“Home Free”

January 31, 2017

BW photograph of a cardboard sign stating "Home Free Broke & Hungry Anything Helps God Bless Trying to gt A Room" in a trashcan.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It is very difficult to reconcile the above image.

This documentary is also difficult to watch-it is entitled 4.1 Miles and depicts Kyriakos Papadopoulos and his crew’s efforts to rescue refugees off the coast of Lesbos.  It does, however, provide a very powerful juxtaposition to current U.S. policy regarding immigration.  This news analysis also provides a counter-point to said policy.  (As an aside, given that we are in an era of “alternative facts,” it is important to carefully review the actual language used and check and validate statistics when examining such issues.)  The current policy has created a great deal of controversy here in the U.S. and abroad.

As stated in the news analysis, the goal of terrorism is to create fear.  Individuals and social institutions can wittingly and unwittingly play into such efforts by creating a globalized fear of the other.  Critical thinking and actual facts do make a difference so as to avoid the dangers inherent in stereotyping and demonizing.  With specific regard to refugees, at what point do empathy, compassion, and humanity become factors?  The same need to be afforded to the victims of terrorist actions.  It is vitally important that one group not be played against the other.

Returning to the photograph at the head of this post, part of what is heartbreaking is that the sign was in the trash.  Perhaps, in the best sense, it was no longer needed as the person or persons achieved what was expressed.

Take care.

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