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  1. #11
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    It was more free in the old days. The Roma came to Europe hundreds of years ago. They still have their own ways. Are our ways better? No.
    Why should they adapt to our ways then?
    The citizens of Sweden settled the shores of the Lake Superior hundreds of years ago.
    The streets of their towns still bear Finnish names. They go to sauna every Saturday, like they used to do in the old country. And indeed, why not?

    What is this new hate against immigrants?
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    The citizens of Sweden settled the shores of the Lake Superior hundreds of years ago.
    No they didn't! They arrived in the 19th century.

  3. #13
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    To what degree, if any, should a host country expect immigrants to adopt their way of living, language and culture?

    Should it be litigated as much as protection of these emerging minorities is?
    I haven't studied it that deeply, but what I see from history is that when immigrants go to a new country... the US for example... they like to keep to themselves and tend to create their own "Little Italy" or "Chinatown" etc, wherever they go. I can understand that they want to preserve their heritage and their culture as much as possible and I don't see anything wrong with that per se.

    But I have heard it argued that immigrants should learn the language of their new country, and for their own good, I agree. It's a valid point that learning the language of the country you're in makes you more employable. And let's face it, how are you going to eat without a job? You will have to become a burden on the economy one way or another... either by becoming a beggar or a thief.

    Additionally, I don't believe a host country should be forced to bend over backward to assimilate immigrants. "When in Rome" and all that. Immigrants should reasonably expect to have to adjust themselves to the new culture they are going to.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I dont think it was more free in the old days, the present immigration wrangles resemble the wrangles which existed between parishes in the UK in the bygone days of yore when vagrants and drifters would move from one locality to another subsisting by begging in each or taking advantage of whatever poor relief there existed locally.

    It resembles the welfare tourism, asylum seeking and uprootedness of today, I dont believe its going to end until something like the changes which took place then take place on a global scale, uniform welfare provision and the availability of work through industrialisation and organised capitalism pretty much made the transient lifestyle go out of vogue.

    The present circumstances create the sorts of maladaptive population shifts which happen presently, with individuals and communities seeking affluence move en masse and wind up effectively "settling" areas instead of becoming adapting to the prevailing cultural back drop.

    Its not a simple issue because it is often hard to define the cultural norms of the populations which feel threatened, some of those populations have invested a lot in not doing so, considering that racist or a source of guilt due to historical shame, they may not have the same apparent homogenuity either. Most of the definitions of anglo-saxon culture which I've read appear to reflect class interests for instance, that's not to say it doesnt cut across class boundaries.

    I'll be honest though, I'm a cultural imperialist, if everyone spoke english and shared broadly similar religious, political and familial norms to me I'd be fine with that. Diversity and disparity are a fact of life but I'm attached to my own culture, it serves me well, others are interesting but dont tempt me to abandon my own.

  5. #15
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    So thus far we think it's a good premise to ask immigrants to learn the lingo, we don't think they should get special treatment but also we don't support the idea of forcing culture on to immigrants either.

    So how does that work?

    One incident I saw leading up to the British election shocked me. They actually invited Nick Griffin onto I think it was Question Time and during one question he was struggling to find a term which would identify people not included in any minority in the UK and got lambasted for being racist and trying to group English born white people as indigenous. Of course some smart ass pointed out that we're all from Africa and that was that but to me it's a ridiculous situation. You can't identify a minority without accepting a definition for the majority unless you're saying that the whole populace is made up of minorities (in which case quit whining about your minorities wants and so forth, you have democracy for that). Of course that particular bloke is probably racist according to most of the media (never met the guy so I'm loathed to trust the media) but the concept is not particular to that man.

    Anyhow, with a partner involved in local politics and also the local area having several "minorities" it still amazes me how people want special treatment because they're one of these or one of those. Surely at some point they should become one of us, regardless of who moves towards who's culture and yet people keep these divides. I believe in Germany right now there's a cufuffle on integration and what should be done about immigrants who don't integrate and how to integrate people better (using law as well as "well you should really..."). It's not a problem which is about to cease either. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the flow starts reversing and then the countries which typically have people moving to other areas will have their own immigration problems. I'd like to see the time when a minority caucasian group starts campaigning for rights in some of these countries as at present there seems to be little or no understanding extended to host populations (I don't really like this whole labelling system but avoiding such would be confusing at the very least).

