lundi 21 octobre 2013

WE DONT WANT IMMIGRANTS HERE: VOICES FROM UNEXPECTED PLACES


OUTCRIES ABOUT IMMIGRATION: THE FEAR OF THE OTHER
What is this emotional charge that can raise the heart beat of normal law abiding citizens?
Is it the fear of the other? Someone whom you do not understand?
Jacobo Timmerman, the Argentine writer and political activist, asked his Jewish mother: Why do they hate us? To which, his mother replied, they hate us because they don't understand us.
I will give you a news item that appeared in BBC News and would dare you to guess in which part of the world the scenario is unfolding?
USA? Canada? Australia? New Zealand? France? Moscow? Beijing? Elsewhere? UAE? Qatar?
This city was built on the premise of Immigration. Unlike Australia or USA where there was a native culture which flourished before, this city was a marsh with no water supply and an occasional stop over for pirates from the nearby archipelago.
The self styled “heartlanders”, people who have been here the longest, mainly children of immigrants now denounce in no uncertain terms the policy of their government over the rapid rise of both low wage immigrants who do most of the dirty work and millionaires from corrupt countries who can safe keep their millions here. Foreigners now make up close half of the population, from whom they are not distinguishable by colour, dress or religion.
The “locals” blame the immigrants for the rise in property prices and for “taking our jobs”
This country which was an artificial creation of post colonial political puzzle, has no history to speak of, but has relied on the government to do the best, which it did at a time of rapid global expansion in technology providing its citizens with a good standard of living, one of the highest in the world.
Most of the descendants whose families cannot claim to have more than one hundred years in the national territory now want that privilege denied to others who had come after them.
I have heard this story in the USA; those who come here without permission should go back, referring to Mexicans but forgetting themselves came there without permission.
The disease has spread to Europe. In Hungary, Greece, even liberal countries like Holland, Denmark and Sweden, anti immigration parties have gained support from the general public.
(in many wealthier European countries, the public schools are predominantly attended by children of immigrants. Here a group of ten girls are out for a Physical Education Class in an European Capital and five of the ten are wearing hijab, marking them as observant moslems)
The dislike of the other and blaming them for social ills has a long history in Europe. Jews were blamed for the Plague in the middle ages and of course, the Nazis blamed the Jews for the ills of their society.
Lawrence van der Post so eloquently wrote about why the White and Black men of Southern Africa disliked the native San/Bushmen people. He said, these innocent people were like man-child and closest to the creation of The Supreme Being which was resented by the later comers to their land.
I remember listening to an Old Maori in Otahu peninsula in Aotearoa, which they renamed, New Zealand: Pakeha came and he will leave one day. American Indians have a similar prophecy that brown skinned people would once again populate their country. They don't have to wait much longer. It is estimated that by year 2035, the white population of the America would comprise less than 50% of the population!
We cannot go back on history. Aryans came from the North and Savages from Uzbekistan ruled India for three hundred years before British took over. The native population of India, the indigenous Australoid races and Dravidian races are squeezed out of their original lands, even though it was hundreds of years ago. France cannot ask its 5 million Muslim citizens to go back to the Maghreb, or UK asking its Black British from Africa, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean to leave its shores.
Immigrants are here to stay and only in one country I have felt that despite some reservation from the minority fascist party of that country, the diversity is used for the betterment of the entire country.
So which country was I writing about in the beginning where the vitriolic voices of the “local born” want a restriction of Immigration?
It is SINGAPORE, an artificial creation of a city state, governed well by the authoritarian state which gave its citizen first world living standards in return for stern loyalty.