My spouse received her Schengen visa this morning. It was quite a nail biter as we tried to a trip to France. She is a citizen of Botswana, while the kids and I have US passports. Meanwhile, a colleague of mine is probably in a similar condition awaiting their Schengen visa for travel to Vienna from Indore.
While we waited, I tried to get my French compréhension up by reading Thomas Piketty’s blog en français. While reading this linked article on income and class inequality in India, I learned about Babasaheb Ambedkar — an advocate for the rights of people from marginalized castes (the term Dalit is used widely though contested) and by all measures one of the freedom fighters who brought India out of colonialism. His memoir is entitled — Waiting for a Visa.
The human crises brought about by global climate change alone should dictate the shared international acceptance of open borders. But as this graphic from the UN World Tourism Organization shows, we’re a long way off from Bob Marley and Haile Selassie’s dream of “world citizenship”.
The world’s visa policies evince a lot of anti-African (my spouse travels on a Botswana passport), anti-Asian bias.
I take consolation that some countries are taking the lead.
We should all be thankful that Mauritius and Seychelles are right there in the top — and that the Caribbean is greeting the world with open arms!
I’m taking stock of my US passport privileges. I’m praying for a more inclusive world.