I mostly enjoy my time on Twitter, probably due to the fact I’ve carefully designed my Twitter feed to only include like-minded people. We all have a great time agreeing with each other and sharing our outrage at the same things and maintaining this echo-chamber of pleasantries. That’s not to say I don’t partake in Twitter wars when the inevitable ‘I don’t agree with you’ moments arise, but these wars are still usually quite civil as they’re with people I agree with on most things and therefore can tolerate to converse with when I’m right and they’re wrong. But then there are moments when you see the dark side of Twitter, when you’re searching for something else or you’re curious about a trending hashtag, or your sister texts you to say there’s a vile thing happening on Twitter that I really must see to believe so I understand the level of outrage required. The hashtag #refugeesnotwelcome is one of those moments. Brace yourself, you’re not going to like it.
Refugees are invading
So you know how there are Syrian families fleeing Syria’s brutal Bashar al-Assad regime which has killed over 100,000 Syrians and there are also Syrian families fleeing ISIS who are trying to turn Syria and the rest of the Middle East into a depraved-violent-raping-stoning-killing-violent-horror-story-worst-than-the-worst-thing-you-can-even-imagine hell-on-earth? Well these innocent people who are fleeing for their lives, terrified, displaced by war and extreme terror, are literally being accused of ‘invading’ other countries. Yes, people really are this xenophobic and nasty and we really do have to share the earth with these people.
Not welcome in Ludlow
Katie likes to spend her days posting beautiful photos of the scenery around her beautiful home in Ludlow, reminding the world how lucky she is to live in a beautiful country with old castles and picturesque villages. How lovely. Oh, and she also likes to remind people that she doesn’t want people fleeing the horrors of war to enjoy a place as lovely as Ludlow. Charming.
Poster boy Farage
The UK #refugeesnotwelcome crowd have a racist political poster boy who gives them permission to be racist out loud instead of just in their heads – Nigel Farage, leader of UK racist party UKIP. I would put money on the assumption that every single UK Tweep who uses the hashtag #refugeesnotwelcome voted for Farage and love to spread the propaganda (bullshit) message that Syrian refugees are economic migrants. Don’t look up on Wiki how many votes Farage got because it will make you sad/mad.
Flying the racist flag for Team America
Not to be outdone by the racists in the UK, the US also have their fair share of Tweeps using #refugeesnotwelcome. And of course they also think Obama is Muslim and that he’s just pretending not to be Muslim so he can wage a #Jihad on his own people. It sounds pretty loony doesn’t it. Scary fact is I would also assume each and every person who shares this view of Obama is also armed with at least one gun, if not a full arsenal. Legally.
Racism in a meme
They have their own racist memes too. This suggestion that Syrians should stay and fight is particularly nasty when you consider that an unarmed civilian ‘fighting’ against Assad’s chemical weapons is like asking someone standing on a beach to fight against a tsunami wave. If this tweeter’s child was at risk of being killed by their own government, or sold into slavery and gang-raped by ISIS, would they grab their pitchfork and stay and fight or would they get the hell out of there anyway they could?
Not making any sense
Some of them have me really confused. Like this one. Her tweet says there is no #refugeecrisis and that the people fleeing Syria aren’t really refuges and are rather just illegal economic migrants who for some reason don’t quality as refugees since they’re single men (a common complaint by racists about Syrian refugees). But then the meme seems to concede that the men are fleeing a warzone, which technically does officially mean they are refugees. And even more peculiarly, the grainy old war image of the young blonde soldiers seems to be applauding German men for moving ‘into a war zone’ – which I definitely thought no one would be game to bring up at this point since Germany has surely learned not to mention the world wars where they invaded Europe, killing millions. Weird.
Now for something much more edifying
You can see why I did not enjoy scrolling #refugeesnotwelcome and felt the need to cleanse myself by sharing my outrage with all of you. You’re welcome. Just so I don’t have to leave you with all this bile, hateful, racist, nasty propaganda, this is a Tweet I loved which really is the perfect common-sense argument-destroyer that makes null and void all the misinformation shared about Syrian refugees on the #refugeesnotwelcome hashtag. Facts, glorious, simple and efficiently satisfying facts. Also note the number of re-tweets on this one. Twitter can be my friend again now.