Schrödinger’s Immigrant

There exists a distinctly creepy dichotomy surrounding immigrants working in this country.  Specifically undocumented immigrants.  You’ll hear the politicians and the news spout one of two narratives.  Immigrants are lazy, good for nothing, and they’re a drain on the national economy.  Living off of government welfare. ORThey’re stealing jobs from hard working ‘real’ Americans.

Well gee kids, it can’t be both.  They can’t be lazy and living off the government AND stealing all your jobs.  The logic doesn’t make sense, and yet this twisted dichotomy is used constantly to demonize and dehumanize immigrants.  It’s classic scapegoat politics.  Our economic system is messed up, roughly 13.5% of Americans live below the poverty line or need some kind of government assistance.  We have a steadily widening gap between the working class and the 1% living on the top of our hard work.  As of 2007, 20% of Americans controlled 80% of the wealth in this country.  As of 2011, the 400 wealthiest people in America had more wealth than roughly 50% of the people living in this country.

We no longer live in a world where getting a college degree is a garniture of a good job.  We were told all our lives that we had to get good grades, so we could get into a good college and graduate with a good degree and then get a good job.  I’ve spent 8 years in higher education.  I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Secondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on my education.  I work part time for $10/hr.  I enjoy my job, but it’s not a good one.  A good job should be defined as a job by which you can support yourself.  We were told that we would get good jobs with our degrees.  We were lied to.

“Since 1985, the overall consumer price index has risen 115% while the college education inflation rate has risen nearly 500%.  According to Gordon Wadsworth, author of The College Trap, ‘…if the cost of college tuition was $10,000 in 1986, it would now cost the same student over $21,500 if education had increased as much as the average inflation rate but instead education is $59,800 or over 2 ½ times the inflation rate.'”

Wages have been largely stagnant in their buying power since 1979.  Money is simply worth less.  The minimum wage is too low, our college degrees aren’t worth as much, and we go into debt earning them because we have to take out loans to even pay for the education that doesn’t deliver on what it promised us.  There’s something severely wrong with our economic system.  The old narrative of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is dead.  We don’t have the strength to pull ourselves up.  We don’t even have bootstraps anymore.  I’m a lower middle class, cis, straight, white man.  I have all the privilege in the world and I’m still struggling in an economy that cares more about profit than it does about the lives of people.

So why are we blaming immigrants for our problems?  Why can’t we face the harsh reality that the system doesn’t care about us?  Why do we need to invent a false dichotomy of lazy immigrants who can somehow still steal our jobs? Why don’t you ask the Nazis.  Why don’t you ask the Ottoman Turks?

On the subject of the Ottoman Turks: According to Elizabeth Hope Murray in the book Disrupting Pathways to Genocide:  ‘These people are so horrifically less.  They are the lowest of the low of our society.  They bring nothing of benefit to us.  Yet they still have wealth and education above that of the average citizen.  How then did this happen?  Clearly the only way such a servile and degenerate society could have achieved such a position of renown and power is by stepping on the backs of real Turkish citizens.’

The Armenians weren’t actually doing well economically either, the Ottoman Empire was is such a state of economic disrepair that no one was in a good economic state.  Still scapegoat politics were never required to make sense.  You just have to find a group and shout about them loud enough for long enough.

When dealing with the Nazis and their twisted dichotomy I’ll pull from two sources.  Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

From Mein Kampf: “If the Jews were alone in this world they would stifle in filth and offal…”.  

What Hitler is saying is that if the Jews were the only people in the world then nothing of note would ever get done.  Progress would stagnate and the world would slowly tilt off its axis.  The only reason the Jews have their technology and society is because they’ve stolen those things from other cultures.  The Jew though, says Hitler, is not just content to steal the cultural and technological advances from the rest of the world; they must drag the world down and poison them.  

“And so he tries to lower the racial level by a continuous poisoning of individuals.”  The Jews purpose in life was to poison the blood of all the higher races and drag them down to the level of barbarity.

Now for the Protocols (a source actually written as Tsarist Russian propaganda in 1903): The Jews, as depicted in the Protocols, control all the world’s wealth, so ultimately the governments of the world.  The Jews, with their sinister grip on power, would do almost anything to keep it.  “For this reason we must not hesitate at bribery, fraud, and treason when these can help us to reach our ends.”.  

For the Jews, nothing is too horrid or immoral.  They’ll do anything to keep their hold on power with no regard for basic human integrity or dignity. The power of the Jews does not just lie in the fact that the Jews control all the  world’s money though.  The Protocols claimed that the Jews believed that “our power lies in the chronic malnutrition and in the weakness of the worker…”.  

The working class was always the biggest and will always be the largest class and is always the most likely to lead a successful revolt due to its size.  The best way for the Jews to maintain their grip on power was to keep the workers in a state where they couldn’t possibly fight back.

Does any of this sound familiar?  The rhetoric might be a pale reflection of what Hitler or the Young Turks used in the past, but the message is still the same.  And the result will be the same unless we stop the narrative of these unbearably weak superhumans.  Immigrants cannot, repeat CANNOT, be lazy and then also be stealing your jobs.  The system is screwed up and was never designed to benefit the working class, but that’s not really the point of this essay.  Immigrants have, in many ways, become our Jews and our Armenians.  They’re weak and awful and give nothing to our society, only take like ticks and leeches.  At the same time they’re coming here and stealing jobs from hardworking Americans.  It’s just scapegoat politics to avoid addressing the real issue.  Our economic system was never designed to benefit you.  Immigrants are just a patsy that we can point at and say “See?!?  It’s not your fault that you can’t get a job and that you’re struggling to make ends meet!!!  It’s those dirty no good immigrants!”

You’re being lied to, and if the economy continues to decline, and the wealth gap continues to increase to the point that more and more people find themselves living in poverty, jingoistic men and women will use your pain to kill off a group they don’t consider to be real people.  A group they don’t consider valuable.  Recognize the narrative for what it is, a dehumanizing lie designed to allow the system to remain broken.

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