Diversity

I was watching the news last night and saw a rather interesting piece on Londoners who had immigrated to Cyprus. According to this report, the main reason so many of these people had moved to Cyprus was to get away from all the immigrants in Britain. Some of them even saying, "I'm not being racist but I don't like all these foreign people".

When the reported pointed out the irony that they too were now immigrants to another land, it was claimed "oh but we have money we contribute to the society here and pay for our own stuff, those people don't".

This is where I started to get angry. My parents are both immigrants and I've lived in London my whole life, my husband moved here from Ireland when he was a child. So both of us in way don't "belong" here but London is so multicultural its never mattered to me. In fact I love it here, nowhere else could ever be home. In fact I love this crazy Island for all its little quirks. Yes, I have been subject to racisim but hasn't everyone at some point? So it really upsets me to think about people leaving this country becasue they don't want to live near people like me.

Now my parents have worked from the day they got here, as have my husbands and the thousand of other immigrants who have come to this country and many others. I personally think the claim "but we have money thus we are better" is total crap. I don't personally know a single person in my Asian community who is unemployed (and that’s a few hundred people). So how exactly are we the immigrants or the children of immigrants not contributing to society?

Last time I checked there were just as many white people claiming benefits and being a drain on the state as there are non-white. The right wing media would have you believe that Britain is far too full and can't possible take any more people. It's just not true, it’s a scare mongering myth. You see article quoting X numbers of immigrants were let in to Britain this year but they never say X number of people left Britain to immigrate to other countries. I bet those same Londoners who moved to Cyprus would have a problem with the Cypriots moving to Britain.

Lets take America as a model, here is a country that’s only approximately 500 years old, still rather new. Everyone there bar the Native Americans had to immigrated there over the past few centuries and look what happened. A nation of immigrants where the economy is thriving. America has become the world's super power.

Even if we look at Britain*, does anyone know what "British" is? This is an island that’s been invaded so many times over the past 2000 years or more that it is impossible to know for sure how many different bloodlines each "British" person has. It seems its ok for Britain to sail around the world stealing resources from Africa, Asia, and America and so on declaring Empire as they went. But it's not ok for those same people to live in Britain, earn a living and raise a family.

Its ignorant people and attitudes like this that stops peace being a reality. If we spend all our timing fighting over the things that make us different we'll never be able to move forward.

*Note that in the Report all of the people who were complaining and leaving were in fact English, isn't that telling?

Comments

  1. I have not lived, nor worked in UK. But from TV programs such as "The weakest link" you can derive a lot's of peoples attitudes. Not to speak about the Hooligans. I see a clear difference between on one hand the scots and welsh and the english on the other.
    This is a very brave post.

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  2. I think that it's funny that so many Americans are like, 'hey we need to stop this immigration!' but don't they realize that unless they are Native American, they are immigrants as well? We all came from somewhere different and they need to realize that. When I hear people talk like that it bothers me.

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  3. It's human nature to congregate with those with whom you feel most comfortable. And folks, for one reason or another, feel most comfortable with those of their exact same culture. It limits them, of course, but nearly everyone I know is like that.

    Perhaps one day there will be so much cross-cultural marrying taking place that all people will be multi-cultural.

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  4. Such a shame..that the people of the world have yet to catch on about how we're really all the same....
    Peace

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  5. I don't think there is any country free of racism of some kind. Even among a native people there can be skin color preferences or traits that are more desired than others. I can't understand why it is so hard for pepole to be accepting. It is easy to talk about immigrants not pitching in but no one talks about the "native born" people who are doing nothing. Maybe I just don't get people because I have been in a multi-racial family my whole life. Acceptance just has to follow because self-hatred is not an option. I hope we get to a point where the whole world is a bunch of mixed people who can't separate one identity form another.

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  6. Totally know where you are coming coz in our local context, our Govt is embracing foreign talents from China, India, Philippines etc and there are some who detested them too.

    However, they failed to realise that once, our fore fathers were once immigrants from China and established ground here in Singapore.

    I love diversity and I love to embrace new culture so don't worry so much about the 'minorities' who felt as such.

    Great post my dear.

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  7. It's so sad that racism still exsists in this day and age. Sometimes I think it evolves from a persons fear of the unknown cultures of others. If people could just get past the physical differences and see people for who they are instead of where they come from or what they look like, this world would be a much greater place in which to live. By the way, this was one of your best posts I've read so far. I can feel your emotion through your words.

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  8. I myself am an "immigrant" from the U.S. to Norway, for many reasons that would make this comment far too long.

    However, accepting the evidence of evolution as I do, I'll never understand racism. Although, these that espouse prejudice do seem to resemble our ancestors more than the rest of us. ;)

    Great post. Well stated!

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  9. Quite right, you are.
    I am English, but,as you said, England has been invaded so many times over the years that I probably have hardly any true English blod in me at all. Isn't it true that the most 'English' people are the Welsh?
    Helen

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  10. The more people slate the hateful British tabloids the better. Sewing discord when people naturally get along fine. Tools for the governing elite who seems to enjoy provoking tension and creating some mythical "Englishness" which, as you say, never existed. One of the best cities I've lived in was much maligned Birmingham - having Sikh, Muslim and Chinese friends certainly made for a more entertaining time than when growing up in, then predominantly white, Lincoln.

    Hate the Tabloids, tool of the government in their war on consciousness and attempts to install Fear.

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  11. Both sets of my great-grandparents immigrated to America when Ellis Island was still open and taking in the "huddled masses" from the rest of the world.

    I'm proud of our culture of immigrations. I don't know a single person who isn't some sort of mix of cultures. My husband and I are primarily Irish and German, with some French thrown in for good measure.

    I will say this though. I do with we could do something about illegal immigration. I don't think it's fair when families come here, work but don't pay taxes, and yet their kids can go to public school and they can all get government-sponsored health care. I say, let anyone in who wants in, I just want them to pay taxes like the rest of us if they're going to reap the benefits.

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  12. Very interesting story and some very good points you made. Here in Southern California, we have every possible cultre and ethnicity. It really creates a neat environment!

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  13. Emotional issue. Here's something to consider for those people living in the United States. Did you know that the number of House of Representatives for any given state is determined by population, and not necessarily by legal immigrant population. Therefore, the number of illegal aliens in a state in the US can affect the make up of our government. Something to think about.

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  14. very interesting topic. I think racism still exist whether we realize it or not.

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  15. A lot of people ask me if I'd ever move back to America.. but I wouldn't. And it's mostly to do with the multiculturism here in England. I grew up thinking that America is this big 'melting pot' but there was much racism towards our family as we grew up - my mother in Native American and my father is white. When my parents divorced, my mom (eventually) married a black man and was chased out of her apartment.. I think racism will happen everywhere, but I feel more comfortable here as opposed to my small-town home in the states. I think multi-racial families are definately the way to move forward.

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  16. Sadly, the same attitudes prevail in some circles in the US, which I have always found interesting because we are a nation of immigrants.

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