Please read this with caution. I don’t have the answers. I have my thoughts. That’s it. We are living with a Wicked Problem. If you don’t know what that is read my earlier post The Wicked Problem.
I’m really struggling at the moment. I feel really torn between what I can say and what I am allowed to say. What is deemed appropriate. What is deemed racist or xenophobic.
The word xenophobic has become a buzz word recently. It seems fashionable to throw it into every sentence. You can’t argue with it, or defend it. As soon as your opinion, which may actually be sensible, is laid out. XENOPHOBE.
I don’t think I am a xenophobe, or a racist, or sexist, or a feminist. But then Hitler probably didn’t think there was much wrong with him. And Donald Trump certainly believes he does no wrong. So maybe I am. Maybe I am just in denial.
I prefer to think of myself as an intelligent realist. Someone who looks beyond the immediate problem and questions the long term solution. So before you start reading this article and judging who I am please bare in mind I literally couldn’t give a shit if you are black, white, muslim, Catholic, Irish, Iraqi, male or female. If you are a decent human being then you are a fantastic human being. Non of the words in the aforementioned list define that. You define that.
I have to admit, seeing the ‘young’ men who walked into our country the other day did make me a little angry. I can’t help it. I want to see young children, mothers and the vulnerable / sick, heading into the country for support before seemingly healthy looking men. However, it was pointed out to me through an article in the Independent, I don’t know the history of these men. They could have spent the last 20 years being raped. They could have found themselves in Calais because they risked their life to bring their 8 year old brother here, but he died on the journey. It’s hard to see through the media and accept the view that there is a real story behind each young or old person and it is pretty shit to presume the story is “He abandoned his country and pushed babies out of the way to get into ours”
Still. I do have a personal, albeit potentially rose tinted, view on what we ought to be doing.
Without DOUBT the world has to support each other. We have a duty as humans to help. I always think that if I make it to the top, my desires are to reach down and say “hey, come on, I’ve got you! It’s great up here” helping those who are trying to reach the top but struggling. So I also feel that as a country we need to look at the rest of the world and say “Come on! We’re here. We’ve got you”
The only problem is that I can’t just presume everyone wants to be on the top of my success mountain. They might actually not want to be there. They may want to be on top of a completely different success mountain.
People talk about the living conditions in Calais being ‘inhabitable’. How many of us westerners have been to a village in Afghanistan, Somali or Syria? Apparently people in Calais have been living by ‘open sewers’ which for me and half the western world sounds horrendous. Having said that, the closest to any of these countries I have been to is Tunisia and Turkey. I almost died in Tunisia. It looked like a war-zone, the animals were treated like shit and every single day I had to jump over a river of shit to cross the road. I witnessed a man actually curling one off on the street in Tunisia and then MERRILY getting on with his day. He really wasn’t upset by the fact he had just done, what I deem as the most humiliating of bodily functions, in front of the whole city. It was, in fact, his norm.
I watched Bear Grylls Celebrity Island the other day. It is a perfect example of how ridiculous we have become. We know nothing about basic survival in this country. And we presume that everyone else would be as HORRIFIED by the situations we find unimaginable, as we are. I am pretty sure if you popped some Tunisian residents on Bear Grylls Island they would see it as a decent holiday.
I’m not belittling anyone here, well only my society really. I am merely trying to point out that everything is relative. We cannot judge based on our own experiences unless we have those experiences, that upbringing, that world.
If you shit on a street in London you get arrested. No one even looked at this man in Tunisia. What we see as poverty others don’t recognise.
Does this make it ok. No, not at all.
The media is crap. We can probably all agree on that.
My thoughts on how we solve this problem is that by simply taking in refugees we are not solving anything, we are merely encouraging mass immigration. That isn’t great. Not because I am racist. But because it simply doesn’t work. We DO have limited space in our countries. All of them. We simply CANNOT help everyone. It doesn’t work. It is an airy fairy way of looking at life. We can’t even house our own nationals. There are ex forces living on the street, homeless and jobless. This isn’t because of immigration. It’s because we are in crisis. A different type of crisis. But one relative to our position.
What we can do is say “Ok. We need a plan. Any family wanting to safe guard their children should be absolutely supported 100 percent” The rest of the western world should commit to taking in a processing anyone seen as a refugee.
Thing is though, during WWII we had evacuees. These were children, separated from their families. The elder members of the families stayed but got their children to safety. And I can’t help but feel, this is really what should be happening now. I would instantly open my door to children from any country whilst their parents and other family members went to defend their country. It isn’t ideal is it? Separating a child from their mother or father. But in times of desperation, we need to protect the young. Why? Of course because they are children. But also, because the young are the key to our survival and will shape this world and its future.
So, I suppose a part of me feels what we ought to be doing right now is bringing in as many children as we can. Offering a safe family environment. Offering a good strong education. Should people be concerned we will ‘white wash’ them with our educations and beliefs, we set up cultural learning centers for the refugees where they are taught by brilliant western ‘muslims’ (For fear of being called racist insert preferred race / religion etc here) We set up a crisis plan to keep the children as safe as possible by helping to educate them to a better standard than they have, which is virtually no standard, in their countries. So when they return home, they can build a better home. Of course I will probably be accused of some toshwallop because I said ‘send them home’ What I mean by this statement is, by educating them with the lessons learnt by the western world whilst respecting their culture, we aim to make them proud enough to want to return home to make a difference. Armed with the very best weapon of all. Education.
Whilst all this is going on, all western countries should dedicated part of their armed forces to helping the adults to liberate their country. Fight for it. Own it. Offering, again, education to anyone who wants to create a country that is fair. Teaching them what we have learnt about building an economy. Creating jobs, trade. THIS is where we need to be aiming. Educating whilst celebrating the culture of these countries.
Is it that simple? NO. It really isn’t.
It’s just that all the people yelling in my face I am a racist for trying to pick through the wicked problem, don’t appear to be offering a sensible solution. Any solution. But if we take the ‘non racist, non xenophobic way’ we’ll end up with an over populated country, not able to help with anymore people fleeing their countries (which they will once they see we are happy to help everyone)
I WISH we could help everyone. I do. I wish I could open the door to every homeless person on the street and give them a bed. I WISH I could solve the problem. But, it isn’t as simple as that.
To solve this issue, we have to be helping people who want to fight and liberate their country. Who want to do that for their children. And we HAVE to be brave enough to come up with a sensible plan to help that happen.
I am more embarrassed by the lack of knowledge my friends who call me racist have, than my honest approach to find a practical and fair solution.
I await this blog to be pulled apart at the seams by people who have entirely missed the point.
Yes. Every single human on this planet deserves the same love and compassion. But in times of crisis there has to be first, a formulated and achievable plan, secondly a real solid pair of shoulders to implement that plan.
Not crying celebrities apologising for their country or angry sports presenters yelling the word racist at anyone asking ‘How are we actually going to solve things this way’
Please get real Great Britain.
Before we sink.
And just one more note, I think all of the charities, the men and women who have found clothing, food and kindness for everyone in Calais, should be saluted and respected. Whatever your view on how we solve this or not. These people are doing something to make a difference. Not just spouting words and accusations. They are, by their very actions, being human. Hats off.