremonies opened the program proclaiming her desire to “promote social change”. Or, as it was put by one attendee on a chalkboard at the exhibitors’ tent: “abundance for all (without distribution problems).”
Open Borders – They came close, but the organizers could not keep their true agenda completely under wraps. There was a speaker from Love Without Borders. On the chalkboard at the exhibitors’ tent, people wrote, ‘My American dream is … for open borders’, ‘to live without borders’, etc.
More Refugees – The master of ceremonies argued for a change in U.S. policy to bring in more refugees; specifically, to double the number of Syrian refugees admitted each year to the U.S. The Vets for American Ideals hand-out calls for ‘increasing the pace and scale of refugee resettlement’. The big contractors that stand to gain monetarily from more refugee resettlement are more forthright: they want to more than double the current number of refugees from all countries to 200,000.
More Spending – More refugees would inevitably mean more government spending. Literature from Refugees International refers to government aid for humanitarian crises in Ukraine, Burundi, and Iraq. The Arab American Institute hand-out argued for an increase in Section 8 housing vouchers.
National Security – The Vets piece argued that it is possible to admit more refugees without weakening national security. The Arab American Institute hand-out is bolder, asserting that a “robust vetting process” is already in place. Nobody mentioned that, according to FBI officials speaking on multiple occasions, it is not possible to vet Syrian refugees adequately. The basic problem is that the Syrian government doesn’t have the information; there are no databases to check. See Daily Callerhere and here.
Mass Deportation – One speaker proclaimed that mass deportations are occurring on an “unprecedented scale”. This is a complete falsehood, as one glance at the chart below shows.
“ICE: Deportations at 10-year low, criminal illegal expulsions cut 60%”. Washington Examiner
Islam – It was mentioned several times that one-third of all refugees are from Syria and Iraq. Attendees carried signs emblazoned ‘I Love Syrian Refugees’. There were a goodly number of Muslimas in hijabs in the crowd. But not a word was spoken about taqiya, hijra, or dawa (the Islamic religious duties to lie, colonize, and prepare the ground for the final solution – jihad).
Other Material Omissions of Fact – There was nary a word about the mammoth government contractors who are making a fortune off of refugee resettlement and who stand to benefit if the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. is increased. Nor was anything said about the UN basically directing our entire refugee resettlement program. But surely the importation of more people who hate us and want to kill us, at the behest of self-interested cronies and an organization bent on erasing national borders is just as worthy of discussion as ‘opening our hearts’ and ‘sending loving thoughts everywhere’.
We Have Questions
Given the manifest manipulation and deceit of the organizers, it is fair to ask the following questions:
65 million Refugees – The mantra of the day was that there are 65 million displaced persons around the world at present. As one speaker put it, we are in the midst of the “greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II”. But former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg wrote books warning about advocacy groups plucking phony numbers out of the air to gin up their case. Goldberg cited homelessness and heterosexual AIDS as prime examples of public policy frenzies being driven by phony numbers. How accurate is the 65 million number?
Trump’s Rhetoric – Any opposition to opening up the floodgates to more refugees is just ‘xenophobia’, ‘cheap political points’, speakers argued. Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric is driving volunteers to refugee support groups, it was claimed. There are a hundred such volunteers now and ‘more signing up every day’. Sounds like puffery. How do the true numbers compare to the legions of activists (‘pockets of resistance’) around the country working to rein in refugee resettlement and wrest control of it back from the UN and crony contractors?
An earlier generation of refugees – the Vietnamese boat people – were conspicuously absent from this event. Could it be they were not welcome because they are, by and large, staunch anti-communists?
The rally attempted to put a human face on the refugee problem. Taking the speakers at their word, there are 65 million refugees today. But the United States cannot possibly take them all in, and it would be suicide to import greater numbers espousing beliefs that are incompatible with our own. Seeing the human face and opening our hearts can only be the beginning, not the end, of the inquiry regarding refugee resettlement.
As a propaganda exercise, the organizers served up pretty standard fare – the kernels of truth, the framing, the parade of victims, the trigger words, the tugging at the heart strings, etc. It was more of the same typical mindless feel-good stuff the Left always puts out – there was nothing challenging or sophisticated about it.
It is fitting that this propaganda exercise was held in a theater. But isn’t the Left tired of its own stale formulaic writing yet? The Left really needs a new script. This one is getting boring.
Crossposted to Liberato.us