Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, February 11, 2005

White Retirement

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to retirement. Not mine, of course, since I'll never be able to actually retire. I can't afford it. But the topic seems to be in the air these days with all the Social Security reform talk.
But something else has been in the air recently too, more or less under the radar screen. I've been thinking a lot in recent years about racism and the US policies on immigration. There's frequent mention on Conservative talk radio (whenever I can stomach listening to it) about the need for much stronger immigration controls. The argument is that immigrants tax the welfare system, tax our economy. I don't exactly buy that, because immigrants usually work hard. The US benefits from having them work. A more trendy argument is that terrorists are free to slip in with the illegal immigrants.
I tend to think that the paranoia over immigration has more to do with the American notion of Anglo-Saxon white supremacy, in other words, with racism. Somewhere just under the radar screen, white Americans tend to be racist. Despite good effort, I have not been able to completely escape this.
Just a few days ago I remembered something that had been drilled into my mind almost subliminally practically from the day I was born, or at the very least, since I became an adult. We English Americans have a strong, unconfessed fear of some day having to live as a minority in our own country. I can recall many times thinking about this with a sense of fear and dread. And this is from a person who, to the best of his ability, has for his whole life avoided being racist. Growing up in a part of the country where I almost never saw a person of another race till I joined the military, it was easy to avoid racism, but it wasn't so easy to socialize with people of other races when I finally did get out in the world. I do remember, though, despising true white racism when I did encounter it in the military. But I still had this deep fear of being in the minority racially in my own country.
Strangely enough, I came across something today that actually combined those two fears, the fear of old age and retirement, and the fear of being in the racial minority in America. It's a liberal/conservative issue, in fact, and here is a good little example of the debate:


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