In a conversation about local sweatshops, W emphasises that it's the community themselves who use sweatshop labour. I suggested that it may be partly because recent immigrants don't speak much English so they may not be aware of their rights. And even if they do, they might not have the same sense of entitlement that a middle-class person does. W: 'Now that's one thing that bothers me, immigrants should learn to speak English, now that they're here'. Explained about a person I know who has learned English at a local college for 7 years and still basically can't speak it well. I know that College, I tried to learn web design and photoshop there and they have THE WORST teachers I have ever experienced. If there's no provision - can you blame the victim? But I didn't go into that.

Later I described myself as a immigrant in a conversation. The middle-class dominant culture white people I said it to snorted at the description. I guess 'immigrants' must look different from me. So I added that I had once been described as an 'economic migrant' and I could totally understand why - because it was true, if you looked at it that way. End of conversation topic.

W, a distant relation, explained how my grandmother got out of Czechoslovakia just prior to the closing of all the borders during the Holocaust. Her father had begged the Home Office to allow her and her parents, his in-laws into Britain. My grandmother was allowed to come on a sponsored ticket as a domestic servant. The parents were of retirement age and went to the gas chambers.


W talks of 'immigrants' and 'refugees' as them, as people to be pitied but not really as people with any other attributes. She works for a famous large charity that 'helps the third world'.

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