I’m hopeful the way to make these mostly educated, hard working, former homeowners seem more like educated, hard working, homeowners is with the right smiley face to represent them. Because showing the destitution these people face and the abuse they are suffering at the hands of human traffickers and the unceasing deaths occurring in their communities both where they are running from and on the road, is just not bringing any compassion.
Of course we could look at where or when exactly over the last year the word “migrant” became a synonym for “pest” or “leech” that must be expunged? A quick Google search gives me the definition of migrant as “animals that migrate.” Ah. Maybe it’s because we are using a word that describes a perpetually homeless beast that keeps these war-worn families sub-human?
I’m aware that the one photograph, of one drowned child and his emotionally arrested father did make a temporary impact. It’s not clear why this one parent and one child more so than the other two thousand migrants who have died just this year mostly escaping Syria had an effect – for a few days. Or why it was so short lived.
And now one stolen passport in Paris has given all our Republican presidential candidates and even some of the elected governors in our MELTING POT of country permission to demonize victims of a world war. Allowing them to refuse access to any refugees seeking asylum here while the rest of the world is taking in thousands.
Surely, an emoji will show our lawmakers that all people have needs. Even those that can’t pay $500 a plate at a benefit in their homestate. Because lets face it – Emoji’s are strangely powerful. A friend of mine recently sent a tweet about how far her car was parked from her office with the Emoji of the dancing lady in red. Showing me in color and posture – her hellish burden. I’m sure the lady in this emoji is meant to be dancing – but she could be walking… on a Hungarian freeway if need be. And then she can be texted again and again until DONALD TRUMP GOES AWAY. Or at least until the pain of destitute humans sinks in, via smartphone. I can tell you my friend got HUNDREDS OF LIKES AND RETWEETS about her walk to her car. From her heated and fully catered office. Emoji’s work.
Of course changing this animal name these terrified people are called in the press would probably help too. Refugees still seems vaguely human, if not to be confused as the former friends of Lauren Hill. Assylum seekers speaks to the fact that their lives are in mortal danger, which might produce a tad more empathy – outside of just Germany. But conflating issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and asylum is dangerous because it would require policy and legislative change. When half our American leaders are still unclear on vaccine facts, nine years after the debate broke out. So there probably isn’t enough time to effect actual political change.
So I’m sticking with my emoji request. And not a crying face one. I’m talking about a drawing that portrays these souls as people with possibilities. Because if news images of white people swimming in the middle of the ocean, in all their clothes – with their children – and not a single possession from their former life available to them is not awakening America to this holocaust – it’s time to make an electronic cartoon that might save them.