A proud European
I used to be proud to be a European citizen. Europeans, to me, were the ones with the history, the culture, the education system, but above all, the ones who stood up for human rights. I used to believe we were ‘the good ones’. But this refugee crisis has opened my eyes.
I went to Dunkirk, and there I realized. We are not ‘the good ones’. We’re just a group of elitists. Human rights apply only to us, the ones who think we are the ones with the history, the culture, the education system, but not to the people sitting in the Dunkirk mud. They don’t count. Talking to those people and looking at pictures of what their cities used to look like before the war, I realize that they also had a history, a culture and and an education system. But they still don’t count. Because they are they. They are not us. They are not European. They are not part of the union. They don’t have a membership card that entitles them to demand respect for their human rights.
Europe has a good living standard. People in Europe have enough to survive. We are not starving or freezing to death in Europe. Well, not the ones with a membership card, I mean. But instead of building a bigger table, we build a higher fence. We try anything we can to keep ‘them’ out. The others. The non-europeans. How dare they claim the same rights we have? They are not us! They are they.
The revival of the 30’s
This frightens me and reminds me of everything I have heard and read about how Jews were viewed all over Europe before WWII. Nobody really wanted them, they were considered inferior. First, Hitler tried to just ship them out of Germany, he even opened an emigration office to make it easier on them to leave, but by 1939 other countries started to close their borders and deporting them back to Germany. Once he realized that there was no way he would get rid of them being at war at two fronts, he started exterminating them.
We have the same situation going on now with the refugees. Nobody wants them. France does not want the people in Dunkirk and Calais, so they try to rot them out, not just by not giving any humanitarian aid themselves, but also by blocking and boycotting anyone who wants to bring humanitarian aid in. They don’t arrest the smugglers because they are the only ones that help France to get some of them to the UK so France gets rid of them.The UK does not want those people either, even if they have close relatives already living there, even if they are unaccompanied minors trying to go and live with a relative in the UK, we need a judge to force the UK to let them in. When they do get in, in some regions they are forced to live in houses with red doors and wear red bracelets, they get spit on and shouted at.
As a Belgian volunteer, after seeing the similarities with how we dealt with the Jews in the 30’s, I can only be cynically happy that French gendarmes are not allowing us to bring gas into the camp at the moment. It might not be long until they bring it in themselves. But they won’t be using it for cooking or heating, I’m afraid.
Thanks to social media, nobody will be able to say ‘wir haben es nicht gewusst’ this time around.
We won’t have Germany to blame this time either since they were the only ones welcoming the refugees, stating ‘wir schaffen das’, that is, until they had to back down under pressure of the other European member states. Seems like blaming them and them alone for the Jews nobody wanted, taught them something. It’s just a pity that the rest of Europe never learned to take their responsibility.
Seeing how the people in Dunkirk live in the mud was not the scariest thing. Getting ill from just visiting the camp, knowing that pregnant women and children live there 24/7 was not the scariest thing. Hearing our elected political leaders in Europe talk about ‘guarding our borders’ from people fleeing war and ‘the end of Schengen’ because of this refugee crisis was the scariest thing. If our political leaders are willing to treat people worse than animals that we bread only to send them to a slaughterhouse, than I’m afraid it means that Europeans gave up on humanity. Again. Europe gave up on human rights. Again. I see history repeating itself. That is scary.
We don’t want to share the cake
Wy are we building such a high fence that anyone who wants to come in needs to pay a human smuggler to get here. We are not keeping them out, we’re merely handing them over to the smugglers. Seeing the number of people that undertake this expensive and dangerous journey, the smuggling maffia is getting rich thanks to the European policy. We are keeping the smugglers in business. But why?
Why are we so scared of those people that flee war and terrorism? We seem to be incredibly scared that we might have to ‘share’ our European wealth with these people. We can hardly pay for our ‘own’ retired people. Social media are flooded with messages about how much money these refugees cost, how much of ‘our’ tax payers money. We can not ‘provide for everyone’ is a very popular mantra.
Do you know why ‘we can not provide for everyone’? Because we have a lack of people in the active age group working and paying taxes. Please, look at those people nobody wants. They are in this age group. They are willing to work. They are willing to pay taxes. A lot of people I met in Dunkirk are entrepreneurs that used to have their own business. They used to employ others. We need more entrepreneurs. We need more local businesses. We need those people.
Let them help us bake more cake
Of course, we can always ‘grow our own’, the real Europeans, born and raised here. But the amount of tax payers money that goes into our own children until they reach the age where they can start to help us provide is so much more than what we need to invest in an adult refugee before he can start paying taxes. And face it: we just don’t make enough babies.So the fact is that we need them. There is a refugee crisis, that is true. And as every crisis does, it creates work. This inflow of people creates jobs. Just think about the translators. And the language teachers. But even the meals, the showers and the beds we need to provide for those waiting on their asylum decision create jobs. And once they can work, they can pay taxes. They can start a local business. They can employ others. They can create jobs.
Europe, open your eyes. See that the solution to the refugee crisis is right there knocking on your door. It’s them. They will solve their own problem. They will build there own lives. They will pay the taxes we need to solve this, and while they’re at it, they will also help us pay for ‘our’ retired Europeans. We just have to let them.