Those useless migrants?
Forgive me while I start today’s rant by pointing out the obvious. A healthy number of my Maltese compatriots choose to turn J.F. Kennedy’s famed maxim right on its tail by playing merry hell with the welfare system, the taxation loopholes, the sick leave structure and a gazillion other benefits.
The maxim I’m referring to, of course, is “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Our nation has perfected the art of exploiting the establishment down to a tee. Which is why I was gobsmacked to learn that the majority of my fellow countrymen chalk down that odd spot of racism that plagues our shores to a righteous “but they’re not adding any value to our culture and economy”.
Are you seriously telling me with a straight face that the only reason we’ve been less than welcoming with anyone who hails south of the Med is because they don’t pull their weight in society?
For those of you who missed the report, you can read it here: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120602/local/Migrants-don-t-add-any-value-to-Malta.422341. And after you finish reading it, weep.
Allow me to continue pointing out the obvious: judging by what I see on a daily basis, the immigrants who land in Malta seem like an incredibly hard-working bunch.
They’re the ones who don’t turn up their noses at the menial jobs, even if such jobs might be beneath their level of education. How many Maltese can say that? I’ve yet to see a Maltese out-of-work professional pick up a broom because that’s the only job available. Somehow, the dole always wins out in these situations.
But that’s by the by. What really shocks me is the way we seem to be equating the value of human life with the economic value that said life can offer.
Quite apart from the moral implications of this, we’re hardly in a position to decide that those of us who don’t contribute “any added value to the local economy or culture” are useless.
Where would that leave the hundreds of perfectly healthy adults who eke an existence from one welfare cheque to another?
Or those who spend a lifetime waltzing from one rehab programme to another?
How about those who decide they prefer a life of crime and wind up costing the state thousands in legal fees, detention costs and so forth?
As for the “culture” card...please. There are too many people who think that Maltese culture is limited to pastizzi, tombola and coffee-mornings.
It’s rather rich to find us lambasting anyone for “not contributing to our culture” when so many of us seem happy to promote a “culture” that panders to the lowest common denominator, without ever taking us out of our comfort zone.
I know what a sensitive bunch you lot can be, so I’ll include the obligatory clarifications.
This post is definitely not intended to condemn those who genuinely need state assistance/those who find themselves going through difficult times and so forth.
The only reason I chose to use these examples is precisely to highlight the fact that it is extremely unSamaritan-like of us to presume to judge the value – or otherwise – of a person.
And yes, this applies regardless of the nationality of the person involved.
Next time we’re faced with a survey, how about we carry out less facile judgements and put that famed kindness to good use?
To conclude – not that it needs spelling out, but you never know – the “useless” in today’s heading? It’s called sarcasm.