Wahmbulance - Tactical Ninja
Jun. 10th, 2011
09:24 am - Wahmbulance
I read sf_drama. Call it a result of my evil mean side and my masochistic side getting together and ganging up on my better judgement. I used read it more often but lately I often just skim on past because it's full of the same stuff day after day and it gets tedious. However there was one this morning that caught my attention - it was about a person whose colleague had said something racist to another colleague, and what the etiquette would be around refusing to work with said person.
Apparently the comment was "Why don't you go back to where you came from?" Which is a really mean thing to say to an immigrant. It's tantamount to "You're not wanted here and it's not just me it's everyone who thinks so." And the person it was said to was described as 'brown'. So yep, racist.
Which is all fine. Scroll past a bunch of comments going "WTF" and "Racist piece of shit" and all that stuff. Further down someone points out that if 'Benny' were white then it'd be anti-immigrant bigotry and/or ethnic prejudice and xenophobia. But apparently Western European immigrants don't get treated that way.
Someone else points out that in Denmark, people say this to Polish immigrants. Cue discussion of what counts as Western European in which people draw lines across Europe that demarcate whether having this said to you is bigotry or racism, and ends with the comment that this almost never happens to Westerners, especially British immigrants.
I beg to differ.
tl;dr A rundown on what it was like to be a British expat kid in New Zealand. Contains 'pommy go home' and other slurs.
I'm perfectly aware that what I experienced was not racism. I'm also aware that the kind of racism experienced by Benny would make the 'go home' jibe hurt a great deal more. I suspect things are different for English expats when they come here as adults from how they were for me as a kid - and it's also possible that times have changed in the aeons since I lost my accent. Because I no longer have an accent, people don't know I'm a pom unless I tell them, and the people I know who immigrated here as adults could probably give a clearer picture of anti-English sentiment in this country, if it still exists. Anti-immigrant sentiment definitely exists here, and brown people definitely experience it in a more harmful way than white people do.
But it pisses me off when folks give each other arsepats for being so social justice aware while arbitrarily dividing up groups of people to decide how to label them, and completely erasing the experiences of some of those people purely based on where they are born.
But I'm not dumb enough to say anything about this over there, because the post is about a brown immigrant's experience of racism, and mine is a white immigrant's experience of bigotry, and these are two different things - it's not about me, essentially. But my blog is about me so nyah, I'm saying it here. And I really wish those "If you're white and from Poland it's racism but if you're white and from England it never happens" people would just pull their fucking heads in and shut up wanking on about stuff they have no idea about, thinking they are oh so enlightened.
Yes it did hurt to be told I wasn't wanted by an entire country as a kid. Yes I am somewhat bitter about that. Why do you ask?
In other news:
1. Turns out my eyes are suitable topography-wise for laser correction. They want to do a thing called blended vision in which they correct each eye slightly differently, which counteracts the effect of age-related longsightedness (which I don't yet suffer although it's hard to tell being short sighted and all), and makes it possible to age without needing reading glasses by using different eyes as dominant when focusing near or far. Yay! Next step: medical assessment on 6 July.
2. This weekend I'm going to look at an apartment that Dr Wheel found on the internet. It's a whole floor of a building, 160 square metres and in the middle of the city. Any thoughts on the purchasing of large apartments? Especially in terms of heating costs/sustainable renovations/things I don't know because I've never lived in an apartment?