December 3, 2022

Real refugees, fake refugees

Refugees from Syria or Afghanistan werent fleeing the guideline of law. They did not get away from serving in a state army that would battle to protect their values and liked ones. The state with which they would recognize with does not exist. Their nations are in turmoil and anarchy.

This is indicative of the concept, indeed the expectation, that the refugee is a person who is fully reliant and reliant on external help, not an active figure of ones own survival. It also codes ladies as passive individuals, simple sufferers of events.

In this narrative, a European has a natural right to seek a much better life and material status– a Pole in Germany, a Lithuanian in Great Britain. An Asian or African man at the limit of his adult life, their world turned inside out by the geopolitics and the history of European colonisation, should humbly withstand misery, repression and terror.

In the very first week of the war, the Polish authorities sent a dozen buses to the western border carrying Ukrainian refugees from the Kharkiv area. These were the first displaced by the war to reach the west of Poland. When the buses came to night in the towns of Gubin, Slubice and Kostrzyn along the Oder River, locals bewildered by the disembarking non-white trainees began to ask: Where are the moms with children?.

The western conscience tends to choose out its remorse according to traditional racial and gender criteria that obscure consideration of the plight of specific human beings.

Outraged citizens demanded the resignation of the school principals who had supposedly put the children in threat. Why they were not immediately transported to the capital, but transferred to the German border is are anybodys guess.

A lot of individuals running away the Near and Middle East do not correspond to the European image of passive and defenceless refugees, because they are young guys (in truth about 70% men to 30% females). And males, unlike women, are culturally designated the function of active subject.

The basic right of human life to be safeguarded receded into the background, obscured by the primitive Polish woods and a line of uniformed soldiers. The psychological image of race closed the Polish border in front of individuals leaving the incorrect war and conflict, that in the Middle East. Those looking for sanctuary along the Belarusian border throughout the winter and still today are being pushed unscrupulously into the forest by Polish border guards. Volunteers are bypassing the restrictions enforced by the state of emergency situation to provide the refugees any help under the cold Polish sky.

How are young people supposed to carry out this fight versus everything and anything? These wars lack guidelines: with soldiers on the ground being irregular fighters not subject to the Geneva guidelines for prisoners of war or other international security.

In the wake of the humanitarian crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border in autumn 2021, the Polish public media, followed by social networks bubbles, spread a race-based classification of refugees into genuine and fake. The image of fake refugees, coming from earlier racist stereotypes, turned out to be really practical– it relieved the conscience of Poles from any reproach. It was only about the right to protect the state border from Lukashenkas tourists. -.

They do not get any toys, nor juice, they warm themselves around bonfires in a place where, 83 years earlier, Jewish refugees leaving from the Germans lived under the open sky in a strip of no guys land partitioned from the opposite by the Soviets. This coincidence of refugee location is remarkable, its a disastrous repeating of history.

The myth of deserting kids and women.

Armed forces securing the fence at the Kuźnica border crossing where thousands had been transferred by Belarusian soldiers. Picture from 15 November 2021 by the Polish Territorial Defence Forces by means of Flickr.

Not 6 months had passed since the closure of the northern area of Polands eastern border when, on its southern area shared with Ukraine, officers began bring travel luggage and children, escorting Ukrainians who had escaped from the war into the care of countless easily acting and appropriately appreciated volunteers. Western media right away selected up on this contrast, interpreting it in the direction of the racial requirement utilized in Poland in the treatment of refugees, also non-white refugees at the Ukrainian border.

Nobody was asked to invite them in their homes; these refugees were positioned in school sports halls. In no time, a spontaneous hysteria appeared online and in the street versus the phony Lukashenka refugees who had deceived the Poles and, regardless of the fence put up by the federal government on the border with Belarus, took advantage of the tragedy of the Ukrainians to go into Poland. Those responsible for accepting refugees in the cities pointed out fearing public anger.

