Saturday, October 17, 2015

You immigrant

This week there was an interview with a Muslim lady in Wroclaw and her recent experiences. She said in the interview that in recent weeks as anti-immigrant sentiments have grown, the environment around her has become more hostile. They have been verbally abused. Her husband has been attacked, and she has been spit on.

An article today tells the story of a boy beaten at school. They chanted, "you immigrant".

People accuse me of refusing to acknowlege the bigger picture of the "immigrant problem". My acquaintainces say that is life, I am naive, she should get over it, what did she expect parading around in her head scarf, they do worse things in Muslim countries than spit on you, she is a representative of the barbaric acts carried out in the name of her god around the world and as such shares responsibility. 

So it's okay to spit on her? 

I am not willfully ignorant of the world around me. I am not ignoring the bigger picture, but I am asking people to see the smaller picture. The smaller picture of a lady walking home from the store who was spit on. The smaller picture of her fear, her fury, her shame and humiliation, her paralysis as she wavered between wiping the spit from her face and picking up her shopping from the sidewalk. If we lose the ability to see the individual in the group and the human in the individual, I fear for us. Nobody's god will help us then.

Poland is not for everybody as one acquaintaince pointed out to me yesterday. It is true. Poland is not for everybody, but it should be for banal reasons like the weather or taxes. It should not be because we threaten people on the street.

I have been spit on. It was by accident. The spitter didn't hear me walk up beside him. He apologized profusely, tried to clean me up, and offered me 50 złoty compensation which I didn't accept and somehow made me feel worse. It feels terrible being spit on.