“I Am an Immigrant”

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My friend, Charles Whaley (via James Whyte), posted these pictures on FaceBook. The accompanying comment is, “Bloody immigrants. Coming over here, making a massive contribution to our society.” It warmed my heart.

The organization behind the poster campaign is called Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX) http://www.noxenophobia.org and @NoXenophobia. It is based in the U.K. but the issues, of course, are universal – the current resurgence of violent xenophobia in South Africa is simply heartbreaking.

I was speaking the other day to a journalist who was doing a write-up of Beyond the Baobab, and he asked me about anti-immigrant feeling. I do understand that countries can’t just indiscriminately open their borders to all comers, but it is true that those of us who are driven enough to undertake the mammoth process of immigration are likely to carry that drive into our immigrant lives to make a contribution to our societies. These are just a few of the people on a Forbes list of “Immigrants Who Made It Big” in the U.S. – Madeleine Albright, Czechoslovakia; Charlize Theron, South Africa; Mikhail Baryshnikov, USSR; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria; Elie Wiesel, Romania; Michael J. Fox, Canada. I rest my case, as I climb down from my soap box.

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