I wonder what kind of life people lead who compile statistics.
No offence to any statisticians out there and this post isn’t about the life of statisticians, it’s about a particular group of statistics that are bothering me; those on my English work sheets.
Don’t get me wrong, my English teacher is a really nice person and good teacher and I suppose it’s not all her fault because it’s included in the curriculum. She just likes to go overboard a bit with work sheets about immigration.
First it was the US with all it’s different ethnic groups and the push-pull factors and the problems some of them face and discrimination and racism. It’s an important matter.
But I feel like we didn’t speak about the US as a whole very much (except when we followed the presidential elections very closely), because we were always talking about the amount of Hispanics living in California and where they stand economically and socially or how many African-Americans live in the north or south of America or how many Asians or Europeans.
The topic was annoying us deeply and strongly after a while.
Now our topic is Great Britain and what are we talking about again? Immigration.
I just finished a work sheets on that subject. Many immigrated into Britain after World War II from the colonies or people came as refuges from all sorts of places. A lot of Asians came to Britain (well, went) in the 1960’s for economic reasons. And so on and so on and so on.
At the end of it all there was a statistic defining the percentage of every ethnic group in the whole of Britain. Do you think I’m going to read that?
Why do we – or let’s say the big grown-ups – always differentiate between races or gender? We do it in economy, society, education. Everyone always talks about how bad discrimination is in some places, but what do you expect if you go count the immigrants instead of just seeing them as what they are: People.
Of course a child who’s recently moved countries has problems with the language and therefore in education, but what does it help if you tell it; ah yes that’s because you’re foreign.
Thousands of years ago whole Peoples wandered across the globe looking for a place to live, eat and reproduce. Apparently they started out in Africa.
So basically, even if it’s a long time back, we share a common ancestor. It doesn’t matter what we look like or where we were raised. We’re people.
And even if that’s too far back, over the millenniums, Peoples have been conquering and mixing, spreading out across the globe.
But the Italians didn’t suddenly pop out of a pizza, just like the Egyptians didn’t wake up in front of their pyramids. Our common roots go way back, long before the beginning of civilisation with all of its structures, classes and prejudices.
If you think about it, even if you’re not religious, we do sort of come from Adam and Eve. There was a beginning somewhere and all of our ancestors were part of it together.
There shouldn’t be any need for statistics and problem analysis. We need to get rid of this mentality that splits society and brings out discrimination, because that’s what we’re brought up with. It starts as a small child, when the teacher shows you the picture of the brown boy, the yellow one and the white one. They tell you that they live in different countries and live different lives. There were a lot of families from Sri Lanka in my hometown. We kids never saw any problem in acting the same way with them as with anyone else. It was the grown-ups who acted differently, passing it on to the sensitive children (I don’t mean my parents, they were foreign themselves).
So basically what I’m suggesting is that we get over this mentality of us and them. It’s only us.
If we’re too comfortable to do it for our sakes, we ought to do it for future generations.