Australians, and indeed the rest of the privileged developed world appear to have managed to successfully separate ourselves from the suffering of so many in the developing world. We use culture, nationality, religion, skin color and political ideals to separate ourselves and to provide ourselves with “legitimate” excuses to ignore suffering and pass off responsibility to “someone else.”
The differences which allow us to carry on with our lives blissfully excusing ourselves from any obligation to assist the men, women and children suffering through wars in Syria, Sudan, Iraq and DRC are not a new occurrence – for generations people have separated themselves to save themselves from responsibility or perhaps to spare themselves the discomfort which may come from challenging their own majority in order to fight for the rights of the persecuted, the lost or the marginalized. Think back to the USA – not so long ago legally trading in the lives of men and women – slaves these people are referred to as – how did this continue for so long? Well all those with power to make laws were benefiting, and all those who should have taken a stand (white people I am talking about now) were disassociating from those people who were being enslaved… They looked and talked different – so we treated them different….. And it was accepted at that time – what a disgrace.
Now, we look back and judge the sins of the past whilst we continue to treat people differently because they were born somewhere different to us … And for some unknown and inexcusable reason this is accepted by the majority of Australians. Oh, I know you are reading this in outrage – how dare i suggest you condone the unjust imprisonment of asylum seeker children in Australia, how dare I suggest you support Australia turning it’s back on children dying at the hands of ISIS, drowning at sea trying to escape Syria or being trafficked in Sudan. How dare I?
Well – how dare we let it happen?
Recent media coverage of children drowning off the coast of Greece escaping Syria may seem far removed, but only by kilometres. Australians trade with these countries, we have relatives in these countries, we profit from these countries. 2015 is an age where the world is small and physical country borders mean little, as they are no barrier to communications and trade. Things that Australia is happy to benefit from – although when it comes to dealing with the negatives, or the responsibility that comes with this privilege we severely lack compassion at times.
I ask you – when was the last time you did something – ACTUALLY did something to change the way Australia treats asylum seeker, or how we respond to humanitarian crisis such as those occurring every day in Syria, Sudan, DRC and Iraq? Sure our government is led by an inhumane jerk – but did you call his offices and tell them? Did you write to them? Did you write to the paper?
When Franklin Square was full o jackasses “reclaiming Australia” did you watch the news and say “omg, how embarrassing that is not the Australia I want for my kids” ? Or did you actually get your backside down there and stand up to those who would bully uneducated and/or misinformed Australians into believing Islam, refugees and migration are the heart of everything that is wrong in Australia?
I believe strongly that silence is consent – because your heart might be screaming against injustice, but if no one heard then no lives were saved.
If you do not believe that children should die unjustly because they were born somewhere else – because they are different to us, I challenge you to consider – When did you last DO SOMETHING to stop this happening? When was the last time that you did something to let Australia, that let our leader, that let the masses know that this shit is not okay?
If you honestly believe that no level of difference between a baby born here and one born over seas should permit to human rights abuses, deprivation, rape or suffering, than you might also believe this, although this child, a Syrian washed up on the shores of Greece:
The only difference between this child and mine –
We let this one die.
Did this entry make you angry?
Good. Now don’t be defensive – use that anger to go and make a change in the world.