Skip to comments.The Hispanic Challenge (To America) A MUST READ Samuel Huntington (Long But Good)
Posted on 02/24/2004 10:40:36 AM PST by Cacique
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Merry Christmas, BlackElk!
All saints of the Knights of Columbus, pray for us!
Tautology. "Excessive" anything means "too much," and that's always bad. However, the determination of the "excessive" quantity of anything is subjective.
Well, my claim is that with some effort we can be objective whether we our family was American for generations or we just landed here.
My sister works in a large suburban school in Indiana and she will tell you flat out that the Hispanic(Mexican-legal and illegal)kids and their parents she deals with have little interest in or use for education.
The author dismissed this point, but I am not so sure it should be dismissed. Once some of these areas in the SW become overwhelming Hispanic/Mexican what is stop them from voting themselves off the island, and if they do decide to will there be a national will and a Lincoln there to fight the secession?
My guess is that within the next 5-10 years you will see this come to pass in some parts of AZ, CA, NM, TX., and that the national mood driven by the DBM will be to let them leave. Once that damn is breached you can say goodbye to the US as we know it today. The World Left will finally see their dreams realized. America will cease to exist.
I think that any determination of "excessive" has to be subjective, whether our ancestors arrived in 1620 or last week.
"Excessive," to me, means "a level of immigration that is causing disruption to the population that's been here longer." I'm sure my husband's Cherokee ancestors thought that European immigration was excessive long before my Irish folks got off the boat in the early 1800's. And those Irish thought the arrival of Slavs, Eastern European Jews, and Italians was excessive.
And from their perspective, they were as "right" as one can be in a subjective judgment. Various waves of immigration did cause disruption to the earlier-arrived population, just as the influx of Mexicans is causing disruption today.
There is much, of course, that our government could do to discourage the influx and mitigate the disruption. However, they seem determined rather to encourage more immigration and to exacerbate the hostilities between the new arrivals and the present majority population.
Good summary and I share your observations. I was rather disappointed, because I had liked some of Huntington's other work. But this seemed grossly a-historical, a bit hysterical and weirdly aimed at proving that the only "good" American is a white Protestant one. As someone who lives in the oldest town in the US, founded by the Spanish (gasp!) in 1565, I also thought that for a historian he had strange gaps in his history.
They imagine that because of their reasons or motivations that whatever immigration laws there are, these are laws they don't feel they should have to obey.When you cut to the chase that means they have already demonstrated that if they can justify to themselves why they should not obey any given law they should feel they don't have to obey: they will not obey it.
When a person breaks the law they forfeit their rights as a citizen. It is redundant to point out that illegal immigrants never had rights as a citizen. Look at what they are doing with their lives. What theyve done by entering the United States illegally is shift responsibility for their future to the people of the United States. It's a responsibility we have no choice but to own up to. The list of options regarding what to do about their illegal act is long. Incarceration, deportation
the most cowardly decision of all is to move away. If your neighborhood is going to hell, don't pick up and move away! Clean it up! Do something about it! Quit retreating! This problem cannot be ignored. It appears as though politicians are ignoring illegal immigration because Americans are unwilling to do anything about it.
Why? If American Indians were capable to unite and push out the invaders/settlers when numbers were in their favor it would be OBJECTIVELY a smart and right thing to do.
Same with the later non Protestant immigration, limiting incomers to Protestants (with preference for the British) and relying on already high domestic birthrate would keep USA stronger and longer lasting.
Of course it would be much more boring place and we would not have Godfather movie, but you cannot have everything :(
Probably people like me would not be allowed in, but this should not cloud our judgment.
Do you want America to be a global market place without national identity to end up like Rome which fall apart into separate nations ruled by barbarian tribes?
The oldest city in America is Mexico City - founded long before Columbus. Maybe you would like to move there?
Despite your user name it is you seem to take "a-historical" position. USA is a product of Protestant/British culture. If WASP core disappears USA will not last very long.
Same was with the Roman Republic - it decayed and dissolved when the ethnic Latins who created it lost their demographic strength and cultural identity.
