18 February 2014

It's not good enough. We need to do more.

Today's news about the deaths and injuries on Manus Island broke my heart.

And it should break yours, particularly if you are Australian.  Because it's being done in your name. 

And none of our political leaders are getting angry and calling 'Bullshit' on it.

More Australian's turned up to protest a shark cull than our treatment of people.  The shark cull is bollocks people, yes.  But locking up asylum seekers who are breaking no laws and are in genuine need of our assistance is bollocks too.  Subjecting them to the indignities and the inhumanity that we are doing in the name of populist politics and then flipping past it in the paper because it's too depressing is bollocks times a lot.

We are sending unaccompanied minors to live in places some people can't find on a map, and you won't let your 10 year old walk to the shops on their own.  How is your child more important than any other child on the planet.  How is it that you can't find the time to protest this either by emailing your MP or making a phone call or even just challenging the dickheads in your workplace that talk about the 'illegals'?

Would you let your kids catch a plane to the other side of the country on their own?  Nope?  And yet there are parents desperate enough to see their child get to safety that they put them on a boat and send them on across an ocean in the hope that they will find safety.  And we say NOTHING as our stupid governments pack them off into detention centres.  Nothing.  We are complicit in these atrocities because we say nothing.

Detention centres are just prisons.  They are cages full of desperate people who have done nothing, nothing I tell you, but take a chance on a better life.  And if the odd one turns out to be a faker, does that make them all wrong.  Does one man raping a woman make all men rapists?  Does one woman cheating on her husband make all women adulterers?  No.  Then when did we start buying into generalisations as the foundation of policy?

There are refugees that are granted visas that are suffering mental health issues that aren't caused by seeing their families murdered and fleeing for their lives, but because of the excessively long and completely pointless incarceration in detention centres while our stupid governments quibble for political points by locking up the desperate.  We need leadership.  Humane, compassionate, bold leadership.

We're paying thousands of dollars for interviews with convicted drug smugglers and addicts but yet, somehow, we can't see our way to investing in the future of people who are desperate to become part of the community and pay their own way and work hard and live gratefully in relative peace and safety.

We are completely screwed if as a nation, we think we are the country of fair go, or compassion or any of the like. Being born here doesn't make us better people.  It makes us lucky sperm.  

We need to be angry about this.  Because it does matter people.  It does.  Your life with all it's own complexities and ups and downs does not absolve you from caring about your fellow humans and acting in your own small way.  For if all of us do something small, we do something huge.

And we need to start recognising people's human rights.  We need to be grateful that we're not fleeing persecution, war, famine and a range of other things that we can not even in our darkest nightmares imagine. We need to recognise that the only way to be part of a peaceful and compassionate world is to live as if it already existed.  

So next time you do your one hundred days of grateful, how about you 
hashtag - I'msoridiculouslyluckynottoneedtoseekasylum. 
hashtag - especiallyfromaustralia.

Be the change people.  Care. Proactively care.