Today, my local paper joins Greg Belfrage and me in saying that fascist rhetoric is nuts:
Tapio upped the rhetoric in a news release issued Feb. 5 by his U.S. House campaign: “… anyone, any organization, business or political candidate who fails to support the resolution is by omission declaring themselves an apologist for radical Islam, an enemy of the state and de facto supporter of and accomplice to violent jihad on American soil.”
Let that sink in. By not supporting his resolution, Tapio calls fellow lawmakers enemies of the state and accomplices to jihad [editorial, “On Refugees, Lawmakers Lead by Fear,” Aberdeen AmericanNews, 2018.03.14].
The AAN editors recognize that Tapio’s colleague, Aberdeen’s own Senator Al Novstrup, follows the same Trumpist, fascist path in his unconstitutional call for racial profiling, which has been roundly criticized by multiple observers. The editors say legislators should ask questions about immigrants and refugee resettlement, but for the purpose of gaining useful policy knowledge, not scapegoating:
…[W]e agree that South Dakota should ask a lot of questions about refugee resettlement.
But those questions aren’t about race or religion or treating people differently because they don’t look like the majority.
Questions we should ask might include: Do our cities have the capacity to bring in dozens or hundreds of refugees? Can our school systems support these families? Do we have jobs enough for these folks, and are they being trained? How about our police and sheriffs — do they have the right staffing, tools and outreach? How are we giving messages to folks just learning English? What options do we have to make people feel welcomed and part of the community?
These are questions Tapio and Novstrup do not seem to be asking.
Those are questions of curiosity and friendliness, not fear. And they are much more in keeping with the South Dakota we all know [editorial, AAN, 2018.03.14].
Keep that in mind: Novstrup and Tapio aren’t interested in providing schools, towns, and counties with the resources they need to welcome newcomers; Novstrup and Tapio want to stir fear and hatred, protect their own political positions, and bar the door to the wave of new immigrants we need to keep our local economies growing.
Real statesmen solve problems for the good of everyone in South Dakota. Fearful Novstrup and Tapio make problems worse.