His announcement speech went to the question of Hispanic crime, specifically rape. And [Ann Coulter]'s book is a very powerful statement of the fact that crime in this country is ethnically variegated. There's ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They're very prone to it, compared to other groups. Ted] Kennedy's assertion.
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Intersectionality, Worldwide and Other Pages. Notwithstanding these statements, Brimelow denies that his objections to immigration from developing nations are purely based on skin color.
Instead, he contends that immigrants of color are culturally deficient, placing great emphasis on the need to speak English apparently as a native language. As discussed previously, such concerns may mask racial concerns and, at a minimum, coincide with race. Consider some of the so- called cultural problems allegedly posed by today's immigrants. And that core has been white. There is a critical piece missing from Brimelow's argument for cultural homogeneity.
Except for a few references to this nation's unique diversity, and a suggestion or two that such diversity may ultimately produce a Bosnia or Lebanon in the United States, Brimelow fails to provide support for the need for homogeneity.
Because the premise is so central to his conclusions, this missing element is a damning flaw. Even some conservatives strongly disagree with the prescription of national homogeneity. For example, offended by Brimelow's view that "the United States is In so doing, he virtually ignores this nation's long history of diversity.
African Americans and Latinos have lived in the United States for centuries, and a great variety of white ethnic immigrants have come to this nation. Moreover, the practicality of a return to a homogeneous United States is far from clear. In light of the diversity of this nation's current population, it is highly doubtful that any colorable proposal -- especially one that focuses exclusively on immigration -- would result in the creation of a homogeneous Anglo Saxon nation.
In Linda Chavez's words, the mere idea "seem[s] ridiculous today in a country in which million persons are descended from people who did not come here from the British Isles. He observes that the Hispanic population grew from 2. He stretches the facts by suggesting that illegal immigration since has been "overwhelmingly Hispanic.
Deeper political fears are reflected in the suggestion that Mexican immigrants are either co-conspirators with or simply unwitting dupes of Mexican-American radicals and the Mexican government.
Offering little elaboration and no proof, Brimelow speculates that heavy Mexican immigration to the United States might result in a movement to reunite part of the Southwest with Mexico. The book singles out "Hispanics," an all-encompassing referent that includes citizens as well as immigrants, as a minority group that deserves particular criticism. Rejecting the term "Hispanic," as do many who fall within the category, Brimelow gratuitously argues that the Bureau of the Census should abolish the term.
They have been supplied with "leaders" financed in large part by the Ford Foundation. They are now much less encouraged to "Americanize" than anything seen in the previous Great Wave. Instead, they are being issued with a new, artificial "Hispanic" identity. How this relates to immigration reform, the ostensible topic of the book, is uncertain. However, it reveals the scapegoating phenomenon so prevalent in U. This is understandable because, in Brimelow's view, all Latinos are foreign to this nation's "white" core.
But not all Latinos in the United States are immigrants. Mexicans, for example, lived in the Southwest long before the region became part of this country. Moreover, the Latino community is far from monolithic and is especially heterogeneous with respect to citizenship and immigration status. This community includes citizens and noncitizens, both lawful permanent residents and undocumented immigrants. Though acknowledging diversity in the Latino community, Brimelow fails to make a fundamental distinction between Latino immigrants and Latino citizens.
In attacking the artificial "Hispanic" identity and the treatment of Hispanics as a "protected class," Brimelow in effect is complaining about affirmative action. In so doing, he fails to address the serious under- representation of Latinos in positions of power in the United States and the social problems generally faced by the Latino community. Instead, strongly disagreeing with positions taken by Latino activist organizations, such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Brimelow insults the leadership of these groups.
How they created a "new, artificial 'Hispanic' identity" for Latinos, and why this supposed "identity" is illegitimate, is not explained. Perhaps most importantly, in light of the relative disadvantaged position of Latinos in the United States, the benefits of the "identity" are highly uncertain.
As should be apparent from this discussion, Brimelow's concern with Hispanics -- immigrants and citizens alike -- in no small part relates to his vehement opposition to affirmative action, which obviously troubles him and many others. Immigration, however, is not responsible for creating the need for affirmative action. Rather, the impetus for such programs was the historical exclusion of minorities and women from educational, employment, and political opportunities.
Nevertheless, immigration complicates the affirmative action debate. For example, some affirmative action supporters fear that immigrant eligibility for such programs injures the African-American community.
In contrast, some opponents contend that affirmative action adversely affects white ethnic immigrants. Such tensions, which this essay does not address, are impossible to deny. The mere existence of these tensions, however, fails to support Brimelow's claim that immigration should be drastically reduced or his insinuation that immigrants are responsible for perceived deficiencies of affirmative action programs.
Affirmative action should be evaluated and maintained, modified, or eliminated on its own merits. Bilingual education, however, is neither supported exclusively, nor perhaps even primarily, by immigrants; U.
Indeed, Latinos born and raised in this country initially pressed for bilingual education and have the political power -- power denied to noncitizens -- to succeed in securing the creation of such programs. The demand for bilingual education cannot simply be marginalized as an "immigrant movement. It is true that today's immigrants come from many different nations and speak many different languages.
This unquestionably has created new challenges to be addressed. As the "English-only" movement suggests, at least a vocal segment of the public objects to the increased use of languages other than English. However, despite Brimelow's hopes, the end of immigration would not end the debate about bilingual education and bilingualism in the United States. Moreover, Brimelow fails to understand the link between language and assimilation.
