By Armando Machado – 1851 Staff
Congressman Jim McGovern spoke to Lasell students and faculty in Hamel House on February 16. His speech focused on social justice and the United States’ role in the Syrian refugee crisis.
McGovern represents Massachusetts’s second congressional district and has been a stalwart supporter of healthcare reform, as well as fighting world hunger. He has traveled the world promoting peace, rather than trying to solve global problems through war.
McGovern said Syrian refugees are “fleeing oppression,” and those in America who won’t accept them because of a terror threat are acting “out of fear and ignorance.” McGovern fears this “irrational paranoia” will lead to a situation similar to what Japanese-Americans faced during World War II.
McGovern said the majority of the refugees are widows and orphans who simply want to leave a war zone. “The world has a moral obligation to be there for people,” McGovern said.
Since 2011 (the beginning of the civil war in Syria) the United States has taken in almost 2,500 Syrian refugees, according to McGovern. Germany, Turkey, and Jordan have taken in millions. McGovern reiterated his belief that “policies of endless war don’t produce anything,” and at the end of the day we are all humans who have the ability to help each other.
During his speech McGovern stressed the importance of peaceful diplomacy. “When you do things that are nice to people, they’ll like you and won’t wanna blow you up,” he said. McGovern acknowledged that much has to be done in order to have peace and says he remains dedicated to his goal.