Oh my god I just cannot. No, Kyle, you don’t actually want to “go live in Spain,” you want to go on vacation
Are you actually someone who lives in the world with your eyes open and is prepared to criticize power in your adopted home, where you’re GUARANTEED to be told to go back where you came from and probably shut out of meaningful discussions and movements, with no right to vote?
If you can buy your way out of the worst parts of the loss in political, social, and professional capital, then stay the fuck where you are because it sounds like you’re not threatened by fascism, you’re embarrassed by it. Moving permanently isn’t like your semester abroad.
If you think Europe is fancy and smart and it’s a place to go to escape fascism, then maybe look up the history of fascism because wow you’re gonna get your mind blown
Once the honeymoon period is over and you want a say in where you live, the demands to flatter the nation and gratitude don’t stop just because you now see the complexity in the place you live. People will say they don’t think of you as an immigrant but you ARE an interloper.
If you’re on a non-EU permit, what that means for you is “I hate black and brown people so much that I think of them when I vote against your rights, but I won’t take responsibility for making you collateral damage.” And nobody can be “one of the good ones” for their whole lives.
European liberals often see and treat Americans like dum dums. Are you actually up for having to be on your best behavior FOREVER and never have any needs and have people call you stupid to your face while they lock you out of secure employment? Honestly, just take the vacation.
I mean, if you wanna move, move. If you’re Black or trans and your actual immediate danger of being murdered is slightly less in Europe, then i get it, and you’re probably not naive about injustice and discrimination being global. But you’re prob also less able to up and migrate.
Migrating is hard. Even after 22 years, it’s hard because no matter what you do to integrate, you don’t stop being a migrant. And as someone who has never felt I belonged anywhere, it isn’t the same as just feeling socially different. This kind has legal and cultural weight.
Life is significantly easier for middle-class Swedes than for middle-class Americans, for example. But moving to Sweden doesn’t make you a middle-class Swede. It makes you an immigrant. Stop being so blinded by your privilege that you think you can bring it all with you.
It’s also hard because we’re all affected by this administration. I get told a lot how grateful I should be by both Swedes and Americans. I don’t get to experience or process what’s happening because Swedes think America is a TV show and Americans think Sweden is utopia.
Every time you speak up or get involved politically, unless you’re a citizen, you have to ask not only “will I be told to go home,” but “could this affect my right of residency?” It is a real threat! If I could have made my choices again, I’d have gone back to the US in like 2006
And if you have citizenship through a parent or grandparent? Don’t be a dick about it. I’m the parent of a Swedish child and I still may never have full citizenship rights here, and it affects me very deeply (if you’re “happy with just residency,” then good for you I guess).
Don’t get me wrong, borders are violence. I worry that citizenship everywhere is turning into some kind of college degree, and everyone’s just going along with it, rather than seeing it as an administrative status. But these rules WILL apply to you, no matter how white you are.
If your *honest* answer to “what am I best positioned to do to build local, national, and international solidarity actually does involve moving to a European country, great! Gimme a call, let’s do this. But if just you just noticed America is broken? Keep your BMW in the driveway
Privileged people who move on an impulse thinking it’ll fix their problems never last anyway. They’re often so used to coasting on their unearned advantage that they don’t have the tools to navigate both the problems AND being an outsider. They usually give up and go home.
It doesn’t mean you’re a dick or anything, but if I knew then what I know now, or if I’d had more choices, I’m not sure I’d have made the same ones I made. Friends who went back have much more comfortable lives than I do. They get more return on their energy.
And every time there’s any kind of activist situation, I have to consider if I’m risking the stability I do have. I always say the first thing I wanna do when I get citizenship is stomp on a nazi’s foot. Why? Because I can’t throw a decent punch. And there are MANY NAZIS to stomp
You can follow @janeruffino.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: