Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Illegal Immigrant" - A Racial Slur - Or Something Else?

According to Ian Tuttle of the National Review, there are some who are characterizing the terms "illegal alien" and "illegal immigrant" as demeaning, unfair, and better replaced with "undocumented immigrant", "economic refugee", and other such terms.

The problem isn't WHAT you call the person who has violated our national sovreignty and right to determine who has a right to be here, it's that the person has chosen to invade our territory, without our permission.

To some extent, this is a cultural issue.  By that, I mean that the situation has been aggravated by misunderstandings arising from cultural differences.

For the majority of the USA's inhabitants, historically, we have been a "queue" culture.  It is the idea behind "first come, first served", and the standard way of handling crowd control without resorting to the riot police.  It is backed by the fact that everyone's time is important, and that no one has dispensation to force others to wait longer, so that they might be served earlier.

For this reason, "line jumping" is a violation of the cultural norm; Typically, adults enforce this norm through their social disapproval of the violator.  The system, when dealt with by those means, worked the majority of the time.

It's a Teutonic legacy.  The English and the Germans (from which groups a majority of the White citizens descended) follow that cultural artifact, and accept the wait stoically.

Many Hispanic immigrants (as well as a majority of African descended Americans) have another cultural heritage.  They are "push and pull" cultures.  Those are cultures that look for ways to evade the line, and use both push - crowding and shoving to get to the front - and pull - asking for a friend or relative to "hold them a place".  By either or both means, those in the Push and Pull cultures get to their goal of minimizing wait time (which, it must be said, is the same goal as the Queue culture).

This INFURIATES the Queue cultures.  It is often not recognized by the P & P people, or, for that matter, authority figures, such as cops and teachers.  The Q people are urged to ramp down their outrage at this assault on their cultural norms, and make nice.  Since another Q cultural heritage is to use non-physical means to enforce cultural norms (dirty looks, pursed lips, comments about lack of culture), the authorities are satisfied that an open fight didn't break out.

The P & P people, on the other hand, interpret those non-physical reminders of the norms as:

  • Hate - rather than a learning opportunity designed to pressure them to conform to the expected behavior, they are seen as a manifestation of personal and racially-based hatred

  • Fear - since the Q person didn't openly get physical, OBVIOUSLY, they are afraid - and have willingly consented to be bullied


I cannot emphasize enough just how OUTRAGED the Q people are by violations of their norm.  They may not respond with fists, but, they are mad enough to, under their calm surface.

Currently, legal immigration depends on queues.  Applicants are expected to adhere to the queue, and, for the most part, those influenced by English and Germanic cultures do so abide by the practice.

The P & P people, in contrast, blithely ignore the line, and, using either a hearty Push, or solicit a friend or family member for a Pull, walk in whenever they  please.  Understand, in their eyes, they have done NOTHING wrong - any resistance is considered by them to be without merit, and evidence of "hatred".

Touching off fury by the Qs.  They demand that the authority figures enforce "The Line", and, in today's world, are completely ignored.

Worse - they are lectured about their insensitivity to cultural norms (what about OUR norms?), forced to pay for the ones that violated those norms, and, in short time, told to accept, on compassionate grounds, as many relatives of the line-jumper as can be persuaded to apply.

What will be the end result of this cultural impasse?  Likely, unless something changes drastically (perhaps Queue Cultural Sensitivity sessions, to enlighten the P & P people as to the underlying motivations/expectations?), this will continue to be a divisive issue, both in the next election, and beyond.

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