Oxfam Unleashes Devastating Moral Condemnation of Trump's Refugee Ban

By Jonathan Riley, Jan 30, 2017

Before I even start I would like to ask you to sign Oxfam's petition against Trump's refugee ban and then read my post about it:

In light in of Donald Trump's executive order banning refugees of genocide from finding asylum in the United States, it seems like a pretty good time to support Oxfam, an anti-poverty and human rights group that's been standing up for refugees since before it was cool.

Oxfam is celebrating it's 75th anniversary this year. For three-quarters of a century, Oxfam has stayed out of partisan politics. They rarely name and shame individual politicians. But this is one of those moments in history where the policies of the man in power are such a moral outrage that all of us are forced to pick a side. As the historian for the voiceless, Howard Zinn, once said, "You can't be neutral on a moving train." [1]

Before these latest executive orders, Oxfam's public facing communication was basically apolitical. Oxfam continues to lobby for the rights of the poor, but they did not even dip a toe into the havoc of the 2016 election. Despite the incoming President's campaign promises to undermine so much of what Oxfam is working for, the organization is prudent and doesn't want to get in Twitter fights that would end with them being trolled by the President of the United States of America, because now that's the world we live in.

So Oxfam's statement on November 9th was somewhat moving but also ...well, polite. Very polite.
“We hope President-elect Trump will reconsider his stance against refugees who are seeking safety in America as their last resort. Now is a time for solidarity and compassion, not a time to close our minds, our hearts, or our borders. We hope to work with President-elect Trump and his administration to help improve the plight of millions of people who suffer from hunger, violence and injustice around the world.” [2]
They started in Britain after all, so it's no surprise they found a way to be polite even though deep down the individuals who work for Oxfam must have felt an incredible loss. Because let's be real -- no one thought the then President-elect would reconsider his stance on refugees. He doesn't care if they live or die. That's his stance.

But Oxfam stayed above the political fray and continued its charity work in the countries Trump has targeted with this ban. Oxfam continued its work in refugee camps, helping Syrian children get clean water and a safe place to play. They continued their response to the starvation crisis in Yemen, getting refugees of that civil war access to food. They continued their humanitarian work with displaced people in South Sudan, despite the danger of being caught in ongoing hostilities.

In the weeks after the election, Oxfam did not name and shame Donald Trump, keeping with Oxfam's norm of advocating for policy reform but avoiding calling out individual politicians. But the second that executive order was signed, Oxfam's public communications flipped on a dime. They are no longer trying to "work with" President Trump. They are standing up against his refugee ban. They are actively encouraging protests against Trump's policies. Check it out -- this is from their Twitter feed this weekend in the days after the order took effect:

But that's just some intern posting stuff on Twitter, right? Well, the President of Oxfam America released a blistering statement that pulled no punches:
“Oxfam vehemently condemns President Trump’s harmful and discriminatory actions today to deny safe refuge for thousands of people who urgently need the help of the United States. Some might call this ‘extreme vetting’ but we call it what it is – extreme injustice ...President Trump must stop this cynical move to exploit fears and perpetuate prejudice about a group of vulnerable people.”
Oxfam is absolutely not a partisan organization. They do not get involved in elections. They have always stayed away from naming individual politicians. They do lobby for the rights of the poorest people in the world, but the biggest thing they do is charity work. They are a charity. Oxfam provided aid to over 22 million last year, and that earns them some moral street cred. [3]

The point is, when Oxfam calls your actions "harmful and discriminatory," an "injustice," and a "cynical move to exploit fears and perpetuate prejudice" -- well that's like being punched in the face by Mother Teresa: if even a Saint couldn't hold back, then you know that, whatever you did, you definitely deserved to be punched.

Oxfam is still a non-partisan charity. But now they are saying his name. Refugees are stranded in tent cities in the desert, and they deserve asylum, they deserve a home -- Oxfam has said that all along. But now they say his name. Trump. Trump's policies will strand refugees in camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Trump's policies are the reason these families are not allowed to make a home in the United States.

And coming from Oxfam, that's a big freaking deal.

Now sign their petition if you haven't already. And yes. You will get a few emails. That's the point, you are joining the movement: