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There’s Nothing Virtuous About Being a Rootless ‘Citizen Of The World’

citizen-of-the-world-roula-khalaf

Someone give that woman a medal

Most self-described citizens of the world are actually no such thing. They might enjoy the company of very similar people in increasingly similar global cities, but they probably couldn’t think of a single thing to say to somebody of different socio-economic status from a smaller town twenty miles down the road

Pete North explains perhaps better than anyone exactly why those people who style themselves as liberal “citizens of the world” are often no such thing – neither tremendously liberal, nor engaged citizens of anywhere, in any meaningful respect.

North writes:

In the end there is nothing especially virtuous about people who are well travelled and outward looking. A society needs all stripes to function. We need people to work the routine jobs and then we need a fluid workforce not tied down with responsibilities. Moreover, having dealt with more well pampered HR people than a person ever should, one thing I have noticed is that travel does not necessarily broaden the mind.

If you take an incurious person and lavish travel upon them you are wasting your money. Some of the most shallow, snobby and fatuous people I know would consider themselves liberal citizens of the world. Such people have no concept of what it is to be building or maintaining something with a long term plan. They latch on to the fashionable and socially convenient worldview that the EU is the manifestation of liberal values but it little more than virtue signalling.

And develops his argument:

What I find is that the broader your horizons, the harder it is to fit in wherever you go, and so there remains a polarisation between the settled and the travelled. It is then no surprise that there is an obvious demographic divide and opinion is split between the ages.

In this, the remain side of the Brexit debate seem keen to pour over these demographic studies to pathologise the leave vote, and consequently delegitimise it, as though you need to be of a particular set for your opinion to hold any worth. Democracy is lost on such people. The whole point of democracy is one person; one vote, where we take a sample of opinion and move together on the basis of compromise.

In something as binary as EU membership though there is only winner takes all. There is no third option on the ballot so we move with the majoritarian view which is to leave. For whatever reasons they voted for, they did so in accordance with their own views based on their own choices. Their worldviews are formed by what they see and hear in the media, but also in the street and in the workplace. They are the best judges of what is important to them. To suggest that choosing a more conservative lifestyle means you are not qualified to make such an estimation is to invite the very sentiment behind the leave vote.

What these people know better than anyone is that the frivolous and rootless people telling them how to vote are no better than anybody. I imagine the working classes would like nothing more than to live a more adventurous life but they don’t because they can’t afford it. It’s then a bit rich to tell them that the EU brings them freedom of movement and prosperity.

Earlier this year Theresa May said “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means”. I smiled when I heard that. Nothing quite so succinctly demolishes the flimsy worldview that believing in the borderless homogenised EU, along with all the pompous garb that goes with it, is somehow enlightenment. May recognises that being a citizen is more than holding outwardly liberal views. It means making a contribution – to be part of something.

It takes no particular talent to drift through life going place to place – and in so doing all you’re likely to meet is others who have made the same choices or enjoy an extraordinary privilege. Far from broadening the mind it merely reinforces a particular mindset which is never exposed to the values of the settled community. It’s why self-styled “citizens of the world” have no self-awareness and do not for a moment appreciate just how naff they sound to everybody else.

In my experience, self-described citizens of the world have tended to describe their outlook in terms of what they get from the bargain rather than what they contribute to the equation. They call themselves citizens if the world because being so affords them opportunities and privileges – the chance to travel, network and do business. Very few people speak of being citizens of the world because of what they give back in terms of charity, cultural richness or human knowledge, yet all of the people that I would consider to be true citizens of the world – people like Leonard Bernstein or Ernest Hemingway – fall into this latter, rarer category.

What does it really mean to be a modern day “citizen of the world”, anyway, besides having a determinedly self-regarding outlook? Most of those who claim the title – either members of the ruling class or young hipsters whining that their futures and European identities have been somehow ripped away from them – are from the big cities, London most prominently. But to a large extent, many world cities are so alike in culture that one can negotiate and skip between them fairly easily,  even with a language barrier.

London has Starbucks, museums, galleries, bars and hipsters. So do Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Rome, Warsaw, Manchester, and everywhere else in Europe. In our interconnected world, large global cities are if not interchangeable then at least often share a common culture and vibe.

So you can successfully get smashed in Lisbon, Dublin, Stockholm and Munich? Congratulations, Mr. Citizen of the World. What do you want, a medal? Now go try to strike up a conversation with someone from your own country but from a different social class or region. Try going for a night out in Harlow or Wolverhampton or Preston. Your non-prescription hipster spectacles and quirky denim dungarees might buy you immediate entry to the trendy coffee shops of Amsterdam or the bars of Barcelona, but they’ll get you nowhere in Stoke-on-Trent.

And increasingly this is what it comes down to. We have a broad class of people with access to (and the desire to be part of) this emerging global tribe based in the top cities, and a class of people either cut off from this world or with little desire to participate in it. Now, we should certainly use economic policy to lift those who want to live more global lives into a position where they can do so, and avoid the urge to persecute or condescend to those who do not. But in general, we could all do with a bit less smugness and sanctimony from the Citizen of Starbucks Brigade.

For a start, the vast, vast majority of these people are such poor citizens of their own countries that they would feel adrift and culture-shocked, as though in a foreign land, if you lifted them from their home city and moved them to a smaller town thirty miles down the road. This is not some elite band of super-enlightened, non-judgmental, globally-minded, culturally-aware aesthetes, eager to experience new things. This is a pampered, cosseted tribe of relatively well-off millennials, many of whom are in thrall to the divisive Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics, who barely understand their own compatriots yet arrogantly believe they are ready to be unleashed upon the world.

There is nothing particularly noble or praiseworthy about overcoming a language barrier to work and make friends with other people just like you who happen to live in other countries – which describes the vast majority of those people now tearfully painting the EU flag on their cheeks at anti-Brexit demonstrations and angrily declaring themselves “citizens of the world”.

Want to do something more challenging and actually worthy of praise? Try earning a reputation as somebody with friendships that span ages, social classes and other demographic indicators. Try living up to the ideal set by Rudyard Kipling:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch

And if you do so, you might not necessarily become a Man, my son. But at least you won’t be just another insufferable, identikit, cookie-cutter individual who conspicuously supports the European Union – despite barely comprehending what it really is – purely as a means of signalling your virtue to your insufferable, identikit, cookie-cutter fellow citizens of the world.

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Bottom Image: albawhitewolf

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Labour’s Hopeless Immigration Quandary

harold-wilson

The Labour Party is doomed to break apart on the issue of immigration because the Metro-Left has become so ideologically insulated and closed-minded that they can no longer speak the same emotional language as half of their own voters (and the country)

Martin Kettle has some advice for the Labour Party as it wrestles to come up with a compromise between the blithe open borders attitude of the Corbynites and the suddenly nativist instinct of Midlands and Northern MPs whose seats may be in jeopardy unless the party moves convincingly on the issue of immigration.

Kettle lays out the issue in the Guardian:

After the issue of Brexit itself, voters think immigration is the most important question facing the country. But Labour’s poll ratings on immigration are terrible. Only 11% of voters in the most recent YouGov poll think Labour is the best party on immigration, with only 29% of Labour voters from the 2015 election – which Labour lost badly – agreeing. A mere 5% of leave voters think Labour is best on immigration.

If Labour’s priority is to re-secure its core voters on the issue, that is a very bad place to start from. Latest research by Chris Hanretty of the University of East Anglia suggests that 64% of Labour’s 232 parliamentary seats voted leave in June. So if it is correct that immigration control was the decisive issue in the leave win, Labour MPs are right to demand that, at the very least, their party says something about immigration that engages with that stark reality.

And suggests a solution based on dubious historical precedent:

There’s a framework for this. For most of the last half-century Labour’s policy was that managed migration made community integration and mutual trust possible. The policy had periods of success and failure. It was too repressive in the 1970s and it was too insouciant in the early 2000s, after EU enlargement. But until recently it worked reasonably, and won electoral consent.

Labour’s challenge in 2017 is to renew that same approach around the realities of Brexit. It won’t be easy, and it will involve compromises of the sort that Crossman expressed half a century ago. The policy cannot be based solely on liberal principles. But it cannot be based solely on ignoring those principles either.

It has to place intervention in the labour market to ensure fair treatment, alongside an unsentimental approach to immigration control. If Labour’s factions can at least agree to start from there, there’s just a chance that enough of the rest will fall into place.

But there can be no agreement between Labour’s factions. One faction – the metropolitan Regressive Left faction, incorporating everybody from leftists like Jeremy Corbyn to virtue signalling centrists – hold it as an article of faith that to even question whether everybody who wants to come to Britain should immediately be allowed to do so constitutes damning evidence of racism. The other faction – call them Old Labour, rooted in the party’s historic Northern, industrial and post-industrial heartlands – have not yet sacrificed patriotism and a belief in the uniqueness of British values and culture on the altar of globalisation, and fail to understand why immigration controls such as those imposed by countries like the United States or Australia are somehow racist.

These two sides simply cannot reconcile – certainly not so long as the metropolitan Regressive Left continues to arrogantly insult agnostics and sceptics, either accusing them of moral deficiency for failing to meekly toe the party line or ignoring their arguments altogether. In fact, with immigration currently a high priority political issue, one can argue convincingly that there is no longer any place for the two factions within the same political party, and that Labour must split (and probably should have done so some time ago).

