Citizen Orange: June 2009 Archives

More than three years ago, I began an experiment that I would come to call pro-migrant blogging.  What is pro-migrant blogging?  A pro-migrant blogger is someone who uses blogs to promote the interests of migrants.  There are, of course, varying shades of pro-migrant bloggers.  Still, I have a sort mental checklist for determining whether a blog is pro-migrant, or not.  A blogger is pro-migrant if she or he:

Characteristics of a Pro-Migrant Blogger

  • Believes that all human beings are equal, regardless of the nation they were born into.  In other words the blog is not nativist.  What is nativism?  In the same way that racism is the belief that one human being is superior to another on the basis of race, nativism is the belief that one human being is superior to another on the basis of birthplace.
  • Actively promotes the interests of migrants, dispels the myths of nativism, and fights back against nativism. 
  • Provides a safe space from nativism in the online spaces he or she controls, or at least does not allow nativism to go unchecked.
  • Recognizes that nativism is inextricable from racism.  The relationship between nativism and racism is best exemplified by the tendency to view people of color as being from other nations.  One of the most famous and dramatic instances of this relationship was exemplified in the killing of Vincent Chin.
  • Explores the relationship between migrant oppression and other social constructs such as class, gender, etc.  I don't personally see religion as a social construct, but it could be included here.
  • And, finally, he or she sees migration as a symptom of broader global ills.  Hence the use of the word migrant as opposed to immigrant or emigrant.  Immigration approaches the issue from the perspective of receiving nations, emigration approaches the issue from the perspective of sending nations, and migration recognizes the phenomena for its true.  The only criticism of the term migrant is that it has a transitory connotation.  This is why some people strive for the more permanent connotation of the word immigrant.  This criticism, however, implies that a transitory state of being, a being in a state of movement, is a bad thing, and to concede that is a fundamental blow to the dignity of migrants. 
Others are free to contest this list in the comments section.  I am not particularly attached to it.  It's a starting point more than a finished product.  I wrote it out partly so that it could be contested.  Still, serves roughly as my mental checklist for determining whether a blog is pro-migrant or not.    To get on Citizen Orange's pro-migrant blogroll I ask bloggers to go a couple steps further than my checklist.  You have to email me about helping to fight nativism online, and you have to cross-post your writing over at The Sanctuary.

It is important to state that I was not the first pro-migrant blogger.  I also hope I will not be the last.