Thursday, July 26, 2018

It’s history revisiting us

fascism Nazi immigration war politics xenophobia refugees

Many of us Maltese, like many Europeans and people in the West, think refugees could be genuine, legal, but only when they say so. When we accept that they could be genuine refugees who justly come and claim help from better, safer countries, we refer to the past.

Times like when the Maltese themselves, torn with poverty and economic limitations, had to seek better lives in Canada, America and Australia. The time of World War II, we think, would have been a time when refugees were genuine.

But one thing we hate doing, is looking in the mirror, and seeing our bigotry. In the 1930s and up until World War II, we hated Jews and refugees just as adamantly as we do today. We Europeans hated them, despised them, dehumanised them and tried to shut them out, and this was true for laymen and politicians.

After the war, you can read through history and see that we thought we had done a great job of welcoming them and being humane to those in need. You will find that the same politicians, priests and leaders who had previously fought for and waved the nationalistic banner of hatred for the Jews and the persecuted, were, after the war, claiming that they loved the refugees, wanted to help those in need and would open the doors for them – words changed, policies didn’t in the most part.

When us Maltese went to live in the US, Canada and Australia, we too were looked down upon, we too found many doors closed. We too were hated and despised, dehumanised and accused of every rape, thievery, prostitution ring and crime. We know what it feels like when your kids are looked down upon, when you can’t work at the job you studied for but have to go into manual, low-paid jobs. But did we learn anything?  (more...)

We are all given choices.

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