Last week, a video emerged of a Greek coastguard boat seemingly hoping to capsize a ship filled with refugees at sea and also the coastguard shooting into the sea close to their dingy. That isn’t Oceania in 1984.
The incident reportedly happened off the Turkish shore Monday.
And like the crowd in Orwell’s theater, a few folks were”much entertained.” 1 infamous right-wing commentator tweeted that the video using the caption: “Love me a little Greek coastguard. Thighs oiled. Boots strapped. Rage against the invasion”
This terminology of invasion was replicated in headlines across the world as papers reported Greece has been”surrounded” by”swarms” or”flooding” of migrants. The New York Times carried a photograph caption on Tuesday saying that”Greek police were using tear gas and rubber bullets to repel the hordes.”
Taking the army analogy a step further, a Greek government spokesman, Stelios Petsas explained the nation as confronting an”asymmetric threat” to its safety and declared that Athens had routed gunships into its eastern Aegean islands.
This language of intrusion has become more and more mainstream since it trips off the tongue of populist political leaders across the globe. All these populists stoke xenophobia and hazardous nationalism to gain and keep power, erecting walls and fences as physical embodiments of the bias.
Since Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, recently discovered, such speech isn’t just profoundly incorrect but also extremely hazardous. “It’s this kind of speech which stigmatizes refugees, migrants, and others about the move, which provides validity to some discourse of racism, hatred, and xenophobia,” he explained.
About the Greek island of Lesvosoff whose beaches a young boy drowned past Monday, a small group of islanders have obstructed refugee ships from docking. There were reports that physicians, journalists, and aid workers are attacked by vigilantes. There were reported arson attacks and past week NGO Médecins Sans Frontières has been made to suspend activities for 2 weeks due to the higher strain on the staircase.
Increased frustrations in Greece stem from failures from the European asylum system and the simple fact that there’s not any method to discuss responsibility for asylum seekers among European nations. Because of this, coastal states — like Italy, Greece, Spain, and Malta – have been mostly left to take care of the circumstance. Efforts from the EU Parliament to reform the Dublin Rules are blocked by some nations.
Instead of trying to resolve this broken system, that is neglecting both frontline EU states and individuals looking for security, Europe’s mainstream leaders are preventing it. This has created a vacuum that populists have filled.
If left untreated, they’ll frame the dialogue as well as the terminology we use via fearmongering and the weaponization of bias. But instead than keep”dark forces” into abeyance, the fortress which Europe is constructing itself, is leaving us trapped at a populist prison of fear.
Twenty years following the book of 1984, several facets of Orwell’s vision — from omnipresent mass surveillance into the creeping impact of Newspeak — are very commonplace. We have to act to make certain that our treatment of refugees fleeing war and destitution will not become dystopian.