Drawing Further Parallels

Maybe it was because I worked on the discussion presentation for this past week, but I couldn’t help but notice all the connections and ties to the articles and the class discussions we had from last class. First in the “What’s Wrong with Innocence” article by Ticktin, it talked about this continuing eb and flow of the perception of migrants and refugees going from terror, to concern, to terror and back again over and over. This reminded me of the situation in Berlin, which started out extremely welcoming and then after the attack, people began to see everyone coming in their border as potentially dangerous. There was also a large emphasis throughout the piece on how “even though the focus on helping innocent refugees may appear generous and humane, it actually functions to limit the numbers of people admitted into Europe” which reminded me of the illness clause in France. Whenever this cross-over between humanitarian action and law / the political spheres overlap, the outcome is never implemented directly as planned. And not only did it limit the number of people admitted, but it also “serve[ed] as a cover for removing right from the many in the name of the few” just as the illness clause placed being sick over extreme poverty in granting asylum in many cases. Additionally, the article ends with this question of what could actually spark people into action in order to “address the causes” of this war and poverty and massive inequality, death and destruction and we talked about it a little more last class but this idea of solving the problem at its root as a country. One person cannot stop the war in the DRC, they are trying to get food on the table but the United States, instead of complaining about taking in so many refugees, can try and help these larger problems at the roots from which they expand out of. I forget who it was but last class someone even said very point-blank, there is no possible way to resettle a whole country torn apart by war, and even then, given the choice, people would want to stay in their own country if they could have a decent life there. So in order to kill two birds with one stone, the United States needs to start looking larger, one person or one classroom cannot hope to fix these issues. Similarly, in the first Chapter “At the Borders of Europe” of the book “We, the People of Europe by Balibar, he brings up this idea of “ethnic cleansing” in saying that even if one thinks, as is my case, that an intervention one way or another to block the ongoing “ethnic cleansing” could no longer be avoided and even if one is skeptical, as is my case, of self-righteous positions concerning a people’s right to self-determination in the history of political institutions” which related back to the repetition of history that we discussed in class with WWII and the current refugee crisis in Germany.