Mike Rawlings, the Mayor of Dallas, Texas, is gaining support — and detractors — for saying that he is “more fearful” of white men than Syrian refugees, Sport Act is reporting.
Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday, Rawlings, a Democratic mayor in a hugely Republican state, was asked for his thoughts on Syrian refugees entering the United States. Since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris carried out by ISIS-affiliated Islamist jihadists, which killed 130 people and injured over 300, concerns have been raised about Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. Some have speculated that ISIS terrorists or their sympathizers may be hiding among the refugees.
The Obama administration has implemented a plan to accept 10,000 refugees from Syria into the U.S. As of this writing, 26 governors have stated that they will refuse to accept Syrian refugees into their states, according to Vox. Whether or not they have the legal authority to do so remains unclear — and, as Last Week Tonight host John Oliver points out, there are no laws preventing people in the U.S. from traveling or moving between states.
One governor who has stated publicly that his state will not accept Syrian refugees is Texas Governor Greg Abbot, according to Think Progress.
“We reserve the right to refuse to cooperate with any resettlement on any grounds and, until further notice, will refuse to cooperate with the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in Texas.”
Rawlings rejected the notion that Syrian refugees represent a danger to Texas or to Dallas, where he is the mayor.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue.”
— Indigenous (@AmericanIndian8) November 19, 2015
Rawlings also rejected the notion that ISIS represents Islam and noted that equating starving refugee children with ISIS is exactly what ISIS wants.
“ISIS wants us to demonize these Syrian refugees, want us to alienate these children… They’re Muslims and we have got to use the words carefully to show them that we care about them. ISIS is no more Islamic than the Nazi senior staff was Christian. And so we have got to differentiate between the two.”
You can watch Rawlings’ interview in the video below.
Rawlings’ remarks — particularly in regard to being “more fearful” of white men than Syrian refugees — touched a nerve. The Daily Caller columnist Peter Hasson, for example, opined that Rawlings is being a hypocrite for claiming to fear white men when he lives in an overwhelmingly white neighborhood.
“Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has said that he is more afraid of “white men” than Syrian refugees. Despite his fear of whites, however, the mayor manages to get by living in a ritzy neighborhood that is more than 92 percent white and only 1 percent black.”
Think Progress writer Jack Jenkins, however, believes that Rawlings is spot-on with his belief that white men are a greater danger than terrorists. Citing figures from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Jenkins alleges that “right-wing terrorists” have killed more people than Islamist jihadists since the September 11, 2001, attacks. Some of those “right-wing terrorists” include Dylann Roof, who killed nine African-Americans at a Charleston church in an attempt to start a race war, and white supremacist Larry McQuilliams, who attempted to burn down the Mexican consulate in Austin and then fired 100 rounds into downtown Austin before being shot dead by police.
Do you agree with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings that there is more to fear from white men than Syrian refugees? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images]