Solidarity with migrants! Refugees are welcome!
Slogans such as “Solidarity with migrants” and “Refugees are welcome” should welcome all immigrants who risk their lives trying to cross the borders of Fortress Europe running away from severe poverty and a lack of prospects in their home countries.
Europe is still a medieval fortress instead of being a friendly place for refugees. We are spending millions of euros to keep the borders tight, but the toughest and strongest barriers are in our minds.
The fear of migrants built upon racism, xenophobia, and ignorance is still strong. We have completely forgotten that merely thirty years ago it was the Poles who were the political refugees and that they are still migrating to the wealthier countries of the EU for economic reasons. So far, the borders are still open for us, because we are part of the European community. Let's ask then: what will happen if the British and German nationalists say that the border of “their civilization” is at Oder and Neisse rivers? What will happen if two million Polish people are told to go home because they are taking jobs away and they use the social benefits only because they are immigrants?
It is also hard for us to come to terms with the fact that the European culture and civilization has built its power on the mistreatment and economic exploitation of the colonies that takes place to this day. The victims of these processes are the people from the south who currently cross the European border in search of shelter and financial safety.
Migrants remind us of the reality behind the walls: wars, persecution, and severe poverty. They make an appeal to our European heritage of universal human rights and mutual solidarity when they ask us for asylum. Their fate depends on our openness and willingness to help.
We should not forget that it is the migrants who have been creating the cultural and economic wealth of Europe for centuries. In spite of what the racists and nationalists say, refugees do not come here empty-handed. They want to use their skills, knowledge, and their will to work to rebuild their lives in their new homeland. It depends on us to create favorable conditions for them.
If welcoming migrants and refugees presents more dangers to us that it does opportunities, then our attitude can only be called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Fear can only propel our worst instincts and create ethnic and racial hate. Only by being open will we be able to build a stable future together. Only by fighting our own prejudice and by noticing how much connects all nations and races will we be able to live and work for the common good.
Against all xenophobic politicians, online haters, racists, and the media that support them, we say
SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANTS! REFUGEES ARE WELCOME!
People and institutions supporting our statement:
dr Iwona Chmura - Rutkowska
Dorota Grobelna, kuratorka sztuki
dr hab. Piotr Laskowski
dr hab. Rafał Jakubowicz
Anna Wachowska – Kucharska
Maria Czarnecka Stowarzyszenia Antropologów Kultury "Etnosfera"
Andrzej Maszewski, pracownik CK Zamek
Paulina Suszka, dziennikarka