Prejudice of Immigrants

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Prejudice of Immigrants

Postby Rico » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:34 am

Many immigrants to Canada and America puzzle me with their reluctance to adopt to and accept our values. In another section in the "Things that Irk" thread, Nimby posted this in June 2009:

Recent immigrants to this country who sit in the lunch room at work and bash Canada and Canadians. The other day I walked in the and overheard a conversation when one Pakistani immigrant said to another, "You know what your problem is? You're starting to think like a Canadian." I was furious. and put and end to their conversation real quick. I'm even contemplating on writing them up. To me that was a huge racial slur.


This issue surfaced again this week in a New York Times article. From Men of Color Blog...

First- and second-generation immigrants are up in arms over the growing clout gay members of a Sunnyvale, Queens neighborhood are exercising as their newly bestowed rights become a flash point for conservative values. The New York Times reported yesterday:

"The legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State has been embraced by many in the city. But in some neighborhoods heavily populated by immigrants from countries where homosexuality is less accepted, the idea is stirring feelings of unease or, at times, outright disgust."

There is a solution, of course. And it's really quite simple. If your homeland values conflict with what we, in America, haltingly call 'freedom' offend your sense of values - cultural, religious, sexual - stay put. Unfortunately, unlike the places where many of you come from, we try not to parse our values and have this weird belief, however imperfect, that freedom for one means freedom for all.

So, please, go back. Take your ignorance with you. Or, adopt to your new homeland, embrace diversity and accept that change is coming whether you like or not. 'Nough said.


The NYT article is here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/08/nyregion/gay-marriages-frowned-on-by-some-immigrant-groups.html?_r=2&ref=nyregion

So what do you think?
In the Beginning there was nothing, and God said: 'Let there be Light." There was still nothing, but you could see it.
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Re: Prejudice of Immigrants

Postby Phoenix6570 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:33 pm

I think people need to realize that if they're going to a new area they're going to be values that don't line up with yours. The problem is people don't realize that its ok and its not a threat to their beliefs. I think people get insecure in what they believe in, so they attack all other ideas until only theirs is around. If only people would put their energy into things that actually have an effect on them. Why do humans have such an issue with co-existence?
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Re: Prejudice of Immigrants

Postby furface » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:12 pm

Some of it comes from 'compartmentalized' thinking.

For example, I have a friend who's third generation Ukrainian and an ordained deacon in the orthodox church. He was from Yonkers, NY and helped Soviet emigres adjust to life here. To a man, almost, they had no ability to grasp the reality of freedom. They understood they had the right to speak, assemble, worship, etc. without fear of interference and/or attack from the government. What very many of the never understood was they also had the ability to freely choose their job, where they lived, went to school, that they had to pick a bank,and the 1,000s of other things we have the freedom to choose. A good many of them went back to the USSR because they couldn't cope with the 'freedom to choose' as a reality.

They were locked into the nanny state mentality where they didn't have to actually choose anything. Not unlike folks who've been released from long term institutionalization. They can't cope without the outside imposition of routine and structure. They often deliberately get themselves reinstitutionalized because it's safe and familiar.
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Re: Prejudice of Immigrants

Postby madsglen » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:25 pm

I'm NOT posting to condone their behavior or challenges in any way, but I also think it's probably necessary to cut these recent immigrants (and not-so-recent ones) some slack. I live in a city many would consider very "international" and in a neighborhood and census block that's got the highest percentage of original nationalities in the city. People who want to move here often come from areas of the world and cultures where the freedoms (and yes, responsibilities) we enjoy are a pretty foreign, abstract concept. It sounds great. In theory. They often aren't used to "fair and balanced" media (well, neither are we oftentimes). What I guess I see most often is "I came to America because here I can be free" (emphasis on "I can"). There is no "we". There is no "everyone". It's all very personal. And because (somewhat naturally) they tend to congegate and socialize as best they can with people with whom they share a common cultural background and experience if possible, adapting can be a challenge. Crossing the border doesn't eliminate the culture they are used to or their past experiences, thoughts or beliefs. Learning to live and thrive within our plural society is and continues to be a challenge. Often a very tough one. And America can't always be easy (neither, I suspect, is Canada).

We all live with our own prejudices and cultural beliefs. And anyone who believes all Americans are open and accepting has a shock coming. Imagine the conflicting messages we all send out. Anyone who is even remotely tuned in to our politics (and has a slightly open mind) certainly can see for themselves the "do as I say, not as I do" example and varying levels of hypocracy every day. All they see is that someone is on TV or the radio yelling at the top of his/her lungs that they (and usually only they) are absolutley right. I imagine each immigrant or refugee sees some sort of prejudice or double-standard every day. When we say one has the freedom of speech and though we espouse so proudly, do we always really mean it?
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Re: Prejudice of Immigrants

Postby Rico » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:47 pm

madsglen wrote:...
We all live with our own prejudices and cultural beliefs. And anyone who believes all Americans are open and accepting has a shock coming. Imagine the conflicting messages we all send out. Anyone who is even remotely tuned in to our politics (and has a slightly open mind) certainly can see for themselves the "do as I say, not as I do" example and varying levels of hypocracy every day. All they see is that someone is on TV or the radio yelling at the top of his/her lungs that they (and usually only they) are absolutley right. I imagine each immigrant or refugee sees some sort of prejudice or double-standard every day. When we say one has the freedom of speech and though we espouse so proudly, do we always really mean it?

Thanks for making me think this through. Maybe the mistake is believing that there is any such thing as "American values." If we insist that immigrants adopt our values, then we're just like them. Maybe the answer is in respecting the values of others regardless of how they differ from your own? And you're right too on another important point: many of our own folks refuse to get with the program themselves.
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