Identity

On White Expats and Non-White Immigrants

Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen and Leonardo DiCaprio in Danny Boyle's “The Beach” (2000).

Guillaume Canet, Virginie Ledoyen and Leonardo DiCaprio in Danny Boyle's “The Beach” (2000).

“Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?”

The question was raised in The Guardian by a man named Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, who is the editor of SiliconAfrica.com, where his short blog was first published.

Koutonin notes with fury that the word “expat,” short for “expatriate,” only applies to White people away from their home country, while non-White people abroad are systematically referred to as “immigrants.”

While I obviously don't share Koutonin's post-colonial resentment, I must say he's right. Indeed, “expat” is only used for White people. It also works in French, but of course “expatriate” comes from “expatrié.” (Sorry, Jef Costello. Btw, wasn't Costello a character played by Alain Delon?)

Of course, the main objection one could make to Koutonin's case is that since most emigrants are relocating to Western countries, the vast majority of White expats settle in other White countries.

And while most Western people define their identity on a strictly national basis (for now), the conclusion someone with our political outlook must draw is that White people are at home in any other Western country, which argues in favor of free immigration for White people between Western countries.

If Europeans worldwide don't want to accept their only true, millennial identity, Koutonin is reminding them who they really are, and they would be better inspired to get it right now than later, when whiny blog posts are replaced with mightier means.