Racist Ireland 2015

You'd have to be living under a rock not to be aware that the refugee situation/problem/crisis, call it what you will - is a huge news topic at the moment. That's not surprising.  The fact that so many human beings no longer have a safe place to live and need help is a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale.  Reading this BBC news article on Syria, I was shocked to see that over 4 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict. I can't even imagine the terror and fear these people have experienced, it literally is beyond my imagining.

What I do know, though, is that every human being should be allowed to live in safety and dignity, have enough to eat and a roof over their heads.  I feel incredibly privileged to live in a country which is safe, where my rights are for the most part respected, where I can voice my opinions and democratically select our country's leaders.  I take it for granted most of the time and then when I see how others are suffering I thank my lucky stars that I'm so blessed.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. I have been uplifted by so many positive stories of people donating and offering their time. What has not been so edifying, though, is the amount of racist posts I have seen in my Facebook timeline. To say that I'm disgusted actually doesn't even cover it. In fact, seeing one more of these posts this morning led me to put the following message up as my status:

'Ok I'm unfriending anyone who shares racist crap from now on because frankly it's offensive and I don't want to see it on my timeline. I don't want to see ridiculous 'homeless vs. refugee' bullshit. I also don't want to see 'all those foreigners with different coloured skin must be terrorists and are coming to blow up our countries' nonsense. Seriously, what kind of morons buy into that crap.'

It was a bit of a 'last straw' post but I meant it. It's astonishing how many people are willing to regurgitate gutter press right wing sentiment without question. Many such posts are prefaced by the classic 'I'm not a racist but..' statement.

Wait a minute though, you know what? You ARE a racist.

From the Oxford Dictionary Online:

'Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior:'

We're not superior, through blind chance and fortune we have our safety and prosperity and I firmly believe that this should be shared with others, who, through no fault of their own, are fleeing for their lives.

And don't get me started on the laughable posts professing all sorts of concern for homeless people. Not that concern for homeless people is laughable - the point is, that this newly found human kindness is a red herring, designed to obfuscate the clear message that refugees are NOT welcome. It is not an either/or situation where we get to decide who is more deserving. Everyone is deserving, that is the whole point.

Trying to make us believe that refugees are different to us, not as good somehow, possibly terrorists or criminals or maybe just selfish people who want to steal our jobs - this is a technique used by those who hate to make us hate too.

I'm deeply disappointed that so many Irish people are willing to accept this without question
and I have no desire to be virtual or real friends with anyone who feels this way.

Some links to info or pages where you can offer help or donate:

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  • tisme
    tisme 13 September 2015 at 02:37

    Totally agree Cliona. Well said.

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 13 September 2015 at 10:13

      Thanks Tisme.

  • Newcastle Family Life
    Newcastle Family Life 13 September 2015 at 11:34

    I too have seen so many of these awful posts on my own facebook timeline, some of my 'friends' belief's have really shocked me. I think what is happening in Syria is truly awful and the image of that poor little boy will stay with me. How anyone can act / say negative things about all those poor people is beyond me xx

  • MummyTravels
    MummyTravels 13 September 2015 at 13:14

    Absolutely. And the ones suddenly professing to worry about the homeless never seemed to have mentioned it before!

  • you baby me mummy
    you baby me mummy 13 September 2015 at 13:17

    You are right it is totally racism. On our local town FB page a lady was asking if anyone had old tents that they would dontate to reguees and I said I had one. SOme girl chipped in saying we were unbelieveable and if we wanted to help people there was plenty of homeless people in our town..... Sad really that people like this don't think they are racist x

  • Fiona
    Fiona 13 September 2015 at 13:18

    I've written a similar post and find it hard to believe that people (not just the Irish by the way) can't find some compassion in their hearts for these people who are fleeing evil and danger in their own countries.

  • Sarah
    Sarah 13 September 2015 at 15:01

    Don't even get ms started! I am honestly shocked at some of my friends status' regarding the refugees. It's sad. I have so much passion on this subject - They're human beings, like us! They need help and support not hate. It really irritates me. xx

  • Lived With Love
    Lived With Love 13 September 2015 at 17:59

    It's so bad isn't it! I really can't believe some people! xx

  • Jade
    Jade 13 September 2015 at 20:53

    Couldn't have said it any better, I am so shocked by the public declarations against helping those who need it the most. What if it was us here having to leave and go to another country, we would want help, we would want to feel supported :-( x

  • Hayley: Sparkles and Stretchmarks
    Hayley: Sparkles and Stretchmarks 13 September 2015 at 22:58

    Its been so eye opening to see how many people I know believe and think such dreadful, closed minded things - I`ve been so shocked at the attitudes of some people I truly thought better of. Its definitely not just ireland, england has fared no better I`m afraid! xx

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous 9 March 2016 at 09:05

    Thanks for this article! It is exactly how I felt myself about all these racists comments and status on Facebook. In France where I come from it seems that people only care about homeless now that refugees from Syria are coming. Well, they say they care but they won't do anything to help them as usual...

    • Cliona Kelliher
      Cliona Kelliher 9 March 2016 at 19:53

      Oh, I know! It's very disheartening, makes me quite upset to think that people care so little :(

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