Contrary to widely held beliefs, I’ve learnt in the last few months that migrants are not necessarily the most welcoming people when others decide to join in—with the Syrian refugee crisis having somewhat confirm this in an obvious but shocking manner for me.
As a migrant in the United Kingdom from Africa, I have a bunch of migrant friends. These are people who just came into the country, those who’ve been here for many years and those who were born here but are not necessarily from here because their parents migrated from Africa or somewhere else in search for a crunch of the available western opportunities.
My experience has taught me that the last two sets of people out of the three categories mentioned are not really brutal with their disdain for others to come in—nevertheless, they are not as charitable with the idea of allowing others to come in as they should be, considering their own history.
The Syrian refugee crisis has attracted huge global media attention and with such unending coverage, it’s inevitable that the conversation has caught up in various corners of the world—including our homes and work places.
Several people are worried and ironically, a large percentage of these people in Europe are not worried about the safety and suffering of the refugees who are fleeing the immeasurable viciousness of ISIS being entertained by a war they had no say in it.
The worries of the Germans, British and the others whose countries the refugees are walking in or are supposed to walk in are perfectly explicable even if illegitimate. A lot of these people are worried about the toil the mass influx of these refugees will have on their already struggling infrastructures and diminishing standard of living.
It’s pretty much expected that they would have these concerns—yet, a huge number of the indigenous people have opened their arms to receive these refugees for the simple fact that their misery cannot be overlooked, irrespective of the expected inconvenience of their arrival.
Shockingly among the worried souls are migrants who have come to these western countries to seek better lives—hiding behind a bulwark of selfishness and greed to some extent advocating for Jingoism.
Three of my migrant friends in the UK, specifically from Ghana, Pakistan and Nigeria have raised objections and concerns in relation the arrival of the Syrian refugees.
These three are not the only ones who have become dastard watchers of the wall and their objections are not grounded or influenced by some sort of extreme genuine patriotism—rather, their obvious greed to block others from coming in to compete for food and opportunities.
In separate conversations with these people, they all grounded their worries in the premise shared by the indigenous—-that, UK is already struggling to cope and therefore, the borders should not be loosely opened for refugees, irrespective of what is hunting them. Of course this is a reasonable position but if postulated by those who actually belong here, I wouldn’t necessarily brand them greedy—but insensitive or inhospitable.
However, when migrants who flew in here ride on the back of this same legitimate wave, it becomes inherently evil and their voraciousness can’t be missed. You came into the UK from a stable country yet people who have no stable home and are under unvarying threat of being killed ought not to be allowed in—because, your comfort in this new country must be positioned in such a way that it becomes important than the atrocities they face.
It’s not just immoral for any migrant to become a watcher of the wall in this circumstance; it’s also evil and defeats the increasing call for migrants all around the world to be respected. If you cannot respect the fact that those in real need to come in must be welcomed, then you should not be respected to be in too…
Even a migrant with little understanding of the plight of refugees should not be excused for making such an unsympathetic comment—that because a person fleeing imminent danger or death would discomfort her ‘better’ life which she would probably never have in her home country, this endangered person should be left behind the wall.
Those familiar with HBO’s Game of Thrones can place the above on the same table with Jon Snow’s opening of the gate for the Wildlings—and the opposition from the Night’s Watch. It’s slightly different here in the sense that all those who raised the objections in GOT were actually indigenous and it can be argued that they had birth given rights to their territories.
Wouldn’t it have become grossly inhumane if a Wildling who had been let in earlier objected to the opening of the gate for others because he feared that, he would have to spend a little extra time in the queue when he needs to see the doctor?
I am not in anyway suggesting that if the indigenous raised this same concern, it suddenly becomes right—what’s wrong in this instance is wrong irrespective of who is calling the shot.
However, it goes beyond just being wrong if a person who ought to know better based on his own experience and position on the immigration spectrum decides to put such unashamed, hostile, greedy cards on the table—obviously hard-hearted about the outcome for those who justifiably have a claim to where he sits than he ever can make.