Processed people

There is much use of the word 'processed' in the media at the moment. Sadly, l am hearing it used in relation to people. When l think of the word, l think of cheese. That gluey stuff that binds countless burgers around the world. Or sausages, ham, or the suspiciously titled 'luncheon meat'. 'Processed' in the food world is no complement, but rather speaks of inferiority, impurity, attached to foodstuffs that would be inedible or at least unappetizing without the mysterious 'processing'.

The word 'detain' has become distasteful. We have seen the footage, heard the stories, and none of it is pretty. No, we don't like the idea of detaining all that much, especially children. So now we process them instead, offshore. Just as l am ignorant of all that is encompassed by the processing of bibs and bobs to make sausages, l, and the rest of the Australian public, will now be ignorant of how refugees are 'processed'. We don't tend to worry to much about what we don't see. Why can't we use words like 'assessed', 'assisted', 'supported' in relation to responding to the needs of refugees? l guess these words have expectations attached. Like the sausages, who knows what 'processed' really means.

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One thought on “Processed people

  1. Oh well said, sister! Let’s not talk about sausage – much more I want to speak of dignifying every single person we meet. It is not a process, but a careful building, of trust, respect, and empathy, towards anyone who may be faced with a “process” to enter our shores.

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