#8 Understanding the Migrant & Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean | América Otherwise August 31, 2015

OAmérica Otherwise with host Christy Thorntonn today’s show, we’re looking at the ongoing crisis in Europe as thousands of people are making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

We get into the politics of what exactly to call this crisis with Al-Jazeera English online editor Barry Malone, who recently wrote about that outlet’s decision to stop using the word “migrant” in favor of the word “refugee.” Has “migrant” become a dirty word in Europe, or should it be reclaimed, as some advocates argue? [2:00]

We also go in-depth on the role of Germany in this crisis, to ask how a country that sees a historic duty to welcome refugees might still have a culture that doesn’t welcome immigrants. We speak to historian Rita Chin about how the post-war history of immigration and guest worker programs in Germany shapes that country’s reactions to the current crisis. Dr. Rita Chin is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and the author of The Guest Worker Question in Postwar Germany[17:07]

And we look at one of the countries sending the highest number of refugee abroad right now: Syria. We speak to economist Omar Dahi about what role the United States is playing in that country’s civil war, and what the economic impacts of both the war and the massive outmigration it has caused will be for Syria’s future. Dr. Omar Dahi is is an editor of the magazine Middle East Report, published by the Middle East Research and Information Project, MERIP, and a co-editor of the Syria page on the website jadaliyya.com. [33:37]

Originally aired on WBAI on August 31, 2015. Listen to the full episode here:

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