This problem cannot be ignored. It appears as though politicians are ignoring illegal immigration because Americans are unwilling to do anything about it.My answer to this is as follows: In the willful absence of a government performing its assigned (as opposed to imagined) roles,
"whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annhilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within."... it is therefore incumbent on the People to seek to act through the several States respectively in accordance with the principal that these have "many and undefined powers" (save for a few specifically forbidden to them) to secure their own borders through the reestablishment of proper Militia which have not existed (despite a Constitutional guarantee otherwise) since the establishment of the National Guard.
Ours is not a Catholic country but a country which has mostly treated Catholics quite well. We Catholics have returned the favor by ever refreshing this nation with lean and hungry immigrants often of great talent and determination.
You claim it to be an "OBJECTIVE truth that excessive immigration is bad." Actually, that is the SUBJECTIVE view of the "blood and soil" types who pose as conservatives (Paleo"conservatives" actually). The Rockford Institute has very little to do with actual conservatism. Nor do any other "paleo" institutions. They are collectively a platoon of social eccentrics (think of the Teddy Roosevelt character in Arsenic and Old Lace continually charging up the stairs of his aunts' Brooklyn House under the delusion that he was charging up San Juan Hill) with the foreign policy of old Neville Spineless Chamberlain, the racial enlightenment of the old White Citizens' Council (now the "Conservative" Citizens' Council whose newspaper was edited by the late Sam Francis of "National Renaissance" fame), the social issues and immigration policies of such outfits as FAIR which is dominated by Planned Barrenhood, NARAL and ZPG enthusiasts.
This "blood and soil" dementia belongs in Otto von Bismarck's Germany not in our country or in various little comic opera nations in Europe contemporaneous to Bismarck. The revolutions of 1848 were over questions such as whether mature adult citizens would continue to be told whether and whom they might marry by the local comic opera poohbah such as a German Landgraf (the $64 term for pushy pseudonoble buttinsky). My ancestors in Germany in one family line decided that they would make their own decisions on marriages and other matters with no need for Landgrafs. They came to southern Indiana and farmed with or without "papers." The great-grandmother born to that family married a great grandfather who stowed away on a boat from Germany to Baltimore and was caught and made to work his passage (very likely landing and entering the country "without papers"). No one in my family ever gave a rat's patoot for whether these German ancestors ever had "papers."
I could bore you with the details of the other branches of my family and their entrances to the US very likely "without papers." I won't. I sincerely hope that not a single one paid homage to the bureaucratic pedigree gods and that not a single one had "papers."
My family has not been notably enthusiastic to serve in the military but no one has yet refused service either. My mother's brother was killed in the sinking of destroyer USS Buck off Salerno by a Nazi U-Boat in WWII. My father and all my uncles served in that war as well. A few relatives were in WW I. A few served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. It is their service and not some useless bureaucratic immigration paperwork that ought be the standard of citizenship. A Mexican willing to serve in our military in service to our nation's purposes is far better qualified in citizenship than some whiny anti-American anti-war leftist college professor or faux intellectual whose ancestors have been citizens for generations. The Mexican-American soldier loves the USA as much and as enthusiastically as the leftist or paleo"conservative" despises the USA. The former makes a far better citizen.
The genuine Catholic (like many other good citizens) has little problem with authority. The Roman Catholic Church is all about Authority and submission to it and not at all the Kumbaya communes that claim Catholicism. One's Americanism is more about one's ideology and, often, one's theological views than about one's street address in a mobile society such as ours. Who my grandmother was or what her neighborhood was may be considerably less important in the formation of MY citizenship than what her religion was and what her politics were. For the sake of discussion, she was a hard core Catholic from Cork who was an enthusiast for wars fought in her time, considered herself a liberal Democrat (as defined in about 1915 in Boston in service to James Michael Curley) and a bit feminist but who would have strangled abortionists with her bare hands three-at-a-time with glee. All of that is why immigration of Catholics (real Catholics) to America is a good thing OBJECTIVELY. That applies to many others as well. No one ever designed the United States to be a Catholic nation. The USA will, however, not suffer from becoming a somewhat more Catholic nation than it is now, especially if the incoming Catholics are more Catholic than our domestic ones tend to be. Nor will the USA suffer from becoming, for example, a more Evangelical nation, a more Orthodox Jewish nation, a more Eastern Orthodox nation. If there is any "blood" there, it is one's family and not one's nationality. There is no soil. There is plenty to qualify one as an American in the way of ideas and behavior without wondering whether a Mexican soldier in the US Army had ancestors fighting under Zachary Taylor or under Santa Ana in 1848.
