I am still trying to wrap my head around this, and put all the pieces together. But from what I have seen, a trend of nationalism has arisen. To use an example – Britain has separated from the European Union to gain control of its borders. Moreover, the insurgence of refugees from Syria has led to xenophobia in countries like France and Austria. Austria’s election did not fall to the far right populist movement, however.
I try to pay attention to the news. I feel like I am sometimes grasping at what I do not understand. It can be a challenge to keep up with what is going on worldwide, but when you open your heart and mind to the world, I believe you become a better person in empathy, in intelligence, as a communicator. You start to see the world less as a series of states and more as a population of humans.
Currently, you also see a kind of pattern evolving in government across Europe. The pattern I see is fear.
It is easy to fear what we do not understand. For instance, it is easy for me to hide in my shell and forget what is happening in the world. It can be even harder to talk about. You think — if I am concerned about worldly affairs — does that make me annoying? Is it hopeless to care? Or at least I pose these silly questions in the back of my mind as someone who works in entertainment. I do not profess to be a genius. A historian, a politician, or a journalist is probably more suited to write a piece like this. I am simply someone who is trying to understand.
Most of the fear I see seems to stem from the refugee crisis in Syria. History has shown that when an influx of immigrants flock to a country, xenophobia arises. We, meaning the collective who take in refugees, fear we are letting our guard down. That if we do not shut our borders, we could let in terrorists. We fear that refugees will take space we presume is reserved for ourselves, and that refugees will take our resources. Where do we house them? Will they just live in tent cities? We do not have the space.
On the extreme level, fear escalates to hatred, in particular, a heightened fear that one group is somehow superior over the other, and we should relinquish the inferior.
Perhaps some like self-proclaimed Neo-Nazis are a lost cause. Do not mistake my words as a free pass. Any action they make which causes harm to others is completely intolerable, and we should remain vigilant that they do not harm others. What I am saying is that perhaps they have reached a level of xenophobia that cannot be changed.
What we can do is encourage others, those that have not reached the heightened, extreme level of fear, not to fear. Such a task is not easy. But bravery is always the harder decision. To make things more complicated, I do not believe simply accepting refugees is the brave decision. Yes, we (in the global sense) should accept innocent civilians into our countries that are trying to wait out war. In viewing their fleeing as a humanitarian crisis, it is a must. But logistically there is only so much space countries have for other people. We must also realize that refugees were also forced to leave. Conditions were bad enough for them to want to flee their own home
But imagine if they had lived in a home that was safe originally? Imagine if the U.S. could be the type of country to instill peace and democratic values in Syria and other countries around the globe?
This is not an easy, uncomplicated decision, and maybe sounds a bit too much like imperialism on the surface. It also likely means warfare and other potential diplomatic and economic issues that I would need to read way more information on before I could begin to make an informed stance.
But I do not think it is wrong to believe people should be able to speak their minds across the globe. I do not think it is wrong to believe people should feel safe no matter where they live.
In any case, fear is not the solution. Fear is what is easy. Fear is what is familiar. And more importantly, fear is only temporary. It does not solve a problem at its core.