Those who had already begun their own families frequently left with their children and wives or used the instrument of household reunification, once they reached security in Europe. Along the Belarusian border, in Michałów, Narewka and Białowieża, there is no scarcity of kids sleeping on bedding under the open sky.

On the one hand, the western discourse runs on the axiomatic conviction that individuals are equal before the law. When checked versus this principle, the Herculean efforts of Polish civil society in putting its own issues on hold to help the nearly 2 million refugees from Ukraine, will not erase the suffering of those refugee groups from the Near and Middle East at its borders.

A lot of these guys, and many women for that matter, best regards believe in the cause for which they are fighting in the routine state army and as volunteers. It is clear to them, as it is to the entire totally free world, that they are fighting on the right side. Those males who stayed outside Ukraine or who managed to leave it after the war broke out (for great reasons, one has to think)– are shamed from the security of the serene home fronts under the NATO umbrella.

This sudden change of Poland ending up being a receiving state did, however, not remove the racist refugee requirement of the government. Instead, their attention is more drawn to the racist refugee requirement of the Polish government.

The author belongs to the research study team of the ERC-Project Unlikely Refuge? Refugees and Citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th Century (grant contract No 819461).

Media coverage has actually highlighted the welcoming of almost two million people under the roofings of typically little eastern European houses within a dozen days, an event without precedent in the history of global refugee movements. Polish hosts are passing the test of humanitarianism with leading marks acting from the grassroots, with minimal assistance from federal government structures, which this time simply dont interfere, instead of help. David Harris, the CEO of American Jewish Committee reporting from Warsaw said: Today we must associate Poland with the spontaneous welcome of refugees who got away Ukraine in biblical percentages.

Mass executions, making use of chemical weapons, rape are direct repercussions of this anarchy.

The public reaction to the global students is more truth than uncertainty. It reveals the incredible effects of the racist propaganda of the Polish public media, which had been identifying refugees of colour as agents of the Kremlin and zoophiles, prospective sowers of terrorism and Islamism, and certainly of laziness. Keeping Syrians, Iraqis or Cubans trapped in the forests of eastern Poland takes its toll of indifference to undetectable human suffering.

Probably its also hard to interact the enormous humanitarian reflex of taking in strangers under ones roof. The refugees of previous years were primarily directed to unique centres in western Europe. This was the outcome of an action organised on the state level instead of a grassroots activity, as in the case of Poland. In this post, let us take a look at the Polish discourse in a bit more information, because at the heart of the bias lies not just the image of race, however also the gender of the refugees.

In reality, every refugee motion has its own characteristics, conditioned by the situational context. The families of todays young refugees from the Near and Middle East very first moved on to neighbouring nations, rather like the countless displaced Ukrainians do right now.

In the very first week of the war, the Polish authorities sent out a lots buses to the western border carrying Ukrainian refugees from the Kharkiv area. In no time, a spontaneous hysteria emerged online and in the street against the phony Lukashenka refugees who had tricked the Poles and, regardless of the fence put up by the government on the border with Belarus, took advantage of the disaster of the Ukrainians to enter Poland. The Polish government and large sectors of public viewpoint deserve the greatest and most uncompromising media criticism for their racist refugee policy, and the lack of empathy for the non-Ukrainian refugees who continue to risk and lose their lives every day at the maritime and forest crossings of Europes borders.

From a nation of refugees to a nation for refugees.

The Polish federal government and large sectors of popular opinion are worthy of the strongest and most uncompromising media criticism for their racist refugee policy, and the lack of compassion for the non-Ukrainian refugees who continue to risk and lose their lives every day at the maritime and forest crossings of Europes borders. This is a phenomenon that far transcends this nation. It is well-nigh universal in Europe (and elsewhere). It is more right to speak of a basic European selectivity, of the double requirements vis-á-vis refugee policy.

Now you can see who a genuine refugee is and who is just pretending to be one– because 24 February, everybody in Poland has heard this phrase at least as soon as. White Ukrainian mothers leaving with their kids are viewed as genuine refugees, as opposed to the iconography of vicious migrants, that is, males with darker skin tossing stones at border guards.

