“Papers please”

I have been very privileged in the last couple years to travel in Britain, France, and in Italy. Each place is rich and distinct in what is on offer to a visitor. There is one clear sameness to the richness of the capital cities– in London, Paris, Rome– the working class in the tourist serving sectors are predominately from the former colonies of  Africa and Asia.  These migrants work hard and send money home. Just as European borders have come down, allowing me the ease of crossing them and spending euros, a harsh anti-immigrant politics is gaining ground on the streets and in democratic elections for fascist nationalists.  480053121Fight back underway.

The children at the southern border of USA needing our help.

The NYTimes photo at top of page speaks a million words.

Alain Badiou wrote eloquently on this in a 2008  piece called “The Meaning of Sarkozy:

A Socialist  prime minister said in the early 1980s, adopting the role of a “civilized” mouthpiece for LePen: “Immigrants are  problem.” We must reverse this judgement and say : “Foreigners are an opportunity!” The mass of foreign workers and their children bear witness, in our tired old countries, to the youth of the world, its widespread and its infinite variety….

Let foreigners  teach us at least to become foreign to ourselves, to project ourselves sufficiently out of ourselves to no longer be captive to this long Western and white history that has come to an end, and from which nothing more can be expected than sterility and war. Against this catastrophic and nihilistic expectation of a security state let us greet the foreignness  of tomorrow.

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