Buh-Bye Byers

Oh what are we to do? David Bernstein has a post up at Volokh about a poor harrassed ex-Duke law proffessor who has been hounded out of academe here in the eevull States and forced to return to the safety of Canada:

The moment was upon me. My heart bursting with pride, I looked the immigration officer in the eye and said, as simply and non-judgmentally as possible: “I have chosen to live permanently in Canada.”

That’s all fine and good; I’m glad he’s proud of his native land and wants to live there. But why did he feel forced to leave the US? Well, let’s see:

Six years ago, Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson estimated that 660,000 Canadians were living and working illegally in the United States. Most Canadians blend in easily. But after Sept. 11, 2001, fear replaced curiosity as the standard response to things unknown. Before 9/11, my wife’s English accent often generated a friendly response, including the comment “You sound just like Princess Diana.” After the attacks, the warm chatter gave way to a strained silence.

While surely some of my southern brethren rightly saw her offensive accent as a chance to exact some payback for the grievous wrongs the British have done to us over the years (I’m thinking especially of them making Dolly Madison have to move so quickly and also whoever that bastard was who chased Mel Gibson around in The Patriot) there’s just this small voice in me that says maybe, just maybe it wasn’t perhaps the accent that chilled those previously warm conversations but perhaps the content…

My wife and I had moved to North Carolina in 1999. The stock market was booming, most Americans felt prosperous and secure, and Bill Clinton — despite Whitewater and Lewinsky — was still capably in charge. It seemed obvious that one of two smart, experienced, open-minded internationalists, Al Gore or John McCain, would follow in January, 2001.
But then we were amused, perplexed and finally disgusted at the dirty tricks deployed in the 2000 election campaign, first to defeat Mr. McCain, and then to steal victory from Mr. Gore. And we felt nothing but horror as the Twin Towers collapsed, knowing not only that thousands of lives had been lost, but that Mr. Bush’s neo-conservative advisers would seize their chance to plot a militaristic course.
My instinctive response was to put words to paper. Five days later, on Sept. 16, 2001, my article, “The hawks are hovering. Prepare for more bombs,” appeared in London’s Independent on Sunday. I continued to write, almost exclusively for British papers, chastising the Bush administration for its unnecessary violations of human rights and international law.

Hmmm, so maybe-schmaybe people found your foaming a bit…tiresome? Those ignorant rural hicks at Duke just maybe couldn’t appreciate your subtle nuanced grasp of world affairs (shown by your profoundly brave display of writing zeal in, er, foreign newspapers) and insights into the neo-zionist cabal that controls our every move like scripted puppets dancing along on the trip wires of facist christo-oppression?
Or maybe you’re just a pompous ass.

3 Responses to “Buh-Bye Byers”

  1. (Hmmm…leaving being a bastion of moral certitude aside for the moment, how much money did he save himself by living in the U.S. whilst collecting los big buckos writing for British papers? I know the British income tax system is mildly oppressive and can only assume that Canada, having a well oiled socialist medical machine to support, would come in a close second.)

  2. The_Real_JeffS says:

    I vote for pompous ass.

  3. Crusader says:

    Poor lad, I know his pain. With the contempt I received for my NJ accent upon arriving here, Canada has been calling my name, also. [/sarcasm]
    What a twit. Though from the folks I have encountered from that part of NC, I would think he would fit right in. They view those of us living around Charlotte as uncultured hicks. They are correct, of course; as we are, but that is besides the point.

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