President Obama sees a strong parallel between the first Thanksgiving–and the refugees pouring out of Muslim nations like Syria.
“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims: men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” Obama said on Thursday, in a special Thanksgiving version of his weekly address to the American public. “What makes America America is that we offer that chance.”
Over the past few weeks–especially since the November 13 terrorist attacks on Paris–the American people have begun to sour on the idea of taking refugees from predominately Muslim countries.
The controversy only escalated when key officials admitted it’s virtually impossible to sort out “good” refugees–the people Obama described–from “bad” ones–ISIS operatives posing as refugees to gain access to Western countries.
Since then, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives has voted for more stringent background checks on refugees. Obama has vowed to veto that bill should it pass the Senate–even though the majority of Americans seem to agree with Congress, not the White House.
Nevertheless, Obama ramped up a guilt offensive on Americans, urging them to show generosity to Muslim refugees:
“I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by loved ones and full of joy and gratitude,” Obama said. “And together, may we all play our own small part in the American story, and write a next chapter that future generations can be thankful for.”
He added: “I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by loved ones and full of joy and gratitude. And together, may we all play our own small part in the American story, and write a next chapter that future generations can be thankful for.”