Kettle, however, would have Labour look back to 1965 for a solution to their dilemma:

Yet the disagreement is not a new one, and Labour has succeeded in managing it before. Back in the summer of 1965, Harold Wilson’s Labour government published a radically restrictive white paper on immigration from the British commonwealth that shocked even cabinet ministers. “This has been one of the most difficult and unpleasant jobs the government has had to do,” the housing minister Richard Crossman wrote in his diaries. “We have become illiberal,” he mourned. “This will confirm the feeling that ours is not a socialist government.”

Nevertheless Crossman was absolutely sure that the controls were necessary. “I am convinced that if we hadn’t done all this we would have been faced with certain electoral defeat in the West Midlands and the south-east,” he went on. “Politically, fear of immigration is the most powerful undertow today … We felt we had to out-trump the Tories by doing what they would have done … I fear we were right.” Antisemitism and racism were endemic in Britain, Crossman suspected. “One has to deal with them by controlling immigration when it gets beyond a certain level.”

The fact that left-wing politicians and commentators would turn to the overtly racially tinged 1965 White Paper Immigration from the Commonwealth as a blueprint for dealing with Brexit and present-day immigration concerns only goes to show how little they understand the totally different present day context or appreciate the different public attitudes toward immigration in 2016.

The regressive leftist mind is seemingly unable to compute the idea that objections to unlimited immigration could be based upon anything other than racism. And perhaps this is partly understandable, when historically racism has formed one of the key objections to immigration. But no longer. Racism is now, thankfully, a fringe issue in Britain (despite the continual efforts of SJWs and others whose livelihoods depend on representing official victim classes to inflate the problem). Today’s concerns centre around integration and assimilation into society, and the affect on employment, infrastructure and public services.

None of these concerns are remotely race-based, and yet the response of the Labour Party has historically been to dismiss them all as a thin veneer covering for xenophobia. When voters plead with Labour politicians to believe them when they say that their objections are not connected with race, too often the response has been sneering dismissal. And even now, when some MPs and commentators are considering making concessions on immigration, it is done in the spirit of “we must join the British people in their racism as a matter of political survival” rather than a genuine attempt to understand legitimate public concerns.

And thus we have Martin Kettle essentially arguing that the Labour Party should hold its nose and support something which it believes to be overtly racist in order to stave off political annihilation. Why else cite the case of the 1965 White Paper, written at a time when “coloured immigration” was still openly spoken of as a specific problem?

High-minded it isn’t. But those words echo today because the essence of the argument in which Crossman’s generation participated – hard times, more migrants, native resentments, press and public prejudice, liberal principles under challenge, electoral defeats – has not altered all that much. Yet just as the Wilson Labour party was right to grasp the issue, though it could have grasped it far better, so the Corbyn party needs to grasp it in an equivalent way too.

This is the infuriating thing about leftists. They manage to be insufferable bordering on slanderous even in their attempts to be conciliatory and find compromise. Because they sincerely believe that any departure from their worldview can only be prompted by malice or grave moral failure, their attempts at dialogue with political opponents are awkward and strained as they inadvertently insult the people they are trying to flatter.

Martin Kettle has gotten it into his head that Brexit proves that the British people are having one of their funny turns and have come over all racist, just like we did in the 1960s. Unable to even consider that the Leave vote was prompted by sincere and virtuous political disagreement about the merits of EU membership, Kettle therefore suggests that the Labour Party recycle some good old fashioned racist outreach from 1965 as a kind of olive branch to persuade swivel-eyed Labour Brexiteers back into the fold.

This is the kind of clumsy gesture we have come to expect from a political elite which has become so isolated from much of the country that they can barely speak the same language. Listening to Martin Kettle try to strike up a rapport with Brexiteers would be like listening to me using Google Translate to talk to someone in Korean. The rough message might get through, but the garbled syntax would prove that I am not really speaking their language, that I do not truly understand them.

I’ve said it numerous times, and I will say it again: the Labour Party will not taste power or enjoy another general election victory until they stop giving off such strong signals that they openly despise the voters and hold more than half of the country in open disdain.

The British people do not want to be told “okay, we’ll try racism for awhile!” by an exasperated and uncomprehending Labour Party. They want to be listened to, to have their ideas and concerns heard and engaged with rather than being summarily dismissed.

This should not be a lot to ask, yet it is proving to be an almost impossible challenge for a bitterly divided Labour Party. And time is of the essence. Even assuming that the next general election takes place in 2020 and not earlier, it takes years to execute a convincing policy reversal while re-establish public credibility and familiarity.

If the Labour Party are to make a change and decide to meet the British people half way on the subject of immigration, then now is the time to do it. But with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell in charge and an increasingly London-centric party behind them, don’t bet on it happening.

