Jeremy Mansfield, a former radio and TV personality, made a whole bunch of friends on Facebook over the past 48 hours when he posted some puzzling personal concerns about the current so-called refugee crisis enveloping Europe. BENAZIR CASSIM rounds up the reactions.
Well he certainly asked for it. On Thursday, Jeremy (you don’t mind if we call you Jeremy, do you mate?) posted a set of ludicrous comments on his Facebook page.
In the post, Jeremy describes the tens of thousands of mostly Syrians escaping a four-year civil war as a “immigrants” rather than refugees. He also manages to twist a humanitarian crisis taking place thousands of km away into a cheap moan about him having to pay for a UK visa. As if this is not remarkable enough, Jeremy takes another potshot at humanity when he asks if Arab states were exporting their problem.
Yup, Mansfield got some support for his bigotry showing that trolling is truly the lowest form of wit. It wasn’t long before the average pen-pushers were refugee experts.
It might be useful to point out at this point that Europe doesn’t actually face a immigrant or refugee “crisis”. Some 250,000 people crossing over into a continent of 742 million is not “a crisis”; it’s only a crisis because Europe’s chosen to be inhospitable.
Refugees are a feature of our world: Zimbabweans, Congolese, Somalis in South Africa. Nigerians in Chad and Cameroon. Afghans in Pakistan. Syrians in Lebanon and Turkey. Most refugees are hosted by the developing world. The millions who flee their homes often take little more than the clothes on the backs; they escape because of barrel bombs and death squads. Not on a whim.
To the lady in red (above), perhaps you could try to forgive them for bypassing “procedure” in the face of survival.
Maybe this will help:
Meanwhile, other readers tried to reason with Jeremy by pointing out some fairly obvious points.
Later on Friday, he tried to shake off the criticism with: “Wow! Just seen the abuse from people who disagree with my post on the Syrian crisis. You don’t have to read what I post. You can ignore what I say, just as I choose to ignore your viscous (sic) comments back.”
He even tried to pretend that all is well in the world, by dropping some frivolous lines about the Rugby World Cup (which only drew more rage).
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But about an hour before the clock struck midnight, Mansfield finally issued an apology.
To his credit, Mr Mansfield listened, engaged and discussed. But the damage was long done. The fault lines exposed. There are crazy, ignorant, hateful people out there.
Featured Image: Jeremy Mansfield Facebook page