Friday, September 30, 2016

Turnabout Is Fair Play, Even When It Comes To Immigration

The pro-Brexit forces in Great Britain, by and large, were anti-immigration forces.  They didn't want their next door neighbors, their co-workers or (heaven forfend, one day!) their children-in-law or grandchildren to be less white, less Anglo-Saxon, and/or less Christian than their ancestors had been. They were unnecessarily scared into thinking that an increasingly mobile world of people were somehow going to destroy the traditions, the history, the nation that they had grown up and grown old knowing--notwithstanding the fact that those traditions, that history, that nation had been itself build by multicultural forces.  (Ever been on British Airways?  What other airline gives you Indian flight attendants and Scottish navigators?)

Fear, unfortunately, is a powerful if short-term motivator, one that is often used to manipulate us into making decisions that are in the best interests of some people (and by "some people," I mean not the majority of us),  So it was with Brexit.  Millions of angry non-London Englanders and Welsh voters, manipulated into voting for the restoration of a past that never truly existed, except in the narratives of those narrow-minded, hate-filled bigots who, in the tragic case of Jo Cox, showed that they were willing to rob children of a mother to get what they wanted.

Whatever they've done for the past, these bigots have done nothing to change the present, Brexit notwithstanding.  We still live in a world in which money moves around it at the speed of light--and in which people, finally, are catching up slowly to the speed of the money.  VERY, VERY slowly, but slowly nevertheless.  That is what has precipitated the refugee crisis that, in turn, led to Brexit in the first place.  Whether we realize it or not, whether we intend to or not, whether we even want to or not, we are building a new world.  One that, as it always truly has in a fundamental sense, belongs to everyone.

And woe to the anti-immigrant forces as that world takes a more definitive shape.  Today, you may be free to be left alone.  Tomorrow, you may not be free to leave yourselves.  That is the way of human nature, under attack.  And it will be the way of the world you refuse to learn to live in.

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