“They’ll take our jobs; they’ll molest our womenfolk and probably our daughters; they’ll bring in evil furrin ways.” And so it goes whenever we get an influx of refugees from some benighted and war-torn part of the world.
To those who are bent out of shape about the current influx of Syrians and their ilk, I say
“relax”. They are the latest group of many. Face it, North American countries are built on the refugees we have let in to stay.
Prior to this it was the Vietnamese and others from the former Indo-China region. When I was a kid, post 1956, it was the Hungarians, and I heard the same bullshit from my elders. I was at school with a number of Hungarian refugee kids. They were pretty good guys for the most part and their sisters were exquisitely attractive and just a bit exotic looking.
One classmate had three evenly-spaced scars along the side of his head at the temple. He said the scars were from a Russian machine-gun. Prior to fleeing the benighted country (minus their parents, I might add) these guys had devoted their time to lobbing Molotov Cocktails into the cockpits of Russian tanks. Well, this was pretty enchanting stuff for us sheltered kids from suburban Burnaby. I for one had never had either the yen or opportunity to lob a petrol bomb.
Whether or not his machine gun tale was true it certainly made him seem mighty exotic in the eyes of the females at the school – a genuine renegade warrior who wasn’t afraid of no Russkies.
As for any sort of postscript, I don’t know if the boys ever saw their parents again. They were fostered out to families in Burnaby and that tale was repeated all across Canada, and at the end of it all, they made pretty good citizens. As had their counterpart DPs (Displaced Persons) at the end of World War Two, and later as did the Vietnamese and so will eventually the Syrians and we’ll all be fine.
There will be glitches, and there will be bad guys who made it in and people will grouse and fulminate and say: “See what I told you,” and Canadians will only wish they had a Trump to vote for so this sort of nonsense would stop – fully forgetting that their own forebears came from elsewhere, and some under extreme duress..
We’ll all survive and so will the newcomers. It is the history of human migration, and if you are really pissed off about new guys coming in you might want to discuss the matter with some First Nations friends, but I doubt if you have any.