The Emperor Comes To Alabama
As thousands of refugees stream north in search of food and water, the University of Alabama plays football. Some few people will heed the Athletic director's call to relinquish their hotel rooms to the refugees. Many will not.
Here is what should have happened: President Witt should have announced that the University of Alabama would forfeit the game to Middle Tennessee. Rooms would have been freed and important resources could have been diverted to helping the refugees. Instead, what do we have? Giant,gas-guzzling recreational vehicles vie for parking places near the Recreation Center where hundreds of hurricane victims huddle together and wonder if they will ever be able to go home.
It is a scene worthy of a Nero and testimony, once again, that the University will tolerate no diversion from its sacred mission of converting an educational establishment into a gladatorial finishing school.
David T. Beito - 9/9/2005
The term refugee simply means someobody who is seeking refuge. It seems to fit perfectly here. The term hasn't only been used for Haiti but for Cuba and Hungary. I can't understand why this is a big deal. It strikes me as the biggest non-issue in the Katrina affair.
Why shouldn't the folks in New Orleans *want* to embrace the term and emphasize how they do indeed share a common plight with people in the rest of the world and throughout history?
chris l pettit - 9/6/2005
Still waiting for someone to get it right...
refugees cross legally defined national borders...
internally displaced persons are displaced within ones own nation...
to use refugees is to engage in the same hypocrisy that our government and many others engage in when utilizing terms outside of their legal definition to make a political and emotional point. If you are going to use the term, than you should be willing to admit those being displaced in haiti due to the nasty policies of US intervention (which most won't) and millions of other IDPs from places such as the Sudan, DRC, etc. Now granted, they should all be considered refugess and the nonsensical immigration laws should be abolished, but what I am really looking for is consistency. Define your terms...if you are going to use an emotive and ideologically loaded term such as refugee, say that you are using it for ideology's sake...if you are going to use the legal definition, use it correctly...if you dont know, look it up. And no garbage about "common usage"...that means what you ideologically perceive to be common usage that usually has nothing to do with anything.
It is a common mistake, and I have seen many scholars making the same mistake...ironically, I have not seen IDP used at all...and that is what these people are...legally and objectively speaking
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