I am. I emigrated to the UK. I am here to ‘take your jobs’ and ‘ruin your culture’.
I get where this aversion is coming from. I do. It isn’t cool when you feel like you are being diluted and that places are being taken up and your kids don’t get the same benefits. I’m sorry.
Even though, as a U.S. citizen, I get no benefits here. (it’s stamped on my passport y’all) I still feel the sting when I hear this said in front of me.
It feels really yucky when I hear people chatting about ‘those immigrants’ and then they see my face, and then say…”oh, well not you…”
Is it because that I am white? Or not Polish? Or..(i don’t even know how to be an intolerant asshole, loss for words)
Or is it because I am an American and ‘that’s OK then’?
I am from Detroit. South-eastern Michigan boasts the highest population of people from the middle-east, other than the middle-east. (33% y’all) I grew up with friends from Israel and Iraq. I grew up with friends that spoke Spanish or French as a first language. We all got along. But I never once thought; get out of my country you asshole.
My school bus was shot at by an Iraqi. His sister was one of my best friends. I used to have a Jewish boyfriend. I taught my kids Spanish so that we could talk to our neighbors from Mexico, and our kids could play together. I never once thought, get out of my country, you asshole.
I lived through 9/11. And believe me, in Detroit, on 9/12, it was a whole new day when we all had to come out of our houses and face each other. The whites, the blacks, the Americans, the Iranians, the Iraqi’s, the Israelite’s , the shop keepers, the people on the street. We looked at each other with suspicion and dread. Then we remembered that we were friends before, and were still friends, the same people. I will never forget the look on the face of my local shop-keeper that day. He had an American flag in his window and he was afraid. But, no harm came to him and we just got on with it. (OK, Michigan is not Alabama, but still…)
You guys, it hurts my feelings when you say those nasty things about immigrants. Change your laws, restrict your building, do what you need to do. Just don’t hate us all. We are here for a better life. And we mean you no harm.
At least that’s what it felt like from the other side. Now I know both sides. I hope it is OK to call the UK my country. I hope it doesn’t offend you.