Resentment against immigrants has been growing. We have Donald Trump, an American Presidential candidate brazenly accusing all Mexicans of being rapists. We have right wing anti-immigrant political parties is England and France. Even in peaceful Norway we have mass murderer Anders Breivik.
This usual way to deal with this is to wring your hands and scold the right wing bigots. This does not work. Part of the problem is fear of strangers is hard-wired into our genes. Immigrants trigger this fear, especially when they:
- Wear unusual clothes, especially ones completely unsuited for the climate.
- Speak a foreign language amongst themselves.
- Refuse to learn the native language so you cannot communicate with them.
- Eat foods with unusual smells.
The net effect is the immigrant seems to be saying I am not one of you. I don’t want to communicate with you. I belong to a superior community. You are unclean. Go away. That may not be what the immigrant is trying to say, but that is how he being perceived. People looking at him think to themselves Why did we invite you in if you refuse to participate in the life of our country?.
Our traditional policy has been to give immigrants total freedom to do as they please. That is a great ideal, but it is not working. Tensions are rising. Violence is breaking out. I suggest that as a condition of immigration, the immigrant must agree to wear clothing to fit in. They can wear ethnic clothing at home, in religious and cultural ceremonies. They should also learn the native language. I think it reasonable that immigrants should participate in the life of their new country, and I think that those two restrictions would encourage them to do so. I am not sure this is a best approach, but we have to do something to get immigrants and native sons interacting.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)