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What does "expat" mean and why does it only apply to white people?


#1

For the Guardian, Mawuna Remarque Koutonin writes about the term “expatriate,” and how it is part of a hierarchy of words to describe people who live in a nation other than the one in which they were born. “Immigrant” or “migrant” are rather more likely to be used to describe people of color, she writes, likely because “expat” has a ring of privilege and intention behind it. To expatriate is to make the decision to leave, rather than to migrate is to be part of a larger movement that forces one to leave–to search for employment, better living conditions, etc. Read Remarque Koutonin in partial below, in full via the Guardian.

In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else. One of those remnants is the word “expat”.

What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (‘out of’) and patria (‘country, fatherland’)”.

Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat, regardless of his skin colour or country. But that is not the case in reality; expat is a term reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad.

Africans are immigrants. Arabs are immigrants. Asians are immigrants. However, Europeans are expats because they can’t be at the same level as other ethnicities. They are superior. Immigrants is a term set aside for ‘inferior races’.

Don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal, the leading financial information magazine in the world, has a blog dedicated to the life of expats and recently they featured a story ‘Who is an expat, anyway?’. Here are the main conclusions: “Some arrivals are described as expats; others as immigrants; and some simply as migrants. It depends on social class, country of origin and economic status. It’s strange to hear some people in Hong Kong described as expats, but not others. Anyone with roots in a western country is considered an expat … Filipino domestic helpers are just guests, even if they’ve been here for decades. Mandarin-speaking mainland Chinese are rarely regarded as expats … It’s a double standard woven into official policy.”

*Image of “expat” via Lifehack


#2

I have a Hindu friend who is very wealthy. Can you help me shame her for being more privileged than I? There is a new movement of people claiming a political privilege by self-victimizing, by demonizing those of a different race, gender or class. There’s a new kind of political activist who will hijack a cause then promote guilt and insults, in order to dominate others. That is tyranny, not political activism. Whenever someone stands on a moral pedestal and has identified the “other” as the evil one, pointing the finger to provoke a mob lynching, we are facing a disingenuous manipulator with a thirst for power. While claiming to defend the poor and the weak their goal is to actually impoverish and weaken others so they can collect the leavings. This is the process described as hypocrisy.


#3

No, sorry nobody’s going to come to your aid in shaming your one Hindu or any other non-white “friend” that you think you have, because, the article written here on “expats” has a scale larger than the 1 % or the 2% of affluent non-white persons living outside a considerable distance away from where they were born.