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Opinion: Check your Privilege, Mr Sunak

Rishi Sunak has vowed to remove illegal asylum seekers from the country. Sunak has said: "Make no mistake, if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay."

The word ‘vow’ and ‘pledge’ has been used in many headlines regarding this recent development to convey the level of priority and severity the Prime Minister is taking with this promise. This quite frankly disgusts me.

Those words and that certainty they carry, suggests something to be proud of, as though carrying out this ‘pledge’ is a service to the country. There are many people (a vast majority being tories) who would argue this is accurate, that the country benefits from deporting asylum seekers. These people will throw around sentiments like: “Help starts at home” or “You have to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others”

These statements are disguises for the inherent racism and selfishness of this country.

Sending these people away is disgraceful, they deserve to be heard. They have fled war-torn countries with corrupt governments, where natural disasters have stolen everything from them. They have travelled in horrendous conditions, risking their lives every step of the way, surviving only on the hopes of salvation of the UK.

Imagine how distraught they must feel when they arrive to be met with prejudice and abuse.

Our country is facing an unprecedented financial crisis and everyone is struggling, of course we can’t ignore that. British citizens are living rough, going without food or heat. The arrival of asylum seekers does not undermine those people, but we cannot continue to hold the struggles of a British person higher than that of a foreign person.

We have got to recognise ourselves in these refugees. We have got to find collectivism as human beings. Most importantly, we have got to check our privilege!

We talk about our struggles as a country in this cost of living crisis, those struggles do not compare to the trauma that these brave people have faced. We criticise our government for not caring and not helping enough, our government's faults do not compare to the corruption and dictatorships that these foreign governments hold.

Is there enough help to go around? Maybe, maybe not but we cannot wash our hands of this issue. Our government cannot turn a blind eye, “not our citizens, not our problem”.

This attitude of superiority has to end because these people are no different from us, set aside skin colour and cultural practices. They have a heart that beats the same as ours and loves the same as we do. They have arms like us that hold their loved ones close and legs that carry them through life.

They have a mind STRONGER than ours that survives troubles we will never truly know.

So check your privilege Mr. Sunak. I hope this is one of your many empty promises.


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