25 November 2021

Thinking of refugees on Thanksgiving

If you have nothing else to be thankful for on this day, be thankful that you are not a refugee - political refugee, war refugee, climate refugee, whatever.  I fully understand that some migrants are economic opportunists seeking to game the system, but the vast majority are helpless victims of circumstances beyond their control - from wildfires, floods, droughts, ethnic cleansing, national geopolitical policies, and wars.

The top embedded image is from the border between Poland and Belarus, where the migrants are political pawns in an autocrat's power struggle with the EU.  They have been displaced from their homes, have only what they can carry, lack food and shelter and are facing an oncoming winter entirely at the mercy of strangers.

Here's an old photo of a Syrian refugee child:

“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” photographer Osman Sağırlı told the BBC. “İ realized she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.”
It's tempting to succumb to "compassion fatigue" when reading about the never-ending world crises, or to consider oneself safe from geopolitical conflicts, ignoring the potential of becoming a climate refugee.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Stan ~ I am thankful for you and your awesome blog!

  2. The cartoon feels like its message is at odds with the post's. The intended effect is for the reader to empathize with the white pilgrims and therefore reevaluate their attitudes toward current refugees. But, taking the cartoon another way, had the American Indians actually had such a policy there would be a LOT more of them alive today.

  3. Another layer: Imagine a cartoon featuring all the mega fauna species erased, as the first Homo sapiens arrived in North America. "Sorry but we're not accepting any ecocidal apex predators."

  4. Complicating matters: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/46/28555


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...