The United States is a dynamic nation with a wonderful, if occasionally flawed, and proud history. The future should be likewise. We are a nation and not a museum. We are homogenized nor pasteurized as a nation. Had we been either, we would be a museum, with a brilliant past and stultifyingly boring present reality like much of what Rumsfeld accurately derided as "old Europe." The amazing thing about "old Europe" is how very much it proves day by day not to have been worth saving. Today, the Japanese are among our closest allies and strongest supporters. With the occasional exception of a Winston Churchill, a Margaret Thatcher or a Tony Blair, Europe (outside of the Vatican) has been generally useless since WW II. They want their own freedom (to some small extent) but don't care about anyone else's. When France falls to Islam, I hope we let them grovel for a few years while we throw the insolent words of Chirac and de Villepin back in their faces before Uncle Sugar comes to the rescue of the French. We should let them know it is the last time we save their useless backsides unless they closely follow our foreign policy and military lead thereafter.
Blood and soil ideology is based on the XIXc German concept of volk - the unity of race and landscape.
The concept of Protestants moving from England to America (into another soil) and combining elements of Common Law and XVIII c constitutional ideas into masterwork of American Republic has not much in common with volkism.
The only thing in common is that there is such thing as existence of distinct societies of unique character which are worthy of being preserved.
Would you rather accept this?
Imagine there's no Heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for today Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one
Or are you for global market place version of homogenized world?
Eh, whether I want it or not, history will play out as it does. I won't be here to see it.
I have eight children - not many have done more on the demographic front. We like Mexican better than Italian, but that's just a personal thing, como no?
Very true, same with me.
I have eight children - not many have done more on the demographic front.
I am getting jealous :)
Excellent post! The comparison between your family - German settlers raising a family on a farm - to a near relentless wave of unskilled and destitute immigrants hitting our cities, suburbs and rural zones is a stretch, but well worth the time to think about. I've started to think about the immigration problem in engineering terms of equilibrium, pressure and diffusion. In less complicated words, like human dominoes - conditions in one region degrade which results in an exodus. America's leaky borders and ambivalent citizenry have yet to resist diffusion of illegal immigrants. As noted on this thread, dense enclaves have a destabilizing effect. What happens next? The people moving out of the areas immigrants are moving into become secondary and tertiary immigrants. The more affluent of these "cowardly" movers drive up property value in areas priced out of reach of first and second tier movers. If my domino theory is accurate, where does the last one fall? It's easy enough to pick up and move now... or is it. Our children aren't going to be able to afford a home in the neighborhoods they grew up in, or their neighborhoods will become unrecognizable due to the demographic shift. To approach a solution we have to consider reducing the geopolitical pressure causing the primary wave of immigrants. Secondarily, Americans cannot treat their property and community so casually as to abandon it when their neighborhood undergoes a demographic transition. My fellow Americans, in regions overrun, hold your ground. Do what you must to make your community worth living in.
Once again, great post BlackElk.
Not a fan of Catholics this Sam Huntington fella, eh???
Or maybe his point is on a more abstract level - if a Catholic country is overrun by the Protestants (like Ireland was and Poland by Lutheran Swedes) or Muslims (like Spain) it leads to a severe problems.
Nations/cultures/civilization have their distinct characters and they give it up at their peril.
NO, actually the US and the thought behind it was the product of European culture, but not necessarily WASP culture. Many of the ideas in our founding documents were from French thinkers, the concept of natural law upon which it is based is a Catholic concept that was the foundation of rights and law in Europe even among people who rejected Catholicism, and many of our first settlers were not of English descent.
You may be interested in knowing that one of our biggest problems, slavery, was the result of the English influence. The British (it is thought because of their contact with the Muslims in the Mid East and Africa) practiced chattel slavery in their colonies. The Spanish did not; slavery in Spanish colonies was essentially indentured servitude, with slaves retaining personal rights such as the rights to receive religious instruction, be married, be baptized, and buy their freedom or be freed at a certain point. Many African slaves escaped to Spanish colonies such as Florida and Mexico. The British hated the Spanish for this, pursued the slaves to these areas and tried to punish the Spanish heavily for this. St Augustine, Florida, was burned and destroyed several times by English raiders from North and South Carolina.
