The Children of Xenophobia

Are us.

Who are the posterity of yesterday’s xenophobes and racists? That would be me, and you, and those who read and write at Salon, the AJC, and Black Planet. All people alive today who cherish and live within their own cultures and propagate their own distinctive genes do so for one exclusive reason: their forefathers were racists and xenophobes. They resisted invasion, assimilation, and amalgamation. They were intolerant of and utterly opposed to the syncretic mush of diversity.

Those who were passive to the encroachments of others, or worse yet welcoming, are no longer present to offer opinions on the outcome. Their cultures having been razed to accommodate those more aggressive and numerous. Their discrete genetic endowment now cast into a larger sea: subsumed and forgotten.

In short, the extreme, the racist, and the intolerant can be described more succinctly as…the living. And some faint glimmer of this realization seems to be slowly waking the West from its opium dream. Here’s one such story from Italy, from where so many xenophobes fought and died at Venice and Lepanto.

Rome (AFP) – “Why do they have to be taken care of? It’s me that needs taking care of!”

Like many of Italy’s poor, 51-year-old Elvio has had enough. And the unemployed construction worker thinks he knows who to blame.

Born and raised in a rundown suburb of Rome where residents last week laid violent siege to a holding centre for asylum seekers, Elvio belongs to a strata of Italian society whose frustration is beginning to boil over after years of falling incomes, employment and hope.

And with the country struggling to cope with an influx of tens of thousands of migrants fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, that anger increasingly has a focus.

“Even God has abandoned us,” said Elvio, leaning on a bar in Tor Sapienza, a district on the eastern edge of Rome.

With numerous abandoned properties, some of which have been squatted by illegal immigrants, the “quartiere” has certainly seen better days.

The number of non-Italians living here is higher than in other parts of the capital.

Yet it is worlds away from the bleak housing estates that dot the peripheries of cities like Paris or London and, to outsiders, last week’s eruption of anger could easily appear rooted in ugly xenophobia.

“I’m not racist, but…” has become a recurring refrain as people like Elvio vent widely-held beliefs that immigrants get special treatment from the state and are responsible for increasing crime.

“We are the poorest neighbourhood of Rome but we have so many of them,” Elvio said.

“We are told they are Eritreans, but the war in Eritrea (a former Italian colony) has been finished for a long time.

“They hang around in groups in the park in the evenings. They make a noise, they make a mess and they leave beer bottles all over the place. And there have been robberies.”

As Elvio tells it, the violence erupted after a local girl reported having been subjected to an attempted rape.

“They didn’t speak Italian. We don’t know who they were, who knows?” he said.

What is known is that a building housing around 50 migrants was pelted with stones, flares and other missiles for three consecutive nights. Windows were smashed, rubbish bins set ablaze and there were pitched battles with riot police that became sufficiently serious for the city authorities to order the removal of teenagers from the centre.

There was also some evidence of the local protest being hijacked by far right groups with references to “Il Duce” – as Italy’s former dictator Benito Mussolini styled himself – featuring alongside overtly racist and anti-Islamic chants.

A prominent member of the fast-rising, anti-immigrant Northern League was one of the first politicians on the scene.

“Yes I’m racist if saying Italians should come first makes me that. I know they are fleeing from war but is it up to us to look after them? There are too many of them. “At school I pay for everything, even the toilet paper. They pay nothing.”

Local pharmacist Salvatore says the migrants are easy scapegoats.

“They come and buy stuff from me and I have never had a problem,” he said. [The merchant’s eternal logic: burn the city to the ground as long as you buy the matches from me.]

Alessia Armini, who coordinates the municipal service that deals with the asylum-seekers, agrees.

“We have been made scapegoats for the problems of a neighbourhood in decline,” she says, recalling how, at the height of last week’s troubles, the terrified residents of the centre had to barricade themselves in for fear the building would be overrun by the mob.

“It was very scary for the younger ones in particular. Yes, there were moments of panic.”

Though insufficient panic to induce returning to their place of origin, I note. That may come to change. For the preamble “I’m not a racist but” is politesse. It means, “Nothing personal friend, but you’re in the wrong place. Italy is for the Italians.”

Unfortunately for all, the migrants and those who import them are willfully deaf to these thusfar polite reminders from the increasingly agitated populations they transparently intend to replace.

I’m starting to believe I may actually live to see those terms of etiquette replaced with more direct guidance from the legacy populations: “Get out. Now.” Those who take this stance today will be able to rest gently in their graves, smiling secure in the knowledge that their posterity will live to one day complain of xenophobia.

