Anthony Stanton, of Baltimore, said he began keeping up with the coverage in Syria following news reports of the devastation following the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
But while acknowledges the horror of such attacks, he believes that U.S. involvement would lead to the conflict getting out of hand and thousands of troops, including many young African Americans, being deployed there.
“Going to war [would] be an injustice,” said Stanton, 28, a neo-soul and jazz musician. “I don’t think it will be a good idea. We’ve already lost…thousands of our people in war and to go right back would be an injustice to the American people.”
Stanton said the U.S. government should first consider other options, such as negotiations and conflict resolution before waging war on Syria. The Belair-Edison resident said his cousin, who served in the U.S. Navy for four years, “heavily discouraged” him from joining the military.
“If they did a draft I would be going to jail,” said Stanton. “I refuse to be solicited somewhere I am not welcomed.”
Glen Oak resident, Gregory Prince, 27, who works as a police officer in Baltimore city, said he had not been paying much attention to the pending conflict in Syria.
He said he heard the United States is “supposedly going to war.”
Unlike Stanton, Prince, who comes from a military background, said he would be proud to serve his country if drafted. He said both of his parents and his cousins all served in the military and he initially wanted to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I’m the first person in my family who decided not to go into the military,” said Prince. “My mom didn’t want me to go, mostly because I am an only child.”
Prince said he believes the war would bring negative attention to the United States. He said the country should take care of local and national issues before acting on the international stage.
Charlotte Simmons, 61, who works in an African shop in the Charles Village area, agrees that the United States should first focus on domestic concerns. Simmons said she is also concerned about the cost of the United States’ involvement in Syria.
“We just had two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where we spent gobs of money,” said Simmons. “There are other needs…like healthcare and education. People are hungry. People are homeless. There are no jobs.”
She said she is uncertain about U.S. involvement in Syria and questions what it will mean for the future of the United States.
“Even though we are looked at as a powerful country, I don’t think we should be the country to run and save everyone,” Simmons said.