Thailand versus the Mediterranean: Your human value hinges on ethnic and cultural background

by , under Enrique Tessieri

We have all been reading about the rescue operation in northern Thailand and it raises a worrisome question: Why is there so much media coverage of twelve children trapped for sixteen days in a cave when between 23,000 and 28,500 of people have perished in the Mediterranean during 1993-2018 while trying to come to Europe?

While all lives are sacred, the reporting by the media of the trapped boys in Thailand expose the hypocrisy of our values. What the media stories are saying in between the lines is that your value as a human being hinges on the color of your ethnic and cultural background.

Read the full story here.

Those who disagree have only to look at the bloody and racist history of countries like the United States, the Americas and others like Australia.

Those tens of millions of Europeans that fled their continent not only carried their physical belongings but their spiritual baggage like racism and toxic attitudes. By turning a blind eye to the deaths in the Mediterranean, we are only confirming those attributes that enabled so much death and devastation in the world.

In May 2015, Migrant Tales published a Facebook posting by Tom Vandenbosch that received about 99,000 views. It was about a little girl floating lifeless in the Mediterranean.

The original posting by Tom Vandenbosch has been removed by Facebook.

Vandenbosch’s post read:

“Here she is. One of those gold-diggers. She travelled on a boat to steal our prosperity. She wanted to cause unrest in our society. Because that’s what they do, those refugees, they cause misery and destruction.

Look at her. She was probably planning to carry out a terrorist attack. Many people from those countries are Muslim, you know, so the danger is real.

But look at her!

This is about people. Not numbers. People. Real people! Young people, young children even. People with dreams, hopes and aspirations. With fears. And with the simple desire to pursue happiness.

Here she is. In our blue Mediterranean Sea. And she is not the only one.

A few hours earlier she was probably hugging her mother. Her mother would have said that all would be fine. Don’t worry, darling. A better life is waiting for you on the other side. The world will be a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race. There are people out there who care and who share. The world is not just about wars, violence and terror. No! There are some countries where people are rather lucky and happy, and they certainly wouldn’t mind sharing a bit of that luck and happiness with us!

Look at her. In her pink dress. Perhaps her favourite dress. Maybe the one she would wear on her first day to school.

Unfortunately, her mother was wrong. Apparently, nobody really cares. Nobody wants to share.

Sorry about Europe. Sorry we are doing so little. Sorry we are so late. Sorry we don’t have time for you. We are terribly ashamed. Sorry that our stupid politicians in their infantile and petty narrow-mindedness don’t even have the smallest decency to leave behind their shameful xenophobic thoughts. Even not just for a minute to make the right decisions. Sorry so many of us voted for them. Sorry that they are not able to show just a little respect for this big human tragedy happening in our beautiful Mediterranean sea. It is happening right here, right now, at our doorstep.

It’s a shame!”

  1. Yossie

    “Why is there so much media coverage of twelve children trapped for sixteen days in a cave when between 23,000 and 28,500 of people have perished in the Mediterranean during 1993-2018 while trying to come to Europe?”

    Because there isn’t 28500 football players lost in the caves. This has nothing to do with ethnic or cultural background no matter how much you want to spin it and incite hatred.