At this time, compassion is missing

Commentary: Being a Good Samaritan

One recent Sunday, in churches across our nation, many heard the parable of the Good Samaritan — an encounter between a Samaritan and Jew, a foreigner who was badly wounded and close to death.

Many walking on the road passed by; the Good Samaritan reached out to help. We all know the story. On the same day, as many contemplated this parable — maybe about the same time — our President released his now familiar tweet, “go back … to the totally broken and crime infested places. …”

The tweet was directed toward four U.S. citizens of color, all elected Members of Congress who disagree with the president’s policies. Three of the four were born in the U.S. The other is a naturalized citizen.

The contrast between the two events could not be more striking. And now, a couple of weeks later, we hear tweets directed at a majority-black city and their representative, Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee.

Though the tweets were directed at members of Congress, a related and equally charged issue is immigration. There is no denial that our immigration and asylum policies are broken and must be fixed.

Years of inaction across several administrations now confront us while violence and poverty in neighboring countries has escalated. Yet tweets and rallies that stir emotions on all sides of the issue only move us further from developing long range solutions. Better it seems to consider policies that address the reasons people abandon their homelands.

Some have suggested investing in these countries using a model like the Marshall Plan, a plan that helped to rebuilt Europe after the war. There may be merit in a similar approach. It also aligns better with the parable of the Good Samaritan and perhaps ultimately more cost effective.

Michaela Golya is a Fredonia resident.

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