Furthermore, to broaden your knowledge, check out the history of Maryland and also examine the early Spanish colonization of California, where the Spanish attempted to settle the Indians and not exterminate them.
The structure of our entire country and our entire history is not based on being a WASP, and is also different from that of the Romans, btw. Anybody can become an American by accepting our ideas. The problem is not that immigrants of any type don't want to accept them, but that the intellectuals of this country have rejected them and are not promoting them. Also, the other problem is that many people appear to be ignorant of our history and go for a strange WASP-supremacist version, which automatically excludes anybody else.
Yet the fact of British settlers importing some French or Catholic ideas is VERY different from them BECOMING French. Otherwise New England would the extension of Quebec.
The structure of our entire country [...] is also different from that of the Romans, btw. Anybody can become an American by accepting our ideas.
What do you mean by acceptance of ideas? When Germanic immigrants accepted Roman dress, titles and citizenship, said and thought that they "accept Roman ideas", and styled themselves as Romans, did they become Roman? It is what everybody liked to think at that time. Yet when the ethnic/cultural core or Latin weakened Rome changed meaning.
Despite that the late Roman experiment of melting pot and absorption of mass immigration and of other ethnic/cultural lands WAS MORE SUCCESSFULL than we tend to think about. even with the Latin core being marginalized.
The FORGOTTEN and quite successful experiment was the Eastern Rome - Byzantine Empire which combined Roman statecraft/statehood with Greek culture and Eastern spirituality (Christianity). It lasted THOUSAND years.
The ethnic core group which replaced Latin place of leadership - the Greeks, accepted Roman identity and ideas of state/government. Latin was the official language for a long time in the New Rome by the Bosphorus, the Roman Law (perfected later by Emperor Justinian), Roman institutions and titles were preserved.
But there are two key elements that might be missing in other attempts to emulate Byzantine experiment. First Greeks the people among whom it was implemented were the most talented, creative, lively and curious that walked on the surface of the earth. Second the Roman state in its original Latin form was already imbued with Greek ideas making it easier to perform this transplant.
And what is telling after Eastern Rome was destroyed by the Turks and after centuries of Muslim yoke the people who emerged from ruins are and consider themselves Greek! (Even if they retain some elements of adopted Roman identity.)
the notion of America becoming part of the EU will be in this decade.....martial law is in place, the ID cards, the Patriot act (Old War Powers Act), the World constitution is finished, the world regions are designed, it's ready for the final stroke.
Really? I don't feel like that at all. As a Puerto Rican, I underwent minimal trouble getting it on here. My kids are fully bilingual, as are my wife and I. We speak Spanish at home all the time. We're employed in work where our bilingual skills come to play. My wife answers the phone for Hispanics, many of whom at least attempt to speak in English to her.
Family, faith, love of land. I got that from Puerto Rico and I will not leave that behind, EVER. This is my contribution to the greater American culture, and it is a VALUABLE and NECESSARY contribution. I pity you for spitting on it.
Those who don't know where they came from will not know where they are going.
You might not regret it, but your kids will.
Oh, and Huntingdon is wrong. WE ARE NOT A THREAT.
Consider what happened to the Caledonians when the Scots moved in.
Sorry 'bout that. Synapse misfire.
Do not fear, misfiring synapses of the writers match the fuzzy logic of the readers. Caledonians, Acadians - same thing :)
Sorry, but if you think becoming American is the same as becoming a WASP, there's really nothing more to say. This nonsense popped up with the Know-Nothings (the modern heirs of whom seem to populate FR), was disproved then and shown to be the mere bigotry it was, and I think the modern anti-Hispanic hysteria will meet the same fate.
#108, #111, both excellent posts!
I do not think that "becoming American is the same as becoming a WASP". What I think is that the core group defining USA as a culture are Protestants especially of British background. Yet the people of different religious and ethnic origins can integrate with the American society to the degree that their cultural mindset is compatible.
