Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Multiple standards



Baron von Trotta has always been surprised to find out how fellow humans apply, without blinking an eye, not just double, but triple and even multi-fold standards to the issues posed by immigration.

In one famous occasion, he overheard the same person, a young woman, a spring evening in one particularly pleasant hospoda in Prague, complain about the unfair concurrence of EU foreigners flooding the accelerated Czech job market of the 2000s; about the need to write in English presentations for the multinational corporation she worked for; and finally about the certain discrimination his Laos-born boyfriend of the time would have to suffer when relocating to the Czech Republic.

Hers was not far from the hypocritical attitude of so many Europeans who, upon encountering illegal African pedlars crowding some Mediterranean beach, express their displeasure loudly. Often, the same people who, back at home do the utmost to block access to their qualified jobs to other EU citizens; support their government in forcing other countries to deal alone with the current mass migration crisis; and enforce refugee quotas to prevent those same pedlars to emigrate to their own EU countries, while using the term "racism" when watching on TV, in front of a large evening meal in a big dining room, those images of asylum-seekers waiting in migration centres built for a tenth of their current capacity.

Often, the good will in accepting to help those most in need sees no contradiction when throwing a CV to the bin if one's job is threatened by a better qualified candidate from Croatia or Portugal.

Not to mention the issue of the accent when speaking foreign languages, which only becomes a handicap in certain places and contexts to disqualify job seekers, while the British manager living in Madrid for 20 years, and still unable to say "gracias" is praised by his international profile in the internal bulletin of the British corporation for which he works.

Thinking back of that evening in Prague, the Baron still smiles remembering the couple of self-righteous young men who got very upset and tried to make the lady in question see the contradiction in her opinions. They had the naivety of youth and ideas.

And he thanked again for his good luck at having found barely an adolescent, in the library of the state where he grew up, that terrible book of truth by Leopardi, Il Zibaldone dei pensieri, in a wonderful edition bound with green leather and with bible-thin pages, where human nature was unveiled so crudely but so wisely, than he learned from an early age to unveil all the petty threads of ambition behind the bland disguise of words.

The Baron grew up to be solitary and wise, but never a fool.



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