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Friday, October 18, 2013
US AGAINST THE WORLD
Warning: The following is a discourse on immigration. If all you want is commercials, you can stop right here. This will be of no interest to you!
I have a super named Jose, a South American Indian (Incan) who I've known for thirty some years. For the first half of our "relationship," I humored the guy who thought his stale anti-semitic jokes were funny because I was his favorite tenant (at least favorite male tenant) and I needed to maintain the friendship to get things fixed in my apartment. Plus...he used to call me "el inteligente." If nothing else, Jose recognized a great mind when he encountered one.
Jose and I fell out when he morphed into what I call "Jose the cop" or "Patrolman Jose"...because he broke all his own rules. I couldn't chain my bike to a railing when the elevator was under construction because it was a fire hazard. Yet just days later, I found his bike chained in exactly the same manner. And that's just one example of his hypocrisy. No need to go into the numerous other examples. This isn't about my developed dislike for the super.
Jose has a latina wife who I call "Schoolmarm Lorena." She's in actuality an Assistant Principal in the New York City school system...and Lorena absolutely hates me because I always call Jose out on his many indiscretions and omissions as super. She married a fucking idiot and I'm there to remind her!
Now these two individuals are not recent immigrants. They've lived in the US for at least 30 years each and clearly, they came to this country to improve their lives - as have many other immigrants including three of my four grandparents. No problem there.
But the other night as I was entering the lobby, Jose disappeared into his second story apartment door to converse with his wife. And guess what language this conversation was conducted in. (Hint: it wasn't English!) Another person would not have even noticed. But I, the constant observer, heard something in the inflection and tone of their discourse which had an "us against the world" kind of feeling to it. Bound together in their little studio chamber, the duo were no longer citizens of the US. They were back in South America where they really would rather have stayed if only their countries offered the same opportunities that this one does! I heard no appreciation in their voices. Just alienation!
Of course, I could be just imagining all this...but I don't think so. Both of these individuals stand on some sort of bull shit high moral ground born more of their heritage than any demonstrated accomplishment. When it comes to immigrants of this ilk I say "go the fuck back where you came from and try making a life there!"
You could argue that it's more difficult for these two to speak English and that they're much more comfortable conversing in their native language in the sanctuary of their own home. But I know that's not the case with these two. They derive benefit from living in the US all while scoffing at the country's culture and citizenry. And I say we don't need immigrants like Jose and Lorena. Fuck 'em. Go home unless you're willing to work jobs Americans don't want! Respect the nation which provides you with opportunity. Don't bite the hand that feeds you!
Up until then, I always wondered what those two saw in each other - as I see nothing in either. But now I know: Ethnocentrism. It's them against the world - or in this case - them against the very country which provides them with a better life.