"You don’t have to save me. Just hold my hand while I save myself."
"Sometimes, I forget that I am young. I forget that I have only been blessed with a quarter of a century. I forget that mistakes are part of trying. I forget that fear is motivation, not food for anxiety. I forget that friendship takes kindness, and openness. I need to forget those who have made me less kind and less open. I forget the way a first kiss feels. I forget to smile sometimes. I forget what it’s like to be wooed, except by myself. I forget that it’s better to woo yourself than to expect others to do it for you. I forget how to give a genuine hug to someone other than my mother and my father. Because I’m fearful others won’t return it. I forget the sound of my first boyfriend’s voice. I forget to eat well. I forget to make eye contact, retail has killed a friendlier version of myself. I forget not to stand tall and act like I don’t care, because of how I was approached when I cared. I forget that kindness and courage can go hand in hand. I forget who I was when I was 19. I forget what it looks like when someone wants to be your friend. I forget because I remember that no one can change my life, only I can. I remember these wonderful women who have looked me in the eye, and told me good, and kind words. Strong words. I forget that each day is a blessing. That each day is what I make it. That each day belongs to me and me alone. I forget. I’m going to forget forgetting and start remembering."
Fact - asylum seekers are not illegal
Australia is signatory to Article 31 of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, which makes it clear that it is not illegal to seek asylum, whether arriving by plane or boat - and there is no Australian law which makes it illegal to seek asylum.
Fact - there is no queue to join
For most asylum seekers there is simply no queue to join. Resettlement through the UN only happens for a very small number. Australia takes very few UN-determined refugees from camps in Indonesia.
Fact - these are genuine refugees
Despite the very stringent criteria of the Australian government, over 90% of asylum seekers have been found to be genuine refugees.
Fact - we are not being swamped
The official quota since the September 2013 election represents just one refugee for every 1,700 Australians.
Fact - Australia is not especially generous to refugees
In 2012 we ranked 49th in the world in total number of refugees resettled. On a per capita basis we ranked 62nd and compared to our GDP, we ranked 87th. The new government led by Tony Abbott has actually reduced the number of refugees to be accepted - from 20,000 to 13,750
Fact - government policy is more expensive than a humane alternative
Australia’s onshore detention centres cost around $2.5 billion each year. Offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru costs more than $2 billion. Escalating costs of increased naval and customs patrols, including purchase of ‘disposable’ lifeboats, are yet to be calculated.
Fact - asylum-seekers do not get government support
Since August 2012, asylum seekers arriving by boat have no right to work. They are forced to rely on charitable organisations. Asylum seekers do not receive any support from Centrelink.
Fact - we used to do it differently
In the 1970s and 1980s we accepted 112,000 refugees from Indochina. There was no system of mandatory detention. Asylum seekers’ claims were processed in Malaysia and neighbouring countries, preventing loss of life at sea. Why can’t we do that now?
i am so fucking sick of the term “illegal asylum seekers” because there is NO SUCH THING. it is NOT illegal to seek asylum. in fact, it is a human right and australia is signed onto the UN convention that states that it is LEGAL to seek asylum, no matter which mode of transportation you take. there is no australian law against asylum seekers. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ILLEGAL ASYLUM SEEKERS
"When “i” is replaced with “we” even illness becomes wellness."
let me get this straight. *grabs the nearest heterosexual* now where were we
I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway →
It was an otherwise ordinary snow day in Hartford, Connecticut, and I was laughing as I headed outside to shovel my driveway. I’d spent the morning scrambling around, trying to stay ahead of my three children’s rising housebound energy, and once my shovel hit the snow, I thought about how my wife had been urging me to buy a snowblower. I hadn’t felt an urgent need. Whenever it got ridiculously blizzard-like, I hired a snow removal service. And on many occasions, I came outside to find that our next door neighbor had already cleared my driveway for me.
Never mind that our neighbor was an empty-nester in his late 60s with a replaced hip, and I was a former professional ballplayer in his early 40s. I kept telling myself I had to permanently flip the script and clear his driveway. But not today. I had to focus on making sure we could get our car out for school the next morning. My wife was at a Black History Month event with our older two kids. The snow had finally stopped coming down and this was my mid-afternoon window of opportunity.
Just as I was good-naturedly turning all this over in my mind, my smile disappeared.
A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”
All of my homeowner confidence suddenly seemed like an illusion.
Read the rest ->