How the mass influx of strangers turns us into strangers in our own land

One of the benefits of running this website is the excellent correspondence I receive from readers. The following is one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of the desolating impact that mass diverse immigration has on the members of the host society, namely that their own country stops feeling like home to them:

I am a transplanted Canadian living in the US. Formerly from Toronto, now in Atlanta, Georgia.

I saw your comments with respect to Toronto turning into a city of foreigners—something I experienced in the 1990’s. In fact the municipality in which I lived (North York or Willowdale) was becoming so overwhelmingly Oriental, that Saturday mornings all one could see on streets was “Chinese family day” as hordes of Chinese families gathered at restaurants and spilled over onto sidewalks.

Now to be quite honest, I prefer the oriental culture to the minorities that are taking over the province of Quebec (Haitians, Moroccans, Algerians—all of these conducive to crime). The Chinese family is clean and well-dressed, their children are focussed on education, and their families start businesses. By contrast those foreigners coming into Quebec (on the sole basis that they speak French) are dirty, ignorant, smelly, poor and soon on welfare. The province of Ontario wins this immigration lottery by a landslide.

I mentioned that the immigrant coming to Quebec is “smelly” for one reason. Home is a place where one feels comfortable, at ease, is oneself without pretense or guard, and can do one’s own thing. The sights, the smells, the voices of home are all familiar—phenomena that one’s instincts absorb without too much effort. One can speak and listen easily (without too much effort or strain); one can smell the food with pleasure without feeling any quirkiness or weirdness.

That is what a home is—be it a county, a neighborhood, a city or a place of worship.

Now when one a locality is overrun by immigrants (or those foreign to one’s culture), “home” is destabilized. The voices become strange and misunderstandable. The smells become unfamiliar and disturbing. The music becomes unrhythmic and discordant. All those elements that make one feel at home are tossed into an unrecognizable ratio and home ceases to be “home”.

Instead “home” becomes a shell or container of unfamiliar objects and experiences. One now has to guard what one says in order not to disturb the “other” culture. One cannot be freely oneself in case one’s worship “offends” the other. Home now becomes a place of warily watching what one does, when and how. That feeling of being oneself, at ease in a group disappears.

And it is my feeling that America is losing its “hominess”. I drive down the highway to work and I see hundreds of strange, sullen faces (Latinos) lining the roads waiting to be picked up by trucks for work that day. They live in makeshift cabins along the roads with no sense of home or comfort. In other words they make those “native” to that community feel themselves to be rootless. Their unmoored presence unhinges any sense of “home” that one has.

When one’s home loses that psychological feeling of “being at home”, then a nation ceases to be a unified country and instead becomes a disparate, fragmented series of groups. My feeling is that the US has ceased being a country, a home…and instead has become a “universal” container for anyone and everyone. But it has lost all the charms of being a “home”.

Ronald J. Perowne

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 30, 2005 06:05 PM | Send

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