Äntligen någon som ser parallellen mellan vår skräck för invandrande människor och invasiva arter och hur hur naturvetenskaper kan vara ideologiska (språkliga): Sonia Shah i boken ”The Next Great Migration, The Story of Movement on a changing Planet (Bloomsbury 2020).
”The next great migration is upon us. The trouble is, from the earliest years of childhood, we are taught that plants, animals and peolpe belong in certain places. It’s why we call the goose the ”Canada” goose, the maple the ”Japanese maple”. It’s why we use the camel to represent the Middle East and the kangaroo to stand for Australia. It’s why we use our imagined or known continental origins as shorthand to describe ourselves in everything from our social interactions to our medical forms: we are ”Americans”, or ”Asians”, or ”Europeans”, a centuries-old marker encoded visually in color of our skin and the texture of our hair, regardles of where we might happen to live.”
/ – – – /
The free movement of people would allow hungry hordes of foreigners to overrun the country, postwar population biologists said, pointing to the studies of population dynamics in butterflies and rats. Would-be human migrants, one wrote, would not ‘starv gracefully’. They’d migrate, to our ruin. Wild species on the move, late twentieth-century ecologists added, would trigger ‘enviromental apocalypse’.
These ideas about migrants and migration were often based on flimsy evidence: mysterious female body parts that don’t, in fact, exist, hybrid monsters that have never been found; a storied spectacle of wild migrants leaping into the arctic sea that never, in fact, happened; a phenomenon of crazed aggression and voraciousness produced by crowding that doesn’t actually transpire. For decades, they surpressed the truth about the promisse of migration, regardless. Geneticists who discovered the fact of our common migratory history minimized its extent. Biogeographers puzzling over the wide distribution of species and people across the planet dismissed the possibility of active movement, presuming instead that ancient geological forces passively carried them around.
Scientific ideas that cast migration as a form of disorder were not obscure to theoretical concerns confined to esoteric academic journals. They were widely disseminated in popular culture. They influenced the closing of the U.S. borders in the early twentieth century, inspired the fascist dreams of Nazis, and provided the theoretical ballast for today’s generation of anti-immigration lobbyists and policy makers. / – – – / Conservationists warn of ‘invasive’ appetites of alien species moving into habitats already populated by native ones. / – – – /”