Let’s hear it again for that wonderful thing called “diversity”:
Racist Aldi customer yells in female worker’s face that ‘everywhere I move there are fucking Eastern Europeans’ in xenophobic rant.
Okay, a couple of points. A British man shouting at an Eastern European woman isn’t “racist”, any more than an Israeli shouting abuse at an Arab is racist — both groups are genetically identical, the Brit to the European, the Israeli to the Arab.
That being out of the way, let’s look at the larger issue.
The only thing the newspaper headline got right is that the tirade was xenophobic.
And what, I ask, is that wrong with xenophobia (literally, a fear of strangers, now magically transformed into a hatred towards strangers)?
Here’s the thing. When you grow up in an ethnically-homogenous society, it is an inherent human trait to be suspicious of strangers, for all sorts of historical reasons which go back so far they’ve become genetic — countless millennia of social conditioning have seen to that. It’s precisely the same impulse which gets parents to teach their children not to get into the red van with a stranger. Outsiders, as any respectable anthropologist or Old Western sheriff will tell you, are potentially dangerous because they have no roots in the community, and often have values and morals which are completely different from (and in some cases are hostile towards) a settled community’s values. (And for a reality check: immigrants all over the world engage in criminal behavior out of all proportion to their actual numbers.)
Oh I know, in these modern oh-so tolerant and accepting (ha!) times, we should seek to deny our human nature because it’s eeeevil and diversity is wonderful and all that. The “melting pot theory” fantasists are completely wedded to that concept, even though both history and the human condition have proven that it is complete bullshit. The plain fact of the matter is that if foreigners are to come into a settled community which is ethnically and socially different to theirs, they are the ones who need to assimilate, to make the effort to submerge themselves into the dominant culture — it’s not up to the locals to accommodate them, even though you’re still going to find those irritating “Habla Español” signs everywhere. (That, by the way, is a courtesy and not an obligation, although many would say it’s the latter.)
I’m acutely aware of this, of course, because I myself am an immigrant and still speak with something of a South African accent after nearly forty years’ residence in my beloved adopted country. (Blame my vocal cords, which had stiffened beyond adaptability by the time I got here in my early 30s.) But culturally, I defy anyone, native-born or naturalized, to be more American than I am because when I came here, I was determined to become an American and not remain some malcontent foreigner forever rooted in my home country.
This is not always the case with immigrants, though, and that is why people like that Brit in the article let loose: he had reached the limits of his xeno-tolerance. Race had nothing at all to do with it.
Here’s the final word. In one of those little exquisite twists of irony, the Aldi supermarket chain is actually of German origin. But when you step into an Aldi store here and in Britain, all the signs are in English, not German; and the currency is local and not euros. And while Aldi often hires non-locals, that’s an economic rationale because immigrants are prepared to work for lower wages than locals, and Aldi’s marketing policy is to be the low-price retailer in town. But even this approach is fraught with hazard:
“You can ban me from every Aldi in the fucking world, the sooner this fucking store is shut down and kicked out the fucking UK the better.”
I bet he’s not the only bloke in town who feels that way.