“The Wogs start at Calais.” — Bigoted old Brit saying.
It is in the nature of the human beast to be territorial. Indeed it is in the nature of most beasts to be territorial and if the territory is not respected by interlopers then squabbles are sure to ensue.
Such thoughts come to mind in light of yet another onslaught of refugees fleeing from the horrors of their home turf. In this case it’s the Syrians (and assorted other ethnic entities who dwelt in what is Syria. Prior to that it was oh, the Vietnamese, folk from India and Pakistan, Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Javanese, Hungarians, Germans, Ukrainians, Jews, Irish, English, Scottish and damn near every bit of real estate on the planet.
We’re all of us immigrants to Canada – some having been refugees, some following a choice. My people came to Canada two generations ago from the UK. So, why should I deny others the right to come. The only ones that can (maybe) claim this big chunk of real estate are Native Canadians. But even they were once a migratory group that came here on a land bridge from East Asia. It is human nature to move. Sometimes to flee horrors of a homeland (like Syria today) and sometimes to seek a new opportunity that would have been denied on the former home turf.
When I was in elementary school we had a lot of immigrant kids, offspring of folks who had fled the horrors of war in Europe. So, we had English kids, and Dutch kids, and German kids, and Polish kids, and Danish kids, and Ukrainian kids and so forth. We all played on the same playground and nobody cared much. Some had accents. Some were genuinely ethnic. Went to school with a Yugoslav kid whose father was bearded, wore a waist-sash and high boots and looked like a character out of Chekhov. Spoke no English, either.
Later a lot of Asians came from China, Japan, India, Vietnam and so forth. A few years ago my brother had the opportunity to visit his old high school (also mine) on business. He was astonished that about 80% of the students were Asian. Not offended, just astonished. The year I graduated only four of my classmates were Asian, and the rest were all whitebread boys and girls. Stuff changes. It’s not a bad thing, in my esteem.
But it is in the esteem of others, it seems. There is a hideous crisis in Syria and refugees are fleeing the horrors en masse. The cry is for us to provide haven for the suffering. And we should, and we must. We’ve done it before and should continue to do so for whomever needs succour we might be able to provide. But already comes the cries that they will be interlopers, some of them might be criminals, some of them might be (gasp) terrorists; they’ll take our jobs; they’ll bring their foreign ways with them.
Yep, some might. And indeed some might be crooks and ruffians. And we’ll only hope there are no terrorists in the mix.
But, we’ll survive, as we have survived all the other groups who have settled since the beginning of time. Disregard crap from politicians and go with our hearts is what I hope will happen.