Basically, we’re one contradiction away from being liars…
I was recently having dinner with some friends when I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation the people next to us were having.
“Kemm hi tajba Destiny, hux?” (Destiny’s such a good singer, isn’t she?) said one of them.
“Ħafna! (Really good!) She’s got such a good voice,” answered the other one.
A few minutes later, the conversation turned to refugees.
“Jien ma naqbilx li jidħlu fil-pajjiz. M’għandniex flus għal dawn l-affarijiet,” (I don’t agree that they should enter the country. We don’t have the money for this kind of thing.) one of them commented.
“U jridu li kulħadd isir bħalhom dawn is-suwed. Jien ma rridx nsir Musulman, x’affarijiet dawn.” (They want everyone to become like them, these black people. I don’t want to become a Muslim, for God’s sake.)
I couldn’t believe my ears. The conversation had gone from praising a young rising star – who many wouldn’t consider Maltese at first glance, but who has made the nation proud over and over again – to insinuating that all black people are Muslim, that they want to convert all of us by force, and that we shouldn’t take in refugees because of the toll it would take on our country.
I just don’t get it.
At which point does a human being stop being a human being like us and become ‘one of them’? At which point does someone who could be considered a refugee by some members of the population turn into Malta’s darling and a Maltese citizen?
Over the past 12 months we have beaten someone up for trying to organise people into a queue, sent racially-motivated letters to loving fathers who adopted children from the African continent, cried over the death of a three-year old boy whose body was washed ashore, got livid at refugees for raping Western women, and felt disgusted at the state Syrian children are living in.
When will we realise that those people are just the same as we are?
That rapists and terrorists and misogynists exist in every society and come in a variety of skin tones and religions?
That our children are no more special that those of Syrians and Libyans?
That just like we walk on a pavement to save ourselves from being run over by a car, some people take a life-threatening journey across the Mediterranean to give their family a fighting chance for survival?
That praying in a square is just the same as praying in a building or at home?
That beneath our skin tones, there are the same organs, stream of consciousness, emotions and habits?
I don’t have the answer to these questions, I’m afraid. But I will leave you to ponder this: Why are we so hypocritical?
Do you agree with James? Do you think the Maltese tend to be a hypocritical people?
Let us know in the comment section below.