I don’t normally express political views in my blogs. Why? I don’t think I’m informed enough as I often avoid listening too much to the news as the focus is usually on the problems. I would love to stay informed, but only when the debate is centered around solutions (as opposed to just repeating shocking tragedies). So instead I tend to focus on creating change in the way that makes sense to me: social entrepreneurship, education and the arts. However, Brexit and a recent Trump speech shook me to the core and made question when one should start standing up for what one believes in. Such as international collaboration and the right to live where one chooses, so long as one serves that country and local community.
The world is currently having a lot of issues surrounding immigration and trumpeting (quite literally in some instances) on about closing borders, as opposed to solving the real problems surrounding immigration. Having applied for several visas in my day and currently working to get a permanent residency visa to SA so as to be able to adopt some kids who know me and love me (you can only adopt kids you don’t know as a foreigner unless you have a permanent residency visa because of reasons that are incomprehensible in their idiocy), I know that immigration can be a perplexing matter. It’s all about ticking boxes, which are often neither fair, nor comprehensible.
For example, in South Africa you won’t get a visa if you have tuberculosis, even if you got tuberculosis whilst in South Africa on the visa you’re now renewing, whilst still in South Africa. Is that fair?
In many countries you can save millions of people’s lives in the country, but still be left without a visa, because it’s not about the lives you saved, but about whether you tick a box on a paper or not. You can also raise millions in investment for that country, but unless the investment went via your bank account, you aren’t granted a visa. When you combine visa laws with adoption laws, it gets even more perplexing, but let’s leave that topic for another day.
In a similar manner, it seems people don’t check what people’s intentions are for immigration, so long as they check the box(es) (which sometimes simply means checking the box “running from a war torn country”). You end up with immigrants who wreak havoc and don’t do anything for the country, but causing pain. That’s not fair either. Nor is the way integration work always fair, neither for immigrants, nor for tax payers.
Lately some things floating around the media, most notoriously Trump’s speech after the Orlando shooting, shocked me. It reminded me of just before WWII when people wanted to shut borders to “protect” their citizens and blame the problems on a scapegoat. These days immigrants and muslim extremists (and I dislike calling the terrorists muslims, because they are only using the religion as an excuse to do what it is they wish to do and have nothing to do with the muslims who respectfully practice their religion) are ranked pretty high up there as scapegoats.
There’s so much said in the media in the US about islam terrorists being the root of all evil. Has anyone checked the statistics? “There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015, killing 475 people and wounding 1,870, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker.”(1) This included 64 school shootings.(2) In the same year there were 4 possibly islam terrorist attacks in the US, resulting in 27 people being injured and 30 casualties (there were also two right wing terrorist attacks resulting in 12 people being injured and 10 casualties).(3) As far as I can see it seems Americans pose a greater threat to themselves than the islamist extremists.
Of course the threat of terrorism can lead to a lot bigger attacks, killing a lot more people. It’s a very real threat worldwide at the moment and has to be dealt with, but how? Closing borders and refusing to help people who will serve a country and the world, seems a bad solution, not to mention it creates fear and tension between different nationalities and religions.
In a similar manner, I find it peculiar listening to certain debates about the EU. Some people have pointed out that there are problems within the EU, the way legislation is dealt with is potentially dangerous as it leaves the power in too few hands and, especially conspiracy theorists, talk about EU being a “Big Brother.” Their solution? Disband the EU. (However, they think their own government is part of the illuminati too, so whether they leave or stay seem to matter little as all politicians are puppets to the illuminati anyway.)
Is that really the solution though? Wouldn’t it be better to transform the EU? It seems people in general are pretty keen on collaboration, peace and the ability to live and work anywhere within the EU. Don’t tear down the bridges we’ve built, rather work to make them into bridges supported by democracy and great legislation.
Today I saw someone posting on Facebook that because one Romanian stole something from their father and Romania is in the EU, it’s great that Britain is leaving because Romania does nothing for them. So you will let one Romanian decide what you think about Romania and the EU? That’s exactly how politicians use events too – they focus on one event, or one aspect of an event, and forget the rest. Trump’s recent tweet about Brexit in Scotland is a great example of focusing on one side of an event and forgetting about the rest. The reaction that followed on Twitter was priceless though (I personally suggest he goes for a swim in Loch Ness, maybe he’ll realize he’s got more imagined monsters than Nessie in his head). Which is another good point: there’s an open source of knowledge (the internet) and a chance to make your voice heard (social media), so it’s not all up to the media for us to interpret events these days.
When it comes to political debate, emotions and facts are manipulated. Happens all the time. Yet people seem blind to it all the same. Like kids wanting to be tricked by magicians, we lap up the facts and figures served to us on silver platters, thinking it’s an excellent show. Rarely do we discover the tricks behind it. Some people still think the EU is all about straightening cucumbers.
I’m not a politician. I don’t read the papers or follow the news religiously. I haven’t made it my business to fight gun violence, or terrorism on a global scale. My business is to help educate kids in a township in South Africa and create marvelous experiences for people through my business and my creative work. So maybe I should keep schtum when it comes to politics, but this fear mongering and immigration business is starting to get to me pretty badly. I’m afraid of having an uneducated voice, but here’s the deal: before I vote I’ll educate myself and I hope you will too. And, if you’re passionate enough, maybe you’ll decide to make your mark in politics instead of thinking all politicians are bad.
Solve the issues instead of pointing fingers. It’s not “them” versus “us.” It’s about creating a world in which we can all live peacefully.
That’s it. Rant over. I shall go back to writing potentially funny posts about hot men, life lessons in the form of sexual metaphors and other blonde matters.
Image source: Twitter. So long as there’s humor, there’s hope. No matter what the currency, nationality, or religion. Hopefully humor and love will overcome it all.
1 & 2) Guns in the US: The statistics behind the violence, Jan 5, 2016, BBC.com