I am an immigrant. I did become a Canadian citizen about 5 years after I got here. But before that I worked at a number of jobs but never once heard anyone give me crap because I took a “Canadian’s job.”
I did have one rather snotty Canadian inform me (at Heritage Days no less) that now that I had left the United States I would have to abandon my melting pot mythology and accept the inherent wisdom of the Canadian mosaic. It was all rather amusing, but that was the closest I ever got to being treated like an inferior immigrant.
Wait! I was denied a rental once. The landlord said, “Holmgren, is that Scandinavian?”
“Ya,” I said, a twinkle in my eye.
“Sweden, eh? I’ll call you.”
You know if I really, really think about it, it’s hard being Scandinavian. We get stereotyped all the time. People will talk all sing-songy to us, their heads bobbing every so slightly, and weave in words like “meatballs,” “pickled herring,” and “lingonberries.”
I imagined that landlord sneering at his beer buddies as he went on about how he didn’t want some friggin’ Swede stinking up the apartment building with raw fish and upsetting everyone with his Swedish folk songs blaring on the stereo.
And no doubt he hung out with the type of Neanderthals that would nod their lumpy heads and say stuff like: “Yeh, those blond, cherry-cheeked, free-loving, socialist Scandal-navians are stealing Canadian jobs. And what’s with the blond hair and
Yeh. I am having fun. Right here on Facebook, no less.
No one ever accused me of taking away a job from a Canadian and the only person I know who makes fun of how Swedes talk is me. (And frankly, I don’t think they are as liberal as they want us to believe, either!)
No one gave a damn because I am white and even more so because I am a white man. And I speak English. And yeh, I am sure you are wondering why I haven’t mentioned my most obvious characteristic. I am sure being devilishly handsome didn’t hurt my chances here in Canada.
Are you smiling?
Actually, when I came to Canada I was perhaps borderline handsome. Now, I am not so inclined to claim that for myself. I wonder. Could it be all the “other” immigrants who have taken away my good looks? I am not sure how they would pull that off but immigrants are crafty buggers, aren’t they?
Most of the anti-immigrant blabber I see here on Facebook is not about immigrants as a whole. It’s about immigrants who are not white, and in particular Muslims. But there’s the Sikhs, And the Africans. The Asians too. And then there are Indigenous people, the only non-immigrants of all of us, but they are treated like they don’t belong here.
I am not writing this to change anyone’s mind, but if the shoe fits, I am suggesting that you confess that your anti-immigration rants about people of colour, and your noisome disdain for Indigenous people are expressions of racism.
Fess up to that. Admit you are okay with white immigrants coming here. And that if you aren’t white, you can stay home or be sent to wallow on some reserve. We tried to send the savages to Residential Schools but for some reason, we had to stop the cultural genocide and the physical and sexual abuse.
Stop all the “I am not a racist but…” diatribes. No one but you and your like-minded dullards fall for that crap.
If you are going to be a racist, be an honest one. At least that way you will have at least one positive attribute, however unsavory and pathetic your honesty is.
Well, I should move on to other things, but I am hungry. I think I will microwave some meatballs I brought home from IKEA and pop open some pickled hearing. I will light some candles first, though, you know, so the neighbors on either side of my condo don’t have a conniption.
I am going to turn up the stereo though when I play ABBA on Amazon Prime.
“Knowing me, knowing you
We just have to face it, this time we’re through
Breaking up is never easy, I know but I have to go
Knowing me, knowing you
It’s the best I can do.”
(Yeh, I know I am taking those lyrics out of context, but that’s what Scandinavians do.)
Tack så mycket.