Syrian Refugees Are Not M&M’S, FFS.

I don’t usually write anything political in nature, because
a. Generally I don’t know enough about whatever is going on in politics to cast a public opinion.
b. It’s kind of boring in comparison to the rest of my posts, which I like to think are supposedly humourous.
c. I just plain don’t like politics because I’ve never come across a government that seemed to care more about people than kowtowing to the rich corporations that feed them. So I pretty much pretend it doesn’t exist and instead live my life according to my personal set of ethics and morals (yes, I did just insinuate that I am above the law but I promise you it’s not meant in a deranged/harmful kind of way, haha).
d. The subject matter is usually quite confrontational (which I totally get, because that is the whole nature of politics), and I cbf going head-to-head with keyboard warriors all day over the 1000-or-so words that I offhandedly wrote about a current event.

However.
Recently I saw an image that someone had shared on Facebook, containing a background of M&M’S and words to the extent of, “If you had 10,000 M&M’S but 10 of them were poisoned, would you still eat them? This is how I feel about Syrian refugees.”

syria

WTF?

When I saw this, I thought “wow, that guy’s ignorant” and left it at that – I wasn’t going to comment because I knew it would lead absolutely nowhere. But over the last few days I haven’t been able to get this image out of my mind, and have been stewing about the fact that it seems to be a popular opinion. Possibly what alarms me as much as the blatant racist tone of it, is the complete lack of logic behind it. For someone who prizes logic and reason, I can’t stand around and not write about how idiotic this meme is.

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‘Nuff said.

Firstly, I count four logical fallacies here:
1. Appeal To Emotion: Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.
2. Slippery Slope: Asserting that if we allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too, therefore A should not happen. Avoiding the issue at hand, instead focusing on hypotheticals.
3. Loaded Question: Asking a question that has a presumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.
4. Black-Or-White: Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.
Unfortunately, common attitudes across all issues usually fall prey to logical fallacy, and this is why people need to educate themselves and learn how to correctly construct an argument before casting it out there for others to see. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but don’t try to “cleverly argue” it in a piss-poor way.

The way I see it, these memes are pretty much people trying to justify their real fear (and they may not even realise this themselves) – racism. Nobody likes to think they are racist, and many people who agree with this meme would probably say “I’m not racist, I have asian friends” etc. However, the fact remains that in agreeing with this meme, you are saying that your life means more then theirs and that they don’t have a right to live safe and be free. You are unable to place yourself in their shoes, because on some level you do not see “those brown people from overseas with their faces covered” as actual people like yourself. You are not seeing that they are people who have feelings and lives and hobbies and fears, just like you. You are likening them to potentially-poisonous M&M’S in a meme, for fuck’s sake.

Going back to the “logic” of this meme……
Let me ask this: As a child, were you ever made to stay in after the bell or miss out on something as an entire class, because of the actions of one child who was misbehaving? If so, how much did that suck? Even as a child you knew that it was unfair.
Picture this class situation as a very simple analogy: the misbehaving child is the terrorist, the rest of the class are the refugees that need asylum. The teacher is the general public/governments/UN. What you are trying to do is punish many for the crimes of few, because you are too lazy/fearful to actually do your job and see each child as a separate individual case, and thus treat them as such.
So do you feel the same way about our domestic justice system? Do you think all of us should be housed in jail because a small number of us may be criminals? No. We deal with criminals as they are presented, we do not punish all now, for the prospective crimes of few.

This civil war in Syria is a complete fucking mess which is incredibly complicated. Nobody is winning and probably nobody can win. Who even are the bad guys? At this point, those lines have become blurred – but caught in the middle are innocent people just like you and me, people that did not choose this military unrest for their country. Normal people who just want to give themselves and their children a fighting chance in life. The UN has a hell of a lot to answer for right now, and yes, many countries cannot economically or otherwise handle large amounts of refugees in a short space. But many countries together can handle smaller amounts – which is why if the UN steps in and all countries step up to split the bill, there’s absolutely a chance to save many innocent lives here.
In the words of my beautiful friend Alysia, imagine if this was happening here in ‘Straya. Where would you go? What would you do? How would you protect your family? It’s hard to comprehend.
Have compassion, we are all one world, we are all human.

syrmil

The Milky Way over Latakia, Syria – taken by Rayan Azhari.

Love (for all humans), Chelle xoxoxoxoxo

 

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