Tragedy and dangerous noise
Why does it take repeated tragedies to make us understand, even temporarily, how the noise of our public debate blinds us to the terrible reality of people who are uprooted from their homes? The lives lost in the waves at Lesvos and Kythera – and wherever boats filled with despair and hope sink and will sink – do not fit into the narrow framework within which we clash. Nor do the heroic efforts of coast guard officers and other who save lives match with the narratives that we choose to follow and, in following them, deepen the partisan divide.
In this issue, as in so many others, we are divided by different mentalities and politics. Those who believe that migrants and refugees are a threat or a burden can point to the cynicism with which some other countries (in our case Turkey) encourage the flow of people in order to cause problems for others. On the other side, among the many who are moved by the drama of the desperate, while most are inspired by selfless humanistic ideals, some find an opportunity to draw attention to their “moral superiority” through loud humanism. On this foundation conspiracy theories are built, with one side denouncing the “great replacement” of local populations by Muslim invaders, and the other accusing governments of “inhuman behavior” in their efforts to manage the flow of people and the political fallout from this. Both sides find allies in the political groupings and news media across Europe, as careers are built on one presenting oneself as inflexible, determined, proudly nationalist, as well as on being a humanistic hero who fights the inhumanity of others.
The mass flow of people will increase. This is what politics, the economy and climate change show internationally. The European Union needs to take credible and effective action to control the situation, so that there can be procedures and safety valves that will not allow traffickers (whether individuals or states) to do as they wish, nor will they leave the burden of responsibility only on those who guard the borders of their country and the EU.
In the face of death and pain, we see how the routine of our political disputes in Greece and Europe blinds us to the reality and urgency of the situation, how it solves nothing.
Source : Nikos Konstandaras Σύνδεσμος