I sort of went into this on twitter but I really feel like I need to expand here.
I don’t know about others, but I have, on many occasions since Trumps election, been labeled an intolerant liberal. I see conservatives talk about intolerant liberals all the time. The intolerant left is absolutely a myth and a slap in the face to the people actively harmed by right wing extremism.
The myth of the intolerant left rests on the assumption that if someone is intolerant of your prejudices, they’re somehow prejudice against you. It’s as though someone is trying to strangle you and blames you for their discomfort when you fight to break from their grip.
This assumption is a play of power where the attacker manipulated the situation to make themselves out to be the victim, and in doing so, they demonize the actual victims.
Victims of prejudice who speak out are in no way “taking the low road” or “just as bad as the other guy”. They are not intolerant of others’ right to have ideas, opinions, and free speech. People have these rights, but their ideas themselves do not have rights. Fighting someone’s prejudice views will never make you the intolerant party. This is a myth spread in order to protect prejudice people against the consequences of their words and actions.
The stories of those crossing the Mediterranean and overland through Eastern Europe are truly heartbreaking. How can any of us living comfortably in the West judge those fleeing murder, rape and persecution? Please ignore the right wing scumbags who peddle myths of migrants ‘coming for your jobs’, 'taking your houses’ etc. All they want is the FREEDOM to live their lives in peace and raise their families free from the threat of death.
As a citizen of a privileged country (I’m English/British), I’ve always been of the opinion that we should share the wealth. My country opened its doors to German Jews in the aftermath of Kristellnacht, to Asian families during Idi Amin’s expulsion policy, and as a thank you to the service given by soldiers in World War Two, invited ALL members of the Commonwealth to live in the UK. Our proud history is going to be undone by a silent Government unwilling to show empathy and compassion to a people desperately in need.
I decided not to use the image of the small Syrian boy being brought out of the sea as all people deserve dignity in death. All we can hope is that his passing will mark a change for the better in the experiences of those seeking sanctuary and a better life.