German and Scandinavian Lutherans were integrated rather smoothly with British Calvinists (Congregationalists and Presbyterians), so were the Episcopalians/Anglicans (despite their loyalist leanings), various more home grown groups like Baptists or Pentecostals are in sync by definition.
Integration of Catholics was a difficult process, but somehow went OK at the price of redefining aspects of American culture (Orthodox could find a place in opening created by Catholics).
Harder to integrate were Mormons despite of their domestic origin.
The real question is if Muslims can be integrated in large numbers. Or if the large influx of Latin Americans with a very strong identity will not prevail over British element. If they do, USA will become other Latin American countries.
Buddhist/Confuctionsts tend to conform and to convert. Hindu so long as they adhere to the cast tradition can remain within their own circles avoiding conflict, as they change they will be more willing to adjust or even convert.
The last but not the least the militant secularists cannot fit by definition, but they abort/gay themselves out of existence.
A country whose citizens don't reproduce is headed for the ash-heap of history. They can keep immigrants out - Japan comes to mind - but eventually, all they've got is an elderly population and a great opportunity for a hostile takeover.
One can have all the right philosophical principles, but the real test is in the delivery room and the classroom: Do the citizens have children, and do they bring them up with republican virtues and practical knowledge? If not - no matter what good reasons they posit for avoiding those activities - everyone had better learn to love felafel and frijoles.
If you're referring to the modern country of Greece, they have a birthrate of about 1.5 and a growing number of mosques in the country. European Turkey Redux, anyone?
When you think about the word "integrate" do you consider "merge" or "sustainable society" to be a synonym? IMO The sustainability of humanity is proportional to its diversity of culture and ideas. Cognitive clarity of the - past * present * future - is something that many minds asymptotically approach together. That's the real power of the United States! The philosophical and cultural contributions to our society do come from the Protestant Reformation but what do those ideas actually do for us? How did those ideas transform into Super Power?
The power of Reformation logic is that it makes room for diversity of culture and ideas. Do not give it uni-polar credit for creating new culture and new ideas. Agreeing to disagree opens the doors blocking progress and prosperity for all mankind. Now let's ask the question again, why are we powerful? Americans manage to live through iterative bouts of disagreements, learning from each, and finding new agreements about the mechanics of humanity. The more we know about us, the more able we are to face unpredictable challenges to us. In America, us, can fit any human being you can imagine.
In this work, Huntington has utterly missed the point. Why? I think he's an antisocial sociologist. Somebody needs to remind him that humans are the most social entities on the planet. Between you, me and Huntington, let's make the point clear. WASP logic facilitates society but is not directly responsible for it. WE ARE!
English Prods thought of our country as their colonies (part of their country albeit without voting rights). Our country has little to do with volkism as you call it. Volkism is very much part and parcel of border mania, however. Only those nations who cower in corners fearing the future adopt volkism.
My Church (RCC) has permanent principles. My nation has a constitution allowing for constitutional amendments and a SCOTUS in a seemingly permanent red hot passion for characterizing perversions and child murder as a constitutional right. That is why I am and always will be primarily Catholic and conditionally American (no blank checks to SCOTUS). The Mexicans are far greater allies of Western Civilization than are John Paul Stevens or Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Swish Souter or former disgraces like Sandra Day O'Connor (Unitarian Universalist and not Catholic).
Whatever the artistic talents of John Lennon, he was a miserably obsessed Marxist atheist who did great damage to our nation. I always found it interesting and comforting that his bullet found him on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Lennon was a virtual nihilist. I did not much care for his music either. The day that he and Paul and Ringo arrived at Idlewild was the real "day the music died."
Whatever it may please the border moonbats to imagine, those who favor the arrival of cultural allies from South of the Border are neither nihilists nor Marxists nor obsessive free traders. We may note that the USA's most traditional area, the South, has usually been favorable to free trade (see economic histories comparing the free trader agricultural South and the protectionist manufacturing North in the runup to the late 19th century unpleasantness between the states and Jude Wanniski's The Way the World Works on the question of the abandonment of free trade by Southern Senators directly triggering the 1929 Stock Market crash and worldwide depression).
