I have been spending considerable time this morning reading many fascinating articles recently published in this new magazine published by ROAR. (We simply must support them.) The focus of this website and magazine is European politics from a left-wing perspective. And European politics are becoming inextricably connected with the Middle East hotbed of politics. This article really puts in graphic clarity the experience of Europeans with the current flood of refugees fleeing for their lives from ongoing wars in the Middle East to a safe haven in Europe.
The refugee issue is used by far-right, populist groups to build power and extend beyond their small base of supporters, especially in the few countries willing to open their doors, like Sweden and Germany. The issue is also used by domestic elites for political ends.
But do political leaders understand what is happening? We are moving towards a divided Europe: those who want to help, and those who want to hate—with the majority unsure and anxious. Grassroots citizens’ initiatives are working across these divides, growing from the soil of government failure. But grassroots initiatives have limited resources, and can only do so much.
This isn’t a refugee crisis at all; it’s a crisis of racism, of hatred, of information.