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This incredible music video by M.I.A is asking all the right questions about the refugee crisis

M.I.A. recently released a new song and self-directed music video, “Borders,” which addresses concerns about the refugee crisis. Her video shows people climbing wire fences and crowded on boats while her lyrics call out “politics, privilege, police shots” and many other saddening “borders” the world has seen put up to block out refugees.

M.I.A. is no newcomer to speaking on the issue of refugees.  According to this article from the Atlantic, M.I.A. fled Sri Lanka when she was nine-years-old with her mother and siblings to escape violence. Her family sought refuge in London where she pursued music. Now she is using her voice for millions of refugees who are shut out by the West and cannot be heard.

“Borders” begs the question what does the West really value? Using the term “bae, breaking internet, making money” and others, she points toward the shallow values that exist in pop-culture today in the West.

She also chose to portray “brown men” as refugees in this video to address the stereotypes that male refugees are criminals, and terrorists. A fear that sadly was heard louder in the media (especially in the US) after the attacks in Paris.

Too many countries in Europe are putting up border controls, including most recently Sweden. But at least Sweden’s reasoning is to help monitor and place refugees seeking asylum. 

That is a sharp contrast to the United States of America, where 31 state governors oppose welcoming Syrian refugees. This video is a powerful message to those opposed to helping refugees.

While M.I.A. is calling out the lack of attention towards the issues that matter by much of Western culture, she’s not totally shaming. Instead, she’s trying to start a conversation by asking “what’s up with that?” And I could not agree more that it’s time to start that dialogue.

Watch the video from Apple Music and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Finding refugees a stable shelter to rebuild their lives is central to ending the poverty that is endemic in this community.

Empathizing with refugees is part of what M.I.A. is talking about. You can help by going to TAKE ACTION NOW and sharing what you would take if you had to flee your home.