    So what's the solution?

    There are places with tight immigration policies, the Australian's being one country who's leader basically said that immigrants should take on Australian culture, after all that's why they moved there, to be in an Australian culture. That makes sense but is it really responsible of the larger picture? I mean doesn't that lead to a culture being artificially cut off from moving forward? Should we be chasing this international community?

    I mean I personally can't understand why someone who's parents moved to Ireland from Italy would still claim to be Italian but that could really be because I'm still living where my parents and their parents were born so I've no need to claim heritage from elsewhere. But similarly I can't understand how trying to get everyone to be the same will aid in getting people to work together. Human's have a history of working together despite and because of differences not without them.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #16
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I believe in Germany right now there's a cufuffle on integration and what should be done about immigrants who don't integrate and how to integrate people better (using law as well as "well you should really..."). It's not a problem which is about to cease either.
    I don't how the recent German discussions about integration are portrayed in England, but I would just like to say that the situation in Germany is kind of complicated and not so obvious. There is a huge Turkish community in Germany because low-class Turkish were brought over by German initiative in the 50s/60s (I think) as cheap labour to rebuild infrastructure and so forth. So when you bring them lots of them over all at the same time, it's no wonder they congregate. And as low-class cheap labour, they're obviously not very educated. This makes the language problem even worse.This is different from, say, the huge Pakistani community in England because they have a long history with the British and learn English to a good level in Pakistan already. I think Germans also feel threatened because immigrants tend to start families earlier, and so have more children, while educated Germans often don't have a first child until their thirties. They study a long time, much longer than in England, so it all starts later. So there are factors on both sides I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I mean I personally can't understand why someone who's parents moved to Ireland from Italy would still claim to be Italian but that could really be because I'm still living where my parents and their parents were born so I've no need to claim heritage from elsewhere.
    As someone who has a very mixed cultural background, it isn't so straightforward as that. There are some very subtle and not so subtle differences in treatment. And an Italian is at least about as white as an Irish person, when the immigrant is not, it's more complicated.
    the shoheen ho of the wind of the west and the lulla lo of the soft sea billow - Alfred Graves

  7. #17
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    I wanted to add also, I think what makes this issue so tricky is that culture is very connected with ideology. A culture is not just about eating certain foods, etc. I mean, obviously, but less obviously, a culture also involves a way of looking at the world. You see it when you learn different languages, for example, the whole structure of thinking can be really different from language to language because the people just see the world in a very particular way. So whether someone has a certain world view because they were born into it and are attached to it or they adopt a view they prefer (as in the case of say, a German who abandons the German culture for something else and like an immigrant is seen as inflexible), you can hardly dictate to people how to think and feel or legislate this. I also find that a culture can be so ingrained in a person that they aren't very aware that there are choices and other ways of doing things that are equally valid because theirs feels so natural. In the worst extreme cases this becomes really xenophobic and nazi-like.
    the shoheen ho of the wind of the west and the lulla lo of the soft sea billow - Alfred Graves

  8. #18
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    I don't how the recent German discussions about integration are portrayed in England, but I would just like to say that the situation in Germany is kind of complicated and not so obvious. There is a huge Turkish community in Germany because low-class Turkish were brought over by German initiative in the 50s/60s (I think) as cheap labour to rebuild infrastructure and so forth. So when you bring them lots of them over all at the same time, it's no wonder they congregate. And as low-class cheap labour, they're obviously not very educated. This makes the language problem even worse.This is different from, say, the huge Pakistani community in England because they have a long history with the British and learn English to a good level in Pakistan already. I think Germans also feel threatened because immigrants tend to start families earlier, and so have more children, while educated Germans often don't have a first child until their thirties. They study a long time, much longer than in England, so it all starts later. So there are factors on both sides I think.
    I thought the current furore was sparked off by whatisface's comments about Islamics breeding too fast and bringing down the IQ of Germany? Turkish immigrants hadn't registered as a factor to be honest but then I am only going off international news and Spiegel.

