Saturday, 20 July 2013

'us' and 'them' is actually all about 'us'

It's not about where they're being sent - though it would seem there are significant concerns on that front (such as in this smh article).
It is that we are sending them away at all.
It is that there is 'we' / 'us' and 'them'.

I am dismayed at the lack of courage in the leaders of this country to lead us - all they are doing with this 'stop the boats' rhetoric is following a portion of the community who are giving in to fear. This is when we need our leaders the most - to remind us of who we are, as humans, as a nation.

But Kevin Rudd announced yesterday that any boat that arrives in our waters carrying assylum seekers will be sent to another country for processing and resettlement. Rarely do we hear mention of the human beings carried by these boats, however, for dehumanising them is part of the campaign of fear, helps to label this a 'problem' to be solved. Who is afraid of these boats though? Where is the impetus coming from to 'solve' this 'problem'? Perhaps it's just that I have friends who agree with me, but all I have seen on facebook and twitter in the last 24 hours is repulsion that our Prime Minister would behave this way, on our behalf.

For in our lack of compassion, our rejection, our refusal to welcome and offer care, Australia is harming itself as much as we cause harm to those desperate human beings seeking our help.

This is not a problem to be solved, it is hundreds and thousands of cries for help from some of the world's most desperate people - and faced with circumstances of war, abuse, constant threat to life, I think I would take any means possible to escape. Wouldn't you?

How have we got to such a state of ignorance of our own humanity as wrapped up in the humanity of others? And how can we return from here?



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