Is it that hard?

Let’s talk about the “refugees crisis” (I wonder; crisis for who? Them? Us?).

Still with me? Great. Now can we all pause for a sec and try to think like human beings?

I know it’s hard to see refugees as ‘normal people’ just like you and I but yeah I can assure you that’s what they are. Before they became like you see them on the news they were teachers, students, business owners, taxi drivers. They were going to the restaurant, were obsessed with their smartphones and probably keeping up with the Kardashians, just like us. They are normal people, exactly like us, just born in a different location, but it’s not like you have a word to say about the place you’re born in, right?

They’re not invaders, they’re refugees. Can you just imagine the reasons that would push you to take your family with you and leave your home and your entire life behind? Go on a dangerous road with only a backpack and absolutely no clue or guarantee of what your future will be for you or your kids? Even if it’s not to escape the Syrian war it’s often a matter of life or death, or any other reason that would make them think THIS option is the best one for their future. I doubt they were just like “yeah let’s go to Germany I heard currywurst is good, I’m so sick of hummus anyway”… Now can you imagine making it to a safe place like Europe and have people around treating you like dogs and saying “yeah sorry please go back, we don’t want you here, you’re scary”… I mean, is it THAT HARD to have just a liiiitle bit of empathy for someone who is suffering? Even if he/she’s ‘different’ from you?

So you say “they should go to other Muslim countries, where they share the same culture”, yeah well Jordan and Lebanon already welcome more refugees than we do, with drastically less resources… Or you say “Why don’t the Gulf States welcome them? Why us?” Yeah true, why couldn’t we be shitty countries if other shitty countries are being shitty themselves? Or you even say “we can’t afford to have them here”, yeah well it’s easy to say that from our comfy Westerners’ privileged and safe lives. Who are we to judge which person deserves more to live a safe and prosperity life than another person? We, Europeans, aren’t more “deserving” for the life we have, we’re just lucky to be Europeans that’s it. It’s called privilege. And don’t tell me “but countries have borders for a reason and nation exists for a reason blahblah”, you’re ok with globalization when it comes to visa waivers for almost every destination for us and getting cheap Chinese products. And McDonalds.

750 million people live in Europe and an estimated 1 million refugees reached the Old Continent last year, it’s 0.13% of the global population of Europe. Even with 5 million of refugees, they would represent only 0.7% of Europe’s population. Can’t you really handle to have 1 “foreigner” for almost 200 Europeans?? Yeah I think our “western Judeo-Christian civilization” will do just fine… and just FYI, Muslim people have been living in Europe for quite a long time already, just like, you know, The Paris mosque was inaugurated in 1926… and guess what… some European countries are predominantly Muslim –hello Albania, hello Kosovo- can’t blame the Arabs or the refugees! Too bad!

But in this case it’s ok because at least they don’t bring Daesh with them? Well, we can’t generalize a population based on its rotten individuals or stereotypes (it’s called stigmatization, rings a bell?), and just as not every European is a saint, not all refugees are good people it’s true, but is it a good reason enough to shut the door to ALL of them? Do newborns and kids chose to be alongside with bad guys? To be stuck in slums in Greece? To be traumatized by warfare? But yeah keep seeing refugees are frightening savaged invaders…

It’s funny how it was ok when it was about welcoming Spanish refugees during the Spanish Civil War or boat people, not to even mention that probably half of our grandparents had been refugees during and after WWII… But it was different, right? There is always a good excuse, Daech this, Muslims are violent that (because Christians have a long history of peacefulness and pacifism obviously), but it’s only to hide the ugly truth: we’re losing our humanity and our solidarity. The exact same ones that we were so proud to wave against authoritarian and barbaric regimes not a long time ago…

So PLEASE even if you disagree, next time you see a refugee in the street or in the news, try to see him/her as a person, PLEASE don’t take their dignity away from them. Give them just that. Try to have some empathy.

Be human.