 

Britain Immigration EU

Top Image: Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

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The Elites Are Fuelling A Backlash They Do Not Comprehend And May Not Withstand

david-cameron-resignation-statement

Accustomed to getting their own way and furious at being thwarted by mere democracy, the political elite are responding to recent setbacks by doubling down on behaviours which could soon see them swept away completely

One would be hard pressed to find a better charge sheet against the British political elite – and explanation for the populist backlash currently being felt by every well-manicured and over-rehearsed politician in the country – than the one recently laid out by Charles Moore in The Spectator.

Moore writes, in explaining why he is now “cheering for the populist right”:

It may sound Marxist to say this, but I do think the elites have constructed a world order which serves their interests, not those of their subject populations. You see it in little things, like the fact that European commissioners, when they leave their posts, receive enormous ‘transition’ payments (it was reported that Peter Mandelson got £1 million) on top of their salaries and pensions. You see it in big things, like the fact that nearly half the young people of Spain, Italy and Greece have to go without jobs in order to enforce Germanic theories about central banking and Brussels doctrines about European integration.

In the second half of the 20th century, the huge projects to which the western world bent its mind more or less worked — the Marshall Plan, Nato, the United Nations Security Council, even the European Community, when it had only six members. What are the equivalent achievements in the 21st century? A pseudo-virtuous climate change agreement reached only because its members know it won’t be observed. A banking crisis resolved in the interests of bankers. A threat from Islamist terrorism which the outgoing President of the most powerful nation on earth still cannot admit even exists.

It does sound a little Marxist to talk about the elites in this way, as Charles Moore fears, until one remembers that with our decaying institutions and system of crony capitalism, the best and most able to serve the marketplace of goods, services and ideas are no longer the ones rising to the top. Therefore, to criticise them is not to criticise capitalism or the free market, because if you were to strip away the privilege of those at the top of the political, legal and commercial worlds and force the inhabitants to fight their way back up to the top from a level playing field, most of them would be living on the streets within a year. This is the dismal calibre of people we now allow to rise to the top of our society; to criticise them is not Marxist, it is to yearn for some semblance of a meritocracy.

Moore continues:

The response of elites to their failures is too often to stigmatise the people who complain. Those who protest at immigration levels ten times higher than 30 years ago are treated as racists. Even the ballot box itself is seen as ‘populist’. Remainers argue that the referendum issues were ‘too complicated’ for voters. They seem actively to dislike the idea that our nation should once more be governed by its elected representatives. Having failed electorally, they turn to ‘lawfare’ — preferring a case before the Supreme Court to the direct implementation of what Parliament handed to the people to decide. Voters now believe that their rulers really do not like them very much, so the feeling becomes mutual.

Yes, a thousand times yes. And it is hilarious watching tone deaf politicians openly disparage the same parts of the electorate that they will be sucking up to in futility when the next general election rolls around. Most people possess a base level of social awareness. They know when they are being looked down upon, or worse, mocked. The experience shuts ears and hardens hearts against future persuasion. That so many MPs and commentators still do not realise this is a testament to the low calibre of people we have allowed to rise to the top of the political and journalism worlds.

Consider: Ed Miliband fought the 2015 general election on the premise that David Cameron and the Conservative Party were evil, far-right ideologues. Many respectable people who voted Tory in 2010 did not take kindly to the Labour Party suggesting that they were aiding and abetting evil, and now you can find Ed Miliband on the backbenches, giving forgettable speeches to a half empty Commons chamber. And yet the lesson has not been learned – many politicians now calling Brexit a calamity and deriding Brexiteers as either malevolent racists or useful idiots will be asking those same people for their vote in 2020 (or sooner). You don’t need to be Nostradamus to figure out how the electorate is likely to respond.

More from Moore:

In this respect, the culture war matters. You cannot go on saying that white straight males are brutes without eventually annoying them (and even a significant proportion of what John Prescott used to call their ‘womenfolk’). The cultural signals from the powerful are almost unthinkingly hostile to majority populations. This month, to take a minor example, a report into ‘diversity’ in the theatre commissioned by Andrew Lloyd Webber reported (reusing a phrase from Greg Dyke years ago) that it is ‘hideously white’. Why should the dominant racial characteristic of all western societies be considered ‘hideous’? If you said that anything was ‘hideously black’ you would (rightly) be shunned by polite society. Such asymmetry inspires revolt. The rise of Trumpery shows that the right has learnt a tactic of the left, which is to play up grievance to get power, money and attention. Grievance politics is extremely unattractive, but if western societies no longer deliver rising general prosperity and disrespect the people whom they are failing to serve, what do you expect?

And yet the Left continues to push aggressive multiculturalism and identity politics, even seeking to thwart Brexit so as to continue working towards their goal of undermining of the nation state.

This is dangerous. As Michael Lind once remarked, “the loyalties that succeed national solidarity are likely to be narrower, not broader”. Focus on individual racial identities, undermine the nation state, undermine Britain and any healthy sense of national identity and purpose we might otherwise have, and we very quickly descend into a jealously competing confederation of special interest groups, each one claiming some special victim status and viewing itself as oppressed by the others.

