The Refugee & ‘WE’

Bilal Zaiter
2 min readDec 4, 2019

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‏You are the ugliest bird on this planet.

Off course you are. But we -because we are educated about ‘animals’ rights- can provide shelter, food and values.

‏You are an ugly bird but we do not see you ugly. Because we do not judge by appearance. But off course, we can see you poor, stupid, lazy, and liar. No, wait, let us do some self-critic. You are just needy. In deep need. You need physical and psychological help! And off course, we are the experts. And it is going to take you a while, so rest in this frame and we will take care of your image!

‏You know what ! You are so cute but you come from the forest and it was so bad there that you yourself can not even remember how hard it was. Actually, you can not even recognize yourself. We will tell you who you are.

‏But, before we go there, who ‘we’ are?

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This text is a reflection about some predominant discourses of the left politics about refugees. This diversified cluster of social actors with good intentions and sincere will to support refugees do still sometimes approach the complex question with poor lexicon and cliché framing. There is no blaming here. Not to anyone. And then there is also no victimization. It is just an attempt to explore the roles of metaphors and framing in mainstreaming the refugees question.

So here, i am not addressing the discourseS of the right or extreme right nor refugees’ discourseS themeselves. While both are crucially important to better read the puzzle, i am satisfied with this reflection for the purpose of this post.

And as all this is part of reflecting on the identity question, the last words of this piece are helpful too.

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