Amnesty Sì, Amnesty No
by Fred Reed:
Thoughts Following the Inauguration of Septimius Severus
understand the dispute over amnesty. The fat lady has sung, Latino-wise.
Its over. Seventeen percent of the United States is now Latino.
The percentage is increasing, and will increase. You can like it,
or hate it, or not care. It doesnt much matter. You might
as well dislike gravitation.
there are eleven million illegals in the country. Granting them
amnesty will not make them go away. Not granting them amnesty will
not make them go away. Amnesty might attract more, if jobs were
available. Withholding amnesty will leave them permanently marginalized.
Take your choice.
border might make a slight difference in the rate of increase, or
might not. (Reportedly the net influx now is zero, what with the
lack of jobs in the US.) The Hispanic population will grow regardless
because their birth rate is higher than that of whites. Most of
the Hispanic population is legal. The illegals have children, who
instantly become citizens. The seventeen percent will shortly be
twenty which, added to thirteen percent of blacks, makes a third
of the overall population.
You may think
that something should be done about all of this, or you may not.
You may think that something should be done about sunrise. The prospects
are better for preventing sunrise.
do folk opposed to immigration want to do? Set up extermination
camps? It has been done, and got terrible reviews. Will we have
the army push fifty-seven million people across the Mexican border
at bayonet point including huge numbers who are American citizens?
A fair number of them since 1848?
will doesnt exist. Whether conservatives like it or not, a
great many people favor amnesty, and arent much concerned
about immigration. These may, or may not, be deluded, foolish, or
culturally suicidal. It doesnt matter. They think what they
think. Businessmen want the cheap labor, Democrats want the votes,
and the rising generations of whites do not seem greatly concerned.
It is not now
or never. It is thirty years ago or never. This limits the options.
If one may
believe the press nothing can be more reliable than the press the
number of Hispanics in California just exceeded the number of whites.
In Republican Texas, the majority of children in school, and growing
toward voting age, are Hispanic. Short of reversing the flow of
time, nothing will keep them from getting older. Conservatives think
this a disaster. They may be right. But it is going to happen.
Now, if the
Latinos are in the US, and are not going to leave, it might be wise
to find a modus vivendi, a means of avoiding the breaking of the
country into a third hostile camp. What are the prospects of doing
sure. But I can foresee the consequences of not doing it.
are encouraging, others not. Hispanics are not inherently hostile
to whites. They enter the US to work. As a race, they are not innately
incompetent. For example, they are perfectly capable of building
and operating modern cities, as anyone knows who has walked the
streets of Buenos Aires, Lima, or Santiago.
to imagine Latin lands as indistinguishable from Zimbabwe. They
are not. Latin American countries run from the primitive (Bolivia)
to virtually first-world (Chile) with Mexico, the chief source of
American Hispanics, being toward the high end of the list.
On the other
hand, those who swim the Rio Bravo are not doctors and engineers,
gangs assuredly exist, and Hispanic children do poorly in school.
Not good, especially the last.
I have my doubts
about the irremediable criminality of the immigrants, and I wonder
how much Americans really know about these people. Headline: El
Paso: FBI stats deem border city safest in the country 3 years in
What, not Detroit?
just anecdotes, but they add up. Vi and I were recently in Manhattan
to visit Leticia (I'll call her), a university friend of Violeta,
and her husband Guillermo. She is finishing up a PhD in linguistics
at CUNY, he a Puerto Rican pediatrician. They live in East Harlem,
sort of 116th and Lexington. Once black, the neighborhood is now
Mexican. It is also pleasant. I asked Leticia whether crime was
a problem. No. She unhesitatingly walked around at night.
good English, but Spanish at home, which I suppose makes it their
primary language, and this conservatives find threatening. I am
not sure why.
was one of small stores and restaurants. I asked Leticia who owned
them. Mexicans. This was certainly true of the various
small restaurants in which we ate.
we stayed in the vacant condo of a friend living near us in Mexico.
Before we left he spoke of Berwyn, a formerly Czech suburb which
he said, Czechs being Czechs, was neat, clean and well kept up.
Then the Mexicans moved in and now, he said, the neighborhood was
clean, and well kept up. While in the city we got my daughter, in
grad school, to drive us through Berwyn. It was as described and,
to judge by places called Pedros Lavanderia, Mexican. So much
for there goes the neighborhood, at least in Berwyn.
lives in Pilsen, also a Mexican barrio and somewhat rougher. You
dont walk around at three a.m. and there are occasional fights.
We breakfasted in a Mexican restaurant, absolutely mobbed, with
good food and good prices (and waitresses who spoke English). My
daughter and I were the only gringos. People were friendly and courteous,
which is what I have found in ten years in Mexico. This matters.
I asked my
daughter whether the locals spoke English. Not all. The young
ones mostly are learning. I thought of San Antonio, where
Vi had complained that the Hispanics spoke rotten Spanish. As an
approximate rule, the first generation doesnt learn, the second
is bilingual, and the third forgets Spanish.
should not have allowed massive immigration from Latin America,
not because Latinos are bad people but because diversity, racial
or ethnic, is so often a horrible thing. In countless instances
it causes animosity and frequently bloodshed. Think: Tamils and
Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, blacks
and whites in South Africa, Hindus and Moslems in India, Sunnis
and Shias in Iraq, on and on.
But you have
to play the cards you have dealt yourself. If America permits, causes,
or cannot prevent the division of the country into something resembling
Shias and Sunnis, with tension already high between blacks and whites,
god knows where things will end. Groups exist which would like to
promote mutual hostility. It does not seem to me inevitable. It
better not be.
is author of Nekkid
in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well, A
Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be, Curmudgeing
Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle, Au
Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book About Viet
Nam, and A
Grand Adventure: Wisdom's Price-Along with Bits and Pieces about
Mexico. Visit his
© 2013 Fred Reed
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