The Labour Party, which has long served the elites rather than the working man or woman, is currently in the process of falling down a chasm of their own making, between people who recognise and oppose this danger (their rapidly diminishing working class vote) and those who choose to remain blithely ignorant because they are not presently feeling many negative consequences (the virtue-signalling middle class clerisy). Both groups are coming to hate and scorn one another, yet Labour needs both to turn out in sufficient numbers if they are ever to win a general election again.

But indulge the populist side and the elitist side becomes enraged, and vice versa. Try to fudge the issue by making half-hearted gestures to each side (like Labour’s immigration coffee mug) and it alienates one side while failing to persuade the other.

In fact, populism vs elitism is rapidly becoming the new axis of our politics, which is a shame. There should be no question that when the interests and attitudes of the elite turn stridently against those of ordinary people, we should side with the ordinary people against the elites. That does not mean adopting every daft populist idea that comes along, but by actually taking into account the hopes, concerns and aspirations of ordinary people in regular policymaking we might hope to avoid finding ourselves in another situation where so many people see the likes of Donald Trump or Nigel Farage as their only salvation.

In other words, a certain amount of populism should be hardwired into our politics, so that it does not fester unseen and then break free to dominate proceedings and create destabilising uncertainty. The left vs right, authoritarian vs libertarian arguments remain far more interesting than the populism vs elitism shouting match, but it is currently being overshadowed as we debate idiotic questions like whether or not the wisdom of a powerful elite ought to cancel out the result of a national referendum. When we disagree about such fundamentals, worrying about what the government does and does not do for its citizens inevitably rather takes a back seat.

Moore concludes that “if, in a parliamentary democracy, the elites and the voters markedly diverge, one must surely bet that the elites are likelier to be wrong”. And the elites certainly have been short-sighted, self-serving and often outright wrong on a parade of key issues.

The political elite have perhaps one last chance to check their arrogant and selfish behaviour before they trigger an even bigger backlash, and things start to get really bad.

 

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When Will Open Borders Zealots Just Admit That They Want To Abolish America?

new-york-would-never-dream-of-building-a-wall-new-york-magazine-immigration-propaganda

Talking about “undocumented immigrants” in the same breath as refugees, permanent residents and citizens has only one purpose – to imbue illegal immigration with a nobility it does not deserve, deliberately undermining the beleaguered nation state. And the time has come for open borders zealots to be honest about what they are trying to do.

Under the guise of discussing the sanctuary city phenomenon, New York magazine has a propagandistic but otherwise pointless article profiling 44 “New Yorkers” of varying and sometimes dubious immigration status, whose sole purpose seems to be to deliberately blur the lines between various types of immigration, thus giving political cover to the illegal kind.

Why 44 immigrants? Presumably this is an allusion to the fact that Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States, and because he supported the DREAM Act and implemented the DACA policy (even though only four of 44 people profiled in the piece are themselves beneficiaries). Yes, that is the kind of pseudo-analytical, emotional codswallop that we are going to be dealing with here.

The piece begins with suitable pomposity:

That ours is a sanctuary city — arguably, the sanctuary city — shouldn’t be surprising. After all, for 130 years we’ve displayed, in the New York Harbor, the most iconic symbol of welcome in the world. In the weeks after an election season defined in part by an ugly debate over who should be allowed to live here, New York photographed dozens of immigrants and new citizens, ranging in age from 1 month to 91 years, to suggest the breadth of the New York–immigrant experience.

Of course, capturing the full breadth would be impossible — there are 3 million New Yorkers who were born somewhere else, more than a third of the city’s population. All of which is a good reminder that even the city’s hoariest come-hithers — make it here, make it anywhere, etc. — contain an implicit promise: Our city is open to anyone who’s willing to give it a shot. Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses, yes, but also your ambitious, your artsy, your queer, your shunned, your misfits, and anyone else who can’t, for some reason, feel at home where they are. Whatever it is you’re a refugee from, this city can be your refuge. We may have a fabled reputation for crossed-arm toughness, but in reality, New York is the city whose arms have always been open the widest.

We then delve into the profiles, many of whom are of babies who clearly cannot speak for themselves but who are nonetheless selected because of their emotional resonance (using babies to build emotional support for a political argument is fine when it concerns immigration, apparently, but try to do so in connection with a …different subject, and many on the Left will immediately lose their minds).

Some examples:

Prioska Galicia
Age: 19
From: Mexico
Undocumented

“I remember the sound of helicopters, and running, and the cold breeze, and my mom trying to cover me up,” Prioska Galicia says about the night she crossed the border into Arizona in 2004.

She was 6 years old. A recent high-school graduate, Galicia aspires to go to college, but that hope is tempered by the uncertainty of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals under Trump. “We want to work. We want to succeed. Other people don’t see it like that. They see it as us wanting to take other people’s jobs.”

