Sur Wlrn.org : Wave upon wave of journalists are describing the arrival of refugees in apocalyptic terms
There is a metaphor so embedded in the discussion of refugees and migrants that everyone from Donald Trump to Barack Obama uses it. The New York Times has put it in headlines, and Rush Limbaugh has wielded it like a hammer in his full-throated style.
It’s the image of refugees or migrants as water, as in “waves of refugees” or “the flow of migrants.” It can also become a “flood” or a place can be “swamped” by recent arrivals. Professor Gregory Lee at the University of Lyon calls this the “inundation metaphor.” His research has led him to conclude that it has racist, xenophobic baggage and should generally be avoided.
We know this at PRI because Lee didn’t hesitate to point it out to us on Twitter.
Lee came to this conclusion while studying media about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892. The bill, which was the first law to ban a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States, was passed amidst a fervor of anti-Chinese immigrant sentiment.
“I noticed that the press had been instrumental in bringing about that shift in public opinion, and so I started looking at elements of language that were recurrent,” Lee says.
The common theme he found in the news and popular culture of the time was the “trope of inundation,” as he described it in an academic paper published in 2007. Over and over again, “unwanted immigrants of color” were described as "pouring in," "swamping," "flooding in," or as “as coming in ‘tides’ and ‘waves.’"
One example he cites is a New York Daily Tribune report from Sept. 29, 1854. The piece refers to the growing Chinese migration as an "Asiatic horde" and weaves in the flood metaphor :
"They are pouring in upon California. Their great companies are shipping them to that region by thousands as coolies... Already there are 40,000 there, and the cry is still they come. If the tide continues they must yet outnumber whites on the Pacific; and they are not like the European immigration to the Atlantic States, for they have no sympathy with Americans, whether in religion, habits or language."
Pour lire la suite : http://wlrn.org/post/wave-upon-wave-journalists-are-describing-arrival-refugees-apocalyptic-terms