Life of a foreigner: what it’s like to be on the other side of the wall?
15/02/2017 Daniela Pisciottano
Last November Americans have voted for the new President of the USA and the choice fell on the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.
His political views are mainly “black or white” and, apparently, many Americans agree with these ideas which have been defined “bigot” by the National press, as seen on The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Thousands of people have taken their protests to the streets all over the world against his misogyny, under estimation of women and social minorities and the famous promise of building a wall to separate America from Mexico.
I am an immigrant, a privileged one as I moved from Italy to Britain but, although I feel safe most of the time, knowing that one of the most powerful man on earth has such a strong position against immigrants I ask myself what things will be like if they change for the worse.
I have interviewed Giulio, an Italian young man studying in his third year at the University of Westminster, Zane, a Latvian woman who has been living in the UK for 6 years and Anna, a German girl who only moved to London last year.
The most recurring topic during the three interviews is -you guessed it- Donald Trump and, despite the fact that I haven’t mentioned him once, every interviewee has taken an anti-Trump position at some point.
Quoting Giulio, “he is insane and, in my opinion, a horrible human being which will lead the world to have four of the worst years ever.” Zane also added that “his hatred could start a war at any time now and, to be fair, I would understand if other leaders were ready to fight him”.
Anna, on the other side, kept an optimistic mind, and defended Trump’s supporters who “just hope for a safer and better America”.
I expected to be interviewing three very different people and this is indeed what happened because, contrarily to Trump’s politic ideas, not everything is “black or white” and some people can’t help but always find the positive side to things.
When asked about the pro’s and con’s of being an immigrant in Britain Zane said “I walk my daughter to the nursery every morning and then I head to University, where I study Business management. I am fully integrated and my daughter is treated just like the British kids but when it comes to practical things, renting a flat for example, it’s a completely different story. I remember that the first flat I ever rented I had to appoint an English guarantor, which in that instance was the English husband of a Latvian friend of mine. Now it’s all different, I know my landlord and I totally feel included in the community”.
“The worst part of being an immigrant is the distance from home”, Anna said, “but there is Skype to shorten the distance and I couldn’t be happier to live in London! It’s been my dream forever”.
Immigrants are normal people, and sure there might be some individuals who could create damage to the society, but this is not a factor that derives from being born in a different country.
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence insights violence” said Meryl Streep earlier this year during her Golden Globes’ 2017 speech, talking about Donald Trump.
Whether we come from India, America or the Britain let’s stop making war and let’s initiate globalization by including each other and making sure that every country is ready to welcome immigrants, who will bring nothing but culture, traditions and love.
“I have many friends from different parts of the world and not even once I’ve felt left out. This is something that only those who leave their countries can understand”, Giulio added.
President Trump has very conservative and bigot ideas, but people are moving to make a change.
Men and women are marching to defend their rights; immigrants are upset for being treated like criminals. People belonging to social minorities are standing unite against prejudice and, if this is not a revolution, then what is it?