As I’m sure most people are well aware…Australia is currently in a terrible situation concerning asylum seekers. Sure, many other nations are trying to sort out the dire consequences of war and the resultant influx of millions of refugees, but Australia seems to have a unique problem.
According to our National Anthem, we have ‘boundless plains to share’, but according to (most of) our politicians we are not about to share our land with asylum seekers – referred to as ‘Illegal immigrants’ - amongst other derogatory labels. If we do, it might encourage more ‘illegal boat people’. Heaven forbid!
Currently the plan is to send any ‘illegal’ (they’re not!) arrivals to ‘off shore’ detention facilities – which means in another country, such as Nauru or Papua New Guinea.
Costing billions of $$$ and presenting as places of horror.
To cut a long story short, owing to various (mostly) medical circumstances, some asylum seekers, including 37 tiny babies are now in mainland Australia and about to be sent back (or in the case of the babies, just SENT) to Nauru.
Now, from all accounts, Nauru detention centre is a hell hole, consisting of large tents, surrounded by wire fences. (It’s possible to find most of the details about it on-line).
Many, many people have voiced their objections to this plan in many, many ways. People of decency and compassion are against the returning of people to such misery - and today Bondi Beach is a scene where (& I quote):
‘37 cots shrouded in barbed wire sit in the sand depicting a fate so many Australians are trying to prevent.’
‘Bondi locals including M4R (Mums for Refugees) members turn up in their hundreds to protest the deportation of the 267 innocents.
Posts about this happening have been broadcast on Face Book.
Comments have been flowing all morning…more than 200 so far on one site…and the majority of them have supported the action of the protestors.
Here is a very small sample (lifted from FB):
‘This is so heartbreaking - why is it so difficult to be kind to others’
‘Australian born babies, I can't believe this is even an issue that people have to fight. There should be no question of where their home is.’
‘Good on you guys for standing up for these poor people caught in this scam of a war’
A quick calculations tells me that, of the 200+ comments, over 180 are of a supportive and an agreeing nature. Many people are extremely upset at our country’s treatment of asylum seekers – and I am one of them.
However, scrolling through today’s comments I find that (about every 15th or so) has a negative attitude.
Here are a few:
‘So we should just let anyone into this country? We should show sympathy because they have a sad story? ‘
‘Where's the funding going to come from?’
‘How about all you do gooders worry about things closer to home. There's poor people here in Australia, homeless ones as well.’
‘Get a job u bums’
Excuse me for using the age-old colour reference for gender, but can you guess why I’ve used the pink and blue? (Well, pink-ish & blue-ish, sorry!)
Despite the appearance of a few male voices supporting the protest, the vast majority of positive comments are from women, while all the negative comments are from men.
Why is this so?
Many men I know are as appalled at the maltreatment of refugees as I am, and yet, reading through what has been written today (and on other sites over the past few weeks), it seems as if these men have no compassion – no sympathy and, dare I say it, no understanding of suffering.
And, yet, and yet…many professional men – doctors, church leaders, lawyers – are extremely supportive of the idea that we should not be treating refugees in such cruel ways. Then why the negative comments from men on FB pages?
Is it because the comments are coming from men who are dissatisfied with their lot in life? Are they home with little to do but scroll through FB pages?
I can understand how women perhaps have more time (& more passion) to indulge in FB discussions of this sort, especially if they are at home looking after their children.
But it astounds and worries me that so many men have such a nasty attitude to people in dire need.
Are most of our politicians of this same breed?
Sadly, many of them seem to be.
Let the asylum seekers stay, I say.
And close the horrific detention centres.
PS: I am about to go on holidays for 2+ weeks, so blog post will be non-existent for that time as I am travelling minus computer.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.