Letter: Finding the human face

Sunday, December 17, 2017
Finding the human face

“We cannot care about what we do not know.” Just one of those old adages that seems so obvious.

On Monday, I read in the Monitor about Gov. Chris Sununu’s request to the president for an exception to the deportation of Indonesian immigrants who had come to this country illegally many years ago. This was a real change of heart for the governor, who had supported President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the deportation of “illegal aliens.” I started thinking about why Gov. Sununu spoke up on behalf of some of these people.

First, he became aware of their situation because others were advocating on their behalf, bringing their plight to his attention. This led to a greater understanding. Then, the governor met with several of these immigrants in his office. This led to personal knowledge. They were transformed from “those people” to human beings. He began to know them, and that made all the difference.

Our current president paints entire groups of people with a very broad brush. Gov. Sununu has removed some of the paint and seen the human face. I would encourage the governor to continue to look more deeply into the plight of others: the homeless who struggle just to live through each day; the people who have a mental illness and cannot get the treatment they need; the young who seek higher education without mortgaging their future; those who suffer from addiction, the plague that has hit our nation; the people who do not earn a living wage; the parents who work but cannot find affordable, quality child care. They all have a human face.

“We cannot care about what we do not know.” There is a lesson in here somewhere, Mr. President.