I’ve also posted this on ‘The Refugee Film‘ blog site. Hope you’ll check out the website. Photo courtesy of AFP.
The U.S.A. announced a couple hours ago that it will take in 10,000 refugees by end of 2016. This is a step-up from the roughly 1500 it has let in during the past four years of war but a far cry from countries like Germany which is taking in 500,000. The USA is as large as Europe combined and honestly, I wish our effort would reflect our size.
The refugee crisis is becoming a numbers game. For politicians this might be the best way to defer responsibility. I know there are legit concerns but even for the 10,000, what are they suppose to do between now and then? Their homeless state isn’t an upcoming event but it is here, and now.
Even if Europe and the USA took in everyone they say they will in the time frame they say they will (let’s be honest, these things tend to get dragged out), that still only represents about 10% of the refugees from the Middle East. What is the world to do with the other 90%?
This isn’t a case of political points of view but rather one of a crisis in humanity. It is also a security issue for as has been demonstrated in the past month, there comes a tipping point when the refugees set out to find their own solutions. The world can engage the crisis now before it festers into more horrible scenarios or we can shirk our duties, turn our backs, and falsely lay blame elsewhere when the time comes.
We need to demand more of our systems of governance and public institutions like the press. I was disheartened a week ago when over lunch, I watched as CNN showed Arwa Damon (good reporter) live on a train in Hungary with refugees from Syria. They gave her about 4-5 minutes to report on the tense stand-off with police there. CNN ended her report and went to cover Donald Trump for nearly an hour and followed that with 15 minutes on Tom Brady and the NFL. I can’t think of a better example of how our priorities are askew.
This isn’t an easy problem to fix. Some things will be done wrong and with dire consequences. But to leave millions of people to suffer and die without trying to address the crisis is a crime against each of us and the souls we claim to possess.