We Are Strong, And Resilient, And Greater Than Those Who Would Do Us Harm. We Do Not Live In Fear.

As horrible as events have been in NY of late, the response of local authorities and residents has been outstanding in its cool and its resolve. Yes, there is some element of luck to it that no one was killed. At the same time it was not luck that multiple bombs didn’t detonate and that the perpetrator was caught so quickly. Things went pretty much the way they should’ve in a free society: various people on the street came together; noticed things. The NYPD, FBI and local NJ police were coordinated and on top of it. People — aware of the severity of the situation — came together and contained it, limiting damage and casualties.

Put that up against a growing movement that would prefer to address security issues by restricting where and when ordinary folk can gather, talk or worship, while increasing militaristic presence on the street, and punishing people for failing to live in fear of their neighbors.

Refugees generally do come to the United States because they want freedom from the oppression of religious or political fanaticism. If they are fanatics, they generally stay where it is easier to be a fanatic.

Get on the 7 train in Queens in New York any week day after school and you’ll see young women in hijab joking and chatting with white and Hispanic and Southeast Asian boys and girls, because they’re all in school together. Surely that is what we need more of, not less. The fires of fanaticism are fanned by exclusion, not inclusion.

We are strong, and resilient, and greater than those who would do us harm. We do not live in fear.