Do immigrants owe more debt of gratitude than native born citizens?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #1
    Interesting debate over at National review between writers David French and Charlie Cooke.

    French doesn’t think native born citizens should demand a level of gratitude from immigrants beyond what they demand from people born here:
    Cooke, who is an immigrant from England disagrees:
    I get both sides of this debate. And I can see where some might take French’s comments to mean he thinks immigrants are more American because they chose to be here. But right now this debate seems be about a specific person - Ilhan Omar, not immigrants in general. And a good number of residents of Twin Cities suburbs would argue immigrants from Somalia have not made their communities better. At the same time though Ilhan Omar doesn’t get elected to Congress without the votes of native born white people from Minneapolis.

    So which side of the argument do you fall on? I’m somewhere in the middle. Though I think pretty much everything Ilhan Omar believes is repugnant and I don’t think one can ignore where she was born and lived until 10 years old in forming some of her views.
     
  2. yaxomoxay, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    As an immigrant, I side with Cooke on this one.
    Let me put it this way: immigrants should have a special level of gratitude for their adoptive country, a country that we chose, and a country that accepted us. However, natives should have a special level of responsibility in making sure that they understand what they have since birth.
     
  3. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

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    No one owes the United States a “debt of gratitude.”
     
  4. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    Those who freely choose it as their country and are accepted, do.
     
  5. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

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    No, they don’t. They can choose to express and feel gratitude, but they don’t “owe” anyone anything.
     
  6. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    Legally, of course we don't owe anything.
    Morally, we do. We have been given a second (or just a new) chance at life, in a different country that had absolutely no duty to give it to us.
     
  7. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000

    ThisBougieLife

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    Potentially, but only if the immigrant is someone who chose to come here as an adult. Not someone who was brought here as a child and has little to no memory of their home country.
     
  8. Rogifan thread starter macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    So if you don’t freely choose it you don’t owe gratitude? This argument seems to be around who (if anyone) has to prove their gratitude more.
     
  9. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    Well, it depends on what you mean by "don't freely choose it". Obviously if you're kidnapped, you don't owe gratitude.

    Going back to the natives v immigrants, I think that it depends on WHAT one should be grateful for. At the cost of making an existentialism-101 statement, natives didn't ask for being in the country as they didn't ask to be alive. They just "popped out" in a place after all the biological activities that lead to there were finished. They certainly have a responsibility to keep and make wherever they were born the best place that it can be.
    Immigrants, on the other hand, freely choose to be in the country. They ASK to be invited, often multiple times and in different forms. There are several reasons for this requests, but I think we can agree that the reason is to have a better life. No one has the moral duty to accept the request, so the immigrants' requests are accepted. We are given an option that natives don't have, which is the choice between two countries.
     
  10. mixel macrumors 68000

    mixel

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    In Ilhan Omar's case, she shows gratitude ALL THE TIME. People use completely bogus reasons to attack and silence people like her. Criticising something does NOT mean anything in regards to showing gratitude, it's a complex country with many problems, like any other.

    Absolutely crazy that Trump and his ilk are attacking her for being "anti american" when she points out issues when their entire platform was Make America Great Again, implying it was broken. We can criticise anything american we like, but if the left do it they should shut up and/or leave! Ugh.
     
  11. chown33, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    chown33 Moderator

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    Does gratitude mean that one can't criticize at all? If the answer is "No", then what level of criticism "crosses the line" into ingratitude?

    Who decides what the line-crossing level is? Is it a sliding scale?

    Aren't Americans free to have their own opinions, and express them?

    How is this different from any other "Love it or leave it" argument, which have been going on for decades?
     
  12. Huntn macrumors demi-god

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    With a quick skim reading, I don’t fall on either side in particular and agree with the points both are making.

    The concept of gratitude, I understand it, and I can see people having it, that a position was taken by a third party that allowed an immigrant to enjoy a better life or the change they desired. I have no clue though on how that gratitude should be repaid, other than by doing your best for the group you now reside in.
     