Okay, so here we have what might be a seemingly typical case of an illegal immigrant smuggled into the United States by her family – and a very sympathetic case, at that. Galicia is, I am sure, a model petitioner for citizenship in every way.

But then we see Galicia’s case placed alongside examples like this:

Tristan Kelvin Bosc
Age: 1 month
From: United States
Citizen

Bosc was born in November to German and French fathers who met in 2005, two years after moving to the United States.

“For us, it was a choice to move here,” says Benoit Bosc, one of Tristan’s fathers. “You don’t want to over-romanticize it, but you know, the land of dreams where things are possible. We hope that it stays this way because for him, that’s the future.”

Presumably Tristan’s German and French fathers both emigrated to America via one of the legal routes open to them. So why even include such people in an article about sanctuary cities, unless for the deliberate reason of muddying the waters that separate those who follow the process and those who circumvent the process? Maybe there is a word slightly less harsh than “propaganda” to explain what the New Yorker is doing here, but if so, I struggle to think of it.

More:

Pepper Tsue
Age: 2
From: South Korea
Citizen

Tsue and her family moved to New York in 2015. Her mother is Korean and her father is Taiwanese-American.

At home, her mother, Seyun Kim, speaks to her only in Korean. When Pepper started preschool in September, Kim packed a translation sheet for the teacher. It included words and phrases like water, mommy and daddy, and I want a hug. “She’ll learn English,” says Kim. “But it’s important for her to know Korean, too.”

What a marvellous case study in good integration – a mother who deliberately refuses to help her own daughter to assimilate into their new country by conversing with her in the dominant language, and who then has the temerity to pack her daughter off to school with a translation sheet for the teacher, so that those already living here can do all of the hard work. Yes, this is exactly the kind of example that we should be promoting.

One doesn’t like to think ill of people. But what is one supposed to think of the New Yorker when it cherry-picks cases such as this, and celebrates them precisely because they go against the grain of integration and assimilation? Seriously, what is the excusing factor here? I fail to see it.

More:

Indigo Van Eijck
Age: 11
From: The Netherlands
Lawful permanent resident

Indigo Van Eijck is in sixth grade. His family started commuting back and forth from Rotterdam when he was 5 for his father’s work in landscape architecture.

“I had to learn a whole new language,” he recalls. “You do learn English in the Netherlands, but only very little. You say things like, ‘Hi, how are you?’ but in a very Dutch accent.” The family became legal permanent residents in 2011 but still goes back to the Netherlands for a month every summer. “The people are different here,” Indigo says. “Nobody really cares if you go to the store in your pajamas in the morning. At home, most of the strangers you meet on the street are nicer ― probably because the population is so much smaller.” He misses his native cuisine when he’s here, and he made Indonesian dumplings (which are prevalent in Holland) for Thanksgiving. But the sushi in the Netherlands, he says, “is awful.”

So now we have the son of a clearly wealthy landscape architect and a lawful permanent resident. What place do these people have in an article purportedly about sanctuary cities? What do Indigo Van Eijck and his family need to take sanctuary from, precisely?

More:

Fayza Gareb
Age: 22
From: Syria
Refugee

Fayza Gareb’s family fled Syria for Turkey in 2013 when the Assad regime began bombing her family’s village near Aleppo.

“I worked as a waitress in Turkey,” she says. “The first time I heard a plane’s voice over the restaurant, I went under the table because I was scared it would drop bombs like in Syria.” Her father longed to make it to the United States but died of cancer before the family was admitted last August. Gareb and her mother, sister, and brother were among the 15,000 Syrian refugees President Obama pledged to accept in 2016.

And now we have refugees thrown into the mix! Refugees who have been lawfully admitted into the United States and who therefore are at no risk of deportation or particular persecution by federal authorities. Why does New York Magazine see fit to include these cases side-by-side with undocumented child migrants from Mexico, lawful permanent resident children of successful landscape architects and natural born citizens?

Then we have that rarest of cases, a South Korean undocumented SJW, banging on about her relative “privilege”:

Stephanie Ji Won Park
Age: 24
From: South Korea
Undocumented

Stephanie’s family came to New York in 1998 when she was five and overstayed their tourist visas.

She first became aware of being undocumented in middle school, at Horace Mann. “I was thinking about the high-school-senior Bahamas trip, and my mom was like, ‘Hopefully in a couple of years something will happen,’” she says. “Whenever I introduce myself as undocumented I do a whole spiel where I say I think I’m one of the most privileged undocumented people out there. “Like, ‘Oh, I found out because I couldn’t go on a senior trip to the Bahamas.’” As she started applying for colleges, the realities of her status became more clear; still she considers herself lucky. “If I were to be deported, I’d be deported back to South Korea. Yeah, that’ll be tough, but it’s not the same as going back to a country where the chances of being murdered are very high. Maybe it’s a state of denial, but I’m just trying to focus my energy on people that are in a worse position.”

