Doing just fine. The Economist (2015, December 19). Retrieved December 23, 2015, from http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21684143-how-muslim-refugees-bosnia-transformed-corner-midwest-doing-just-fine
This article provides the possibility of a different perspective on the negative connotations associated with the terminology used to describe migrating/immigrating individuals or groups. While acknowledging the challenges such individuals and/or groups experience the overall purpose of the article is to demonstrate that assimilation is possible and, when achieved, rewarding. The label or name given to these people is not nearly as important to the overall scheme of things so much as the end result – inclusion or exclusion. In general, anything different is first looked upon with askance, doubt, possibly even fear, anger, or hate. This article demonstrates what I have always felt and been raised to believe: it is not the name that is used that is of primary importance; it is the emotion and purpose behind the name.
I chose this source because I wanted to find something that resonated more truly to how I felt about this issue. I wanted something that would validate my own label(s) and definition(s) of people that I see more as explorers. What first captured my attention, and was perhaps the most powerful message of the article, was the photograph leading into the article of the young woman proudly, happily, waving the banner identifying her as having been a refugee. It immediately spoke to me of the temporary situation most of these people should be in. Moving from one geographical location to another should offer hope or opportunity. It would seem that, according to the definition provided by the 1951 Refugee Convention (Ruz, BBC News Magazine), refugee is the best, most politically correct term in use today. But this article provides more than just positive imagery to prop against the negative tone of the terminology used when addressing issues dealing with immigrating / migrating peoples. It also provided an example of part of what I think Allman (2013) was attempting to explain about the dichotomy of social inclusion / exclusion when he referenced Fredericks:
Fredericks (2010) suggested that belongingness as experienced in everyday relations constructs the kinds of sentiments on which societies of exclusion (and inclusion) are based. Referencing the work of De Certeau (1984), Fredericks makes the case for the importance of the everydayness of belonging and attachment, and the memory and tradition it reinforces as means of appropriation and territorialization.
In the article the Bosnian refugees (the society of exclusion in this case) establish a territorial niche or an ethnic enclave (the society of inclusion in this case) where they can practice their traditions and cultural values as a way of developing a sense of belonging and attachment and creating a real sense of everydayness.
As I read this article I was left mostly with a sense of resignation. Evolution, genetics, and basic instincts have turned us in to a species of predators (We are at the top of the food chain for a reason). All of the articles and information I found led to a conclusion that rarely is the “new” accepted by the “old” without first having earned that acceptance through sacrifices, hard work, conquest and/or humility. It is these efforts and the merits those efforts earn that gain acceptance. In the end the name or label was not even really important. As this article demonstrated this issue of immigration/migration is not new! Yet, often people work it out and a new hierarchy is established. One of the things that I was left pondering though is what is different this time? Why such widespread violence? Even in the article it stated the successful establishment of the Bosnian refugees in St. Louis took up to two – three years. Is it the location of the problem? Are nations from that part of the world unable to deal with this? According to BBC World News (21 August 2015) public officials are claiming just that.