Saturday, May 2, 2009

On being a minority

I know this will make me seem racist and definitely not politically correct, but I have a theory that if you act like a minority, you will be treated like a minority.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a co-worker about the swine flu we are experiencing in our area and how all the schools were closed -- bit of an overreaction, but still understandable. My co-worker mentioned that she thought it was ridiculous that they are considering closing the borders so no more infected Mexicans can come across, and I said they should have closed the borders long ago! She made several comments to the effect that they were only trying to make a better life for their families and how they do jobs no one else would do, etc, etc, and I made several comments to the effect that I have no problem with anyone wanting a better life, as long as they come to the US legally, but I disagreed with the idea that no one would do the jobs they do if they weren't here. I also said we don't need the crime and corruption they bring along with them.

To all of this, she replied that I couldn't understand because she was looking at it from a minority's perspective, and I, who came from the Midwest, could not.

Excuse me?!?! Because I am white, I can't understand? What I do understand is this: When my ancestors came from Norway, they didn't modify all the signs in all the stores so they were in Norwegian as well as English. If you didn't learn to speak English, you had to rely on someone who did. The post office didn't make it easy to mail money back to Norway, either. Same for my German ancestors. Surprise! They all had to learn to speak English.

And as for me having some sort of advantage because I come from the Midwest, I would just like to point out that my parents were ordinary farmers. We never had a lot, but we didn't really know it at the time. I put myself through college and became a civil engineer. For the last 19 years, I have worked in the software industry. Everything I have, I worked hard for. No one handed me anything on a silver platter. I am where I am because of hard work and native intelligence. (I actually think that may make me a minority.)

As I said, though, if you act like a minority, you can expect to be treated like a minority. If, on the other hand, everyone simply acted like a member of the human race, we would all be treated like members of the human race.


Post a Comment