Bellinghamblin Man by Chris Damitio
Okay, here is what you overwhelmingly asked for. Bellinghamblin’ Man. I like it, and it sounds like most of you do too. Other suggestions included “Hamster Beat” ( too close to Hamster, one of our local ‘zines), Yo Mama, and Meattime ( I can’t really explain that one). Surprisingly, quite of few people suggested I ditch hatemail….no way. Your letters are important to me.
Change is the only constant.The refugees in Kosovo are going through constant change. Their houses have been burned, their lives have been suddenly destroyed. Imagine having everything taken from you by the government. First they come into your town, then you get fired from the job, years of education, training , and work..poof…no more. They go door to door, moving the men out of town, possibly for execution, women and children are shipped out separately. You’ve heard rumors of genocide, rape camps, and torture. You pack up, throw the bare essentials into rucksacks or whatever you have…you flee…hoping to make it to the border. There’s no time to explain to the kids that the pets can’t come, your house will probably get burned down with almost everything in it. You make it to the border….the Macedonians won’t let you cross, finally with your last stash of cash, you get the family across. You sit with close to a million other refugees…you’re hungry…you have nothing….you don’t know where you will go or what you will do. That is change. It’s happening, and its already happened.
It amazes me that as Americans, we haven’t opened up our arms to ALL of these people. What happened to “Give us your poor, your tired, your hungry” ? These people are exactly that. Not through choice, and not through laziness. They are poor, tired, and hungry because they’re government has turned on them. They have nowhere to go. Shouldn’t we make room for them? I, for one, would like to volunteer to take in a couple of Kosovars. I’m far from rich, but since I live in America, my standard of living is at least five times as high as most of the world. There would be an adjustment on each side. I wouldn’t be going out to eat in fancy pizza joints anymore and they wouldn’t be starving in a severely crowded refugee camp. We should make room in our homes for these people. With a little bit of human kindness, they will learn English ( if they don’t already know it), and find jobs. These are people like you and me, but in much worse situations. Our country has greatly benefited from occasional migrations of new people.
I hear many people say “ Lets take care of Americas homeless before we take on any new responsibility” . That’s a great idea, but these people aren’t homeless. They’re refugees. In my experience most homeless people are homeless by choice. They don’t want to exist within the system. The Kosavars have been kicked out of the system.