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When Concerns About Immigration and Multiculturalism Are Not "Bigoted"

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Debater Slayer, May 19, 2022.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    A conversation in another thread has prompted me to start this thread to talk about what I believe is a thorny subject that is especially prone to polarization: Will you condemn “Great Replacement Theory”?

    In the thread, some posts offered the suggestion that having concerns about large numbers of immigrants in a given neighborhood or concerns about major shifts in culture is "bigoted." This is one claim I have encountered numerous times, to be sure, especially among Western liberals who, in my opinion, are largely unfamiliar with the nuances of foreign cultures such as those of the Arab world and the Middle East in general.

    For some context, I'm an Arab and have lived my whole life in Arab countries. As someone who has been pursuing immigration for the last 10 years for multiple reasons, primarily to have more freedom to be myself and to avoid prevalent hostility and safety challenges facing atheists in my region, I absolutely think that concerns about large-scale immigration and sudden or major cultural shifts are sometimes both justified and even responsible.

    There is a huge difference between acknowledging that cultural differences exist and may cause issues with integration into another culture and saying that an entire ethnicity are inferior or deserving of worse treatment. The former is realistic and understandable; the latter is racist and ethnically supremacist. When I see people dismiss concerns about certain elements of other cultures—which have affected me and many people I know on a personal level—I can't help thinking that they are either unfamiliar with the cultures in question or are too invested in a certain political narrative to the detriment of realism and nuance.

    To be clear, I completely believe that cultures are cyclical and change over different periods of history, and no ethnicity or culture is inherently "superior" or "inferior" to another. But at the moment, it is a fact that the cultures of the Arab world, for instance, are overall less accepting of certain groups than much of the Western world is. These groups include LGBT people, atheists, and non-Abrahamic (and sometimes even certain Abrahamic) religious minorities.

    When immigrants recently rioted in Sweden because someone burned the Qur'an and wanted the Swedish government to ban the burning, this wasn't shocking to me at all: almost every religious person I know where I live supports imposing religious limits on freedom of expression to protect "sacred" books or ban blasphemy. And when I read that some immigrant neighborhoods in Europe are unsafe for women to walk in alone or while wearing certain kinds of clothing, I'm also not surprised: Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and multiple other Islamic countries have a sexual harassment and/or sexist epidemic. I have to avoid going to many areas in my own city when I'm with white female friends from Europe or the U.S. because of widespread harassment, for example.

    Whatever the reasons that have led to this point are, we can't ignore facts or dismiss people who point them out as "bigots" just because the facts are unpleasant. I care much more about seeing increasing acknowledgement and awareness of the current problems within my culture and region than seeing Western liberals with little or no familiarity with either refusing to consider the possibility that yes, culture is meaningful and encompassing of many aspects of life and yes, it is sometimes both difficult and unwise to accept large numbers of people from another culture into yours without considering the social ramifications and the fact that many of them will simply not integrate or blend in well enough into their host cultures.

    If recognizing that there are some legitimate concerns about mass immigration, the current state of some cultures, and smooth integration into new countries makes one a "bigot" or a "racist," then I guess I'm "bigoted" and "racist" against my own ethnicity and region. Of course, since such a nuance-free definition of bigotry and racism is diluted to the point of being meaningless, I prefer to reserve these terms for actual instances of such where there aren't solid, realistic causes for concern.
     
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  2. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    Well I'm bigoted against white Europeans and would prefer to see more immigration, especially hispanics which are wonderful people
     
  3. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    I'm sure if you asked a group of Native Americans what they thought about the willingness of a large number of English immigrants into the US, they could easily have pointed out how badly the newcomers integrated into the host culture; how the newcomers were utter barbarians. So there is a point where I agree.

    But it's also true that in more modern times the host culture plays a significant role. Is the host culture basically welcoming in spite of the prejudice that quite a few have? Is it flexible enough with enough people welcoming newcomers to help those new to adapt to new patterns of life?

    The US is no paragon of virtue, but successive waves of immigrants has created a more flexible country compared to Europe. I remember being a worker at an event where the guests were Muslims. Some of the women were dressed very Western but it ranged through head scarves to burkas. Men including me treated those women as honored guests including picking up their lunch plates. Do you think they picked up the message that western men waiting on Muslim women sent?
     
    #3 sun rise, May 19, 2022
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
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  4. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    Very thoughtful OP. One thing to keep in mind is that most countries have had strict immigration limits and guidelines for decades.

    From my perspective, it boils down to the degree to which different cultures have different values, and the degree to which different sets of values are or are not compatible. From this perspective we might want to restrict immigration from certain regions or countries just because we don't think people from that region will have compatible values. Notice that this doesn't have to mean "better" or "worse", simply incompatible.

    For example, I don't think we should let people immigrate who think theocracy is a good idea. Valuing theocracy is incompatible with separation of church and state.
     
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  5. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    We already have too many of those in the USA. Of course our theocrats want a fundamentalist Christian theocracy but the psychology is much the same.

    On the other hand, at least in the US there's a dramatic change in attitude in the generations born here compared to the immigrant generation.
     
  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Student People Stabber

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    It's not immigration I have an issue with, it's those who flee the repressive BS of their home and expect it to be tolerated here. They are guests, they have no business or right telling their hosts how to run their home, or worse yet, harassing their hosts. People who want to bring that here should be first in line for deportation.
     
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  7. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your interesting perspective on the subject.

    What I've noticed is that the same people that condemn others as "racist" for talking against replacement migration are the same people who openly rejoice, cheer and clap their hands when they learn the latest statistics which state that white people are dying out (declining birth rates) and becoming a minority in America or Europe. They say this is good and they are glad it's happening even though many of them are white themselves. So they are actually cheering on replacement migration while denying it exists and saying you're racist if you talk about it ... So I can't take their condemnation seriously at all. If anyone is racist maybe they need a look in the mirror.

    If the shooter in Buffalo NY was spurred on by talk of replacement migration. I find that very unfortunate but that doesn't really reflect on anyone else who does think it's a real issue that should be discussed. I would say the same for the black shooter in Dallas a few years ago who shot the police because of his belief that they target black people or whatever his complaint was. I forget exactly what he was talking about before he did the shooting; but my point is it doesn't matter. He was just a bad person. So bad people do bad things. I think this does not necessarily reflect on anyone else who is advocating for the same causes.

    As for replacement migration. I personally have mixed thoughts on it. I do think it's obvious there are plenty of people who would love to see white people replaced. But there are others who would dislike this. So I don't know how big of an issue it really is. But to deny that it is a real issue is nonsense.
     
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  8. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    While those people exists, they are few and far between. My experience is that people who flee oppression in their home country come here because they like what we have here.
    On the other hand, people who come here only for economic reasons often don't share the love for freedom and democracy. They don't make the connection that freedom and democracy are a reason why we have the stable economy.

    @Debater Slayer: Germany has a constitutionally guaranteed right to refuge. No quota, no other conditions than the proof that you are not safe in your home country. (It doesn't always work as intended and bigoted bureaucrats send people back but those are exceptions.)

    We are going to have to face a lot of people wanting to come to Europe, the US and Australia for economic reasons, or better, just to survive. When climate change makes large regions inhabitable, the people are going to move.
     
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  9. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    Human beings are human beings no matter what their color. The day is coming when, as the song puts it, the color of someone's skin is of as little importance as the color of their eyes. That's a good thing.
     
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  10. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Student People Stabber

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    From what I've seen things are better for everyone when there isn't one massive majority group.
     
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