Greeting migrants who throw rocks with bullets - YASIN AKTAY

Greeting migrants who throw rocks with bullets

This is a strange title, of course. First of all, how can one defend a group of people, whether migrants or not, who throw rocks? Surely this is indefensible. Perhaps they threw rocks to protect themselves because they had nothing else to use against those firing bullets…

There may be thousands of other reasons, and we don’t need to limit ourselves to just one example.

Why would migrants who came to another country to save their lives throw rocks for no reason? While making a statement about thousands of migrants marching toward the U.S. border through Mexico, U.S. President Trump said if they try to throw rocks at American military service members, they will “be considered to be using a firearm” and soldiers will shoot.

Note that the immigrants have not thrown a single rock or stone yet, and that is why Trump says, “If they try to throw rocks.”

Doesn’t this mean threatening to shoot and kill every single migrant who wants to enter the country? You first find an excuse before you kill someone: he had a rock in his hand, he was about to throw it, in any case, he deserved to die.

Migrants are an inescapable responsibility of all of humanity, and there is a debt especially for those who owe their welfare to colonialism.

It is a crime to close your doors to migrants, especially those who are escaping from disaster. Surely people who are not prosperous have rights to the richness of affluent states. Especially if these nations are the countries who have colonialism in their history or who are still colonialized today - those flowing waves of migrants are coming to those countries to claim their rights. Those countries cannot escape from paying what they owe to them.

The globalizing world provides people with the possibility to travel as they wish. That is why it is called globalization. However, there is also the other face of globalization, and that aspect means not everyone is able to benefit from this possibility and right equally. An American can go wherever he or she wants to, but a Mexican cannot do so. That is why globalization is globalization for some, but for others, the Earth still is flat land with four squares.

Although those prosperous societies owe their affluence mostly to their colonial practices, the fact that they keep their doors closed to the people whom they colonized to death and even go so far as to build unsurpassable security walls to keep them out is an indication of their negligence toward humanity. They think they can live in this prosperity forever while the other parts of the world are alight after having been turned into hell by them. However, unless they learn how to share, this fire will eventually engulf them too. How long will they be able to keep the Mexicans away?

How long can they keep the oppressed black people of Africa whose identity and persona is ignored and wealth is plundered, or the long-suffering peoples of the Middle East who were forced to live under the oppression of the dictators brought into power by the very same colonial powers, in this unfair and poor condition? They will eventually claim what is theirs either from where they live or by coming to the doors of those countries. They know what they owe to these people and they are afraid of their fury. In their minds, they place rocks in their hands because those people have no weapons other than their broken hearts and those stones, yet because of old habits, their broken hearts and rocks are responded to with disproportionate weapons.

While the countdown is on for the midterm elections in the U.S., Trump’s words and his attitudes are seen as an investment for the elections.

What is worse than an American president who thinks that he can score points with these words that sparked many reactions from those who are sensitive to human rights issues, is the fact that he actually might score points.

Unfortunately, a little bit of xenophobia and animosity toward refugees can turn into useful populist tools in any country. The fact that every individual in the U.S. has a refugee or migrant background doesn’t change this reality. Those who one generation before migrated to that country after going through great difficulties can actually ignore the worries of those migrating today are experiencing and can begin to consider those people as foreigners and start to give credit to the idea to close the borders to the refugees.

Whereas, what makes America, America is the fact that it is a country of migrants. If you exclude immigrants or refugees what remains would only be the descendants of Indians who survived the genocide. That is why it had been a state policy in the U.S. to preserve a certain level of sensitivity toward migrants.

Today, with Trump, this state ideology is being undermined. A populist policy based on xenophobia can find ground anywhere. Today, those who try to instigate similar feelings against Syrian refugees in Turkey are trying to play the populist card by addressing the same kind of people Trump addresses.

Unfortunately, the humanist quality of people is not as ingrained as we think or as some philosophers believe. We eventually end up at a point where “a man is a wolf to another man.”

If this is the reality, a law needs to be developed which would prevent these wolves from eating each other. The main objective of a politician is to safeguard law, to protect it and to sustain it. Not provoking people and laying the ground for them to violate each other’s rights just to pluck a few more votes.


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