Part One – What Would You Want Australia to Do for Asylum Seekers If You Were One?
Something of the crude nature of parliamentary democracy is exposed in the media (and public) reaction to evidence of corruption in the current government’s dealing with “people smugglers.” Why not the focus on what would be the only just response towards these refugees seeking political and economic asylum in our country? Instead, the whole debate becomes just another tool of parliamentary politics. Where in all this “politics” is any real consideration given to the plight of refugees?
Considering the words of our national anthem, it is ironic to see now the Australian Government implementing what has been dubbed “the toughest border protection measures ever”. We probably forget the words of the second verse, not often sung.
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.
Meanwhile, rather than work towards this solidarity, far-right movements, such as the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, are raising the heat in our nation, in an effort to “protect” us from what they see as a threat from extreme Islam and from Third World immigration.
Sadly, this official position has not only been implemented here in Australia, but has been seen as a model to be followed. The Generation Identitaire in France, and similar movements throughout Europe have even taken on the “NO WAY” slogan for themselves, just replacing the word “Australia” with that of their own nation.
Certainly, as the Rightist increase in their public and concrete aggression, our movement for empathy, justice and morality is going to need to be prepared to meet it with confidence and determination. It is not that we would ever want to initiate violence (something which our movement sharply opposes in ALL forms); but sadly, when others initiate violence against the innocent, somebody has to reciprocate with violence to stand for what is right.
A New Policy of Empathy
Now first of all, place yourself in the position of the refugees. If you were a refugee fleeing from injustice in your original country, how would you hope your destination country would treat you? Well, your country ought to treat refugees from another country in that same way. “As we would hope others treat us, so should we strive to treat others.” It’s called the Golden Rule, but really whatever religion or culture you’re from, we all know this.
SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH TREATING OTHERS AS WE WOULD HOPE TO BE TREATED BY OTHERS?
If you understand what I am saying so far, you’re understanding empathy. If you want to stand for empathy and genuine morality, contact us.
Put the Shoe on the Other Foot, Mate!
Of course, safely “at home in Australia,” you have no fear of advocating cruel policies towards out-groups, because you know you’ll never find yourself on the receiving end of such cruelty. So for those who support the current Rightist, hard-line policies, we challenge you: PUT THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT! Place yourself in the position of the refugees under the policies that you demand. If you think sending our Navy out to stop boats seeking asylum is right, would you still do it if you were on the boat?