Sunday Thought: Migrants are People, Too

Memes shared on Twitter and Facebook have long been berating people from other countries for entering Britain country illegally and getting jobs, houses, cars, served on a plate.

The memes aim to create anger and fear amongst hard-working people struggling to make ends meet with rising prices, lower wages, and other real-life struggles (that’s most of us, then).

But think for a moment. Read between the lines. You no doubt want the best for your family: for your children and other loved ones to be safe, secure, with a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. For your children to be happy, to achieve their potential.

People migrate for all sorts of reasons, and those arriving in this country whether legally or illegally want the same thing, too.  I cannot pretend to know what it feels like to be a refugee – to feel like you have no choice but to leave behind everyone and everything you know, your home, most of your possessions and embark on a perilous journey in the hope of a better future, because I have no idea.

But I can empathise, I can try to put myself in the shoes of people risking their lives to get here and arriving on these shores with no idea of what awaits them.

I remember that migrants are humans too.

I don’t know what the answer is – this isn’t a post about political doctrine.

It is about humanity.

History has plenty of warnings for us to take heed from: for example, in 1930s Germany the Nazi Party used socially-acceptable casual anti-Semitism to scapegoat Jewish people (and other groups hated by the Nazis such as Communists, gypsies, and gays) for the country’s problems. Draconian measures, implemented gradually over a period of a few years led to the horrors of the Holocaust.

You may think it is an extreme example, but it is not.

Remember that the posts denigrating migrants are there not to inform, but to incite fear and anger.

A click on ‘share’ or ‘retweet’ takes just a moment, and you may think it does no harm. But please take an extra moment to think about the people in the image, the story behind the words before spreading more propaganda, hate, and fear.

And fear and anger can escalate, which can lead to suffering – for us all.

These words below from Yoda might be from a fictional character – and without wanting to belittle such a serious issue I include this quote here because I can think of no better way to sum it up.

Remember our humanity, we must.

Fear

6 Comments on Sunday Thought: Migrants are People, Too

  1. Katie / Pouting In Heels
    September 1, 2015 at 11:54 am (2 years ago)

    Yes, yes, YES! Thank you for Leigh for writing this. Over the last week or so I’ve been truly horrified at the use of the word ‘migrant’ by the press and also, people’s reactions to these news stories. As you say they are people, desperate people who desperately need our help. How anyone can not want to help these people is totally beyond me. xxx
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…CHOOSE THE LIFE YOU WANT AND MAKE IT HAPPENMy Profile

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    • Leigh
      September 4, 2015 at 8:21 am (2 years ago)

      I’m appalled, Katie. At what the people are forced to do, what they have to endure, and by the attitude by some to it all. I don’t understand what has happened to compassion and empathy – too many people like to think ‘well I’m ok’ xxx

      Reply
  2. Rachel In Real Life
    August 30, 2015 at 8:54 am (2 years ago)

    This is a great post. I don’t know what the answer is either and I can’t pretend to understand all the political complexities involved. I do know that they are just humans wanting to keep themselves and their families safe from war and suffering.
    Rachel In Real Life recently posted…Disappointing Summer HolidayMy Profile

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    • Leigh
      August 30, 2015 at 10:59 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Rachel. You’re absolutely right – we need to remember these are human beings we are talking about! xxx

      Reply
  3. Sarah MumofThree World
    August 30, 2015 at 8:29 am (2 years ago)

    I couldn’t agree more! I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t know how Europe can absorb so many more people, but what I do know is that my heart breaks every time I hear another story of hundreds of people drowned or suffocated because all they wanted was a better and safer life. It amazes me that so few people seem to see that side of it.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Silent Sunday 30.8.15My Profile

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    • Leigh
      August 30, 2015 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

      I agree, Sarah. No easy answers, but we need to show more compassion and empathy to these people who will go to any lengths for a better and safer life xxx

      Reply

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