July 22, 1996
In this later part of the century alien bashing is a sport one can engage freely once again. It allows for the explanation and the justification of all the ills happening in our society, from drug and criminality to welfare, the deficit and the unemployment, just to cite a few. It starts with the so-called "illegal aliens" which we all know steal the jobs away from our citizenry and use our famed generosity to get free lunches -- all would be well and dandy, were we to send them all back home from where they came from and build walls and electric fences along our borders. Next we tackle the "legal-aliens" who should not get our social benefits since they are aliens in the first place -- never mind that they are here legally, work legally, pay their State and Federal taxes legally. They are aliens after all. Then we'll take care of outer aliens, the Martians and the like (I hear 40 pct of our population believes in or has had some kind of encounter with these spacian Jinn).
Alien is an interesting word. We actually mean "foreigners" but we like to reserve this word to the 5 billion or so inhabitants on the planet Earth who were not endowed with certain unalienable Rights (hum, would I notice a similar etymology here?) -- you know, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Aliens are not to enjoy these unalienable Rights, right? Right! They are foreigners to us because they either think differently or they have a coveted commodity such as oil.
A foreigner is out of the border, an alien is within. Aliens are dangerous, beware; especially when they are dark-skinned. Southern aliens have dark skins. Wall them out. Now a Caucasian alien can be acceptable, assuming he or she is talented. It's a matter of value -- value added, I mean. But a dark-skinned value added individual causes a problem. We want the talent. We reject the color. What a dilemma. But eh, we are smart! We'll take the talent and ignore the skin. It's called diversity... We do like diversity as long as there is a dollar sign attached to it! We'll also take in the wealthy from anywhere they come, whatever the color of their skin and their IQ rate, as long as they shut up. Eventually we'll find a way to chase them out and keep their money... (I told you, we are smart!)
Now, the bureaucracy knows whether you are a "foreign alien "-- to make the distinction with the outer space aliens -- but we do not know as long as you remain silent. The accent gives you away. As soon as it is discerned you are asked where you are from. Code wording for "you are not from here?" (No unalienable Rights for you, I am afraid...). The next question will either redeem you or send you back to the other side of the wall. What are you doing, we'll ask. And, if you do something which is value added, we'll hold our judgment. We'll say (though won't really think) you are okay, and we'll give you our business card. Who knows, you may bring us something... preferably green. Now, if the brown color of your skin makes you a better target for alien's hatred, take it easy. It's only another hurdle!
Or you can be a Mexican working for $5 an hour in our yards. You have nothing to worry. We'll spit on you but we'll keep you around. Our yards are more important than all these damned aliened of unaliened foreigners!
And I have friends who keep asking why, after almost 15 years, I have not taken the American nationality...
(Next commentary will be about being a foreigner in one's own home... Stay tuned.)