The term “refugee” churns varying emotions depending upon who is reacting to the word. Many would be thrown into a swell of heartbreak; sympathizing for the displaced and their seemingly endless journeys’ to a find a home. While on the other hand, many may actually feel anger towards these people, as if they are infringing upon our homes and way of life. The variety of opinions on the subject makes discussing it a delicate matter, though not enough so that it should be ignored.
A refugee is martyr for some, a criminal for others, and a tool for furthering agendas on both sides of the political spectrum. For many, refugees are a means of study, who can use the data and experiences concerning the phenomenon in order to draw conclusions and analyze them. Others see them as a call for activism, and are deeply moved by the misfortunes of the displaced and sympathize with them at every turn. Still, there are those who either wholly ignore or hold bitter animosity towards them. However, while this clash of ideals is raging in the security of the U.S, across the globe, we can witness refugees being turned down from border to border; ending up in crowded camps with deplorable conditions. In regards specifically to the Calais Refugee Camp in southern France, “A lack of sanitation poses a real threat to public health, with many residents of the camp forced to defecate close to where they sleep and prepare food.” (Davies)
A key factor in the lives of refugees is their movement. The National Geographic article on Syrian refugees depicts the life of a refugee as one of constant movement, typically in the form of walking. Refugees may use various forms of transportation if need be, but typically are restrained to their feet, whether they be protected or not. Boots, sneakers, sandals or barefoot, they will walk regardless; there is no choice for them. Both the strong and feeble must make the same steps, there is no difference between them. Mothers are forced to carry their children, while simultaneously protecting them from innumerable dangers. There is no difference between mother and child.
Refugees are invisible in the end. They are tossed aside by governments in a position to aid them, and are seldom given constructive thought by us, who are so comfortable in our living situations. Are these people so far below us that we should not even consider them during our daily lives? The answer is they are not below us at all, but one could easily infer that they are so considering how they are valued by the greater public.
Davies, Thom. “Geography, Migration, and Abandoment in the Clais Refugee Camp.” Political Geography. Print.
Salopek, Paul. “Syrian Refugees.” National Geographic 1 Mar. 2015. Print.