Not only do I not want a homogenized world, but I celebrate that abortion and other lifestyle evils are less favored than they are here by our neighbors to the south (our reinforcements).
Rurudyne/A. Pole: Which is worse: 15 million "illegal" immigrants or 50 million slaughtered innocent babies with the thorough approval of the Junior League, Muffy and Skipper? Why?
Yet the Constitution was created by the British Protestants, not by the Catholics. They were informed by the tradition of Common Law and by such Protestant polities like Congregationalism (which departed from Anglican monarchy). Congregationalism is the very opposite of Roman Catholic style of government. The first is intensely democratic, moralistic and individualistic, the second is authoritative, deeply conscious of human weakness (think about the Sacrament of Confession) and communitarian.
You said: "Only those nations who cower in corners fearing the future adopt volkism."
Volkism was a German attempt to provide the substitute for religious spiritual unity - Germany was divided into Lutheran north and Catholic south - in order to unite Germany they invoked race and soil. This was a falsification, as true unity derives from religion and common culture.
United States after absorbing large number on non-Protestants lost the original collective self-understanding. This creates the temptation for the substitutes (other than volkism chosen by Germans), much more likely are Wilsonian global mission, elevating democracy to the new guiding principle etc ...
Well, we cannot reverse the history, the fact you and me would not be here if the other course were chosen in the past, as I said before, should not cloud out thinking.
Now the question is if America can or should conduct two new experiments -
1. bringing a large number of Mexicans/Latin Americans who have strong identity of their own
2. brining a large number of people from non-Christian countries, especially Muslims.
What type of unity can be worked out for so diverse people? What type of coercion (less or more formal like Political Correctness or stronger central government) will be applied? Will the original British concept of informal consensus and liberties survive this new phase?
IMHO, historical reference may not map to the Hispanic situation very well. European immigrants coming to this country had to do so with at least some sense of "leaving behind" where they came from that Hispanic immigrants do not experience. Being able to go back and forth more or less with impunity makes it a very different psychological exercise.
There is another thing. British settlers were very independent people, even in England kings were forced to accept the extensive code of liberties. Puritanism enforced this independence and American Revolution sealed it.
On the other hand, if we look at Mexico - the Spanish settlers were in part impoverished nobility looking for the serfs, the majority of population there derives from Indians subjugated earlier by despotic civilization, the Aztec one being the chief example. Spanish conquest was a LIBERATION by their standards a true gift offered by the strangers.
The main civilizing power was conservative and monarchical Church hostile to Reformation.
The society evolved into oligarchy ruling over disfranchised, the political system oscillating between populist uprisings and reactionary dictatorships.
The center of Mexican life is family, church and informal networks. The corruption is a method of survival.
Maybe. My ancestors came here from Scotland, by the available information most likely traveling light and fast in the dead of night, with the British not far behind.
You are confusing language, culture, religion, law and the political system and intellectual structure and rolling them up into one big ball. The latter two were drawn from European thought - not only British, but Continental. The legal system was based on the British common law system, although with modifications (except for Louisiana, which has a system based on Roman law, among other things).
Religion can be anything within the Judeo Christian sphere; Maryland was founded by Catholics and had a much more tolerant system than any of the other colonies that eventually became states. In addition, many low-church Protestants did not consider even the Anglicans to be Christians, so there was division even in what you are loosely calling the "Protestant" world. Congregationalism, which in our day is so liberal they are all just barely deists, was very rigid, authoritarian and theocratic, and our intellectual authors, such as Jefferson and others, were not part of it.
As for language, while the language of the US came very close to being German at one point, as the US consolidated and added states in the 19th century, the English language was always seen by any immigrant group as the way to get ahead and has always been learned by them. This doesn't mean they become English, though. Where would we be without such folks as the Eastern European Jewish immigrant kids who were the song writers of the 30s? But they didn't become WASPs - they simply wrote their songs in English, and wrote in a way that would appeal to the great majority of their fellow American citizens (who were by no means all WASPs).
