Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Oh, Britain –– For Shame

Really, Great Britain? For shame. (And for fuck's sake.)

I could go on a long rant, but I would only expend energy and fumes. I wish I could at least say that I am surprised, but I'm not. Foreigners are made to feel very unwelcome here (and both my students and I have experienced it often), and it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

For shame.

Update (2/22/16): And here is another horror story. (Tip of the cap to Yves van Gennip.)


Fr. said...

At a different point of my life, I was a lobbyist / spokesperson for the French Confederation of Young Researchers. We were facing the same issue as described in the linked article.

I believe it took us over ten years of collective work by dozens of highly committed people to get some legal guarantees against the issue (which is still not completely fixed).

It was not the only thing we were lobbying on, but it was one of our most important topics, for many different reasons.

Mason said...

Thank you for your comment.

I took a look at the link, though I can't read it because I don't know French.

Yes, this is indeed a long battle that needs to be fought and won. Even the much smaller things than what this guy is dealing with are horrible and demeaning (as I know from personal experience).

Really, this is all very saddening. I hope at least this incident --- though we should not have to have martyrs! --- makes more of my colleagues understand deeply just how serious things are. To be fair, some of them do, but unfortunately many of them dismiss the smaller things like the VISA monitoring and others as small things. (And the VISA-monitoring e-mails are simply cold and insulting.) Even the small things suck, and they set the stage for the bigger stuff --- like the events described in the link.

Ten years of hard fighting sounds about right, unfortunately.

Fr. said...

The French equivalent of VISA monitoring is also insulting. I have experienced the "procedure" myself after my passport got torn apart in an airport. It is humiliating and dangerous for people who get sent back to authoritarian countries, and both France and the US have their fair share of these, including among foreign students.

The French Confederation of Young Researchers will blow its 20th candle this year. We have won only a few fights, but they were worth it. I know from our EU-level lobbying that there are similar groups all over Europe.

Mason said...

It's a horrible business, and I should also say that indeed I am rather ashamed at how my home country (US) acts when it comes to such things. One of the best parts of an academic life is to interact with people from such different and international backgrounds, and all of this stuff is saddening. I suppose at least experiencing some of it myself has given me more empathy for people who have experienced such issues in the US, though it would also be nice to be able to gain more empathy in a way other than "the hard way."