It is unbelievable. Yesterday we told you that the Hagerstown (MD)Herald-Mail and Virginia Council of Churches staged a publicity stunt to manipulate public opinion in advance of the forum next week—a forum intended to inform the public about how Refugee Resettlement works. Today, Herald-Mail Editorial Page Editor, Bob Maginnis, published this piece:
Thumbs up to the half-dozen Burmese refugees who spent part of their Wednesday feeding and entertaining a group of residents at Holly Place in Hagerstown, an assisted living home for elderly people who cannot afford other accommodations. We hope they’ll attend the Sept. 19 forum on refugee resettlement at Hagerstown Community College, so more local folks can meet them.
At a meeting earlier in the week to plan for the forum, the suggestion was made and dismissed to parade refugees into the meeting. Anyone with any sense would see that such an exhibition would very likely just embarrass or hurt refugees’ feelings. The original intent of the meeting was to have a serious policy discussion with government officials, non-profit groups, and the public. It was never intended as a hearing for two sides to give testimony. My original hope for the meeting was that all facts would be presented and citizens of the community could weigh the pros and cons of bringing more refugees to Hagerstown. The meeting is not intended to make the present refugees feel unwelcome. Every day it becomes clearer and clearer that the original concept is being perverted.
It is a shame that the Herald-Mail ,with apparent support from VCC (because they were present at the planning meeting), sees fit to advance their agenda by using refugees as exhibits.
I guess for people like this, the ends always justify the means.