Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he’s more afraid of white men committing mass shootings than Syrian refugees committing acts of terrorism in the U.S.
“ISIS wants us to demonize these Syrian refugees, want us to alienate these children,” Mr. Rawlings, a white Democrat, told MSNBC Saturday, referring to the Islamic State terror group by its acronym. “We have got to build a coalition of Middle Eastern states and we need to reach out. They’re Muslims and we have got to use the words carefully to show them that we care about them. ISIS is no more Islamic than the Nazi senior staff was Christian. And so we have got to differentiate between the two. Fight the fight that we need to do.
“These are evil human beings that are doing terrible things and we need to target our aggression and our plans against them, not children and not refugees,” he said.
Mr. Rawlings is welcoming refugees despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asking to keep refugees out of the state. Mr. Rawlings said he and Mr. Abbott are both concerned about safety, but disagree about the risk of refugees.
“I am more fearful of large gatherings of young white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Mr. Rawlings said.
“I was out in the streets last night in Dallas, looking at a great part of town that has had some recent robberies. Those are the things that mayors are concerned about,” he said. “This is a big issue and we as a nation must step up and make sure we’re secure, but we must not do things that change the soul of who we are as well.”