War is a concept that I hope most people can agree brings out the worst in people. I am in the group that genuinely believes that people are good in heart and that we just want to live in peace. Nonetheless what I am alluding to is that war has caused a great problem it has caused people to flee from their homes to parts unknown to them. Perhaps one of the most difficult decision a person makes, to sacrifice everything and leave because their home has been ravaged by war, terrorist groups, and a high crime rate.
Seeing this trend around the world especially in Central America and Syria and Iraq one would be able to empathize with them, not just because it is the human thing to do but also because if we were in their shoes would we not want the same in return. Unfortunately, that is not case, in the developed countries we see many people in governmental positions demonize refugees coming from both Central America and the Middle East calling them criminals and rapist.
A couple of weeks ago the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, came out with a cartoon about Aylan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian boy that drowned in the Mediterranean sea, stating the Christian children walk on water while Muslim children sink. Even though the magazine is satirical it is not only extremely distasteful to use the death of a three year old to make a joke it is utterly disappointing. Politicians in the west have a tendency to use the victims in order to create the fallacy that they are to blame for the condition they are in, instead of focusing on the root of the problem.
In the United States, recently the Department of Homeland Security have been conducting raids across the country in order to deport undocumented people back to their country of origin. What they are doing is essentially throwing them back in the lion’s den, which is what they have been trying to escape. What both refuges from Central America and the Middle East escape is living in a place that has become everything but home it has become a toxic place that can mean death, the environment however was not caused by them but rather by external factors. In the case of Iraq and Syria, DAESH or ISIS and the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and in Central America the War on Drugs that has seeped into the community claiming thousands of lives, and it shows no sign of abating.
Instead of demonizing the refugees we should start getting to know their story, Al Jazeera English has done a great job in publishing some of the stories of the refugees in Syria and Iraq. Instead of worrying about the “threat” they pose, maybe we should think about how we can help them so they can prosper in their new or temporary home. If you were lost would you not want somebody to point you in the right direction, it seems that we have become cold when it comes to the suffering of other people.
Instead of being human and reaching out, we use them as an excuse for the things that are wrong. I became full of rage when the Hungarian reporter tripped that refugee holding a child, and I became enraged when Trump supporters dragged a Latino protestor whilst the crowd chanting USA, USA, USA. By becoming entangled into our fears and lashing out against the victims we do two things; we start to becoming the very toxic environment that they themselves are trying to escape, and we miss the point, demonizing the victims does not create a solution, it only creates further problems down the road not only for them, but for all the parties involved.
My name is David Alfredo Paulino. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a international studies major with a concentration in Global Political Systems and my minors are Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Asia and the Middle East.
I was born in Manhattan, NYC, but I currently live in the Bronx with my Mother, little sister, and Stepfather. Although I was born here most of my fondest memories come from my frequent visits to the Dominican Republic, and always being there. I even stayed there for a year due to my constant going back and forth, I grew to love the atmosphere there and sometimes I yearn for it more than the actual city.