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The International Writers Magazine
: Mass Migration

WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM
James Skinner

‘Come in Tom. Got some good news for you. Larry Thompson out on the West Coast is retiring in a couple of months and we want you to take over the operation,’ said Jane Woburn, Senior VP of Bubbly Gas Inc. ‘It’s agreed that you’ll get a 10% salary rise, and an extra 5% on your existing stock options. The company will pick up the usual moving costs, you know, house sale, estate agent fees, etc.’ Tom smiled. He had no choice. It was a move or else a kick sideways into a dead end job.


Arresting illegals in Spain

Across the ‘pond’ a different conversation was taking place.

‘Shit. There’s another damn dingy adrift five miles out. Here take a look,’ said Inspector Suarez of the Spanish Civil Guards on the Andalusian coast, as he searched the horizon across the Straits of Gibraltar. He handed his colleague the binoculars. ‘I count over forty. Suppose it’s moreMoroccans. If only they knew they’re going to be sent right back.’
‘Yeah, that’s if they still make it to the shore alive.’

This is the normal routine of masses of people fleeing Africa and risking their lives for freedom and wealth in ‘plentiful’ Europe. The first scenario is one example of human movement in the US. It sits as the top notch on the scale. The latter lies at the other end of the spectrum. Both are part of the centuries old phenomena of human migration.

The exodus of vast sections of the world’s population, moving from one place to another is exceedingly common in the history of mankind. But unlike their fellow animals, they are vastly different. Fauna tends to shift for natural causes, generally for food, sex or both. Birds fly south, away from the northern cold in order to mate, build their nests and reproduce. Fish swim with the warm currents and change venues for similar reasons. But homo sapiens migrate because of greed or fear. Either they seek a better standard of living or they are persecuted for a plethora of reasons and are forced away from their homeland or natural habitat.

Take the American Indians back in the XIX century. Before the move West of the 7th Cavalry bringing with them all the modern industrial advances of the era, the Indians’ livelihood blended into nature just like other animals. This was brilliantly depicted in Kevin Costner’s great movie ‘Dances with Wolves’. Their living conditions did not endanger their survival. They killed sufficient buffalo for food in the summer and warmth in the winter retiring to a dormant mode as the snow fell. Alas the ‘blue-coats’ turned up and everything changed. The Indians were practically annihilated. The Spanish Conquistadors did exactly the same in Latin America. In the name of Jesus Christ and the Madrid bank balances, Incas, Mayas, Aztecs and a few other brands of American civilisations were wiped out. Both are examples of human movement seeking wealth and fortune whilst ousting others that came their way. Centuries later, specially in Europe the trend was the reverse.

During both World Wars millions of people fled their homes in fear of death by the oppressing forces. Surprisingly though, the very ones that were persecuted in WWII, the Jews, migrated in bulk to the promised land of Palestine creating the modern state of Israel. Result? They kicked out a few other humans that fled, mainly to Jordan and are, today still trying to find a ‘new’ homeland. We can continue to encapsulate millions upon millions who were and still are being shifted around the planet, for or against their will, anywhere from Sudan to China, from Mexico to Iraq and from within Europe to within Europe. We can dissect the reasons throughout history since God created man. We can enumerate thousands of thesis that have been written on the subject. The question is, how has all this migration affected the evolution of mankind? What have been and are the global consequences, particularly in the XXI century? And above all, what are we now faced with, as one large global community united through the most modern means of communication that have been developed over the years, yet vastly separated by wealth, religion and politics? In other words, how do we stand and, what next?

Thanks to responsible immigration, the United States of America holds the largest cocktail of humanity ever developed and can boast as the wealthiest and most advanced nation in the world. A democratic constitution and a sound yet flexible legislation has allowed this country to consolidate its citizenship to the extent that hardly any mass migration of human beings from within its borders takes place. Is this going to hold? Hardly. America’s appetite for oil and other raw materials to sustain an ‘oversized’ standard of living plus the added threat of external Islamic terrorism has set the ‘think tanks’ to red alert. For the time being however, nobody is moving!
Recent immigration in Europe has had a different effect. Initially, the establishment of the European Union has ‘legalised’ the movement of citizens within its boundaries. This has brought about the mixing and exchange of, among many other subjects, new cultures, languages, customs and wealth. In general, harmonious living standards have been set. However, unlike the USA, the EU’s legal and economic infrastructure is light years away from consolidation. This is one reason why the EU is unable to cope, legally, with the recent ‘flood’ of illegal immigration now pouring in, above all from Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Although Europe’s ageing population causes a threat to sustained growth and, similar to America a century ago needs ‘new blood’, uncontrolled immigration is not the answer. Consequence? Increase in organised crime, prostitution, disease and what is even worse, racism. Pakistanis in UK persecuted by the ‘old Brits’, Colombians in Spain murdered by rival Ecuadorian gangs, Jews in France being harassed by Muslims. The old gypsy ghetto system of different ethnic groups is on the rise in Europe.

A side effect to migration is the transmission and proliferation of disease. Syphilis and gonorrhoea were transmitted by European sailors to innocent Caribbean islanders a few hundred years ago. Poliomyelitis spread like wildfire across the globe in the mid-nineteen fifties. From Aids to tuberculosis to Sars, today’s world travellers keep our medical scientists busy twenty-four hours a day. Yet health threats are not the only demons buying an airline ticket. Make way for the real Medusa. Religion!.

The international terrorist threat by Islamic fundamentalists is having its world-wide toll on human migration. Anyone entering Iraq from the Western world could exit as an exhibit for the Tower of London. Any Christian moving into northern Nigeria is liable to be flogged to death. Any school kid from Russia visiting Chechnya could be a sniper’s target practice. Or is it just the fundamentalists? Is the world experiencing a resurrection of religious persecution similar to that of the dark ages but in the reverse direction? No one in the democratic world dares mention the fact that behind the murder of innocent civilians by Muslim fanatics there could be a cover up of a more sinister plot for an overall Islamic take-over of the universe. Either leave or be murdered! Are we hitting a raw nerve? Too close for comfort? There is only one positive and hopefully optimistic answer.
Unless the United Nations consolidates its international position, which must include the full backing of the United States, and imposes some sort of a standard set of rules based on harmonious co-existence between the entire Muslim world and the ‘rest’, future human migration will end up as a one way ticket to hell!
© James Skinner. 2004.
jamesskinner@cemiga.es

See also his review of Open Water



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