I used to teach ESL for adults in New York and we had to turn people away from the classes. Some groups, such as Poles (the largest single group of illegals in NYC was for some time - and may still be - Poles, btw), lived very much in their own communities and would take a few classes and never return. But others, particularly Hispanics, were determined to get ahead and move beyond being hotel maids. So the secret with English is to make it more available, on the one hand, and more mandatory, on the other - no more "bilingual" ed (which means no education, actually), no more ballots in other languages, etc. The encouragement of the learning of English was actually part of Bush's immigration plan, which nobody here at FR liked and which, as a result, is being replaced by one that is much more "liberal."
As for culture, again, if the left had not been so aggressive at driving our shared holidays and traditions out of our schools, we would be much more integrated. But don't blame the immigrants. Put that energy into trying to get the schools to change their curricula and dump the five chapters on the glories of the Mayan calendar and instead put in a little bit about actual American history. It may interest you to know that North American Christmas customs are spreading throughout Latin America; at the same time, I don't see anything wrong with Americans taking some of the Latin American traditions, such as the Posadas, or the custom of building little replicas of Bethlehem or of bringing out the Niño for adoration after Christmas Mass. Many of the things that you probably think of as English in any case are actually German, and probably German Catholic, at that, since the Congregationalists and many other groups did not approve of religious imagery or celebrations and even Irish Catholics, because of centuries of persecution in their homeland, were a little weak on the colorful customs.
In other words, you are cutting your divisions too fine when you attempt to decide on what is a common culture. We already have a common culture that is not WASP culture. However, it is all essentially European culture, and the ideas that are behind it are European ideas, and the religion that shaped it is a Christianity that transmitted both the religion of the Jews and the philosophical understandings of Greece and Rome, shaped by the egalitarian revolution of Jesus Christ, where all were one and equal in Him.
The only question to me is whether we could survive without this, that is, under Islam, and my answer is no. For one thing, Islam is a theocracy (which is fundamentally anti-Christian and which even the Congregationalists finally rejected) and it has a legal system which has nothing to do with either common law or Roman law. In addition, it rejects the principle of equality under the law (which even the US has had to fight for) and in fact rejects the value of reason in any aspect of life. Not to mention the fact that it rejects figurative art, most music and dance, and just about anything we like in this society.
I'm all in favor of more Mexican immigrants, more Polish immigrants, more immigrants from any place that shares our essentially European philosophical background or is willing to respect it. Asian immigrants - who do not share it - respect it and have adapted very well. Muslims do not share it and do not respect it, and even those who have been born here and brought up in it despise it. So I think we have to cease worrying about things that are non-essential and have in fact already changed considerably over the centuries and have even varied from place to place and decide what is really essential. And then get the powers that be, such as the schools, to accept this.
While people here are sitting around hating Catholics and Hispanics, the Muslims are getting "prayer rooms" in the public schools and having the "call to prayer" broadcast on streets where the ACLU has tried to stop church bells.
I would add, don't blame the immigrants for the welfare system, the free medical care, the repeat felons back out on the streets, or the general failure to promote literacy and moral character. All of these outrages are perpetrated by the United States governments (federal, state, and local), whose officials are elected by the United States' citizens.
Illegal immigrants didn't elect the pack of thieves in Raleigh. (Maybe Yankees did ...)
Rurudyne/A. Pole: Which is worse: 15 million "illegal" immigrants or 50 million slaughtered innocent babies with the thorough approval of the Junior League, Muffy and Skipper? Why?I think I have consistently argued that abortion is theologically evil, morally wrong, legally perverse, nationally suicidal and socially stupid.
That said, I've found that the educated Latinos assimilate very quickly because they work around mainstream Americans and they are mostly like us anyway. I've worked with lots of Mexican professionals here, and they fit right in. The poor, uneducated ones don't fit in. For instance: I called the Humane Society to ask a question, and I listened to the message in English, then Spanish. The English message was generic, but the Spanish message immediately told how to report dog fights. I know a vet at the H.S., and I asked her if dog fights were a problem. She said it's huge, and those responsible are almost always from Latin America. They bring a lot of the ugly aspects of Latin America right into the US, and I hate that.
But that is what happens when a Democratic Congress, weasel Republicans, and a willing president allow illegals to flood across the border. We don't get assimilation; we get Balkanizaion.
Oh, well, if we get overrun, I'm ahead of many of you people because I already speak Spanish. ;)
Bump for reference again.
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