I just posted this on my Facebook, but thought I'd share it here too, why not?
So I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past week, after seeing friends 'liking' and agreeing with completely uneducated posts/comments about "boat people" and how we should help our own people first.
I'll start by saying that people seeking refuge ARE NOT illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants are people who have come to Australia on a visa, and purposely outstayed their visa. These people are MOSTLY made up of people from the USA, Britain and China. There are MORE illegal immigrants than there are refugees. It is NOT illegal to seek refuge in Australia.
Secondly, Australia does help the homeless, there are a number of organizations and charities who help. The thing is that a lot of homeless people are there for reasons they can control, if they were willing to help themselves. I've often been approached by people asking for money, and I've declined but instead offered to either buy them food, or find a place for them to stay and start to get their feet on the ground. Majority of those people reject my practical help, presumably because they don't want to help themselves.
Now let's think of it this way. Refugees come to Australia because the country they were unfortunate enough to be born into is at war, and it's a matter of life and death, and they are scared. They don't have the time and the means to come to Australia the "right" way so their only option is to risk their lives (on a boat) or jump on a plane (if they are lucky enough) and seek refuge. They are doing what they can to provide a better life for themselves and their families. Wouldn't you do the same for your families welfare?
Let's liken that to a mother and her children, where the mother had to flee from her abusive partner. Most likely she will end up in a women's refuge if she has no money and nowhere to go. She is doing what she can to provide a better life for her and her children. Wouldn't you do the same for your family?
Or let's think about the homeless person sleeping on the streets. They ask for money for "food" but when someone offers to buy them food and find them somewhere safe to sleep, they decline because all they want is money, so they can fuel their drug/alcohol/gambling addiction. How can you help this type of person if they can't help themselves (by accepting the offer of help)?
I know who I would rather help, and I know who I would rather Australia help. The people who WANT help and are ready to accept the help available to them.
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15-08-2012 15:08 #1-
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Thought I'd share
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15-08-2012 15:17 #2
F'n Straya cant.
15-08-2012 15:17 #3
The whole notion of helping refugees means we don't help our own is ludicrous.
Taking in refugees does not mean we do not help people who are already residents. There are many ways we help people here.
It is not an either/or issue. We can do both.
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15-08-2012 15:23 #4
For Australia, taking in refugees is helping themselves. Australia has always been in need of population boosts to sustain it's ever expanding economy, this is just another way of doing this, while getting the bonus of knowing they've dramatically improved other human beings lives.
Economically and socially it makes sense. It's actually ridiculous it's even an issue.
15-08-2012 16:31 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I can't tell you how much I agree with the OP! Compassion is hte only appropriate response to someone who is so desperate that they leave their home and get on one of those boats.
I think a lot of the attitude towards refugees stems from a basic lack of understanding of the plight of some of our fellow humans.
It's slightly off on a tangent, but I was reading this the other day and it really brought home the atrocities faced by some people who have escaped their country. The guy in this article escaped from a prison camp in North Korea and they mentioned him in SMH earlier in the week. I warn you, it brought me to tears, but I sort of think we have a responsibility to know this stuff:
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