And perhaps the creation of a habitat safe enough for his children to be fools is the best a man can achieve in one life.

3 thoughts on “The Children of Xenophobia

  1. (Sorry for this comment – it is long winded, but I need to say it).
    Last night, I went to a dinner. The first half of the conversation of dinner was about your president, Barack Obama. I was not giving attention to the conversation much, because I do not particurlarly like to discuss politics with grown men who are more smart and educated than me, at dinner.

    Anyway, suddenly, as I was daydreaming, I heared someone at the table say the N word (the racist word), very loud. It piqued my curiosity, (as I really do not like that word, and do not think it is suitable word for a dinner), and I said, who is that word? And the man said..Obama, there are good black people but he really is a N word.
    There were some mumbling of disaprovement at the table, and some agreeing with him. I said, but is not Obama a socialist, and you are also a socialist? He said yes, I am a socialist, but that N word is not.

    Then someone at the table laughed and said, she (me) is a conservative, so do not speak to her about socialism or left wing ideologies. I said well, I have never SAID I am conservative, but from what little I know communism and socialism, I do not agree with.

    This made the man somehow want to debate me. Which was very awkward as I am socialy awkward and was not feeling confident to talk to a smart man about politics at a dinner table with other smart people.
    First I said my opinion about healthcare, for example the NHS in UK, and hard working people can not get hospital beds in time because lazy people are getting the beds. (This is fact, and something that enraged me recently, my brother in law is a Welsh man and hard working man, and when he took his wife in labor to the hospital (my sister), she waited many hours for a bed, because they were all full.) So I said to the man at dinner, if taxes were not high, hard working people could afford to pay health insurance at private hospital, instead of beds at general hospitals being filled up with lazy people, immigrants having their 6th child on tax payer money etc.) Many hard working people can not even AFFORD to have more babies any more, because they pay absurd taxes feeding the immigrant’s children.

    So when I said all of that, the socialist man laughed and said, this is “propaganda”.

    We moved from that topic (as I admit I know so little about economics), and I said, I know little about economics, but from a Christian perspective I consider socialism and communism to be theft and not justice.

    So it sent this man to diatribe of blasphemy. as he proceeded to criticise Christian doctrine, backing up his points, with “I studied theology, have YOU studied theology at a university?”. This man is from a very Catholic country and said he rejects Catholicism, I said no I have not studied at university, and I also do not agree with Catholicism but I think it is important to respect that your country IS a Catholic country. Then he started to talk about the Crusades, etc. I said to him about the Brave German woman at the interfaith concert, and he said we SHOULD all live in peace together, so interfaith concerts are step forwards. I asked him if he considered Islam a peaceful religion, and he told me it is no more dangerous than Christianity. He said that radical Islam is as dangerous as crazy conservative Americans.

    This conversation continued and continued.. I probably spoke 10% to his 90%, as he insisited ad hominens and saying I was brain washed, and not sufficient educated to talk about such matters. Which, I would have humbly accepted that it is not my place to talk about such things, IF he had not continued to talking to me and trying to teach me how Christianity is evil, capitalism is evil, socialism is the only way forward.

    At the end of conversation, I will admit, I was close to tears of frustration, though of course did not cry at a dinner LOL, I tried my best to not make logical points emotional, and that was something he failed at.

    He basicaly said I am stupid. While he was the person ranting in favor of socialism, immigration, secularism etc, while using the N word. This tells me he has racism ingrained in him, and it does not NEED to re concile with his liberal views, because they HAVE no logic. If I, as a Christian conservative/traditionalist can refrain from using such hurt ful words against blacks (and jews), and he can not as a leftist atheist, it tells me all I need to know that such a person has no care for logic. They hide behind their university degrees and bravado and think it makes them better. And they are the people, who because of there credentials have a impact. It is time to be concerned.

  2. Well Aggy, you learned a painful lesson with that experience. Namely that black hating left-wing racists who use the negro-word will never debate politics in good faith.

    And so rather than erroneously presume they might do so, you could have simply carnival barked each of his rhetorical tactics as deployed.

    Diversion!
    Credentialism!
    Ad hom!
    Disqualify!
    And never to forget perennial favorite, Special Pleading!

    Or alternatively you could have said you’d much rather enjoy a fine meal with good friends in peace rather than be hectored by a man who spends his evenings in heels, makeup, and negligé masturbating in front of a mirror.

    You’ll subsequently note that his approval of assertion and insult will decrease dramatically.

  3. Don’t worry, when ISIS takes over your dinner companion’s country, I’m sure that they will know some arguments that will silence him.

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