Stop blaming immigrants for our social problems

June 16, 2016 08:53
Hongkongers are accused of double standards in their treatment of foreign nationals, with factors such as race, social status and skin color seen influencing their decisions. Photo: HKEJ

Knowingly or unknowingly, Hongkongers often apply double standards when it comes to treatment of foreign nationals.

We tend to give high degree of respect to white people and put them on a pedestal, while being rude and unkind toward others who happen to have dark skin.

The flagrant display of such two-faced behavior has been a cause for concern for right-thinking individuals.

Also, people in the bottom tier of the society have been made whipping boys for various problems in the city.

Domestic workers, for instance, are accused of taking over all available spaces and littering the streets and country parks on holidays.

What most people seem to forget is that the maids didn't come here by themselves. It is Hong Kong employers who brought them to the city.

Given that most of us need those "troublesome" maids to raise our children, the least we can do is to stop carping about the workers.

If crowding has become bothersome in places such as Central, we should lobby for more indoor facilities for the maids so that they can relax with their friends on weekends and public holidays.

Apart from the domestic workers, ethnic minorities have also become targets in recent years as some Hongkongers look for scapegoats for social problems.

The influx of economic migrants as well as the so-called fake refugees have certainly aggravated the situation and created unnecessary troubles for all.

But people should bear in mind that not all migrants are "fake". There are many genuine asylum cases pending in the city for years.

Though some migrants arrived here a long time ago, they are yet to be accepted as members of the society.

The UNHCR and the Hong Kong government have done almost nothing to solve the refugee crisis. The apathy has only led to human traffickers benefiting from the people’s misery.

Many economic migrants didn't come to Hong Kong by themselves but were brought here by traffickers.

Having arrived here, there is nothing wrong in them seeking a better life in the city and look for a permanent escape from the miseries in their home countries.

Instead of blaming them for the rising social problems in Hong Kong, we should show them compassion and find ways to solve their problems.

The migrants can contribute to Hong Kong society as many of them are well educated.

Blaming others is easy but it won't solve any problem.

The government certainly has a responsibility to take prompt action to solve the refugee problem.

But before that happens, locals can do their own part and start treating the people better, regardless of their race, ethnicity or skin color.

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EJ Insight contributor