There is a part of me that is really angry at the way our media have framed a collective epiphany about the humanity of refugees and migrants. I don’t believe the picture of a corpse as flotsam on a beach did anything. A picture used without consent of the parent of the child which was its subject. I don’t believe that editors who discard upteen similar images a day were so moved by the use of this image they have turned about face, and declared they will no longer sell the demonisation of the people our country need. I find much of it nauseating and am offended by the idea we need a stolen image of a dead child, who would be ignored most days, to see that people are people. The image will be used to decorate wars and the memes of those who give no shits, and will be forgotten quickly.
While most of this has been unfolding, I have been caught up in something else. A timely reminder of what happens when we forget people are people, and of the damage that can be done without hesitation, when that is the case. Inequality is very odd. It is often about the invisible.
Sometimes when you are made privy to what is usually invisible, when you are allowed to stare at the mechanisms that actually drive our society, and see how they function, you see terrible things. There is a process where you have to learn that the world has not changed, but your perception of it has. A process by which you learn that your perspective is not important. The world was always thus, that bad things always happened, and it is no better or worse today than it was yesterday or will be tomorrow.
The sun will rise and set and the world will continue like this and only your perspective is different. Your perspective is not important and makes no difference. You will have to carry it. Within that there is a battle. A battle to decide if you can accept the world like this, or will you be driven to make it better. That battle may just be you unable to accept the world as it is.
The world did not change because we saw pictures of a body on a beach. It did not get better, even if you are currently engaged in screaming about inviting refugees to your home, your perspective is not important and your need to provide charity is about you not them.
What is required for change to happen is for everyone to learn that something happening in your eyeline doesnt make it important. It was important even when you were watching X Factor…
Inequality is at the core of political debate for a reason and the process by which the veils which allowed invisibility fall, is likely to be as nauseating as the nations collective refugee epiphany was. Who knows if it will be more effective?