Blood brothers
Posted by aogMonday, 25 August 2003 at 22:08 TrackBack Ping URL

Via Instantman I saw an article by Jim Bennett on immigration and the California recall. One of the key points is that even in earlier times, during the peaks of immigration, assimilation was possible but not automatic. The process of assimilation required an explicit effort on the part of native organizations. The article made me think of my own views on immigration, which I realized came down to one thing. I don’t want a bunch of foreigners coming over here, but I’m happy to have Americans move in. Anyone who holds the ideals of America in their heart is already an American, because we are nation of thought, not blood. It is the multi-culturalists, those who have given up on the ideas of the West (or, like Jesse Jackson, find it easier to maintain wealth and power in a tribal society), who prefer to have foreigners.

Just as interesting is this passage:
As a response to these challenges, many reformers and activists of that era expended much effort on integrating immigrant groups, fighting the crime, poverty, and corruption that came with them, and in promoting an assimilationist agenda. This effort was in the end successful, culminating perhaps in the successes of World Wars I and II, where Americans of every immigrant group, including nationals of the states with which America was at war, gave a high degree of support to the war effort [emphasis added], and receiving in return a genuine acceptance from the general population.
Think about that. Even the Japanese, despite the internment, still supported the war effort. Consider what this might mean for the Muslim community, the public face of which is very hostile to the war against the Caliphascists. As support for America abroad from previous generations of immigrants bonded them with the existing population, so this lack of support (real or just percieved) will haunt the Muslim community for a long time.