Refugees Don’t Need Your Pity
In a world where 1 in 7 people are displaced, your kindness is just condescension.
Dispossessed is an identity of disempowerment, but it is a powerful identity. Borders may temporarily hold back the flow of humans adrift, but in a world where we are so tightly and dizzyingly interwoven, physical boundaries are far less obstructive than the lasting confinement of imposed narratives. Such is the double-edged power of stories: They can hold us together — and they can distort, isolate, and divide. The dispossessed: The tag’s impediment persists even after the bearer has crossed a border or town limits, settled in, become a neighborhood cop, a high school teacher, a daughter’s girlfriend, or a boat captain living next door. Unless the world finds compassion for this new communality, learns to make sense of one another’s voices, its humanity will perish.