As the tragic news broke this week that up to 900 possible refugees may have drowned at sea trying to get to Italy, the call went out like bad satire, “Stop the boats! Punish the traffickers!”
What a sad folly. No one, including New Zealand, was willing to look in the mirror. Maybe that’s because the truth is, our own reflection isn’t terribly pretty. As families risk their lives at sea rather than die in the war that has engulfed them, New Zealand has quietly just shrugged. It’s not our crisis. It’s so far away.
We’re missing the boat entirely. We are every bit a part of the problem. New Zealand has very quietly closed the door to refugees from long-term neglect.
By Tracey Barnett. [More from Public Address]