Texas mayor says he's more scared of white men with guns than Syrian refugees


Correction: This post mistakenly viewed Rawlings’ comments as new; they were made in November of 2015.

Mayor Mike Rawlings of Dallas, the ninth-largest city in the country, said he is “more fearful” of armed white men than of alleged ISIS moles posing as Syrian refugees during an appearance on MSNBC last year.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Mayor Rawlings said. He has previously supported bringing Syrian refugees to America and Dallas, telling the Dallas Morning News last year that “we fall into the trap if we become xenophobic and paranoid about people in the Middle East.”

He told MSNBC in November 2015 he had spoken to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the issue, but said that they “disagree” about the risks refugees pose. Abbot is virulently anti-refugee along with most the rest of Texas’s state government.

“The safety of Dallasities is paramount in his mind and my mind as well,” he said on MSNBC. “We want to get rid of ISIS. We all agree with that. ISIS wants us to be divided on this issue. ISIS wants us to demonize these refugees, wants us to alienate these children.”

Rawlings is just one of many big-city mayors who have supported resettling even more Syrian refugees than the federal government currently is. Also on the list: New York’s Bill de Blasio, Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, Boston’s Marty Walsh, and LA’s Eric Garcetti.

Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.

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