Angelina Jolie is a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In her speech “Refugee system breaking down”, she says:
“At its extremes, the debate about refugees in western nations has been polarized, with on one hand, some people calling for open borders; on the other hand, for the complete exclusion of all refugees or worse, for certain groups of refugees. But policies should not be driven by emotion. By what might be termed as naive humanitarianism. Placing the perceived needs of refugees above all other considerations, or by irrational fear, an unacceptable prejudice. Instead, we need to find a rational center rebuilding public confidence and ensuring democratic consent for the long-term approach that will be needed. ”
Naive humanitarianism!... Well... Mine is definitely not naive humanitarianism. True, my heart is bleeding, but it is bleeding for the injustice of blocking some areas of the world to some people because they were born someplace else. It is not bleeding especially because people are dying on the way to get to Europe or America. I mean it is sad of course, but there are people dying everywhere in the world because of wars too. Our hearts cannot bleed so much for so many people we do not know personally. That is a fact. Otherwise, life would be unbearable and we would need to commit suicide. Sure, just like any decent person's would, my heart bleeds for all the victims of violence. But I see that as the cruelty of men, the greed of men and unfortunately, there isn't much to be done about it. Plus, almost everybody condemns wars unlike the injustice of borders which almost everybody considers “natural”. That's what I personally cannot stand.
There is no excuse for InjusticeAtBirth, for GlobalApartheid, for BirthplaceRacism. Justice cannot be given up because it is impractical, it cannot be written off as “naiveté”.
“Rebuilding public confidence and ensuring democratic consent” is certainly essential. However, sorry to say to Jolie, the only center we need to find here is the irrational seeming one. The unreasonable one. The only rational center is coming to our senses and removing borders as blockage of movement. Movement is not even supposed to be considered a right; it is a fact, it is a life force. It is unacceptable when all animals, goods and financial capital can flow freely, but flesh and bone humans are denied that freedom.
PS: Please read the full version of the analysis of this speech.