A Look in from the Outside

To the Editor: I’d like to share my thoughts about Dinesh D’Souza’s lecture at the Ira Allen Chapel on Nov. 11. First of all, let me state that as an immigrant I do not share Mr. D’Souza’s view that all immigrants are provided with a better standard of life in the USA than in any other country. As an immigrant living in Germany for seven years and as a citizen of Bosnia, I am challenging this assumption by stating that a worker in Germany, and yes, even in postwar Bosnia, is far better off than an immigrant worker in the USA. Standards of living should not only be measured by macroscopic figures that are abstracted from the real life of the actual immigrants (actually the tendency to generalize – though he repeatedly ridiculed the audience by stating that they are not presenting any “specific evidence” to their arguments – is the only (mis)talent that I have discovered in Mr. D’Souza as a propagandistic scholar par example). A worker in Germany may receive, instead of seven dollars, only five dollars, but it needs to be noted that living expenses such as housing, food and transportation are far lower than in the US. Also, an immigrant in Germany receives full health-coverage as in most European and all Scandinavian countries. In addition, one should never disregard, as Mr. D’Souza did, the subjective experience and evaluation of one’s own life in a country (such as higher education – which is free in Germany). And one should never – as is often done in this institution – base one’s opinions on distorted and isolated facts and assumptions which produce false generalizations (Mr. D’Souza, your experience as an Indian immigrant does not give you the authority to speak for all immigrants or all Indians) and which produce propaganda which could potentially lead such young people as those covered with an American flag (remember?) to catastrophic decisions (verbal and physical discrimination). Zeljko KnezevicClass of 2003