The plight of refugees is the same, regardless of century, race, ethnicity, sex, age, and color. Whether driven by famine, war, natural disaster, or territorial relocations/upheavals, we share a collective responsibility to fellow man.
The Americas are no stranger. In the 1830’s, under Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act, forced relocation and removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States to what is the present-day state of Oklahoma took place. Removal of the Choctaw Nation (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Choctaw) resulted in 4,000 out of 15,000 Cherokee dead due to hunger, exhaustion, and disease. Along with the human toil, there was destruction of their food supply, the buffalo/bison, and in the Pacific northwest – the horse, resulting in more famine and disease. The parallel to present-day displaced persons from the Ogaden is striking. (See: “History Repeats Itself in Ogaden,” by Susan Sacirbey.)
The Trail of Tears Continues to our Shores. More Photos of the human story and cry:
UN Photo/ Hungarian Refugees
UN Photo/John Isaac: Vietnamese Refugees
UN Photo/RIN: Tajik Refugees