Written from a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Saturday, June 21…
It’s warm and orderly in this Kentucky Fried Chicken. People wait in line. Their hands and faces are clean. They smile and talk calmly.
Across the street, it is cold. People crowd behind a gate eager to get a plate of rice and chicken. Men are drunk and wild. A group of security drags a man into a tent. I can hear his screams. The refugee children battle to get a peek through the flap in the tent. They tell me the guards are tying the man up. They say the man has lost his mind.
Wait…Tiffany is asking me to order. She owes me money because I bought her an egg sandwich earlier. We also ate fat cake, a superior type of donut.
Jen was waiting to interview someone from the Red Cross. She wants to know why the camp conditions are so awful–no heat, no hot water. We’ve been offered safety in a makeshift building towards the front entrance where the refugees are fighting amongst eachother. It’s too dangerous at sun down for four girls holding thousands of dollars of camera equipment. The refugees are too angry.
The camp manager enters. He is exhausted. He says, “people’s lives are threatened every day here.” He asks us not to video the refugees, but when we see a fight break out, we all question ourselves. Should we film? This would make great television. At this point I realized my limits as a journalist. If me filming encourages more fighting and struggles for the Red Cross workers, I will not do it. My camera has the potential to physically hurt people.