I just saw a story on BBC news about “migrants” (a term that I can’t be alone in finding hideously inaccurate and offensive). They talked to a girl from Myanmar who had been held in a migrant camp and raped by so many men that she didn’t know who her baby’s father was. She is now in Thailand and is being given no assistance from any government or organisation. She was sitting with her 6-month old baby girl on a bridge begging for money.
I am sitting at home with my 7-month old baby boy, amazed at my good fortune to have been born in the UK. My little boys are some of the luckiest kids in the world, because they have food, and shelter, and love, and family, and safety, and a future. Because they too had the good fortune to have been born in the UK. To all those who think that the UK is something special and that its borders should be protected against anyone seeking a better life, please don’t forget your incredible good fortune to have been born with a claim to a country that for all its faults is lawful, and in peacetime, and free. Please don’t have the complacency to think that all that could not change; have the empathy to imagine how you would feel and what you would do if you woke up one day and the UK was none of those things and you had a family and children to protect.
We are all human. I read the news and watch the news with disbelief. Do we really think we are so far removed from these so-called “migrants” (a term I object to because it implies agency and choice and while leaving their homelands is a choice and they have shown agency in leaving, surely they are refugees and should be treated as such?) that we don’t need to help?
I don’t know how to help, but I do know that the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon unless we all start thinking globally and realise that we cannot continue to ignore the most impoverished, war-torn, and corrupt societies among us. We cannot continue to dehumanise our human brethren who flee from the desperate situations in these countries. We need to speak out in any way we can. So I am speaking out to whoever is reading.
I have no answers, but I just think about how I would feel sitting on that bridge and find that I cannot even imagine being in a place with no hope and no way to provide for my precious child. It makes my heart hurt: woman to woman; mother to mother; human to human.
We are all human. We would do well to remember that.