resolution was to keep personal posts to a minimum, but another installment of
refugee memoirs just bubbled up inside me, and I felt compelled to share. I
want to reach out to my fellow commies all over the world who are new to the US
or contemplating coming here permanently. I want to teach them how to speak
Americanese, the code language of misleading messages. Nobody is going to deny
that all of us say pleasant things that are not to be taken literally, but in
America this trend is taken to the extreme. One can argue that there is no such
thing as "typical white bread American", and yet many people do
describe themselves as such. So here is my little translator. When talking
about your heritage to people who were born in the US, you can expect to hear
some of these comments.
"America is a country of immigrants ..."
Yeah, but some ethnic groups hold more influence than others. Not pointing
fingers at any particular group and certainly not demonizing the infamous
'white Protestant heterosexual male'. Just accept that not all ethnic groups
are equal in this country. I don't see how having a Slovene first lady is going
to change much for the immigrants of Eastern European stock.
"My great-grandfather came from ...."
This is why he changed Berkowitz to Berkley and Milosewicz to Miles and
Petrauskas to Peterson. Your Jewish/Serbian/Lithuanian ancestor wanted to look
"Welcome to our country!"
As long as you stay in your immigrant-dominated community and work jobs in the
service industry. Commies, listen to me. They don't want you to compete
for their jobs and their sexual partners. As a high-school student, I was
always told to "sit with my own kind" during lunch. We had a separate
table for students of Hispanic heritage, and a small table for Polish and
Russian students. "Go sit with your own kind ..." Talking about being
shown your proper place in life!
is a land of opportunity, you know."
Yes, I know.
My mother, who is a music professor in her home country, had to work as a
teacher's assistant at a local daycare for $6 an hour back in the 1990s before
she opened her own music school. I know that people who make minimal wage in
the US still have more material comforts than professors and engineers in some
you seeing anyone? Because there is a nice Ukrainian/Greek/Vietnamese boy in my
Wow, very sweet
of you to worry about my sex life. Even sweeter of you to assume that I
pick my sexual partners based on ethnic similarities. That nice boy could be a
total jerk, yet you think that I should still give him a chance because he
speaks my language.
"Wow, you are such an asset to our community! You bring so much diversity."
They want you to be that exotic pet that they can use for their own
entertainment. They don't want you at their country club, polluting the air
with your accent and your peculiar jokes and tales of genocide and ethnic
cleansings. No negativity allowed. We're all about "can do" attitude.
"Don't forget your roots, be proud of who you are!"
Translation: we want you to retain those cute quirks that make you an easy
Conclusion. America is a great place to make money, but not a great place to
make friends. I sort of knew it coming into the country. It's no secret that
money is more important to me than friends, so I feel that I got a good deal
out of my immigration experience.