Funny how suddenly we’re supposed to be ripping at the seams from all the refugees trying to enter this country when most are not even asylum seekers

I’ve been left in tears as I listen to the spoken word ‘Home is the barrel of a gun’.

A powerful piece, I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed by Warsan Shire.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than the journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one’s skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child’s body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying –
leave,
run away from me now
i don’t know what I’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Join me as I endeavour to articulate my train of thought here . . .

I was just thinking.

We live in a world where asylum seekers are referred to as ‘illegal immigrants’.

Do you even know what it means to be an asylum seeker?

As human beings, we all have a ‘right to Asylum’ if (God forbid) meeting the refugee criteria:

If persons are ‘unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for race, religion, nationality, [being] members of a particular social group or political opinion’

then they become  refugees . . .

Hearing the words ‘illegal immigrants’ gives negative implications, and completely distracts us from the reality that these people are facing the ‘barrel of a gun’, to which naturally the automatic instinct is to get as far away from that situation as quick as possible; but, the irony here is that the ‘barrel of a gun’ these ‘illegal immigrants’ are escaping, or shall I say this ‘swarm’ is escaping (thanks David Cameron) happens to be their home.

For those of you who don’t know our very own Prime Minister (to those who are reading this in the UK of course) he described these asylum seekers as a ‘swarm’ ( a dehumanising connotation), indicating that they would ‘break into our country’, but that he would not allow them to. I’m just shocked at the choice of words here, break into our country

Let’s get our facts straight with some diagrams:

First of all, the UK is NOT even accepting the MOST immigrants in the EU, it’s actually Germany.
The big lie - Europe is Not experiencing a refugee crisis

The big lie - Europe is Not experiencing a refugee crisis

The majority of these immigrants in the UK are not asylum seekers, so to say that the migrants in Calais (whom David Cameron was referring to at the time) could ‘break into our country’, can be considered an overstatement. It makes these migrants appear to be threatening, fuelling the social stigma on asylum seeking.

‘Dirty immigrants/ asylum seekers/ sucking the country dry … messed up their country and now they want/to mess ours up’ – as the lyrics aptly express.

The migrants in Calais which Mr Cameron was talking about are only 1 per cent of those who’ve arrived in Europe this year. They mainly made it to Italy, and Greece. There isn’t any evidence to suggest huge numbers are arriving to the UK. Hence why I believe Cameron’s statement to be an exaggeration and a tactical move in the tradition of scapegoating.

It’s been suggested that since these migrants only make up 0.027 per cent of Europe’s population of ‘… 740 million. The world’s wealthiest continent can easily handle such a comparatively small influx’.

The truth is, THE UK DOES NOT HAVE A REFUGEE CRISIS ‘There are countries with social infrastructure at breaking point because of the refugee crisis – but they aren’t in Europe. The most obvious example is Lebanon, which houses 1.2 million Syrian refugees within a total population of roughly 4.5 million. To put this into context, a country that is more than 100 times smaller than the EU has already taken in more than 50 times as many refugees [than] the EU will even consider resettling in the future. Lebanon has a refugee crisis. Europe – and, in particular, Britain – does not’.

One journalist we interviewed revealed how the terms ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘illegal immigrant’ are used interchangeably: ‘Certainly when it comes to the idea of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, very often they are just interchangeable terms’. This journalist described how terms are used to create scapegoats and demonise asylum seekers and other migrants into a single negative category of people.

So I ask you, why can’t we help those whose ‘home is the mouth of a shark, the barrel of a gun’?

 

Sources:

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2013/09/uk-media-needs-stop-referring-refugees-illegal-immigrants

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/07/30/immigration-facts-surprising_n_7906122.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/if-these-extraordinarily-powerful-images-of-a-dead-syrian-child-washed-up-on-a-beach-dont-change-europes-attitude-to-refugees-what-will-10482757.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11840822/EU-migrant-crisis-Syrian-refugee-Aylan-Kurdi-who-fled-Kobane-live.html

http://www.stopwar.org.uk/news/briefing-notes/10-truths-david-cameron-should-know-about-the-migrant-crisis-before-he-opens-his-mout