What Kind of People Are We?

In a Shakespearean sense of tragedy and doubt the well-used
“To Be or Not To Be” from Hamlet is not the question
I shall discuss in this short rant of poetry.
Rather, I shall consider a few things
concerning the current Middle Eastern and European migrant situation
The issue that has riveted the attention of the countries in those
spanning across nations.
And it’s my opportunity
to reflect on some of the things that have occurred
(and are still occurring right now) and to reflect on the security
of young and old alike;
that I find quite troubling; enough to keep you up at night.

As a writer and poet, and as a human being, I can say
that I was truly shocked at the sight of an innocent, young Syrian
refugee boy named “Aylan Kurdi,” who had drowned and was lying
face down on a Turkish beach near a resort with his head turned
slightly on its right side, as the ebb and flow of the salted waves
pushed and pulled on his little body.

And unfortunately this is not an isolated case.

A real tragedy for sure that
might have been prevented, if humane, responsible, and responsive
migrant immigration policies had been in place so his father
would not have been compelled to put his wife and both of his
sons—who all drowned together—on that fateful boat at the very
mercy of ruthless and evil human traffic smugglers.

The horrendous scenes played over and over on the 24-hour news
cycle of the migrants and their innocent children from Syria, Iraq,
Turkey, Afghanistan, and other countries being treated like cattle
and indiscriminately pushed around and
tear-gassed by unfriendly and unwelcoming jack-booted Hungarian
Police were certainly most shocking by both their malicious tenor and insidious intent.

The actions also of some right-wing Hungarian demonstrators hurling
loud and abusive comments at the refugees was also quite tragic
and disturbing. I found the actions of the Hungarian Police under
the direction of Prime Minister Viktor Orban to be similarly
reminiscent of the actions of Hitler’s Gestapo and Sturmabteilung
or the SA Troops after 1933 in Nazi Germany. This is the same old tired bigotry and stupidity on display today.

Despite these despicable actions of the Hungarian Police and many
of Mr. Orban’s governmental officials, a number of Hungarian
citizens still showed their kindness and humanity in helping the
migrants at various junctures on the autobahn as they trekked
toward the Austrian border in route ultimately to Germany. This
caught my obvious attention as well.

For me, the “so-what?” here turns ultimately upon the following
philosophical and human question: “What Kind of People Are We?”
The migrant ‘problem’ as we know is largely the result of the massive
displacement of people that has occurred (and is still occurring) in
in the war-torn countries in the Middle East and in certain areas of Southeast Asia.

Stories like this aren’t isolated.

This tragedy is one of many of our world’s current
and future 21st-century challenges. How each of us as “concerned
citizens,” in consonance with the policies and actions of the various
governments in the countries we each live under, will certainly
play a role in reflecting in the end the kind of people we really are.

For me, the nationalistic actions of the right-wing advocates and
extremists, in many countries (including the very ones I have lived in) and particularly now in Europe, provide no real solution at all, and
become a convenient excuse for many people to forsake their
conscience and basic humanity—and to stick their heads in the
sand like a bunch of frightful ostriches lost in the reveries of
their hate and prejudice, and disgraceful cowardice.

There can be no apology and justification for this ever.
This type of behaviour is a deep-seated cancer ever-lurking in the genes of
our human society and in mankind’s soul—awaiting its chance
to metastasize and reek its horrible destruction upon its victims.

The point I’m driving at is this:
The current responsible actions
of a number of world leaders, to particularly highlight those of
the European Union, appear to be taking several of the right steps
in helping these refugee migrants and their families undergoing
this terrible strife forced upon them by the tyranny of war and the
resultant poverty and dislocation. Being stupid, hateful, and clearly
prejudiced as some people and certain governmental leaders are in
our global community today is not the answer and it never will be!

To people who really do care about this ongoing migrant tragedy,
it’s time to rally and act in support of local, regional, and worldwide
efforts to help these migrant people and their families so afflicted
by poverty, disease, war, injury, death, and territorial displacement.

For me, I desire and try to make my voice heard loud and clear as a writer,
poet, and concerned world citizen on this matter and in my own
most humble way. Keep in mind that many of us are descendants
of families who at one time or another were migrants from other
countries escaping the whip and lash of cruel dictators and their
terrible regimes masquerading as legitimate governments of the people.

But we can’t just write anymore. We can’t just talk. Something needs to be done.

In my estimation, the kind of people we should be or aspire to be
are those who relish the winds of freedom, the certainty of justice,
the spirit of friendship, the values of fairness and fair play, the
magnificence of humanity, the desire for cultural diversity and
inclusion, and the love of our fellow man.

Ask yourself: what kind of people are we?
Is this the kind of world we want to be?
With this, I rest my case.

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