After the sharing of University and Migrants, I got to thinking. Thinking is something I do often, it's a habit. People share such things but WHY doesn't anyone share what I write on the world and borders? Even the people who follow me and who agree with the things I say stay at the “like” level, nobody retweets or shares. This topic is so overlooked!
I mean refugees and their suffering, criticizing the deals about them etc. are shared. They should be shared of course. But why is it so taboo when I say that visas are a worldwide injustice, #InjusticeAtBirth? Why do I always seem to fall on deaf ears?
I thought about that too of course. I tried to put myself in other people's shoes. Everybody has a certain audience, everybody has a style they share. And the topics that someone identifies himself with determines that style. And nobody really identifies himself with borders being removed as barriers of movement like I do. People stick to certain identities. For example, people sharing the video mentioned are probably those against the current government. They have to react to whatever the government does. Without evaluation of good and bad, without analyzing like me about why they did it, what kind of results it would lead to etc. This doesn't mean I approve everything the Turkish government does. Nooo! Even though you may find some things somebody does very unacceptable, it is shameful to be against everything they do without thinking. Give the devil his due.
“Some call it a crime to cross an imaginary line (which they've designated) without some papers (which again they've designated)... I call it a crime to set up borders to block people from going places on the planet they were born,” I wrote on FB. I got a couple of “like”s. The friend who shared the above video commented “Exactly what I have always thought.” Eh if you have always thought so, why don't you share it? You share that video, why does my post stays at only the “like”?
I asked her. I seriously wanted to know. I have to figure it out so that I can disseminate the idea. Otherwise, I'll keep on trying to dig the well with a needle.
She didn't have an answer either. Just because...
So what can I do about it? Should I come up with slogans like....
“Like” but SHARE too!
Please “Retweet” on Twitter, “Share” on Facebook!
“Like” is not enough, it's essential to “Share”!
Taking Your Side
People share it when this topic is at another level. As we all know, refugees is the “popular” topic of our day. Even if it's not pop, it is a topic on the forefront due its always being on the news and its immediacy, its humanitarian side. Looks like there are two positions you can hold on this topic. One is saying “We don't want them.” Here, there are two different ways of saying this. One is “Even if they're refugees, we don't want them. This is our country, it's our continent, all these people coming are scum, lazy, wanting to live on hand-outs, they need to be sent back, they need to be shot.” And you can be sure there are people who are saying exactly these. Openly, even on sites like The Economist which is supposed to be an elite, “classy” place, they say “I'm going to get a gun and shoot them.” The others are a bit more gentle. “We would have liked to accept them, we understand they are fleeing war, we would have done the same had we been in their place, but we don't have the room, we are already in a bad situation ourselves, our resources are limited. We are very sorry,” they say.
On the other hand are the good-hearted. They say things like “Refugees welcome. We have an obligation to help. This is our moral task, responsibility,” etc. Good that they do. But it is inadequate. This discourse FALLS SHORT. Why is there so few of us who say, who put themselves on the frontline and say “This should not only be restricted to refugees. It is a worldwide injustice to block people from going somewhere on the planet they are born just because of the imaginary line they happened to be born in!”? Why?
Do people see that as a threat to their very existence? Is that their fear?
And why do I identify myself so much with this topic? I know the answer. Because I know firsthand how it is against human dignity. I know it, because I lived it, I felt it under my skin.
I felt it when I was made to run around for so many papers, I was made to make flight and hotel reservations that were to be cancelled afterwards, I was made to cough up money after money... All I wanted was to travel the world.
I felt it when I was refused by many cargo ship companies because of my passport, then made to sign a paper saying “I accept my bodily cavities being searched.”... All I wanted was to cross the Pacific Ocean on a cargo ship.
I felt it when the meddlesome check-in attendant made me run around crazy at the airport when missing that flight would have had a domino-effect on all my plans... All I wanted was to stay a couple of days in Dominic and get on a cruiser to go my way.
I felt it when I was returned from the Panamian border... All I wanted was to go and see a place for a couple of days.
I felt it when I had to risk getting rabies and dying a horrible death, I cried my eyes out out of exhaustion and desperation... All I wanted was to get out of Costa Rica and land someplace else where I could get vaccination.
I felt it when I went to the Greek Embassy in Rome to apply for a visa and was told I had to fly to Turkey to get it... All I wanted was to get to Turkey from Italy by sea.
I felt it when I was threatened with a 600 USD fine and a “persona non grata”- “unwanted person” stamp in my passport... All I wanted was to go back to my country from Rhodos, three hours away.
I felt it when I was asked for so many papers, belittled, turned around like a rat in a maze... All I wanted was to be with the man I loved, with the man whose baby I carried in my womb.
I didn't feel this rebellion only on my behalf. I felt it seeing people asked for so many papers and so much money at the consulate... All they wanted was to go back to their families. I felt it when I saw everybody found this extortion as normal, natural. I felt it when I heard the obstacles put in front of people when they wanted to go back to their country, where they were born, to their sister's wedding or to visit their mother in her dying bed. I felt it when I read a Pakistani father who hung himself because English migration laws had a special clause for minors to stay in England, and he wanted his son to have a life.
I felt and still feel these so deep, so from the bottom of my heart that when I think of these people whom I have not known, who have no “importance” whatsoever in my life, of what they have lived, tears silently start rolling down my cheeks. Deep wounds are so, you know? They are silent. Because you do not even have the power to cry out, to rebel. Life has dealt such a blow to you. These are such pains. Certain people of power and position deal you such a blow. It's bitter, it's very bitter what man does to man. These are such pains. A volcano has no intention of getting your life when it erupts, it has no secret agenda. Natural disasters do not discriminate you according to the imaginary line you were born in, your race, your religion, your color. It's bitter that man is made to be more scared of man, a creature like himself, rather than nature. It's bitter... Very bitter.
I did not only see the photo of Aylan's little corpse lying on the beach, I saw photos of babies whose diapers were pulled away, whose bodies were tossed around. I no longer need to see photos of people crossing a river in Macedonia, trying to go from one place to another in the Greek Islands, living in damp muddy camps. I know. These photos have been ingrained in my brain. These pains are lived every day. This torture is exercised every day. Moreover, it is done “legally”; moreover, it is done as having been inured even by most of the migrants themselves. It is easy to damn people dropping bombs. The essential hard thing to do is to question the “right”s that we've become inured to and curse them.
Don't people see that categorizing people according to the borders they were born in is a global injustice? Why don't they see it? Or why is this such a taboo?
Please let's pull down this taboo! Let's put an end to these sights that are a disgrace on human dignity, that make people set up walls/fences, which lead to such unnecessary suffering, rips the hearts of people like us, those who have a bit of a conscience, to be able to sit comfortably in their houses. Please... Please put an end to these sights.