Saturday, June 25, 2016


Immigrants flood into your area. The culture of the place where you've always lived, and where your forebears lived, suddenly and wrenchingly changes. How would that feel?

I'd be happy. New restaurants, new music, new people. An energized economy, cheap labor, fresh blood. Bring it! But, realistically, I'm an edge case, born into the world's most extreme melting pot, as opposed to a place with a deep sense of cultural identity I can't personally relate to.

What if we keep turning the dial, ratcheting up the immigration and cultural change (ala Europe in the past decade). Question: is there a point at which it's no longer racist to complain?

Cosmopolitan, educated people are highly sensitized to nativist sentiment. We're certain it stems from dark, ugly places. And a lot of it - likely most of it - certainly does*! But, having grown up culture-less in suburban shopping malls, my cultural stakes can't compare. So I'm forced to concede that my sense of moral superiority may be at least somewhat misplaced.

* - I think the important line is crossed when anti-immigration sentiment spills into anti-immigrant sentiment. So I'll make an effort, in future, to more carefully distinguish between the two.

This post is one of a series of attempts to sympathize with positions I ordinarily have trouble relating to.

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