Due to the latest events presented by the media around the world and the loads of nasty comments on media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram regarding human rights, immigration policies, refugees and globalization, I have felt the strong need to give my opinion and stand up to the intolerance of many. However, I encounter a new challenge every time I say what I believe. First, I have found several people that usually use the arguments “you don’t live here anymore” or “you aren’t a national from this country” to diminish and reject my commments and feelings.
Therefore I ask myself, is it different to express our opinions when we lead a cross-cultural life and don’t reside in the country of origin? Is it harder to share with others our position on political and social situations just because we don’t live in that particular place anymore? How do I disconnect from what is happening in my children’s passport country even though we don’t live there at the moment?
I simply can’t. I refuse to look away and ignore the many inhuman things that are happening. I will always stand up to flawed laws and policies. I am going to criticize every wrong action taken by a corrupt government, no matter where I live and work. This isn’t about a particular administration or culture, this isn’t about the place that has issued my current residence permit. We are talking about the well being of many who are going through unbearable emotional pain due to our inability to accept and embrace diversity. I don’t need to show you my current tax declaration or birth certificate to give my viewpoint regarding your country, my country… our COUNTRY.
Is it possible that we lose the right to judge intolerance back home when living overseas? It looks like it. Or at least that is what many want us to believe. But we, expatriates, immigrants, citizens of nowhere and everywhere, we can’t accept that. It is not acceptable to keep our mouths shut just because we are not nationals from a specific place, or we don’t live there anymore, or we are afraid of being taken as intolerant.
The issues I see in two of my most beloved nations, such as Venezuela and the United States, the many mistakes made by despicable forces wanting to bring back a rancid nationalism movement, those issues I won’t ignore. So please, don’t let others frighten you just because your lifestyle, better opportunities or love have taken you abroad. Be true to yourself and your beliefs. Remember, if we want to be global citizens we need to care about every single person in this world suffering from hunger, persecution, poverty and sickness. Be the voice of those who have no strength to raise their own voices.
At the end, the problems we see aren’t just small things individually wrapped up for a specific nation. In this every day more globalized world, the issues from one country directly affect the well being of other countries
Oh no, but this doesn’t end here. I have also encountered many fellow humans that feel the urge to remind me the need to be “more tolerant”… don’t I preach daily to be raising citizens of the world? Then why do I take such a radical position against prejudice, stereotypes and cultural ignorance? Why can’t I “respect” the opinions of many who enjoy posting and reposting information that stands for separation and hostility? Well, like Karl Popper once said, a society that is tolerant without limit will see their ability to be tolerant seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Sequentially, in my experience, we have to be intolerant of intolerance to maintain a respectful and more humanitarian society.
Finally, I would like to invite you to talk about your beliefs with no fear. At the end, the problems we see aren’t just small things individually wrapped up for a specific nation. In this every day more globalized world, the issues from one country directly affect the well being of other countries. We would be very naive to ignore what is happening on the other side of the world and stay quiet about injustice. For now, I will continue reminding myself that no matter where I live, I am a woman, a mother, a lawyer and educator, and a citizen of everywhere. So my opinions are valid and important.
How do you manage to express your “radical” positions against racism, prejudice and unfair issues around the world?