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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Taking a Stand Against Xenophobia (in Malta)

I'm deeply concerned about the increasing xenophobia in Malta - my home country. As a Maltese citizen and I ashamed of the racist and xenophobic comments by people following an incident involving so-called 'illegal immigrants', , refugees and asylum seekers. The suspicious death of one such person from Nigeria while in the custody of the Maltese armed forces being the most recent incident and since an inquiry is underway, it would be irresponsible for me to comment at this or, indeed, any case for that matter.

indeed, I understand how people who have never worked with or even met a person from a foreign country where there may be significant cultural, religious differences night react to people s/he might consider a threat. However, it appears that one's skin colour is still a source of contempt and hostility by some Maltese people. While the 'threat' of illegal immigration is framed in terns of both economic terns or as a threat to our national identity, there is also a racist element involved.

I am pained to see ny fellow Maltese people reduce other Hunan beings to burdens, unwanted junk or beasts. I regret that we are ready to give up or even break our values regarding others who are different just because we feel threatened or scared. I am saddened when ny brothers and sisters from far away become objects and dehumanised or demonised until we kill their humanity - perhaps to justify our injustice and bigotry.

I feel that even if I'm not a refugee or illegal immigrant or asylum seeker or suffered from the unjust prejudice that is inflicted on people based on skin colour, I can relate to the experience of being judged or reduced as a person because of my physical impairments. Indeed, I can't really explain how painful it can be to find yourself being put within a closed box were your own value as a person is dictated by others and which is often based on prejudice and misconceptions.

I appeal to every Maltese person to be aware of the risk our fear and ignorance can have on our brothers and sisters and how an unquestioned adoption of a xenophobic outlook can do more to destroy our culture that is supposedly based on human values of justice, respect for human life and social solidarity. While we do have economic problems associated with the influx of people from foreign places, we should ve prepared to look beyond our own preconceptions and be prepared to take a stand against racist and xenophobia.

While as a disabled person having to deal with my own struggles against disabling barriers and attitudes, I can only do so much, if more people are ready to take a stand against xenophobia, we can really make a difference and preserve our true values as a nation!

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