The West, The Other, The Rat Race

‘There is no justice in following unjust laws..’

Grey skies, the air is thick and heavy.

Explosions are heard, near and far. Blackouts, power outages.

Food shortageshunger.

No clean water, panic.

No stars to be seen.

When there are no basic necessities, there is no life. You love home, but there is no life at home.  It’s being torn to shreds, every day. Just like you.

And you begin to dream, to escape the reality in which you now find yourself under.

It all happened so quickly.

Civil war, revolution, unrest of any kind was not in the cards. It was only yesterday that life made sense – the skies were blue, clear. Children were playing outside, the sun shining.

Life.

Calais Jungle - A Child's Story
Life in the Calais jungle: a Child’s story

As you dream, you are told there is a better life–somewhere out there. It must be true, because you’ve seen it in Hollywood movies. There are freedoms, equality–somewhere out there. Where human life is appreciated to the fullest. Where every child truly has a chance at a beautiful life, to shine.

If you work for it, it’s all yours–heaven on earth, The American Dream.

And so many do. Under dire conditions, often in war.

Families work for years and generations to provide the opportunity for someone, anyone in their family, to live to the fullest.

For their offspring to be able to enjoy the riches of life. To carry on.

To be able to breathe, fully and without fear.

And they invest it all. Their lives.

For this world, the one you and I reside in so freely, The American Dream.

A world built on half truths and division–for everyone, but especially the ‘other.’

When the ‘other’ arrives and is recognized as being part of the system, the ‘other’ is tagged with number 9 on their Social Insurance Number. In so many words, it means ‘alien.’ Employers, school districts–all institutional systems–are well aware of the number. They don’t allow the ‘other’ into their schools. They don’t hire the ‘other.’ Why would they open the doors for and invest in the temporary? So many permanent citizens waiting for an opportunity.

The ‘other’ is told to establish themselves. They’re told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Like everyone else.

But from scratch. With obstacles every step of the way, and fear–of their uncertain future in the new world and threats of deportation. Because if they can’t buy their way in, they must prove themselves worthy to be on this land.

To live.

And without history. Because they must begin anew. (We don’t like real history here, it’s boring.)

In the name of ‘multi-culturalism.’ In the name of creating a ‘mosaic’ or ‘melting pot.’ (By creating cookie cutter, pre-defined norms and character traits for everyone to choose from and live by?)

But everywhere, they’re an ‘other.’ No effort can disguise skin colour, culture, the heart and mind. And now status within the system. They are officially an other.

No one wants them.

Their achievements, accomplishments, existence–everything is irrelevant in the new world. Their entire lives and history erased. Because it didn’t happen in this world. And by design, it ceases to matter.

(But we ended up with intellectual cab drivers, and all is well.)

They are told they might not be hired because they sound different. There is no language barrier. They just sound different. They don’t have an accent one is accustomed to. Their culture and way of living are bizarre. There is no mainstream representation of their kind and being, or even their cuisine (if it was any good, it would be well known in an age of globalism). They don’t make sense, they are truly foreign–alien foreign. That could pose a problem.

And it does. Every step of the way.

They are told to give up every fibre of their being which sets them apart, what actually makes them different–what makes them, them. Their differences and way of thinking are held against them the same way everyone else’s are–to divide and conquer, in the name of unity.

They are welcome, as long as they conform to the one and true way of life.  It’s how we got to enjoy the riches of life: The American Dream.

Slowly, the ‘other’ begins to understand it’s not personal–these rules exist, they eat the young, because the ‘dream’ must be kept alive. It sounds reasonable for a nation and culture to want to preserve itself.

What about theirs?

And at what cost to yours?

 

The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

And then you realize.

The only reason they’re here is because of your world and your way of life. Your justice, your dream. They’re just trying to live save theirs-the one the West sold them, for decades. Where no one is safe anywhere, and nothing is what it seems to be.

And how could it be?

When one is not allowed to embrace their real identity, we end up with a world full of Instagram filters instead of real photographs. Hollowness. In the name of perfection–a personality or a nation–we sacrifice real beauty and growth.

Like the beautiful planet we live on.

We destroy all things that make sense about ourselves and the world.

Welcome to the West.

The rat race.

We are now on the same sinking boatfor sale.