Tuesday, August 9, 2016
I’m not exactly what you’d call a refugee advocate with a capital “a”, but I do work with a lot of them on a regular basis.
They are, generally, wonderful people. They are doctors, physicists, sports therapists, economists, students; all of them hopeful, optimistic, driven, eager to give back to society… which is completely alien to the narrative I’ve come to realise the general public perceives them to be part of: as victims or as villains.
You don’t have to look far to see refugees being painted as poor, helpless victims of something awful; or as welfare sponges who are out to steal our jobs and commit crimes.
Neither stereotype is accurate – they are constructs of the media. They are part of a political culture of fear.
Anyone who buys into either stereotype is not worth listening to.