it is so easy to do…to get caught up in semantics. i’ve had whole arguments with people about wording or phrasing… heck, even pronounciation. but ultimately it is time spent arguing AROUND the point and not actually debating said point.


right now everyone has their panies in a bunch over the use of the term refugee. from everythign i know from my classes, a refugee is actually a displaced person who has crossed international borders. that becomes important because they are then subject to new laws and that COULD invite a whole host of issues and very little support without other countries keeping an eye out.

technically, i and my fellow evacuees are IDPs (internally displaced people)…but frankly, though i know the difference, i’m tired of hearing people chant, “they pay taxes, they aren’t refugees”.

maybe i missed the memo that made the term refugee an insult…i’ll think on it some more and see if i hear some hidden jab that i’ve missed ’til now…but when i think of evacuees being called refugees i think it is actually a poorer reflection of our country and government than the displaced. after all – we love to take pictures of starving children and hysterical people in other countries, send it out across tv and send our spare change in to do our part…but now we are those people and the rest of the world is watching and sending us their change.

in either scenario being displaced sucks beyond any words i have (think of no place to go back to, loss of people, feelings of saftey and stuff…)but when folks talk about rawandan refugees it isn’t a condemnation of them…it is a comdenation of what they are forced to flee from.

my point is that calling people refugees or IDPs or disgruntled campers isn’t what’s important, getting the message across is.

but that is the big question – what is the message?

is it what kanye west asserts, that w doesn’t care about black people. or as someone on DL’s show suggested, that w doesn’t care about poor people? is it that simple or does it get simpler…what it just a matter of an unqualified man being put in an important position (micheal brown) or shortcomings on the local level. finger pointing could go in the direction of poor education, unstable infrastructure, passing the buck where the levees are concerend or just plain poverty…

the point is that naming the disaster or its unfortuante “players” doesn’t change what’s important. calling them refugees or campers doesn’t matter, getting them help and making sure this, or something like this, doesn’t happen again is.

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1 Comment on on a different note

  1. x0lani says:

    Hey! So do you know where you're going yet?

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