To the extent that immigrants are encouraged to learn English through English-as-a-Second-Language programs, for example , they become increasingly integrated into the community. Brimelow's omission is striking in light of his stated concern with the assimilation of today's newcomers into U.
However, Alien Nation fails to advocate measures that would encourage assimilation, such as additional funding for English-as-a-Second-Language programs and streamlining the naturalization process to allow immigrants to become citizens more quickly.
Brimelow instead offers a deceptively simple answer: bar the immigration of people of color so that we no longer have to worry about assimilation. In stark contrast to Brimelow's approach, some commentators have tried to offer constructive proposals to foster immigrant assimilation.
Though the concept of "assimilation" is open to many interpretations, it is difficult to argue that efforts should not be made to integrate immigrants into the political community. The same Latino activist groups that Brimelow derides, for example, have tried to integrate immigrants into the political community by encouraging naturalization.
In so doing, Brimelow fails to fully comprehend the difference ethnicity makes in evaluating the impact of U. For example, in suggesting that the use of dogs might improve border enforcement, Brimelow conjures up disturbing imagery suggesting that Mexican immigrants are less than human. One therefore would suspect that some Latinos would be uncomfortable with such proposals.
In so doing, Brimelow fails to comprehend why a Jose Serrano might view the issue differently than a Peter Brimelow. If a national identification scheme were put into place, Serrano and groups of people considered to be foreign and different might well be asked for identification more regularly than people like Brimelow.
By consistently equating "Hispanics" with immigrants, Brimelow himself offers support for Serrano's fears of discriminatory enforcement. Latinos, citizens and immigrants alike, are understandably sensitive to the anti-Latino aspects of the debate over immigration reform.
The movement toward immigration restriction and increased enforcement measures disproportionately affects Latino citizens as well as lawful immigrants.
Consequently, Latino activists have been vigilant in monitoring and opposing proposals that they fear would open the door to discrimination against persons perceived as foreign. Immigration raises deeply personal and often emotional questions.
Who will be permitted to join the American community? How do "they" fit in with "us"? How will "they" affect "my" life? Consequently, the immigration debate brings to the fore public concern with self-preservation and fear of change. Despite Brimelow's principal focus on the race and culture of today's immigrants, immigration represents for Brimelow nothing more than a convenient soapbox from which to voice many political, social, and personal frustrations.
In addition to concerns about affirmative action and bilingualism, Brimelow expresses dissatisfaction with developments as far-ranging as multiculturalism and sensitivity training in the workplace. His repeated reliance on the personal is ironic in light of his complaint that "much commentary about immigration is quite clearly the projection of personal values, fears, phobias and fantasies. For example, in response to objections to the use of the term "alien," Brimelow asserts that, as a former alien, "the United States had a perfect right to call me anything it wants.
Brimelow's personal frustrations with immigration run the gamut from large to small issues. He claims that immigration has had dramatic and far-reaching consequences on the political process. Brimelow states that immigration bestows power on the political elite in the United States. To this elite, "immigration is manna from heaven.
It gives them endless excuses to intervene in society. It enables them to distinguish themselves from the xenophobic masses. Brimelow warns that the President was backed by "a black- Hispanic-Jewish-minority white Southerners used to call them 'scalawags' coalition. Notwithstanding Brimelow's rhetoric, the only possible relationship between immigration and the political coalition that elected the President is that some "Hispanic" citizens because noncitizens, such as immigrants who have not naturalized and undocumented persons, cannot vote voted for Bill Clinton.
Once again, Brimelow treats all Latinos, citizens and noncitizens alike, as foreigners. Brimelow's personal motivations are strikingly illustrated on a much smaller scale by the book's discussion of the relative benefits of British and Zulu immigration. During his run for the presidency, Patrick Buchanan provoked controversy by contending that British immigration would cause fewer problems for the people of Virginia than Zulu immigration. A Wall Street Journal editorial disagreed on the ground that Zulu immigrants probably would work harder than English ones.
Lashing back with great ferocity, Brimelow asserts that such a view "reveals an utter innocence about the reality of ethnic and cultural differences, let alone about little things like tradition and history.
Consistent with the self- perception of previous nativist groups, most notably the Know Nothings of the nineteenth century, Brimelow describes critics of current U. It will be a big wreck, and there will be a lot to salvage And the politicians and pundits who allowed this to happen truly deserve, and will certainly receive Consistent with the crisis mentality that pervades Alien Nation, Brimelow claims that "'pulling out the ladder' Besides claiming that the racial and cultural diversity of immigrants damage the national fabric, he believes high levels of immigration have imposed substantial economic, cultural, social, environmental, and political costs on the United States.
As has become customary in the immigration debate, Brimelow blames immigrants for increased crime, and begins his book by emphasizing a few immigrants' alleged involvement in notorious criminal acts, thereby suggesting that these isolated occurrences epitomize the activities of most immigrants.
Intersectionality, Worldwide and Other Pages. Notwithstanding these statements, Brimelow denies that his objections to immigration from developing nations are purely based on skin color. Instead, he contends that immigrants of color are culturally deficient, placing great emphasis on the need to speak English apparently as a native language. As discussed previously, such concerns may mask racial concerns and, at a minimum, coincide with race. Consider some of the so- called cultural problems allegedly posed by today's immigrants. And that core has been white.