A third myth is that the young men who run away for Europe desert their moms, spouses and children to the violence from which they conserve only themselves. A similar false accusation against was raised against young Jewish refugees from Poland who attempted to get away from the Germans in WWII, suspected of leaving the weaker ones to the mercy of the crematoria.

The trope of moms with children.

A last vicious argument says these males are not all running away from war zones, rather they come to Europe only for a much better life. Either they will not work or, worse still, they will work and take tasks away. Yes, the Cubans or Eritreans are not escaping war but repression, Iraqis not war but from internal fear, while Afghans leave behind both war and severe poverty.

In the nationalist fictional, men are supposed to battle for their country, just like the Ukrainians, and not cowardly run away– the 2nd theme of gender predisposition. Here, with the excellent heroism of the Ukrainian men and females soldiers, several realities are overlooked.

It is no longer just a physical barrier, but likewise a mental one, grown out of the worry and hatred of the other, cultivated by federal government messaging. These develop immediately at the sight of a non-white young individual, especially when male. Federal government propaganda and its derivatives is one thing. It appeared to have yet to overcome the barrier of independent specific human conscience.

Prejudice lies not just in the perceived race of the refugees, their religious and cultural affiliation, however likewise in their gender, broken down into a number of concepts. In this mythology, real refugees are just women with children.

Displaced individuals from Ukraine choose Poland not only since it is physically the closest, however likewise since of its cultural proximity and the family networks established by those previously described financial migrants. Poland has likewise become a sufficiently appealing nation in financial terms, an element which is not surprisingly missing from media analyses for the time being.

Overnight, Poland has actually changed its more than two centuries old infamous reputation as a serial refugee-producer into a receiving country, and has actually become the destination of the most intensive refugee influx in Europe because World War II.

There are likewise lots of powerful international stars in the region working against the specific civilians desire for peace and freedom: Turkey, Iran, and above all Russia, which has been wreaking havoc there for a years. The war crimes of these routines in Syria are luckily not yet matched by the war in Ukraine, and lets hope they never ever will.

Those Middle Eastern families ended up been living in camps for years, with no motion, no development and no hope of a better future. It was up to youths, physically fit kids, who were sent on the hazardous course of crossing to Europe, to pursue a better future and to break the despairing stagnation of the camps.

Couple of Europeans take the trouble to understand the geopolitical circumstance of these refugees who were mere children themselves when war broke out in their country.

They might try to combat versus the fear of the despots, but the wars in their areas have been tribalized. The state army became a portion, with lots of militias fighting one another and being supported by effective neighbouring states. As revealed by the case of Syria, whose infrastructure and army are in the hands of the head of state, beholden to a violent friendship with Vladimir Putin, and not flexibility fighters like Volodymyr Zelensky.

The most essential border topic was and is the Ukrainian exodus. Nevertheless, instantly after the Russian invasion started, western headlines arent focused on the unprecedented solidarity action, however on Polands refugee apartheid, to utilize Étienne Balibars term. While Western countries have accepted refugees from the Balkan and Mediterranean routes in the last few years, even if less voluntarily than they accept Ukrainians, Polands eastern border– uncompromisingly closed to non-white refugees in the north and broad open to white ones in its southern area– has actually focused the twisted duplicity of European migration policy like a magnifying glass.

The option of viewpoint is also notified by a journalistic search for sensationalism, and the stereotyped expectation of eastern European dysfunction.

Not only racial, however likewise gender prejudice.

In the wake of the humanitarian crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border in fall 2021, the Polish public media, followed by social media bubbles, spread out a race-based classification of refugees into genuine and fake. While Western nations have actually accepted refugees from the Balkan and Mediterranean routes in recent years, even if less willingly than they accept Ukrainians, Polands eastern border– uncompromisingly closed to non-white refugees in the north and broad open to white ones in its southern area– has actually focused the twisted duplicity of European migration policy like a magnifying glass.