The heart bleeds. Thank goodness there are sanctuary cities like New York which provide a safe space for South Korean tourist visa abusers and their families to skip the queue, spurn the lawful routes of entry into the United States and avoid being sent back to the terrible, dangerous and backward country of South Korea.

More:

Kathleen Bomani
Age: 31
From: Tanzania
Lawful Permanent Resident

Bomani’s Tanzanian parents met while studying at Howard University. Her sister was born here, then her parents moved back home and had her and her brother.

“We spent most of our summers here in the U.S. So then I came for college — at Drexel University in Philadelphia. I studied corporate communications,” she says. She came to New York to live permanently in 2009. “In New York, no one asks you where you’re from because you have an accent. Everyone’s from somewhere. It has a completely different feeling from the rest of the United States. The possibilities of what one can be — there’s just something in the air here.”

Quite why that atmosphere of possibility cannot be maintained while observing federal immigration law is never quite explained, either by Bomani herself or by New York Magazine, who casually use her life story as part of their insidious propaganda.

And finally:

Lourdes
Age: 47
From: Mexico
Undocumented

“I wish for her the same thing I wish for them, the best of life,” Lourdes, 47, says about her granddaughter Kamilla and her children, Ricardo Aca and Montserrat Aca, who are both Dreamers.

Lourdes crossed the border in 2004 and worked as a housekeeper and factory worker before sending for her children. “For me the most important thing is for them to study so that they have a better future, and hopefully stay in this country that we’ve learned to love. Because, in reality, we consider this country now like our country. There was a moment when I felt exasperated, that perhaps I had made a mistake in having brought them over,” says Lourdes. “But looking at it now, I feel like it was worth it. Everything that we went through was worth it.”

It is great that Lourdes and her family have “learned to love” America. Of the various kinds of illegal immigration this is the best kind – people who have or are assimilating, and feel gratitude toward their new host country. Perhaps this kind of illegal immigration is even the most typical, as leftist zealots loudly insist. Perhaps. And certainly we should have sympathy for people like Lourdes and her family – though they retain agency and responsibility for their actions, they were also victims of the strong “pull factor” of illegal immigration, the blind eye turned toward illegal immigration by American business and government.

Many such people are already now American in spirit, and there is nothing to be gained by deporting them. But neither is there anything to be gained from placing them on a pedestal and attempting to endow their actions with some kind of undeserved nobility. Immigration laws exist for a reason. And as with all laws, either support them or argue for their repeal, don’t equivocate while openly celebrating lawbreakers.

As one reads the New York Magazine piece, one is struck by the fact that the vast, vast majority (40 out of 44) of those profiled are either full citizens, lawful permanent residents or approved refugees, none of whom need the shelter of a so-called sanctuary city to live in the United States without fear of deportation. There is absolutely no good reason for these people to be included at all. But there is one very bad reason.

Because the goal here is not really to celebrate sanctuary cities specifically. Despite the title and preamble to the New York Magazine piece, this is nothing more than a convenient hook, a ruse. The real goal is nothing other than the perpetuation of this omnipresent, simplistic, holding-hands-beneath-a-rainbow leftist vision of a borderless world where more than sharing a common humanity (which of course we do), we also share the automatic right to live wherever we want in the world, regardless of whether we choose to move there legally or illegally.

It is part of an insidious attempt to undermine the idea of borders, of nationality, of the nation state itself, and to smear anybody who objects to this radical and untested vision as being a backward-looking reactionary at best and a dangerous racist at worst.

The only reason one might be motivated to publish an article praising sanctuary cities and then profiling the wealthy children of notable Dutch landscape architects is if one is actively pushing this absolutist open borders agenda, a worldview in which there is zero moral or bureaucratic distinction between somebody who obeys immigration law and somebody who proudly flouts those laws.

And if one takes this position, if one tacitly argues that current illegal immigrants living in America should all be praised and lauded and conferred with immediate citizenship, then surely the same goes for anybody around the world who wants to pick up and move to America tomorrow? And then you have no nation states anymore. And no America.

The people at New York Magazine are not stupid. Many of them are blessed with the ability to spin a fine turn of phrase and argue convincingly for the things in which they believe. So when can we stop fighting this tiresome shadow war and get down to the meat of the matter? When will they come out and honestly admit that they want to abolish America?

_

Postscript: If “abolish America” sounds harsh, what else should one call a suite of policies and actions which actively seek to reward lawbreaking and encourage vastly more illegal immigration while demanding absolutely nothing in return by way of bureaucratic compliance, respect for the law or intent to assimilate?

open-borders

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Tales From The Safe Space, Part 50 – University of Maryland President And Students Vie For Coveted Victim Status

latinx

Waah, waah, waah

What happens when SJW students and their university president become locked in a social justice victimhood showdown, each trying to claim offence and present themselves as having been somehow harmed by the other in a gruesome yet compelling display of whinnying, childish immaturity?

