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There are many issues facing us today, among them are terrorism, mass murder, poverty, hunger, and immigration. However, we cannot as a nation live in fear and allow it to direct the way we react to these issues. As F.D.R. said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Yet we overreact, as seen by the actions of Congress to stop the refugees from entering the United States.
Looking back on our history, we have welcomed thousands of people seeking safety in this country. Many of these people went on to contribute to the well-being of the nation through the discovery of cures for illness and new technology.
We have acted wrongly, too, as in 1939 when we would not allow the Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany to enter our country, forcing them to return to Germany to meet uncertain fates. Among them might have been someone who could've found the cure for cancer.
And after Pearl Harbor we acted out of fear and rounded up the Japanese-Americans and put them into camps.
The members of Congress and the governors who want to stop the Syrian refugees from entering this country have forgotten where they came from. Can Paul Ryan say that his forefathers were born here? Can Donald Trump trace his
ancestry back to a Native American? Can Louise Slaughter show proof that her family did not come here from Europe?
We are a nation of immigrants and have always been a nation of immigrants.
My parents passed through Ellis Island and I have visited there many times. You cannot image how fearful those immigrants were. Yet thousands made it to this country, raised their families, and contributed in so many ways.
I am a first-generation American, the first in my family to go to college, and it just so happens that I am totally deaf. I would not have the opportunities I have anywhere else but in America. I am so thankful that my parents fled Eastern Europe.
Let us not be governed by fear.
DR. ROBERT MENCHEL
Thank you for being brave enough to publish the Mara Ahmed guest commentary (Opinion, December 2). This kind of tell-it-like-it-REALLY-is perspective, compared to The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys brain-numbing mentality that we are spoon-fed by most of the US media, is more than needed; it is essential.
Research will sadly lack if fetal tissue is not available. Fetal tissue has helped create breakthroughs in some heinous diseases. But if people rather fetal tissue be thrown away or buried where it does no good, so be it. And as for you who suffer from diseases for which cures could have been found, well, remember you might have been helped or healed, were it not for narrow minds.
On plans to redevelop the Rochester Psychiatric Center site for housing, hotel, and commercial (News, December 2):
From what I've heard, it's been abandoned for so long it's structurally unsound. And possibly haunted.
Damn... I was hoping they were going to actually use the building instead of tearing it down.