How did right-wing Polish magazine “The Network” manage to jump onto the international stage last week? By slapping an ominous warning, on top of an image featuring a white woman groped by brown hands. It’s a clever composition, combining the terrifying specter of rape with the prototype of the blonde angel attacked by the dark forces.
The image insidiously connects to the collective consciousness of the European Christianity, to which it gives dire warnings about our “values” being under imminent threat. It’s also an obvious reference to the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Germany^. Well played editors, well played!
The Washington Post has a good story about this (let’s ignore the fact that the USA is the last country in the world that should lecture Europe when it comes to racism):
To say that the immigration problem in Europe is complex is an understatement. It goes beyond “not black and white”. It’s “multicolored”. The Poles, like any other European, do have some legitimate reasons to be worried. Not all of these refugees have good intentions, but this can be said of any social group.
Diversity means that there is at least one person for every possible opinion. But more often than not, extreme opinions – left or right – lead to “quick and dirty” solutions. These solutions appear when some people are faced with challenges that are apparently beyond their capabilities.
Indeed, Europe has been a victim of its own insecurity for a long time now. Why are we not able to break the historical pattern yet? This continent has been a melting pot of cultures for millennia. We’ve gotten far when it comes to human rights, but apparently not far enough regarding those values that are supposed to give us the strength of will and discipline required to weather this crisis.
This image is as perfect as they come. I’d like to add that the per capita income in the European Union is 35 thousand dollars. Lebanon’s is half of that, at 18 thousands. GDP for the EU is 18 trillion, Lebanon’s is 81 billion. That’s 222 times lower than the EU. I’m painfully aware that this is a complicated matter and there’s more to it than these statistics. For example, there are fewer cultural differences between Lebanon and Syria.
Even so, I think that given our economy, we Europeans can do much more for our brothers and sisters in need. I will not say that we should open our doors and hearts to people with bad intentions. But we should also not succumb to fear and the sort of psychological manipulation that “The Network” is guilty of.