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Last week, we magnified the story of Elin Ersson saving a migrant from being deported. This week, we discovered the truth…and ignored it.
Last week we bore witness to the empathetic tears and stubborn legs of Elin Ersson, the Swedish student who would not allow the deportation of an Afghan migrant. Not on the plane she was on, not as long as she was on it.
Swedish activist, Elin Ersson protested & held up a flight in order to stop a flight carrying a 52-year-old Afghan man who was being deported to Kabul. She may have saved his life. This is the hero we need. pic.twitter.com/buNV1gbVyP
— Simar (@sahluwal) July 25, 2018
Perhaps in theory, yes. In application, no. The postscript to this story was unfortunate, as the victim in question was actually being deported for legitimate reasons, guilty of an assault charge in Sweden.
Ersson’s narrative is a familiar one in the modern experience. She meant well, and looked to do the ‘right thing’, but the formative facts were not taken into account, she acted on an assumption. It seems like the marginalisation of migrants, so I’m going to say something. Now, it could be argued that she stood up for something, and her values shone through, and that should be the takeaway lesson, but that sounds a lot like a denial.
While there’s no doubt that the world is bending right, but there are reasons why the current argument has an “us” versus “them” mentality. This is a particularly grand example of it. It was shared, retweeted and heralded all on the assumption that she was correct.
As Elin famously said: “…there is a man who is going to get deported to Afghanistan, where he will most likely get killed.”
We now know that not to be true.
Because we feel disempowered, any opportunity to fight back seems like a valid one. Fighting against anything feels like doing something. However, the landscape after her incorrect stand is a galling one, as the reaction to her fallacious stand had more of an impact than the actual truth.
Per the above tweet, perhaps Ersson is the hero that we need, one that reads the headlines, but not the article.