I won’t be around to learn the results, though I do hope Chinese anthropologists will one day unravel certain mysteries that don’t intrigue contemporary media in the least. One of those mysteries being why the best people come from the worst places. For instance, everyone knows Americans couldn’t produce cobb salads without brown sun-baked cherubs coaxing produce up from a jealous Earth. Like millions of mestizo John Henrys: they’re each a lettuce-picking man.
The fact of which we are routinely reminded is that Mexicans are simply harder-workers than the indolent gringos. And since these hard-workers only build what they are desperate to flee, we are forced to consider the paradox that creating peaceful and prosperous societies must be a lazy man’s job.
And cultivating the world’s most coveted countries isn’t merely a task for the indolent, but also the uneducated as well. That, at least, is the conclusion Indian immigrants would have you reach in this interview, an exchange more accurately entitled I’d chew glass to live in an idiot’s house, but never wonder why: my migrant story.
What brought Indians to the United States, and what made Indian immigrants, as a whole, so successful once here? That’s the question Sanjoy Chakravorty, Devesh Kapur, and Nirvikar Singh set out to answer in their The Other One Percent: Indians in America.
What brought Indians to the United States is the same thing that brought Guatemalans and Ghanaians: their people create less desirable societies by the testimony of their own feet, and so they must come here to explain why we are inferior. Though that’s only my hypothesis, and one that goes assiduously unexplored when immigrant groups examine their mirrors.
But the topic that never lacks for enthusiastic scrutiny is the one of white racism. This being accepted as a universal force, though one so frustratingly tepid that not a single migrant has ever been dissuaded from coming by its existence. If gravity was no stronger than white racism, brown people would be dancing in the skies. And if white racism were as prevalent as they lecture, they’d be doing it from their own countries. Though obviously these points also evade most commenters’ comprehension, particularly when evasion is profitable.
It’s clear that this (Trump) administration has a pretty distinct view on immigration and immigrant labor. I think there is a pretty large thrust, in a sociological sense, toward creating an Other — a non-white, immigrant population of the U.S. — and marginalizing them. That’s a huge part of the political agenda. And the Other is part of the America First agenda.
So marginalized as to entertain returning to India? Well, no. But he’s not all that wrong about this Other theory. I have a family; and those not in it are Other. Thus they get marginalized when I wake up in the night to find one of them shitting in my living room. As he notes, that’s a huge part of the Porter First agenda.
But we learn below that’s a flawed perspective. Since even though a couple of my so-called family members might disappear in the conduct of his nocturnal defecations, by and large the population of foreigners will keep right on growing. So that should be a relief.
I’m sure there are some Indian tech workers who are visibly replacing so-called American workers, but by and large the (tech) industry has grown massively in 30 years. And a lot of it through foreign labor.
You may have lost your livelihood, but Microsoft is hiring lots of Indians. There’s always a curry lining.
But the news doesn’t all smell as sweet as an alleyway in Delhi.
The initial signs are not encouraging from what I read. I know we’ve gone through cycles in the past with the H-1B visa program … to me, this comes in the context with Steve Bannon being on record in an interview saying something like, “Oh, there are too many South Asian CEOs in the U.S.” Which seems pretty racist to me. One can be racist without using negative characterizations.
Exactly. That’s our focus here at the Kakistocracy: a positive uplifting racism.
But let’s address what makes America so bad it even attracts Indians.
The biggest predictor is education, and Indians in America are really highly educated…I think there’s a huge lesson there for the United States as a whole — if you want to make America great again, you should really improve education for everyone.
Intelligence is not education, as the many brilliant laymen who built this country and the many imbecilic victim-students who despise it could both demonstrate. Though if the lack of American greatness is partially attributable to a dearth of educated Indians, what then is holding India back? Similarly, if America is insufficiently educated while also the fervently desired destination of educated Indians, we are forced to conclude that being ineducable is quite a strategic asset–possibly even on par with being irredeemably lazy.
Which leads me to wonder how on Earth lolling equatorial islanders have avoided migrating Hindus washing ashore like sand dollars given the bounty of slack-jawed dullards those territories offer. After all, these are the host qualities that attract immigrants. Of this fact the logic is lined up the street.