Ted Knows What’s Up Comic

White Stu­dent De­bunks Im­mi­gra­tion Prob­lem

The McGill Daily - - Contents - Francine de Sales

Ted, a U2 Econ and Man­age­ment ma­jor, took an hour out of his busy day to talk to us about his in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence in ac­tivism work re­gard­ing im­mi­gra­tion. Since 2017, Ted is in­volved in the “End White Dis­crim­i­na­tion at the Border” cam­paign at Mc­gall, which has raised hun­dreds of dol­lars through samosa sales and pub crawl tick­ets. As a white stu­dent who im­mi­grated from the United States two years ago, Ted ex­plained in which ways the hard­ships of im­mi­gra­tion changed his per­spec­tive on life. “I re­ally wasn’t sure I was gonna make it ya know. Ask­ing for a stu­dent per­mit, that long on­line form, it was a lot,” he said, his voice crack­ing.

“I re­ally be­lieve that im­mi­gra­tion is all about con­tribut­ing to a coun­try ya know. I came here to grad­u­ate and then stay. I’m one of those im­mi­grants, I just want to be a good cit­i­zen, pay my taxes, go vote, get a good job, noth­ing much ya know.”

When asked about how he views im­mi­gra­tion from Latin Amer­ica, Ted stressed the im­por­tance of cul­tural in­te­gra­tion and shared that “he didn’t feel very com­fort­able with those peo­ple com­ing.” “It’s not racist or any­thing, it’s just like, how are they gonna blend in if they don’t speak our lan­guage, I just don’t know, man.” Ted did not seem aware that English is not the of­fi­cial lan­guage of the United States, and in­stead went on shar­ing with us the work he put into learn­ing French be­fore com­ing here. “I re­ally worked for it ya know, I can now say bon­jour and merci with­out an ac­cent.”

Ted, who knows how spe­cial his ex­pe­ri­ence was, is com­mit­ted to shar­ing it with the rest of cam­pus. When asked how he felt about mi­grants seek­ing asy­lum ver­sus eco­nomic mi­grants, Ted ad­mit­ted not know­ing the dif­fer­ence; “But… if you are not an eco­nomic mi­grant, does that mean you won’t ever have a job? Be­cause ya know, that’s just dan­ger­ous for the Cana­dian econ­omy, like ob­jec­tively.”

He con­tin­ued by high­light­ing the ways in which im­mi­gra­tion can lead to tragic con­se­quences. “It’s just like, I’m not a CAQ sup­porter, but I get it, like if you don’t have a college de­gree, it’s just like, what are you bring­ing to Canada as an in­di­vid­ual, ya know.” This per­spec­tive, which Ted pointed out is shared by most of his friends, is far from be­ing un­sup­ported. Ted gave us a crash course in eco­nomics dur­ing the in­ter­view to clar­ify what he meant: “Af­ter tak­ing ECON 209 last se­mes­ter I just re­ally un­der­stand what ne­olib­er­al­ism and cap­i­tal­ism mean to me on, like, a per­sonal level.” Ted couldn’t go into many de­tails about the spe­cific im­pli­ca­tions of im­mi­gra­tion for the econ­omy but re­ferred us to his favourite book by Mil­ton Fried­man, which he in­sisted is “a mas­ter­piece.”

Ted cred­its his fam­ily for the strong mer­i­to­cratic val­ues they passed onto him. Get­ting worked up, he added: “It’s like, earn ya spot here like ev­ery­one else! Like my grandpa used to say, ya don’t get noth­ing for free in life.” ( Un­for­tu­nately, when asked if this in­cluded his white priv­i­lege, Ted re­called a board meet­ing at the De­sau­tels fac­ulty and had to leave).

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