Our government has done horrible things recently. To show our dissent, some of us protested by posting the #notinmyname tag. I myself tweeted no fewer than eight times using this tag.
We wanted to stand apart, to be excused from the inhumane policies, to prevent others from judging us by what our authorities are doing. We wanted to calm our conscience.
But – with all due respect – this is a lie. We are deceiving ourselves.
Take this piece from the New York Times: Who’s responsible for the refugees?
To me, it said two things.
One: “Stop blaming Hungary”. Two: “The ideal number of refugees is zero.”
I read this in the depths of social media: an honorable person always steps up against suffering and injustice whenever they hear about them. But – and that’s a sad cliché today – there’s always more news about misery than one could speak up against, not to mention go there and help. So if you have a mind to be there for everyone, you’re in for a big letdown – because it won’t be possible.
There will always be causes to fight for that you will choose not to get involved in. And sometimes you will do that against your better judgment.
Some governments in Europe are raving against foreigners, economic immigrants as they like to call them. They try not to be so inhumane as to exclude refugees, but in effect they are: they do mean to exclude anyone who’s trying to cross their border. This becomes apparent the moment you walk up to the border and meet the immigration authorities.
Some days ago, in an absurd and rather unpolished move, the Hungarian government posted a number of billboards telling immigrants to stay away. An example: “If you come to Hungary, you must not take away our jobs!” (Hungarian language uses exclamation marks more often than English.) Or: “If you come to Hungary, you must respect our culture!” Which made me exclaim, culture my backside. What culture is it that tells strangers off without hesitation, without respect to individual human life? Continue reading