10 December, 2016

Don’t let them see you crying

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Category: Asylum seekers, European Action Day, Human Rights, Refugees
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Written by Miriam Gómez Blanes, Infinite Opportunities Association  23067256864_f92d6a1e5d_k

We live in a society where it is socially accepted to contain your tears and hide your feelings. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard, during my life: “don’t let them see you crying”. If somebody breaks your heart: “don’t let him or her see you crying”. If somebody treats you wrong: “don’t let him or her see you crying”. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a situation: “don’t let them see you crying”. Because this is a sign of weakness. And being weak is not an option at all.

(Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95213174@N08/23067256864/ )

However, things are different when about it comes to our “online personality”. Then it seems everybody (the approximately 2’3 billion of users active in social media around the world) is allowed to do whatever he or she wants to. Even make the one that is in front (or, in this case, on the other side of the screen) cry. It is not the same when we are not the weak part, right?

For the Human Rights Day, I want to clearly state one thing, i.e. I don’t mind if somebody sees me crying. I’ve cried many times during the last few months. I cried when I read in Internet that the Bulgarian government closed, temporary, the camps for refugees in Harmanli, just to prevent a supposed epidemic among the refugees and its effect to the Bulgarian society (the one that is on the other side). I cried when, at the same time, I read some comments in Facebook against refugees and asylum seekers like “go back to your countries” or that all of them are aggressive people. But I cried, overall, when I tried to put myself in the place of all these refugees who have access to Internet and social media (most of them). What will they think when they see what is being said in the online community about them while they are suffering injustice? Probably that hate is not an opinion.

I’ve been hiding these tears (of rage) behind the screen of my computer. Just like the ones that write these hate opinions are hiding behind theirs. But I don’t mind if somebody sees me crying. If I know that while somebody is risking life to reach a country, another one* is using the term freedom of expression to hide hate speech against the first one, I will continue crying behind my screen. And I hope you will be able to understand it.

*Just as a reminder, the Human Rights Declaration says, in its article 13, that everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.

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  1. Pingback: Que no te vean llorar

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