The University of Maryland shows us exactly what happens.

Campus Reform reports:

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh inadvertently outraged liberal students by using Spanish while pledging to protect illegal immigrant students, a move deemed “offensive” to UMD’s immigrant population.

Much of Loh’s annual State of the Campus Address was a “a clear call to embrace diversity,” according to The Diamondback, including a promise to protect illegal immigrant students on campus by barring immigration officials from campus if they don’t have a warrant and refusing to voluntarily share undocumented student information.

“These are the things that we will commit to, that we will do and will not do in order to create a safe and supportive learning environment,” he declared.

His repetition of the same statement in Spanish, however, raised eyebrows among some members of the crowd, even though he had employed a similar tactic in a campus-wide email last month in which he first outlined UMD’s intent to resist federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Student Senator Ashley Vasquez, for instance, complained that Spanish “does not represent the entire immigrant community here” during a post-speech Q&A, asking Loh if he would like to apologize for repeating his promise in Spanish.

Vasquez later told The Diamondback that she found Loh’s use of Spanish offensive because it implied that the only immigrants on campus are “Latinx.”

This is brilliant on so many levels.

Firstly, why make the comment in Spanish at all? Is anybody studying at the University of Maryland incapable of speaking English? (Hint: No) Is this part of a policy of general bilingual communications, signs, written and verbal instructions at the university? (Hint: No again). The only reason for President Wallace Loh to make such a gesture is that it affords him a quick and easy way to signal his own virtue, his acceptance of absolutely all kinds of immigration, legal and illegal, moral and immoral.

To see Wallace Loh then called out by a professional offence-taking student for oppressing immigrant students of other backgrounds by failing to pander obsequiously to their own native languages is in many ways inevitable. Just as straight gay men are often no longer considered sufficiently “oppressed” to warrant full coverage under the Social Justice umbrella, so it may soon come to pass that “Latinx” students, being so plentiful in the United States, find themselves summarily deemed relatively privileged and cut adrift as the SJWs go looking for rarer and more exotic immigrants to defend.

And if one accepts SJW logic, who can argue with the student’s complaint? Hispanic people are a rapidly growing demographic in America. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where I have family, the Hispanic population far exceeds the white and there are some stores and businesses where I am disadvantaged as a non Spanish speaker. But in terms of how much their language is catered for in America, Hispanics are immensely “privileged” compared to, say, German, French or Mandarin speakers. The student is therefore doing what any good SJW student should do – casting aside the interests and concerns of a relatively privileged group and focusing on more “marginalised” ones instead.

But President Loh’s response makes this story even better:

Loh, who is Peruvian and a native Spanish speaker, did not initially address the question, but later responded to the accusations after a second student asked him to apologize, as well.

“I simply said that I completely support—I said in Spanish what I previously said in English,” Loh remarked with surprise. “Are you asking me to apologize because I’m speaking in Spanish, which is the first language I learned?”

Loh probably realises that he actually committed a bit of a culturally imperialistic faux-pas by translating his Ode to Undocumented Immigrants only into Spanish, thus suggesting that immigrants and illegal immigrants can only come from an Hispanic background. But he doesn’t want to back down, so instead he chooses to take public offence at the student for criticising him for speaking in his native language.

In other words, we have here a grown man and somebody who rose to the position of president of a state university flopping around on the floor like a wounded victim and playing the role of a wide-eyed innocent child whose ice cream was just stolen because rather than confess to a mistake, his social justice ideology commands him to always play the victim to get out of a tight spot.

Naturally the student was unimpressed with his deflection:

UMD senior Lauryn Froneberger apparently didn’t find Loh’s response sufficient, mainly because he did not concede that his use of Spanish was offensive.

“As a student you want to know that your university stands by you and won’t use language that sort of offends you,” Froneberger said. “And even if you let them know they offended you, I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I don’t think he acknowledged that at all.”

I’ve said it before and I will no doubt say it many more times on this blog – the Cult of Social Justice and Identity Politics is not about doing good or liberating people from genuine oppression. It is a first world, middle class cult of power, a virtual country club with its own finicky rules and seething, petty power struggles.

And this pathetic little exchange at the University of Maryland’s “State of the Campus” (ha!) address is just one of what will be many more tussles between students and faculty, both of whom drink the identity politics Kool-Aid and both of whom intend to use identity politics principles to bolster their own tawdry arguments and undermine their foes.

The University of Maryland’s own president is apparently unable to think properly in public or respond to a challenge when called out by a student in any way other than curling up into a ball and asserting hurt feewings victim status himself.

Where’s rock bottom again?

 

decolonizing-latinx-feminisms-course

Safe Space Notice - 2

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