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To that Romanian student who calls herself Romanian Princess 08/09/2013

Posted by allthingsro in politics, quirks.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

An open letter from a Romanian student in London caused a sensation on Romanian social media in July 2013. “God has been killed in the West,” it read, and it went on to attack the UK’s liberalism, feminism and multiculturalism. Here is Nadia Barbu’s response:

…Then a letter has appeared on Facebook: somewhat ungrammatical but full of the feeling, from the self-styled Romanian Princess aka Cristiana Marcus, only to reappear from a host of directions today. As a Romanian who has been living in London for almost three years, I feel the need to write my very own letter to this disoriented young woman, who won’t read it, but isn’t it a fine rhetorical device and very much on trend to write open letters to figurative recipients?
So, dear girl. I could wonder, as so many people who have posted the article on Facebook have done, how a young person so close-minded could have secured a place at a prestigious London university. But these people for the most part are resident in Romania. I have seen countless times Romanians in the West for a holiday or to study who, although they would like Romania to be like the West, turn up their nose again and again: “So many niggers on the street! So many Arabs! So many Indians! Oh my god, two men holding hands! On my word, women dressed in comfortable clothing, not all dressed up to the nines to please my eyes!” I’ve got used to it. And I know that UK universities will take just about anyone who has the money to pay (and the girl in question is the daughter of a wealthy man and occasional protagonist in the Romanian tabloids). So this doesn’t surprise me.
I could start by saying that you’re mistaken. That the racism, misogyny and stupid nationalism on which your letter is founded are mistaken. That people with a different skin colour are not your enemies, and that no matter how much it seems to you in your pretty little pale-skinned, molly-coddled head that affirmative action of the kind that countries like the United Kingdom have undertaken to compensate centuries of persecution and slavery is a step too far or political correctness, it has not succeeded in rebalancing the scales by even as little as 5%. That Christianity is not the only religion on the face of the earth, hey, that religion is not obligatory, but a personal choice, and that therefore in a multicultural and predominantly secular society like the UK it is not obligatory to make a big deal out of the your Christian celebrations or even religious celebrations in general. That people with a different sexual orientation are not your enemies and that they don’t change your freedom to love whom you want in the slightest. That the patriarchy you praise hates you, and that no matter how much you may ardently strive to maintain gender roles (which are artificial and vary from one culture to another and from one era to another), roles that are against you, misogynists aren’t going to scorn you any less simply because you have aligned yourself with them. That the only reason why you are even able to study at King’s College is because feminism exists. That safe and legal abortion is a necessary evil. That the Romanian martyrs and heroes whom you worship were invented for the most part in the history books that you learnt from at school, because each country fabricates history in its own favour, as it judges best.
But I would be wasting my breath, and I doubt that you would understand. So, instead, I’ll say you’re mistaken in a different way. That the egalitarianism that you see doesn’t exist – unfortunately – and that London and the UK in general are full of people like you. Of racists, misogynists, nationalists, homophobes, patriots with fascist tendencies, etc. A good number of them have come together in the BNP – why don’t you check it out? You might like it. You’ll find plenty of them in the Daily Mail and similar forums. That although the UK is only trying, to its credit, little by little to get closer to that utopia that you describe as a nightmare (or at least it’s pretending to try), people like you exist in great numbers and will always exist. And, what’s more, they are in the majority. In fact, that was my main disappointment with the liberal West: I came thinking that I would find a paradise of open-mindedness, but the reality soon emerged from beneath the coating of politeness and political correctness, as you and others like you call it, (to tell the truth, I’ve yet to find someone who spoke about political correctness with disgust and who wasn’t a loathsome individual). Stay calm, here too homosexuals are observed furtively – and with disgust – by the vast majority of the population. Here too, women get felt up in the bus, judged only on their appearance, blamed if they are raped or harassed, asked in interviews if they are thinking of getting pregnant, continually asked why they have not got married yet, and so and so on; gender roles are safe and sound. Here too people of a different colour or nationality are regarded warily and very often with hostility. All this a colleague of Indian origin could explain to you. Although he was born and raised in London and speaks with a strong East London accent, he has to, even today, say “India” when he is asked, “Where are you from?”, in order not to be considered a liar. Anyone who has dealt with the xenophobia and bureaucracy of the UK Border Agency could explain this to you – myself included.
Listen here girl, I can explain why you’re angry. You’re not angry because the UK is not sufficiently racist, nationalist or xenophobic. You’re not outraged because the UK doesn’t hate the Others enough, the Others who are different to those in power. You’re outraged because, for the first time in your life, the Other is you. Because in the UK, you’re not part of the majority who can point a finger, who discriminate, who hate. No, you’re the bad guy, the foreign criminal, you’re the one of doubtful origins, of doubtful race (because not all English people are convinced that Romanians are white, however often you may jump up to try to point out that, yes, we are white, and those brown ones are gypsies, and, and…), you are the backward one, the uncivilised one. And it hurts, doesn’t it? It hurts to feel that your skin colour no longer means anything, that the your cultural values are scorned, that you’re no longer queen of the earth, that everything that you believed about yourself is mistaken. And that’s why you’re beating yourself up. It’s perfectly normal that you don’t like it. It’s awful to be the target of prejudice. But you’re not sufficiently intelligent to grasp that precisely for this reason you should discard your own prejudices and empathise with those niggers, Arabs, homosexuals and other women.
But no, all you want to do is go back to your little nest, to return to the privileged position of the majority, to be able to point your finger at others and lash out at them. And that’s why, my dearest, your manifesto is idiotic, and the money that your parents are spending on maintaining you here in London is wasted.
So I’ll just wish you two things. Firstly, may everything you say come true. May your frightening analysis of British society come into being. May people of a different colours be treated the same, may there be no more insults, may women truly become the equal of men, and homosexuals of heterosexuals, may gender roles be abolished, may God and other imaginary people of the like disappear and may the UK become a secular, egalitarian utopia. I wish for this with all my heart, because for me it sounds like heaven on earth. And may this secular and egalitarian utopia spread around the world and may it eventually even include Romania.
And I wish that you would pick up a grammar textbook now and then. Or simply a book of any kind. It’s kind of embarrassing that passionate patriotism concludes with a line that sounds as if it had been written by Boyzone. Cheers!



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