Don’t Call them Expats, They are Immigrants too
In the Western lexicon of human migration there are still lot of remnants of a white supremacist ideology, with hierarchical classes of words created to differentiate White people from the rest of humanity, 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 Wikidpedia, “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 any person going to work outside of his or her country for a period of time would be an expat regardless of his skin color, country, etc.
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.
In fact, saying you are expat means you subscribe to racism because “expat” is of a White supremacist vocabulary invented to differentiate White people abroad from other races also living abroad.
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 have 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 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.” – Wall Street Journal
This reality is the same in Africa. White people want to differentiate themselves and have their superiority recognized in using words like expat and other similar words. If you call them immigrants, they’d feel insulted.
Top African professionals going to work in Europe are not considered expats. They are immigrants. Period.
“I work for multinational organizations both in the private and public sectors. And being Black or Coloured doesn’t gain me the term ‘expat.’ I’m a highly qualified immigrant, as they call me, to be politically correct” wrote an African migrant worker.
Most White people are in denial of the racist system they enjoy. And why not? And yet our responsibility is to deny them these privileges, directly related to an outdated supremacist ideology, and a mindset that many people still want to keep active in the world.
If you see those “expats” in Africa, call them immigrants like everyone else. If that hurts their white superiority, they can jump in the air and stay there!
The political deconstruction of this outdated worldview work must continue!
By Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN