I Wish I Was A Foreigner

This was written about 1900.

I Wish I Was A Foreigner


An American

I wish I was a foreigner, I really, really do.

A right down foreign foreigner; pure foreigner through and through;

Because I find Americans, with all of native worth,

Don’t stand one half the chances here with men of foreign birth.

It seems to be unpopular for us to hold a place,

For we are made to give it up to men of foreign race.

The question of necessity and fitness to possess

Must never be considered- who cares for our distress.

Perhaps it is not wicked to be of foreign birth,

Or to mutter a mild protest when an alien wants the earth;

But the latest importation is sure to strike a job,

And be the sooner qualified to strike and lead a mob.

A Dutchman (German) or an Irishman, a Frenchman or a Turk

Comes here to be a voter, and is always given work;

A native born American is here, and here he must stay;

So it matters little how he lives, he cannot get away.

The Spaniard and Bohemian, the Russian and the Pole,

Are looking toward America with longings in the soul,

Because the politicians will receive them with open arms,

And the goddess of our freedom bid them welcome to her charms.

But the law abiding Chinaman from the Celestial shore,

Because he has no franchise, is driven from our shore;

Americans and Chinamen are not in much demand,

The one remains neglected while the other is barred the land.

So I wish I was a Dutchman, or some other foreign cuss

I’d lord it over the natives- who don’t dare to make a fuss,

But my blushes tell the story, I am native to the soil’

So the aliens hold the places- visitors must never toil.


2 comments on “I Wish I Was A Foreigner

  1. Yes, xenophobia isn’t exactly new, is it? It’s always interesting to read about each wave of immigrants from a different culture coming here, establishing themselves, then saying “No more! You next lot don’t belong! There’s no more room!” Except for those from the tribes “we” did our best to wipe out, all of us are the descendants of immigrants.

  2. I think your comment misses the point, O Swathed One. Whether we are descendants of immigrants or not there is no reason to give preference to the most recent arrivals. There is no reason to penalize those already here who are most willing to do jobs that some say ‘Americans won’t do.’

    Between the US and Europe having shipped trillions of dollars to all those depressed areas one would think that they should be more prosperous than ‘we.’ Many of those countries have received three or four times the per capita income of the entire population and still nothing happens.

    Although I did read that the West rather than colonizing Africa is actually buying it up. Area the size of France so far. That certainly changes the concept of xenophobia. It’s one thing to invade a country but another thing to buy it. Well, that may be change ‘we’ can believe in O Swathed One.

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