When did this sense of protectionism and nationalism claw back into our worlds? For the last two decades, we have enjoyed the outcome of globalization and seen diversity bloom in nations. Immigration has benefitted the global economy tremendously.
And yet, there is a wave of change happening for the negative. Promoters of globalization and diversity such as the United States, United Kingdom and Germany are witnessing nationalist and populist sentiments in large measures. There is a lot of negative public perception on immigrants.
Far-right parties such as Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany, Freedom party (PVV) in Holland and factions of our very own Conservative party here in the United States have seen a surge in popularity in recent years. They are openly anti-immigrant and Islamophobic. Even someone as powerful and popular as Angela Merkel has faced scrutiny and vilification from such strata of the society.
In times like these, the responsibility falls on media, be it online or offline, to ensure civility and decency. As an advocate of openness and freedom of speech, the media cannot simply ignore the far-right, but can play an active role in making people aware of reality. And the reality is that immigration is not the cause of national threats such as terrorism.
You may have seen a lot of these statistics that point out the likelihood by being killed by an immigrant when compared to many other causes, some of them even ridiculous. Immigrants are mostly peace-loving, hard-working people who have contributed significantly to our economy. Deep down inside, most of us know this to be true.
At Avot, we recognize the reality of it, that issues threatening national security and governance such as terrorism and climate change boil down to the irresponsible acts of a small section of the society. Unfortunately, this small section is able to cause large-scale destruction to the rest of us, thus giving rise to stereotypes. It is vital we grasp this fact.