What is it with these people? What is it about immigrants that gets people so worked up. There is always someone they need to hide from or get away from. No matter where you go in this world – there is always some immigrant group in a country that is seen as worse than the “original” colonialists… sorry, I mean inhabitants. Yes, every single country I have been to have some group that they look down at and want to get out of “their” country.
Let’s start with South Africa – my home (when I am not working and living in other countries…). It is well documented that South Africans are the most peace loving people in the world. Never had any problems in our history. Just a good old bunch of farmers sweating away in the field and herding our cattle – and hiding from the lions. Just peace and love in our history, right? Not true. As you might know, we’ve had our fair share of problems in the past. Hell, Apartheid was all about immigrants. White (Afrikaner) South Africans saying that this is their place. That they where here first and that they don’t want the black “immigrants” to come and live in their country. And black South Africans arguing that they were here first and did not want the colonialists (immigrants) in their country either. Both stood a better chance of winning the popular vote today because of the rising immigrant debate globally. But both are so bloody wrong. Neither of them where “here” first. That goes to the Khoikhoi (and Khoisan). So neither group actually “owned” South Africa. The one moved in from the north and the other from the South. And the poor Khoikhoi got caught up in the middle – squeezed by both sides and moved on to more arid lands (or stayed and mingled). Of course there are two groups black and white (Afrikaner) South African really don’t like – Nigerians and the English. The English? Well because they are the original colonialist (okay, I know the Dutch landed first, but you know what I mean). And because they are still here talking in their fancy ways and living in the big houses up the hill. You know, generally just looking down at us “locals”. The Nigerians are disliked because they are all seen as drug dealing pimps and scam artists roaming the backstreets and stealing our money. Yes, we in South Africa have our problems with immigrants – you see, it is never our fault. Always the fault of others – the English and the Nigerians. Racism? Of course not. We in South Africa would never do something like that after our own experiences under Apartheid. That would be double standards right?
We should go to China to learn about living in harmony with each other. China doesn’t have a racism problem. You see, according to a study in China “there is no racism in China because there are no black people…” Hum. Yes. The less said the better.
It is a problem in Japan though. Japan is increasingly racist and anti immigrants. It is unheard of for a non-Japanese person to go to the Japanese baths. Why? Because it is apparently a culture clash. But it is not just Westerners that are treated with disrespect. No. Special treatment for those from Korea and China. The anti-immigrant feelings in Japan has always been high. Westerners got off easy as they are not seen as people who will stay long – and there is some notion that these Westerners are well off. But the Chinese and Koreans – now they are bad. They want to take Japanese jobs, stay long and settle, and slowly but surely smother Japanese culture – i.e. take over Japan by stealth. The UN has long warned about deep seated racism in Japan. So don’t think that the Japanese live some wholesome lives – drinking sake and eating sushi. No. The racism of immigrate haters are alive and well over there as well.
And in Eastern Europe? I made a trip to Hungary a few years ago. And guess what. They have their targeted groups as well. Over there it is the Gypsy – or the Romani to be more politically correct. They are spat at and generally looked down at – a universal view of immigrants. They live on their own and do the worse jobs possible. The work no one else wants to do – another universal immigrant tendency. And Kosovo? Without getting into a political debate on whether it is right or wrong for them to declare independence – the “Gypsy” moved into this land while the Serbs lived there. But the treatment of the Gypsy (previously believed to also be Roma) resulted in more conflict and resentment. And we know what happened there.
The immigration debate has come a long way in the UK. Right wing parties like the UK Independence Party and British National Party has long flourished moaning and bitching about immigrants. And now they have even more to target. With the enlargement of the EU more Eastern Europeans have moved to the UK to find work. Yes. They do the worse jobs available – like all immigrants. Those jobs that the British feel they are too good to do. The hard labor and long hours. Because they don’t have that social safety net that the government provides for the “natural” inhabitants. As if a Brit will take on one of those jobs! No. They are too happy to live on the dole and go to the pub each night. Served by a Polak working on below minimum wage. Or a Pakistani working in the chippy where the Brits get their late night snack. No Brit would do work like that.
But it is time to strike back. What the UK did now is make it even more difficult for immigrants to get in. And the immigrants have had enough of this blatant racism. A few of them are taking the Brits to court. Okay, they are a privileged few immigrant. But they have had enough. Enough of the racism that the English call immigration control.
And now we get to the US. Here the immigration “issue” is a central debate in the elections. Especially immigration from Mexicans – or Hispanics to be exact. It makes little sense to me. Those Americans complaining aren’t Levi 501’s by any stretch of the imagination. They are not original. They came here from elsewhere and are a country of proud American immigrants. I find the fact that Americans can be immensely proud of being American and their original roots unbelievable uplifting. African American or Italian American. It doesn’t matter – you have roots but your soul belongs to America. So why the hatred towards people who did what your father and grandfather did?
Maybe they are scared that these immigrants will do what they did to the original inhabitants – kill them. Yes. That was the traditional way that immigrants dealt with the locals many years ago. Just kills them and put the few that survive in camps they can call their own. The US did it. Australia did it. And South Africa tried it (although oddly enough not with the “real” locals the Khoikhoi). Don’t worry – they won’t do anything to you. We have grown up a bit since you did that. Just don’t be so shit scared of them the whole time. Show them the good time they can have with you as long as they respect the basic rules of engagement in your country.
But there is an even deeper racism in the immigration laws – especially in the UK. You see, it is easy for those from Europe and other rich developed countries to get into the UK. But not for those from Africa. No. We need special visas to prove how we deserve to get in. Not needed for the rich white guy from the US. But you from Uganda? Try again buddy. That’s my real beef with their approach to immigration. They even discriminate against immigrants from different countries differently – I call it deepened and entrenched racism. It was okay to travel to the UK under Apartheid – just flash that passport and your up and away. It was mostly white guys who traveled thanks to the control by the white government over who could travel (white) and who could not (black). Now? Oh, now we have a black government so the UK brings in new laws to make it tougher to get in. Jeez guys, can’t you even attempt a bit harder to hide your racist behavior a bit better. And we thought you were happy Apartheid was over. Thanks for showing how much you really like the new South Africa.
No wait. I should shut up right now. You see there is an advantage to being a non-Hispanic in the US. I am treated like royalty. It’s the accent you see. They think I am “exotic” and full of wisdom. Not really. I am not even an immigrant – just visiting before I invade my next country.