Perspectives from Street Sense vendors on the withdrawal from Afghanistan
The US made the right call on refugees
By Aida Peery
Even though Republicans did a pre-emptive strike against Iraq 20 years ago, leading to a long war in Afghanistan, a few weeks ago we gave the country back, forcing thousands of refugees to flee their homes.
I as well as others in America know that once we do a preemptive strike against another country, we have to rebuild it, not bring in its refugees. They shouldn’t be part of the fabric of our own nation. But, they are today.
I am a D.C. resident, a taxpayer, and someone who became homeless due to the loss of my job. Not being able to find a job immediately after, I hustled with all of my courage and one-time emergency rental assistance.
I had no choice but to go to a shelter or live in the streets. D.C. has a huge homeless population for a small city, even though some bigger cities have more homeless people overall.
It would be an injustice to give refugees homes in Washington, D.C. when we have a homeless population that needs homes too. Those who have been waiting patiently for years are growing impatient.
So, I think that the Biden Administration made a good call to spread refugees’ families into other states that don’t have as many people experiencing homelessness.
Let’s not forget what happened in 2004 and 2005, when Katrina victims from New Orleans got shelter while those who had been homeless for years in D.C. got nothing. Everybody was salty about how the Mayor and Councilmembers treated the city homeless population that kept growing.
The Biden Administration did the right thing by funding charities and recruiting volunteers to make refugees more comfortable in Virginia and Maryland, rather than D.C. where the needs are already so great.
Aida Peery is an artist and vendor program associate with Street Sense Media.
Afghanistan is a tragedy, but people at home need help too
By Colly Dennis
As sad as it was when the U.S. Army pulled out of Afghanistan, it was just a reminder of a lost cause.
No one won this conflict. No one deserved to lose their loved ones over a war that we can declare a loss.
This was not a mission accomplished. This was a mission not abandoned or lost. Many people fleeing the country had no idea it was coming.
Now they have to learn and adapt to a whole new country and a whole new culture, music, traditions, and customs.
But the main question remains: Where were all these churches and volunteers that have turned out to support refugees as people lived and died on the streets of the D.C. area for years?
The federal government is already doing a great job helping everyone. But they should help their people at home, too.
Colly Davis is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.
Supporting Afghans, and supporting Black people
By Rita Sauls
The aftermath of the war in Afghanistan shows that the U.S. is a divided nation.
I’ve never felt any support from any race or culture except my own culture, which is Black. No one has ever mobilized efforts on our account other than the Black church, as if America is not our home. That’s why America allows Black Americans to stay on the streets, while they put non-Americans in AirBnb properties.
Is this going to end with a race war? It looks like everything is heading toward that. I’d personally rather fight for my respect, dignity, and freedom, than be a part of something I don’t support.
What I do support is more love for the Black race continued through God’s grace, less hate, and a nation that God creates, not us.
Rita Sauls is an artist and vendor with Street Sense Media.