So You Want to Close the Borders?

So you want to close the borders?

What do you even mean by that?

Are you tired of being able to travel almost anywhere in the entire world? You don’t want open doors and red carpets wherever you travel? Are you tired of Mexican beaches or job opportunities in Johannesburg? Do you want to sink Caribbean cruise ships and blow up airports? Is it closed borders for your own people you want?

Or is it for someone else?

Are you tired of German tourists or Canadian businessmen? Are you tired of your uncle Joe who lives in Baja? You don’t want see anymore Japanese tourists taking pictures of your landmarks? Is it closed borders for rich people you want?

Or it is for someone else?

Are you tired of tacos and donairs? Do you hate culture influences, cool inventions and colourful interventions? Do you get headaches of British shows or Swedish movies? Do you dream about Big Macs in front of the umpteenth sequel to Here Lives the Heartland on the domestically built TV set (no foreign parts!)? Is it closed borders for culture you want?

Or is it something else?

Are you tired of the globalized economy? Do you long for endless lineups at border controls, piles of paper work, tons of tariffs or a stop of all imports? Maybe you see how children are sweating in the cocoa orchards, how wars are fuelled by conflict diamonds, how women’s backs are broken in sweatshops? Maybe you rage against the injustice that we live by other peoples’ sacrifice, empty other peoples’ fields and mines, enjoy the fruits of other peoples’s hard labor? Is it closed borders for goods you want?

No, not even that. It’s something else. It’s someone else.

The people who have not eaten Chinese or seen Star Wars. The people who don’t fly. The people who don’t seek beaches or country cabins.

Not your own people. Not the tourists. Not the business people. Not the food. Not the culture. Not the goods.

The suffering. That’s who you want to close the borders for.

Because it’s not really closed borders you want. You want to have open borders for everything and everyone,

except the people who most need them.

Originally written by Micael Grenholm in Swedish. Translation by Mikael Hellström.

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