Leftists react to immigrants like we in church react to the visits from the Archbishop. We treat him with great veneration and make soulful faces whenever he speaks. But that veneration is contingent on the Archbishop playing his very ceremonial, prescribed role. He says what we expect him to say and act like we expect him to act. We nod in agreement and then leave feeling edified. That’s the Archbishop’s purpose in our lives.
And it’s exactly like this when you are an immigrant amongst leftists. As long as you act the way you are expected and say what you are supposed, people nod in veneration and then move on feeling edified. If you step out of the role even a little bit, people look at you with confused, wounded faces because they expected edification and you failed to provide this good, soulful feeling.
9 thoughts on “Immigrant and Archbishop”
LOL, at first I thought this post is going to be about an Archbishop who is an immigrant (not a rare combination in my experience).
Our Archbishop actually is an immigrant. When I first met him, he completely threw me off by addressing me in Russian. I didn’t expect it, so my brain wasn’t processing what he said.
Hah! My Dad had this experience multiple times while working for the census one year. He would go to a Viet residence, address the occupant in tieng Viet, the occupant would send for a relative or neighbor who spoke some English in order to have them translate, and they’d end up having a bizarre three-way conversation where Dad would ask a question in Viet, the person would reply in Viet (without waiting for the translator), and then the kid or neighbor would translate the reply into English… and they could go several rounds before the occupant or the translator realized Dad was speaking Viet and they had been understanding it the whole time, simply because a roundeye speaking Viet is so unexpected. Often, they had to get all the way to filling out forms before the “Aha!” moment happened– they’d see him writing out their names using the appropriate vowel and tone marks and it’d finally register. Then they’d accuse him of being CIA… (More than a few GIs learned tieng Viet during the war. Only the spooks learned to write it– that was the logic).
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“… people look at you with confused, wounded faces because they expected edification and you failed to provide this good, soulful feeling.”
Of course, at the same time as we are supposed to venerate the sacred minority, we are also forbidden from doing so as they are not supposed to carry the burden of edifying us. This makes us feel guilty and forces us to look upon the sacred minority as something even more sacred and beyond our comprehension, creating a very profitable cycle. 😀
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We have a group of female colleagues that often go to lunch together. The general mode of engagement in the group is that of ribbing, poking fun at each other in humorous ways. Except when the black colleague joins us. She gets treated like a fragile vessel of extraordinary value. I feel bad for her when this happens, so I engage her in the ribbing. She looks very grateful but everybody else is horrified.
You are so right and I hate that you are right but you really, really are.
I can’t speak for all immigrants, but I personally want to be treated a) like a normal person, not a freak; b) like a normal person who has a job, kids, life, and it not just the accent or the immigrant experience or some abstract trauma we’re all supposed to feel. I hate everyone who assumes immigration is the most interesting thing about me or the only thing worth talking about. It was over 20 years ago; I am over it; let’s talk pop culture or books or sports, or restaurants, or kids, or jobs, something that interests a normal fucking person today. FFS
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For the first time ever on Friday somebody asked where I’m from and I said the name of the small town where I live and instead of the usual comment about my accent and “but where are you really from?” the person plunged into a discussion of local events and personalities. I felt so normal! It was priceless. Instead of answering the question about the languages I speak for the millionth time, we talked about “Barb who used to own that little diner on the highway and she was actually my neighbor 10 years ago and yesterday I met her grandson at the grocery store.” I’m a lot more interested in Barb and her life trajectory than in listing every Ukrainian my interlocutor ever met. I haven’t been to Ukraine in a quarter of a century, and as you say, I’m over it. I’m from around here now.
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I’m sorry this is what you’re experiencing. I am lucky in that I can’t say I ever have – people I meet socially only caring about the fact that I’m an immigrant.
I’m very anti-social and don’t meet many new people regularly though, and we live in different places. I also don’t socialize with anyone in academia. And even if I were to, I’d probably spout the talking points Clarissa says all the lefties are brainwashed about in the first place…
When people ask me where I’m from, I respond with wherever I live currently (I may also mention Canada sometimes), and always add “but if you’re wondering about the accent, I was born in Ukraine and my first language is Russian”. I understand that people are curious about it and it just doesn’t bother me. I myself am curious about accents I can’t place. But I understand someone being annoyed by it.
I’ve also gotten people mentioning Ukrainians they know (that I couldn’t care less about), but that just seems like a human thing. I get that from contractors.
In any case, I do typically then have normal conversations with people about all those other things you’ve mentioned, and that’s the important part. I would feel the way you do if that wasn’t happening.
I’m afraid I do ask where people are from, for the same reason. I had assumed it was OK, because people constantly ask me where I’m from… because they can’t place my accent. I am like a little magnet for verbal tics, and I say things that I picked up from my years in Boston, have a few phrases I picked up from my Cleveland-born grandmother, and some sideways vowels I may have inadvertently poached from my favorite high school teacher– who was from Toronto. But I was born and raised in the Deep South. It confuses people. People often ask outright if I’m from California. Or Canada. Or Maine. Or Ohio. Or Minnesota… it is quite funny, actually. Nobody says Florida.