Apr. 30th, 2010

liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
"Are you religious?" is often the second or third question people ask soon after meeting me. The fact that I'm Jewish usually comes up fairly early in conversation, and it's a natural small-talk follow-on, but I find it really hard to answer.

why? )

Also, I kind of find the question embarrassing. I don't actually mind being the explainer of Judaism, or the first (actively, or at all) Jewish person that another person has met who needs to answer all their basic questions. I quite enjoy those things. (Though that is not blanket permission to go and pester all the people you meet who come from a different culture from yours; lots of people find it intrusive and hate it!) But talking about something as personal as religion and identity and stuff when the conversation is still at the small-talk level, that's not something that comes easily to me.

Still, I'm making a start by writing this post, aren't I?
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
My plan to post every day of the three week festival fell at the first hurdle when I got home at 11 o'clock last night after a work do, and then had to deal with a minor emergency. So to make up for it, two posts today.

People who blame all the problems in the country on "immigrants" and talk about "flocking Eastern Europeans" are, in fact, bigoted. [livejournal.com profile] elmyra's moving response has already been linked all over the place, and even ended up in a national newspaper, but I'm linking it again because lots of my readers aren't following UK politics closely, and I think this is important. (Now, some Americans don't like discussion of racism against white people, and I have some sympathy for this position, but I do want to be clear that the fact this issue of xenophobia and hatred towards immigrants is important does not at all mean that I'm treating all the history of oppression of African-Americans and other PoC as trivial.)

specific to UK politics )

The point I really want to make is that I really wish we weren't having an electoral debate about whether we should hate immigrants a little bit, or really really hate immigrants. I want a pro-immigration party, not a slightly less xenophobic one, to vote for. I don't want to discuss how we can reduce immigration, and whether it's reasonable to do so by using incredibly inhumane measures like deporting asylum seekers back to countries where they will be tortured and killed. I want to discuss how we can encourage more people to come here!

True, I personally am fairly recently descended from immigrants and I'm proud of that. That's not the whole point, though; politically and philosophically I'm committed to the idea that people should be able to choose where they want to live, and they should be able to choose which country they want to become a citizen of. Further, a lot of the reason why Britain is more economically successful than the countries of origin of immigrants is because Britain was complicit in oppressing these countries, so we have a special obligation to welcome immigrants. And Britain has always been multicultural, always had a mixed population, always been a destination for immigrants, and that's exactly what's so good about living here.

Immigration is a good thing. Let's have more of it, please.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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