Picking on the weakest…
Some people just need a common enemy. Any group that can be easily picked on offers the perfect target. Minorities of every sort are often chosen because of their vulnerability. Bullying them makes weak or bigoted citizens feel superior. Some of these minorities have fought back and with time secured a certain level of safety, and the protection of their human rights. Still, immigrants are often the most threatened, because they are insecure. They do not know the ropes and cannot easily fight back.
Forgetting one’s roots
Figures will vary from place to place and from time to time, but I am always amazed to find that many of the most intolerant people I know were immigrants or children of immigrants themselves. There is nothing wrong with drawing a line behind one’s past, but please, don’t use it to throttle others!
Anti-immigration sentiment on the rise
Anti-immigration sentiment is increasing in various parts of the world. In Australia, a 2018 Lowy Institute poll indicates a sharp rise in opposition to immigration over the previous four years. More than half Australians believed that the number of people immigrating to their country was too high. Of course, this does not mean that all those people are xenophobic or racist. However, the fact that the rate had been capped at 190,000 for those four years would indicate that either the impact of immigration was being felt more strongly, which is unlikely in a population of about 25,000,000, or that intolerance is on the rise.
Scott Morrison‘s victory of Saturday’s Australian federal election is not that much of the “miracle” he made it out to be, even if it did defy the polls. Many countries are polarising towards the right, or intolerance, to which the left is not exempt. The European elections due this week may continue the trend. Nationalists claims to be the force that can save Europe from a wave of immigration that will drown its customs and well-being. The benefits of immigration are passed over. The thousands drowning in the Mediterranean are ignored, or actually helped to drown.
Nationhood without integrity and justice is hell
The issue is to protect nationhood. So we hand power to ruthless people, like Italy’s Salvini. We forget that nationhood without integrity and justice is hell. We get our governments to do our dirty work and slam our doors on progress and on the needy.
Thankfully, some people can see the world darkening before their eyes and are doing something about it. It is these people who are the light of the world; not those who demonise other human beings in case they may have to share some of their bounty. Sitting on the fence is no longer an option: act now and work for a fairer world, before the norm will be demonising the “other”. Today it may be the immigrant… tomorrow it may be you.