Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Refugee Crisis, call it what it is.

Picture this, your neighbors house is burning down. The family, let's say there's 5 of them, come to you looking for help. You vaguely know them, you know one of the kids as been in trouble in school.

"No sorry, one of you might cause trouble, go back to your house, or maybe try next door".

This is the reality of what we in Europe are doing. Our neighbors across the Mediterranean, their house is burning down around them. Yet people call for them to be kept out because "there might be terrorists with them", or "we have our own problems", or worse still "we can't afford them"...as if money is more important than human lives?

We have all seen the horrific images of Aylan, the young toddler who washed up, drowned, on a Turkish beach. Do we really have to wait until enough of these people die before we act? What will it take before we decide to show some basic human compassion and help our neighbors, our fellow human beings?

"They will change our culture" you shout, "they'll take advantage of our welfare system" say more. Do you really think that people who are fleeing for their lives are worried about what benefits they can get? They want to work, make a better life for themselves. The proportion of "spongers" from these refugees will not be any greater than the proportion of spongers within a native population.

They will not either, change our culture. They will keep their culture for themselves, as is their right. Now, if the native population starts to oppress them, discriminate against them and blame them for what's going wrong in society, then of course they are going to push back, as has happened in many places in the UK.

"We should sort our own homeless crisis first". Yes we do have a homeless crisis in Ireland, well in Dublin at least. But that is a separate issue, just because we have one problem, doesn't mean we can't help with another. The homeless issue needs to be addressed, yes, but it is not an excuse to turn these refugees away.

 We need to learn from the lessons history has taught us. When was the last time there was such widespread discrimination against a particular race? How well did that work?

I live in hope that the online comments, calling to keep them out or even let them drown, are being posted by the minority who happen to be louder than the rest. Otherwise, the "Ireland of 1000 welcomes" is dead and gone. We were welcomed the world over, time for us to return the favour.