No, 10,000 Syrian refugees are not in the city of New Orleans.
They are not huddled under the overpass on Poydras, they have not erected a tent city in Jackson Square. This, my friends, is a blatant and vicious fearmongering fabrication. An untruth. A manipulation--a lie.
In actuality, according to the New Orleans branch of Catholic Charities, there are only two Syrian families that have made their way to the city, and, it should be noted, these two families are infact families.
Not strapping young Syrian men in BDU's with rifles slung over their shoulders--unlike what the "conservative" disinformation network might have you believe.
And by you I mean the people in my Facebook feed who are, apparently, going out to stock up on ammunition.
All you need in 2015--to be a war profiteer--is a pithy domain name (like teapartycrusaders.com) and an active imagination. Then you can sit back and let that banner-ad money just roll on in.
Click, click, click--another life destroyed, another penny in the paypal account.
These rumors, of course, have been prompted by the massacre in Paris--and I cannot ignore that context.
I've been wrestling with this thing since Friday night.
I've got friends in Paris, and I've got friends who've fled Syria, and the bottom line is this--it is not an either/or equation.
It is not, either you're with the French or you're against the refugees. Or vice versa.
That, friends, is stupid.
I am for both. And I believe in New Orleans, and New Orleanians--and I believe we are for both.
And I would like to think, even if there were 10,000 refugees camping in the Vieux Carre, we would feed them, clothe them, and love them--and yes, watch them too.
And to that end, because there are not 10,000 refugees in the city for us to wrap up and make at home, take your outrage and channel it into something productive...like sending some cash to UNICEF, or, if you're reading this on your phone while rolling down the St. Charles line--send some money to Catholic Charities--they do good work for us, and should we actually get a sudden influx of refugees, they'll do good work for them too.
P.S. Don't pay any mind to the fool in the jesters cap, he is quite delusional (he think's he will be president), and we are desperately trying to get him back into his padded cell. If you're in Iowa or New Hampshire and you spot him wandering through your back yard, direct your calls to the Louisiana State Police. His family is worried about him.