  13. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    I can only speak to what my grandparents felt when they came here. Their gratitude for America letting them in the door was immense. To them the time it took to come here legally was worth it in their eyes. They felt it was their duty to learn the language as fast as possible and to immediately contribute to society. To accept anything that would constitute a "handout" never entered their mind (they were too proud and grateful). They also never felt assimilation=being stripped of their culture. Culture was what happened in their own home, being a contributing member of society was how they gave back (what they felt they owed the U.S.).
     
  14. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

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    I'll try to leave the politics aside, but I'll say this;

    If things go the way some want it to go in the future, the only people immigrants will have to thank for making it in America will be themselves for running the gauntlet of intentionally-placed physical, legal, emotional and mental barriers.
     
  15. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #15
    just follow the laws and don't be a moron, that is good enough for me.
     
  16. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    My grandparents ran the gauntlet of the Nazi's and post WWII Europe. I know those on the left want to keep up with these WWII/Nazi/concentration camp analogies and apply that to the US today, but there is nothing compared to that in 2019. I realize there is a good chunk of the AOC generation that don't know what the holocaust was or what Auschwitz is, so it's easy to give them a pass.
     
  17. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

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  18. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #18
    America, a country born on immigration where nearly everybody descends from immigrants bar a few indigenous tribes? All give yourselves a pat on the back and be grateful you’ve all accepted yourselves lol.
     
  19. Altis macrumors 68030

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    Reminds me of our dear PM Trudeau saying that Canada belongs more to immigrants because they chose it.

    "“You chose this country. This is your country more than it is for others because we take it for granted.”"
     
  20. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    I sense sarcasm in your remark, but you actually hit a very important point. One of the things that surprised me the most when I moved to this side of the pond is how much Americans are attached to both their heritage(s) and the nation that was built. During the years I met literally thousands of people that told me "oh I am X" (where X can be Italian, French, Swedish, Japanese, Congolese, etc.) while they have literally zero living close relatives that come or live in those places. You have no idea how many "I am Italian too!" I heard from people who never visited Italy, don't speak Italian, don't know the history, and at most they had their great-great-great-grandfather's uncle that was born in Italy. At the same time, they will tell you that they are American, most of them with a certain pride.
    I think that this comes from a mix of the religious gratitude ("we thank God for these lands, crops!"), mixed with a pinch of revolutionary desire ("We the People"), mixed with the general history of this country (good or bad). In other words, since the US is clearly an ideological country, and a modern one, I think that gratitude as a concept is an inherent, fundamental, and inevitable trait of those living in it, and its loss could spell trouble for the unity of the nation and the well being of its people.
     
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    You didn’t try very hard or really at all.
     
  22. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Sorry, I have nothing to contribute, but you guys have no idea how ridiculously pompous this sounds to a non-American :D:D
     
  23. Altis macrumors 68030

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    Not in a legal sense. But the U.S. doesn't "owe" it to the 1,000,000+ immigrants to welcome them into the country in the first place.

    And if those people who are given the opportunity to come to an established country to greatly enhance their opportunity and quality of life have no sense of gratitude, why would the country want them? Nobody likes the ungrateful.

    No different than being grateful any other time you were given an opportunity you desired (such as catching a break for a job).
     
  24. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604

    The-Real-Deal82

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    It was more tongue in cheek than sarcasm to be fair and I nearly said you guys owe Europeans gratitude for the lifts to your great land lol.

    You’re right about Americans and heritage as I’ve encountered that a lot too. I’ve lost count how many America’s I’ve met who well tell you they are Irish because their great grandfather was born there lol. I’m more Irish than that :p
     
  25. yaxomoxay macrumors 68040

    yaxomoxay

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    #25
    ahahha yeah, I know what you mean :D and on St. Patrick's day week it seems that everyone is Irish... I mean, it's an excuse to drink beer, so it kinda works but it's also so silly... :)
     

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46 July 16, 2019