This weekend I deleted Facebook. For a couple of reasons. First, because it’s a time suck. The value of whatever “knowledge” that is gained does not outweigh so many other things I could be doing. The second, is that it is emotionally draining. In less than a few seconds, I’ve laughed at a funny dog. Cried at a sentimental baby video. And felt burning hot rage at some grave injustice.
This morning my husband filled me in on something that sparked the latter. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno responded to the murder of a pregnant woman at the hands of her Venezuelan boyfriend by proposing stricter controls on Venezuelan status, with potential changes to what is required for entry into the country.
“Ecuador is and will be a country of peace. I will not allow any criminal to take that away from us,” Moreno said.
Make the changes.
But not like this.
Because when leadership responds to an isolated act of violence – in fact, the first murder by a Venezuelan immigrant since hundreds of thousands have crossed the border in the wake of economic crisis – with changes in policy under the guise of protection. It makes people feel afraid. And angry. And justified in heinous acts against innocent people who have now been criminalized with the uttering of a single sentence. Guilty only by way of nationality.
My husband’s feed flooded with anti-immigrant sentiment.
If they steal from us, we will burn them.
A meme of a person who had been set on fire. Shared and liked.
The town where the murder took place. Enraged. According to local reports, the occupants rounded up Venezuelan women and children and did just that. They burned belongings in retribution for the acts of one man. But presumably for so much more. For existing here where they don’t belong.
I am all for justice. And for protecting people. Maintaining peace. But this is not that. In fact, it creates more conflict and puts more people at risk.
Because it’s not a problem with immigration. Or Venezuelans. It actually sounds more like a problem with domestic violence than anything else. Resulting in the need for reform when it comes to women’s rights. Creating a reliable place for women to report abuse. Believing them. Guaranteeing protection. And persecuting the men responsible for it.
Or maybe the government is just looking for a way to distract the general population from corruption and bullshit on their end.
Because in that case, you’re doing great.
And it’s the world we live in today. Resource constrained. So many feelings. And looking for someone to shoulder the blame for our circumstances and emotions. A nameless. Faceless. But inherently evil someone. Or group of someones. Backed by authority that opens up the gateway to hell unleashing it into the world.