Jamiel Shaw Sr - RNC 2016 - Credit: Barbara Davidson, Los Angeles Times

On the first day of the Republican National Convention, the theme and the focus was “Make America Safe Again”. In my opinion, this was a smart theme to dedicate a full day of the convention to because in truth, Americans do not feel safe. In the last month alone there have been three major terror attacks in the world, as well as two massacres of police officers. And these are just the big headline stories. These do not include the stories of police who have been attacked all over the country, or people who have been shot and killed in the inner cities. Crime in California, for example, is up 10% this year thanks to Governor Jerry Brown’s bright idea to reform the criminal justice system, which essentially just means letting bad guys out of jail early.

Let’s just put this in perspective for a moment: Our government leaders are failing miserably to keep us safe, both at home and abroad. They are letting criminals out of jail, letting anyone and everyone into the country without properly vetting them to make sure they are not gang members or terrorists, and then they are telling Americans that we need to give up our guns in order for them to protect us. And they wonder why people are so uneasy (and so unwilling to give up our guns).

One of the people who spoke yesterday at the convention was Jamiel Shaw Sr. His son was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant gang member who was a member of a gang known to target black people. His speech was powerful and emotional. Today, one of the local news stations posted an article on Facebook about his speech. And as usual, the comments section was a cesspool full of people basically calling him everything from a racist against hispanics to someone who was speaking out to profit off of his son’s death. Many of the commenters also made the not-so-intelligent and completely heartless point that this man’s speech meant that he would have rather his son been killed by a legal American.

First of all… anyone who says this man would have rather his son been killed by a legal American is either willfully missing the point or completely ignorant. I suppose both are an equal possibility. But I do believe that more people in America are choosing to be willfully ignorant every time someone stands up to present facts and evidence of a case that goes against their politics. No, this man would not have rather his son been killed by a legal resident. He would rather his son be alive. The point that he and the other two parents who spoke at the convention who lost children to illegal immigrants criminal behavior were making was that in all three of these cases, the illegals in question had rap sheets a mile long. The same was true in the Kate Steinle case. Not only should they not have been in the country in the first place, but based on their ACTIONS, they should have all been in jail or deported from our country. As in, they should have never been free to roam the streets and commit the crimes they committed that took innocent lives. But to the pro-illegal immigration side of it, this is all dismissible. To them, the fact that the people responsible for the deaths of these innocent people were not supposed to be in America in the first place is irrelevant, because people who are here legally commit crimes too.

Here is why it is relevant. We DO have crime in America committed by legal residents and citizens. And it is enough to keep the hands of our law enforcement officers very busy. We DO have people committing acts of terror who were born and raised in America, so many so that the FBI is finding it harder and harder to find and stop them. We DO have major crime in our inner cities that is claiming thousands of lives annually. We DO have jails that are overcrowded and a criminal justice system that is taxed to it’s limits. And now, thanks to the left’s war against police, we are having a harder time than ever recruiting people to actually take on the challenges of becoming law enforcement officers. We have our hands full. Why should we also take on the task of finding, prosecuting, and jailing criminals from other parts of the world? Why should we make it so easy for wanna-be terrorists to enter our country, when we do not have the power or the resources to vet them and keep track of them? Why are we ok with accepting gang members from other countries, when we are working so hard to rid our streets of gang members who were born and raised here? How can people not see that if a person is a criminal and we have the ability to keep them out of the country, therefore preventing them from even being here to commit a crime on American soil, that IS a relevant and intelligent way to help keep Americans safe? It is not racist, it is efficient.

But we ignore all of these facts. We ignore the logic and the evidence. We take a person like Jamiel Shaw Sr. and we accuse him of being bribed into having his opinion and point of view. Because a black man standing up against illegal immigration or standing for a Republican candidate cannot possibly be doing so of his own accord, his own convictions, and his own intelligence. He must be bought and paid for. He must have an ulterior motive.

The real problem here goes back to the deep divisions that we have in America, where over every single issue, people run to their respective corners every time someone challenges their point of view, instead of listening to the arguments on the other side and considering what people have to say. If you disagree with me, it cannot be because your son was killed by an illegal immigrant and you are devastated and speaking out against it. It must be because you are being bribed to say what you are saying. Never mind the fact that we throw out accusations like that without any actual evidence or proof. Evidence, facts, proof, and logical thinking are all taking a back seat in America today. Everyone is controlled by their emotions and their politics. If you are pro-open borders, then everyone who wants the rule of law enforced must be either racist or paid off. Even a man whose son was murdered. When did we get to a point in our country where no one can stop and say, “Even if I disagree with you on policy, I can understand why you are taking the position you are taking”? When did we get to a point in our country where we alone are pure in our motives, and everyone who disagrees with us must be doing so out of the worst possible intentions? I am, for example, a big proponent of the second amendment and the right for law-abiding citizens to have the means to protect ourselves. But there are many people in our society who have lost loved ones to gun violence who are a part of groups pushing for more gun control. While I can respectfully disagree with their ideas and policy suggestions, I can understand why they are taking the stances that they are taking. I can argue why I believe they are wrong in their proposed solutions, but I would never accuse them of being bought and paid for by the gun control lobbies. We can, in fact, take someone’s motives and sincerity at fact value, and believe their intentions to be good, even if we disagree with them. That is something that is, in fact, possible to do.

We will never bridge the divides in our country or solve any problems as long as we have the attitude that if you disagree with me, your motives must be ingenuous. We will never make any improvements in our society if every time we disagree, we shout unfounded accusations, shout racism or sexism or bigotry. Those responses are the easy way out. It gets us out of having to do the real work of listening and finding solutions, especially if those solutions are difficult ones.

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