“The Right-Wing Migrant” by G. S.

The right-wing migrant grew up poor and speaking a different language. Back home, he was mocked for his accent until his late teens. The right-wing migrant worked hard. He worked hard for cheap. He was such a good deal that foreign men got him into planes to go labor in foreign lands. Multiple times. The right-wing migrant was so exploited that he was able to buy a nice house with a backyard, two cars, and a building with apartments that he rents, preferably to white nationals. The right-wing migrant toiled to make my life different from his. He gave me piano lessons, Vans shoes, CD-ROM encyclopedias, so I could learn about the world. But he disapproves of my expatriate life, for he cannot understand pleasure in leaving, only sacrifice. Because of that, mom left him with his riches.

The right-wing migrant says he does not hate migrants, but he repeats with the crowd that they steal our jobs. He loves his Black grandkids, but shares racist posts on social media, which I secretly report. Recently, he discovered online tutorials. YouTube videos by people with accents and skin colors he would not rent his apartments to. But he appreciates their knowledge. Says they’re different. Not lazy. They taught him to build solar panels, a heating system, and an electric bike. From scratch. I’m proud of him, the right-wing migrant, but I’m also deeply embarrassed. Sometimes I can only relate to him as an object of ethnography. His eyes light up with love and admiration when I enter the room. So, I avoid politics.

Moita, Portugal, Summer 2021