    As for the English minorities, it's not so much where they come from that's the problem here. In one area we have a large mix of Hinu and Sikh people in with a "indigenous" lot (probably a mix of Irish and English... difficult to tell with the UKs history of invasion) so out of 3 councillors one part will always try to elect a Hindu or a Sikh... usually one then the other in rotation so to keep the balance. Few seem to spot that there's a whole slew of people there who aren't being represented in this fair scheme of theirs and yet it's that much more difficult to raise as a point without being decried as racist or supporting the regime or some such nonsensical "won't someone think of the children" type comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbah View Post
    As someone who has a very mixed cultural background, it isn't so straightforward as that. There are some very subtle and not so subtle differences in treatment. And an Italian is at least about as white as an Irish person, when the immigrant is not, it's more complicated.
    Well yeah it become easier to target someone who's more obviously different, especially with clear external markers such as the apparently poor sod in our school. Rural area, the only black kid in school and we nicname him penguin (I've no idea why). It was only after I moved to the city that people went all aghast commenting "you can't call him that!!". Still not sure I understand fully but he never seemed bothered so meh.

    I guess the point is as much as racism still affects things and people are trying to support people's differences it still seems like we're not balancing properly and that all we're doing is listing towards these so called (and I use that term precisely) minorities. In places in England now the minorities outnumber the so called majority and yet still all the special mandates are for the minorities and they must be included culturally and legally. Are we failing to protect our own culture? Should there be anything about protecting culture or should it be accepted as a living thing and given the same freedoms that language is? If the latter is true then should we ignore minorities all together and expect them to use the same process as everyone else which would be democracy or are we saying that such a system is too corrupt to work adequately for them?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #19
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I think in general, laws should only be put into place when necessary to control chaos, and where reasonable, one law should apply to all people. So legislating or forcing "cultural assimilation" is a ridiculous concept, but for example, allowing religious or cultural law to be an alternative to the host country's laws is a lot more ridiculous.

    I also think a lot of areas go overboard with legislated "culture" and it would be better to have these things organized by the actual people of that culture instead of government or whichever....but there's an argument for either side. I also don't believe in blanket affirmative action (because it's essentially racism countering racism that may or may not even exist in the situation), though I agree that it can be warranted in some cases.

    But cultural differences make cities interesting. I'm sad sometimes that my background is so mixed European that I don't really have any culture beyond Canadian which is nice and all but doesn't have anything like the rich traditions, clothing, food etc of older countries. It's pretty neat to see all the cultural festivals and so on, even if I get the impression sometimes that it's just to make the politicians look PC.

    I do think we should be selective about who we let in, though. I don't think it's fair to the rest of the country when people immigrate and don't get jobs within a reasonable time (though I realize it is hard to adjust). I kinda think that should be one of the conditions for immigration. This includes language, since it's almost impossible to get a job in most areas without speaking the language.
    -end of thread-

  10. #20
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I think in general, laws should only be put into place when necessary to control chaos, and where reasonable, one law should apply to all people. So legislating or forcing "cultural assimilation" is a ridiculous concept, but for example, allowing religious or cultural law to be an alternative to the host country's laws is a lot more ridiculous.
    So how about legislating against immigrating or new cultures from causing chaos? Is that counter evolutionary?
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I also think a lot of areas go overboard with legislated "culture" and it would be better to have these things organized by the actual people of that culture instead of government or whichever....but there's an argument for either side. I also don't believe in blanket affirmative action (because it's essentially racism countering racism that may or may not even exist in the situation), though I agree that it can be warranted in some cases.
    Racism countering racism... good definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    But cultural differences make cities interesting. I'm sad sometimes that my background is so mixed European that I don't really have any culture beyond Canadian which is nice and all but doesn't have anything like the rich traditions, clothing, food etc of older countries. It's pretty neat to see all the cultural festivals and so on, even if I get the impression sometimes that it's just to make the politicians look PC.
    You know we make the food fresh right?

    Besides, what culture? Who has culture these days? All I see is people claiming to be what their great grandparents once were (ridiculous) or clinging to old irrelevancies out of some miss guided rose tinted look back at their past.

    Mind you I always hate tradition.... it's a tradition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I do think we should be selective about who we let in, though. I don't think it's fair to the rest of the country when people immigrate and don't get jobs within a reasonable time (though I realize it is hard to adjust). I kinda think that should be one of the conditions for immigration. This includes language, since it's almost impossible to get a job in most areas without speaking the language.
    But then are you not discriminating against non english/ french speaking countries? (few though there may be)
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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