Every now & then I stumble upon a piece written by someone who gets the agony of being outcast and demonized because you escaped tyranny. It is not an intellectual exercise in legalese or political rhetoric to drum up votes, but a heartfelt plea for decency and a fair go.
I have been banging away on this blog for five years or so in a quixotic way to try to convince a few souls that we have got asylum seeker policy badly wrong; that we have betrayed ourselves by letting our society tolerate a regime of punishment and persecution for people who dare to seek sanctuary on our shores.
I came across this blog post today by a barista! Here's part of what it had to say:
"Truth is no government has ever stopped the boats & the reality is no government can. I don’t know why we can’t extend our hand & help people who are desperate and are at risk, considering this is something we have committed to. We live in country where we haven’t been subjected to these types of experiences & yet we are one of the biggest critics of how people should conduct themselves when they are trying to survive. Who the hell are we to judge to people on how they should go about surviving? Life or death situations generally do not come with a guidebook with instructions on how it should be conducted in an orderly manner. Scared people do desperate things to survive, such as board an unseaworthy vessel & sail across the high seas to a country that isn’t even welcoming of them…"
When are we going to get our mojo back and treat these people as we would want to be treated in their shoes...?