Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wonderful Walls?

The world is still an extremely divided place with actual walls everywhere determining who can go where. Border police doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. It is sad that the highest level of the food chain, humans can’t think of a way to respect our differences and beliefs and literally move on with our lives where ever we choose to go. It reminds me of the free wild horses on the open range in America that face walls of barbed wire to stop their freedom just because someone else owns a ranch. Some countries take a zero-tolerance approach to immigration and they do it by erecting walls with round the clock surveillance. The borders don’t look like a welcome sign but more like the walls of a high security prison. Are they keeping people in or out of their country?
This is how a part of Europe is responding to the refugee crisis. Hungary that is a border country is currently on lockdown. A 180 mile border fence was built in 2015 to stop the flow of refugees from entering that country from Serbia or Croatia. The border surveillance of the Hungarian-Serbian border is very effective. Along the chain link fence topped with barbed wire is the deployment of foot patrols, dog patrols, mounted officers, vehicle patrols as well as helicopter patrols. Heat-seeking devices are also applied. Do you think they are getting the message out there for humans to go away? Trump wants to build a 30 foot high concrete wall.  
Hungary’s overall crime rate is on the decline in all major categories since the building of their wall. The rural farmers feel safer now that they do not have anywhere from 20 to 150 people knocking on their doors looking for food, water or shelter. The farmers say they love freedom of borders very much, and free crossing would be great but they felt their lives were in danger being so outnumbered. They also felt that they must be able to protect themselves and Europe as well. Do we need similar walls in Britain and France that is under constant terrorist siege lately? In order to justify the closing of what used to be an open border Prime Minister Viktor Orban cited terror threats as the primary reason. He said that open borders represents a public security and terror risk.
Europe is locking down and becoming compartments on the globe because of the increased terror in Germany, France and Britain.  They feel now that the most important part now is to prevent immigrants from getting across the technical border. Europe used to be a wonderland of cultures and languages that just a train ride in any direction would bring you to another country   full of their traditions and different language to enjoy. Must we lose the cultural diversity of Europe to  border walls? Perhaps if the world spent more money on the plight of starving people in their own countries they would want to stay in their home towns. Does an unfriendly wall really solve the problems or just make people more angry and isolated on either side of the wall? When will peace and co-habitation enter the discussion to solve humanity and our collective needs?
After Hungary’s wall was built, tents and refugee camps sprouted up on the Serbian side of the border. No one wants to make a long journey starving, thirsty and dirty to find a wall and nothing else. Children walking from Afghanistan should not see walls with razor wire and spend their childhood looking at a prison environment and expect to grow up without even more hatred in their hearts. They walked to the wall where there is nowhere else to go followed by no hope for any kind of good future. It is unfortunate that the countries like Germany, France and Britain who opened their doors to refugees are living in constant fear of random attacks while Hungary who closed their border to refugees is becoming a safer place to live. So people from the Middle East are taking out their frustrations where ever they can?
Now gun loving anti-Islam politicians like Trump are gaining power in Europe; people that we have not seen in 50 years. The freedom party is founded by ex-Nazis who founded the party in post- World War ll in Austria.  Their candidate Norbert Hofer is part of an extreme right-wing German national fraternity that hates Muslims. They also stand for a worldview that is clearly racist, xenophobic, sexist,  anti-Semitic and making people very paranoid. Walls and discrimination is a probable cause for the end of the European Union. Hofer lost the election to the more moderate candidate Alexander Van der Bellen in the election but still got nearly 50% of the vote.  Trump is under investigation for stealing the election from Hillary. Walls and the great political divide is spreading all across Europe.

Germany took in more refugees than any other country in Europe and has the highest number of attacks on refugees in shelters. In 2016 there were more than 35 hundred   attacks. Locals are burning hotels that were being converted into shelters for refugees. Part of the fear is that Islam will take over their traditional religions of Christianity and Judaism. Integration into a new society will always be hard if faced by discrimination for who you are. Over a million refugees settled in Germany since 2015 and families still live in one room hotel rooms. There will be no peace or civility till a clear solution can be made for people to live in peace in their own countries.  

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