I’m always amazed that the same people who bawl over baby seals in some other part of the world have so little regard left over for abused humanity coming to their own shores. Take (please!) the example of Brigitte Bardot, recently convicted of racist hatemongering:
A leading French anti-racism group known as MRAP filed a lawsuit last year over a letter she sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The remarks were published in her foundation’s quarterly journal.
In the December 2006 letter to Sarkozy, now the president, Bardot said France is “tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.”
Bardot, 73, was referring to the Muslim feast of Aid el-Kebir, celebrated by slaughtering sheep.
Gee, where have I heard that before? Everytime a crime (or any other unapproved act) is committed by an immigrant, regardless of the nature of the crime, or the immigration status of the accused, I hear this sort of thing out of somebody who’s eager to lump it all in as part and parcel of the evils of Illegal People. As if it were all a premeditated campaign on the part of immigrants, papered or not, to destroy a country. When in fact the shoe is on the other foot entirely–the immigrants are the ones coming from a destroyed country, trying to recoup a little of what was lost, and it is the host country which is going to destroy their culture if they stay there for very long.
But it’s not just about crimes committed by immigrants; peaceful, law-abiding ones who speak the language flawlessly and came in with all the legal papers and have done their best to assimilate, still get tarred with the same brush just because they’re not from “around here”. Ask anyone who’s ever been mistaken for an “illegal”–a problem which is cropping up more and more in Europe and North America as people keep trying to get to where the better living is, and keep getting denied on account of not being able to jump through every last hoop with sufficient speed and grace (and the requisite whiteness of skin that seems to legitimize even the worst Russian gangster more than the best assimilation could do for, say, a Haitian).
Canada, a land literally built on the backs of immigrants since the ancestors of our own “native” Indians and Inuit crossed the Bering Strait Land Bridge during the Ice Age, is now becoming a land of exclusion laws like nothing we’ve seen since about 100 years ago. Just when we’re finally wrapping up all the trouble we brought upon ourselves by imposing the infamous head tax on Asian immigrants, it looks like we may see it imposed yet again, this time in the name of “attracting investment” or whatever other business-friendly racket rhetoric our gummint comes up with. We are taking giant leaps backward into the late Victorian era, and calling that progress. Guess where we got that from. Yep, “superior” Mother Europe and the good ol’ “free” US of A!
And yet, even as the “free” and “superior” countries strive to shut their doors to those they deem undesirable, those “undesirables” are battering down the door in ever greater numbers. Those people don’t come to destroy a country or its culture; ask any French Muslim girl who has worn a headscarf in the colors of the flag to demonstrate that while she is a Muslim, she is also French. They come to live, to work, to eat, and to be in peace. All those things they can’t do anymore where they came from, because the colonial legacy is a harsh one, and the systems of commerce and corruption set up by the colonizers tend to be slow in dying. The example of the former Belgian colonizers, whose racist legacies led directly to the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s (and traumatized the Canadian general, Romeo Dallaire, sent there to head a peacekeeping force and prevent the violence which the Belgians at the UN wouldn’t let him have enough troops to quell) should be a required study for anyone who wonders why “those damn people just can’t get along”.
It’s clear to me that BB has never seen The Battle of Algiers, or she might be tempted to think twice about castigating the people who come to France looking to earn a better living than they did in their home countries (which, more likely than not, were once French colonies). What’s coming to France now is not some evil Islamist invasion force hell-bent on destroying all Frenchness “by imposing its acts” on squeamish old divas who can’t bear to see a sheep slaughtered and its meat given to the poor for Eid. It’s just logical blowback from colonial times. You break it, you’ve bought it–isn’t that what all stores tell their patrons, in so many words, on carefully posted signs?
Yet these great mercantile empires now don’t seem to want to live by their own rules. They broke the French-speaking lands of Northern Africa, but when the brown and frowsy-feathered chickens from those lands come home to roost, guess who flaps and squawks the loudest. Yep, those who have been the most sheltered, the most out of touch, the most free to dote on baby seals. And this while deploring the “barbarity” of non-white indigenous people eating readily available, unendangered seals and wearing their pelts and maybe making a small living selling clothes made from them, instead of getting with the global program of eating rainforest soybeans, wearing Chanel, and generally believing that everything “superior” Europe ever did was an example to be emulated by the poor, dumb, backward brown folks of the Third World.
Hey! Here’s a bright idea, something I’m sure never occurred to BB or her co-religionists in the anti-immigrant movements: How about NO MORE COLONIAL EMPIRES?
I’m serious. No more settling in other countries; no more exploitation of them, their resources, or their cheaper labor force. No more getting your shit from them on the cheap. No more open-pit gold mines or blood diamonds for your jewelry. No more slash-and-burn rainforest monocultures. No more empires, no more colonialism, no more “globalization” of trade. No more imposing your own culture and language on foreigners. No more breaking and buying of foreign countries by your great multinational firms. That way, you won’t later be inundated with impoverished immigrants of a color you despise.
Mind you, you also won’t be stinkingly rich as a country at their country’s expense, and you’ll probably have to lower your standard of living somewhat–but hey, it’s a small price to pay for your precious racial purity as you pontificate from the seal-free beaches of St. Tropez, right?