Thursday, September 01, 2005

American refugees

It's a phrase that's been emerging this week, as noted this morning on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show. American refugees are not something we usually hear about, because for so many years, this country has been a place to flee to, a place to seek refuge from elsewhere, and not the opposite. But now that vast swaths of one of our sizable cities will be a no-go zone for the near future, we have all these people who are refugees in their own country. To me, it speaks of government unable to protect its citizens on some levels, and now, of government struggling -- and too often failing -- to provide for them in their time of need. And while we can complain that so many of the people now being rescued should have evacuated the area to begin with, it's hard to generalize about everyone's situation. Perhaps they couldn't afford to leave or didn't have the means. Perhaps they were limited by ailments or the need to watch over others ailing. Some we won't get to ask.

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